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Are You Motivating Your Audience With A Strong Call To Action?

Calls to Action (CTA’s) are often the difference between prospects just eyeballing your content versus prospects that are converting into leads.   In today’s highly competitive mortgage market it is critical to convert potential borrowers into leads, which convert into actual borrowers.

You can create great content, new websites and professional marketing materials but if all a potential borrower does is read your materials you still have nothing to show for it. Your CTA’s must motivate the potential borrower to take action.   To get pre-qualified, to start the application process, to speak with a loan officer, because once that happens most borrowers stop shopping around.

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So, what is the difference between a CTA that drives leads and action compared to the typical CTA that people just read and do nothing with? There are a number of factors that impact the effectiveness of your CTA. They include:

Wording is critical- Use words that demonstrate an understanding of your prospects pain and of what motivates them.

Proper design and placement- If you what your CTA’s to pop you need to take advantage of whitespace, colors, shape and visual elements that will make the CTA stand out.

Deliver value to your prospect- provide them with insights, trends, offers that the prospect can’t live without. Put yourself in the prospects shoes. What will motivate them to take action?

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There are a number of articles that provide key insights into the power of CTA’s and how to get the most out of them in your marketing materials. In an article by Wendy Marx entitled Calls to Action: “How to Motivate Your Audience she lists 10 Guides to Creating Calls to Action that Convert from leading industry experts. Check out the story for some additional tips on creating the perfect CTA https://goo.gl/Zd18pz.

To succeed in today’s mortgage market your marketing materials must include a clear and concise call to action.

Action:

Ask for their business

Offer a discount

Visit a website to apply

Join Group/list

Click to Apply Now

Get Pre-Qualified

Considerations

Do not hide your call to action

Provide multiple opportunities in your marketing materials for your prospect to take action.

Finding the right call to action takes time and plenty of trial and error. Put yourself in your prospects shoes. What would you be looking for throughout the home buying process? Ask yourself “What’s in it for me?”

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The prospect will eventually ask themselves this same question.

Here are some examples:

Should I be working with someone who simply wants to do a loan or a trusted advisor?

Should my lender guide me through the loan process from start to finish or do I have to figure it out myself?

As your prospect asked themselves these questions, you should make a conscious effort to portray yourself as a valued asset in their home buying journey. Adding value for your prospect creates a higher need and increases of moving your audience to action.

About The Author

Brandon Perry
Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company's ability to maintain it's position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Explaining The Mortgage Process Of The Future

As executives discussed the state of mortgage lending at the Seventh Annual ENGAGE Event in Denver, Colo., a lot of hot-button topics came up. For example, the discussion around what the future lending process will look like was very insightful. Here’s what was said:

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“Looking back at my immediate family, my grandparents couldn’t afford to own a home. My parents were the first to buy a home and they worried about how they were going to pay their mortgage, but owning a house meant that they had arrived and could secure a future for their family,” shared Molly Dowdy, Co-Founder of NEXT, the mortgage technology conference for women. Molly has nearly 20 years experience marketing in the mortgage technology space. She is also a member of the PROGRESS in Lending Executive Team.

“My parents still live in that home today. My point in sharing this story is to say that we have the power to create a more inclusive and transparent mortgage process.”

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And most believe that begins at the point-of-sale. “We have to elevate the customer’s experience,” said Pamela Stahl, the Product Manager for VirPack, a leading provider of document management and delivery technology for the mortgage banking and financial services industries. Leveraging 6 years of mortgage lending secondary market management experience, she joined the mortgage technology industry in 2011 as a product manager for a leading Loan Operation System before joining VirPack in late 2016. With almost 12 years combined mortgage and mortgage technology experience, she has a proven history of producing and delivering innovative mortgage lending SaaS technologies.

“We as an industry have done a lot in recent years to embrace mobile technology. We’ve launched mobile apps and we send the consumer mobile alerts, but we don’t use this technology to really explain the process,” Stahl continued. “Improving the customer experience is not just about pushing out automated messages in real time, it’s about helping the consumer truly understand what’s going on at all times.”

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Everyone agrees that the borrower has to be more informed at the frontend, but what happens after that? “We’ve focused a lot on the beginning of the process and how we can make that better for the borrower, but we have forgotten about the backend of the process,” explained Matt Hydrew, SVP, Enterprise Solutions at Mortgage Cadence, an Accenture Company. Matt specializes in the execution of enterprise software solutions with Mortgage Cadence, which focuses on end-to-end, SaaS based residential lending technology in the United States market. Mortgage Cadence solutions manage the workflow process, imaging, document prep, secondary marketing and other important components to a true end to end digital mortgage platform.

“If lenders are not efficient and communicative of everything that goes on in the backend of the process, all that communication and explanation on the frontend amounts to just window dressing,” Hydrew notes. “We have to use technology to genuinely improve the whole mortgage process an fully communicate that to the borrow up to and including the closing of the loan.”

Why is this important? Data shows that 34% of the buying power rests with millennials and they want a better mortgage proces. “We have a lot of very slick applications in this industry, but without borrowers to feed into them we have no business,” explained Brandon Perry, President at TTP Enterprises. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP, which enhances the company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

“The mortgage process of the future has to reach people of all ages and backgrounds in a more meaningful way so buying a home doesn’t remain just a very long, complicated and stressful thing to go through,” concluded Perry.

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

The Best Of Both Worlds

In today’s hyper competitive mortgage market, with fluctuating rates, an influx of regulations and enforcements, focusing on attracting new borrowers and retaining the ones you have isn’t always the top priority. It is critical to take care of those areas without losing sight of the importance on bringing on new business.

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I was reading a recent blog by IQ Total Source titled “How to Combine Print & Digital Marketing Campaigns”. In the blog they state “To be successful in today’s marketing age, it is important to have an integrated campaign: both print and digital tactics.

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Making these tools work together can be tricky, though. As with any campaign, you’ll want to start out knowing who your target audience is. This means not only knowing the demographics and parameters of your audience, but also how best to reach them. While it is easy to assume that older customers prefer print while younger customers like digital marketing, it will almost never be advantageous to operate this way.

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There are various advantages and disadvantages to both print and digital media that you should research. Most likely you’ll find that a combined print and digital marketing campaign is the way to go. Digital media is a great option because of its ease of change and the fact that you are not so strictly limited in space. You can use links to your advantage in this capacity, giving your customer an easy path of simply clicking to learn more information or even purchase your product then and there. However, print offers its own set of advantages. Information is much more easily digested in print and people like and trust something tangible.

Through both your print and digital channels, you should have a consistent look. It’s quite possible that a customer will come in contact with both your print and digital designs. Your campaign will be made stronger and clearer if your customers can easily connect the two. Make sure that the efforts you put toward your campaign can be used in as many ways as possible. Information from a newsletter can be organized in a print pamphlet or poster, used as a basis for an online banner, and expanded on for a web page. Consistency is key when managing a combined print and digital strategy.

Don’t rigidly separate your print and digital information. As we’ve already covered, it is not as black and white as assuming you’ll generate one set of customers from print and an entirely new set digitally. Including twitter handles, an invitation to visit your website, or even an online code within your print campaign can compel your audience to your digital channels and vice versa. Always make sure all of your marketing is contributing toward your desired result.

Print is not dead and digital marketing is fast growing. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but combining them can mean the best of both worlds.”

To succeed in today’s mortgage market you need a multifaceted marketing approach to attracting, engaging and eventually bringing on new borrowers. This includes the use of both print and digital.

About The Author

Brandon Perry
Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company's ability to maintain it's position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Email Marketing Success

I recently read an article from Cassidy Milder of Marketo, entitled “3 Steps for Successful Email Marketing Campaigns in a “Post-Email” World.”

Once you learn these three key steps, you’ll be able to send emails that sweep recipients off their feet—or at least get them to read past the subject line.

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Cast a Wider Net—But Keep Your True Blue Subscribers Front-and-Center

A lot of percentages go into email communication: the percentage of opens, click-throughs, and—most importantly—what percent converts. Naturally, those numbers get smaller and smaller as you get closer to achieving ROI, so you need to make sure you’re sending to a large enough database that by the time you get to final conversion, you’re still seeing the results you want. And that means growing your email list to get those coveted percentages.

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The Best Things in Life Take Time to Develop; Your Database Is No Different

We tend to hear about the one or two stories where marketers were able to capture lightning in a bottle, but here at, our most successful marketing campaigns rely on careful testing and thoughtful adjustments. There’s even ample evidence that data science and progressive profiling will heavily play into email campaigns over the next few years, especially as home automation devices like Echo and Google Home start to capture more and more behavioral data.

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Testing with different samples and subsets of your subscribers should become more important than ever, which means you’ll need to be patient and nurture your database in order to see the results you want.

This is your time to test the waters and see what types of content and calls-to-action (CTAs) work with your new audience. It’s often helpful to warm up your audience with content and bonus offers before asking for your conversion. Your audience should feel like they’re gaining value from your emails. If you can capture their attention with top-of-the-funnel material, you’ll gain their trust (and boost open and click-through percentages!).

Get to Know the Most Engaged Members of Your Audience

Every concert audience comes to a show armed with different expectations: from the avid fan who has all of the albums to the significant other who just got dragged along with their partner. Your database is no different: some members are just more into your content than others. But in order for your emails to accrue value, you must be able to identify and empathize with the needs of your email VIPs. Who’s opening your messages, downloading your content, or even contacting you directly?

Drilling down into these kinds of details offers a more well-formed definition of your ideal client, and it lets you target them with stronger CTAs. Once you’ve gotten them to subscribe and earned their trust with top-of-the-funnel content, they’ll finally be ready to convert—and you can watch this all unfold right from your engagement platform. When you see someone fall into this sweet spot, you can start segmenting them for more direct asks, which all translates to ROI for your company. That will certainly breathe life into your marketing campaigns!”

Email is not dead, your approach might need to change if you want to attract more borrowers in today’s mortgage market.

About The Author

Brandon Perry
Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company's ability to maintain it's position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Reaching Borrowers

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There is always talk about how much the mortgage industry has changed over the last twenty years. Most of it revolves around the flood of new rules and regulations, technology shifts, borrower expectations and the list goes on and on. One area that doesn’t get as much attention— but is just as critical to a lenders’ success— is how marketing to potential borrowers has changed. Julie Quinn, Vice President of Operations at TTP Enterprises, sat down with our editor to talk about how marketing to potential borrowers has evolved over the years and what it takes to drive business to the point of sale.

Q: You were involved with marketing automation before people even knew what marketing automation was. How would you define marketing automation?

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JULIE QUINN: I think it helps to begin with a quick overview of what marketing automation is before we discuss how it has evolved over the years. Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels (such as print, gifts, email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

“At its best, marketing automation is software and tactics that allow companies to buy and sell like Amazon – that is, to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers. This type of marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for companies, and provides an excellent return on the investment required.” Hubspot.

Q: How has mortgage specific marketing and more specifically marketing automation evolved over the years?

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In the early days of mortgage specific marketing, lenders started primarily with gifts to prospective borrowers through the use of printed items like calendars, and gifts of cookies, etc.

The next shift or advancement was for lenders to realize that past borrowers where a great source for repeat business and referrals to family and friends.

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JULIE QUINN: In the early days of mortgage specific marketing, lenders started primarily with gifts to prospective borrowers through the use of printed items like calendars, and gifts of cookies, etc. The basic concept was to gain mind share so when the prospective borrower was ready to make a decision, the lender who was marketing to them would be the first lender that they would contact.

The next shift or advancement was for lenders to realize that past borrowers where a great source for repeat business and referrals to family and friends. This is what caused the advent of print post-close loyalty programs. These programs are typically 3-5 year nurturing programs that would send printed materials such as Thank You cards, loan anniversary cards, birthday cards, recipe cards, etc. throughout the year to remind the borrower of the great job that the lender had done so that when the next opportunity arose they would continue to do business with them.

Then came the introduction of digital marketing (emails, and then social media). With more and more borrowers gaining Internet access, lenders realize the power of the Internet through email marketing. This is still a powerful tool in the arsenal of mortgage marketers. The key is knowing when and how frequently to use this tool. The natural extension of this was the use of social media for the exact same reasons.

While digital marketing was gaining traction, innovative lenders introduced Pre-Qualification and In-Process marketing to the fold. The right marketing automation solution automates engagement with prospective clients and provides relevant updates for in process milestones while developing and enhancing partner relationships.

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Lenders looking to stand out from their competition in today’s mortgage market must realize that these marketing tools are not mutually exclusive. The most dynamic marketing programs, the ones that produce the greatest results, have circled back to incorporating gifts and post-close print marketing into their digital efforts. It is the right combination of all of these marketing approaches that delivers the greatest ROI. The consistent communication with the potential borrowers, past borrower and referral partnerships in a highly professional and dynamic way shifts the relationship to one of a “trusted advisor.”
Q: There is so much talk in the industry about everything going digital including marketing to prospective borrowers. Why does the best marketing automation solution need to include the right combination of print and digital to produce the greatest marketing ROI?

JULIE QUINN: The key is for lenders to understand that there isn’t one proven approach, which reaches all prospective borrowers. Combining digital and print marketing increases the odds in your favor of potential conversion.

A digital only strategy certainly comes with a lower initial investment, but lenders need a much larger and higher quality prospect list. Remember that almost 85% of your email targets do not even open your marketing and a fraction actually acts upon it. Direct print marketing can see a response rate of 3-4% whereas Email is about 0.1%.

One of our customers specifically implemented mixed marketing approach utilizing both print and digital that generated over 60 new loans in less than six months of campaign. (With the average home price close to $200,000 x 60 loans= $12,000,000 in this campaign alone, that combined both print and digital).

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Our customers that have consistently had the greatest success have combined both print and digital to truly stand out in a highly competitive marketplace.

We are seeing a greater interest in establishing loyalty programs for older loans in lenders’ databases. We are also seeing increased interest in post closing gifts.

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Q: What are some of the pros and cons of email marketing and print marketing?

JULIE QUINN: Pros and Cons of Email Marketing: Pros – Good ROI, Low Cost, Easy tracking, low time investment (assuming you have a good database); Cons – Very competitive, easily discarded, SPAM filters.

Pros and Cons of Print Marketing: Pros – High ROI, Less competition, Personable, enhanced delivery, Great for relationship building, increased trust; Cons – Varying costs, more difficult to track and measure (although including some digital related call to action can help)

Q: With print still being a critical component of marketing automation can you provide some examples of how lenders are incorporating print into their campaigns?

JULIE QUINN: Our customers that have consistently had the greatest success have combined both print and digital to truly stand out in a highly competitive marketplace. For example, upon a prospective borrower reaching Pre-Qualification status, we are notified by the LOS system of this milestone and a personalized 12 page “Homebuyer’s Guide” is generated and mailed directly to the prospect. This book walks the prospect through the entire home buying experience and is branded to Lender and Loan Officer.

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We are seeing a greater interest in establishing loyalty programs for older loans in lenders’ databases. We are also seeing increased interest in post closing gifts.

Lenders are combining both methods by creating print campaigns to drive a prospective borrower to a certain online or digital activity (web application, engage in social media, download something) to gain traction and drive conversion.

Q: What can lenders do to drive new business to the point-of-sale?

JULIE QUINN: The first step for lenders is to get off the bench and make marketing automation a high priority. Remember that marketing automation is so much more than just an email blast or printed post card.

In addition, lenders need to tailor their program/materials/approach to the needs of their prospective borrower. No one approach works for everyone.

A combination of prospect marketing, in-process communications and post-close marketing will deliver the greatest results.

Q: Why is Marketing Automation important to lenders if they are serious about driving new business to the point-of-sale?

JULIE QUINN: In order to survive and thrive in this mortgage environment of constantly changing rules and regulations, heightened competition for borrowers and extreme pressure to produce results, you must realize the need to identify high quality business opportunities. It is critical to identify leads quickly and efficiently and then drive them to the point-of-sale with compliant communications for converting them into clients. It’s equally important to retain these clients and to maximize their on-going value through repeat business and referrals.

Engaging these prospective clients in real time across a multitude of channels such as the Internet, email, social media, print, video, and mobile devices highlights the importance of working with a proven marketing automation solution that can illuminate or emphasize the best in your marketing while easing your compliance burden.

That’s where marketing automation comes into play. Lenders focused on driving new business and attracting more borrowers are turning to advanced marketing technology to attract more borrowers in today’s highly competitive and regulated mortgage market.

Q: What role does compliance play in the right marketing automation solution?

JULIE QUINN: Regulation. It’s everywhere these days. And on the marketing side of every mortgage company’s operations, as much as any other, it means that management has to take a much more active role in ensuring its brand and its products are correctly and compliantly represented in the marketplace. Communications with prospects, customers and even referral partners – whether driven from the center or by loan originators – must be controlled, but without inhibiting genuine creativity and individual initiative. The right mortgage specific marketing automation establishes a controlled environment in which ingenuity and enterprise are able to flourish.

It does this by providing management with five levels of control over the players in the marketing process. All you have to do is decide what degree of control you want to exercise in relation to each of the system’s key functions. For example, you can make sure that Loan Officers are unable to edit company information or upload unacceptable graphics or run on-demand campaigns that breach corporate guidelines.

The levels of management control that should be available in the right mortgage specific marketing automation are as follows, working down from the most to the least restrictive:

Prohibition: Different types of users can be prevented from accessing a system function, or even an entire page, by means of the systems “permissions” capability.

Authorization: Marketing materials created by users at lower levels in the corporate hierarchy cannot be implemented until approved at the center.

Alert: A defined set of fields is monitored and changes are reported via a feed on the systems Home page, enabling quick action to remedy any departure from company policy.

Oversight: Users at higher levels in the corporate hierarchy can “impersonate” users at lower levels, giving management an instant window on the activities of Loan Officers.

Reporting: The solutions “My Reports” function provides information that allows management to hold users at lower levels accountable for their performance.

Q: As the market continues to shift and adjust to constantly changing condition, can you discuss how marketing automation can deliver a competitive advantage for lenders?

JULIE QUINN: Over the last 10 years more and more lenders are utilizing marketing automation. The key now is to differentiate yourself from the “standard content”. Working with your marketing automation solution provider, your marketing team can separate from the pack with unique messaging and materials.

Q: What should the ideal marketing solution include?

JULIE QUINN: The ideal mortgage specific marketing automation solution must include:

>>The Right Mix of Print and Digital

>>Automated Loyalty Marketing

>>On-Demand Campaigns

>>Extensive Content Library

>>Comprehensive Marketing Compliance

>>Ability to Recruit & Retain Top Talent

>>Strong Partner Relationships

The ideal mortgage specific marketing automation solution delivers:

>>Increased Sales revenue

>>Increased Lead Generation

>>Improved Lead Nurturing

>>Improved Marketing Productivity

>>Improved Campaign targeting

The ideal mortgage specific marketing automation provides lenders with the ability to increase market share, stay legal and compliant, grow profitable relationships, protect corporate branding and attract and retain top talent within the organization.

INDUSTRY PREDICTIONS

Julie Quinn thinks:

1.) Lenders that best utilize the combination of print and digital will receive the greatest ROI from their marketing efforts.

2.) Consistency is critical to gain mind share of potential borrowers.

3.) Nurturing past borrowers will deliver referrals and repeat business in 2017.

INSIDER PROFILE

Julie Quinn oversees operations for TTP Enterprises covering the collection of client data through fulfillment of output. A significant portion of her duties include sourcing and implementing state-of-the-art print production equipment, software and processes. Julie has over 20 years of experience in commercial print, on-demand digital print, design, specialty binding, mailing services and all aspects of technology-based production. As a certified color and production design specialist for digital and commercial print, Julie brings TTP Enterprises the unique ability to provide high quality and consistent print production to our customers.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

5 Keys To A Full Pipeline

In today’s ever-changing mortgage market, with the influx of new rules and regulations, fluctuating interest rates, and rapidly changing market conditions it is difficult for many LO’s to maintain a full pipeline of potential borrowers. Therefore, it is critical for LO’s to have a system in place that helps ensure that LO’s have a full pipeline of potential borrowers to work with.

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So what do lenders need to do to ensure a full pipeline? Here are five keys to a full pipeline:

>>Clean Database

>>Quality Content

>>Combination of Print & Digital

>>Mortgage Specific Marketing Automation

>>Consistency

So, let’s briefly discuss each item. While having a clean database of prospective borrowers seems commonsensical you would be amazed how many lenders are prepared for this first step. For the marketing to be successful, you can’t just throw some spreadsheets or prospect list together and think that you are prepared. The database needs to be clean and reviewed prior to starting marketing campaigns. Do you have all of the prospects information: name, address, phone number, email address and any other pertinent information that you will use to segment your prospects.

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Once you have a clean database, you need quality content that will resonate with your prospective borrower and cause them to take action. The content needs to be much more about “what’s in it for the prospect” and less about how awesome your company is. The content should also be personalized to the specific prospect and where they are at in the lending process if you want to break through all of the noise out there in the market place.

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In today’s market many lenders just want to send digital campaigns. In their mind it is cheaper and quicker. While those two statements may be true, if the goal is to fill the pipeline then the proper mix of digital and print is required. People get so many emails these days and sometimes just tune out that a properly timed and personal print piece can help you stand out in the crowd. The key is that neither print nor digital should be mutually exclusive to your campaigns. The combination of the two will help differentiate you to prospective borrowers.

In today’s fast moving market place with fewer marketing and administrative resources available it is wise to take advantage of technology in the form of mortgage specific marketing automation to handle many of these critical yet redundant tasks. Often referred to as “set-it and forget-it” technology which will automate many of these marketing functions, which leads me to the final piece of a full pipeline.

The final piece is consistency. You must gain mind share with your prospective borrower by consistently send them (both print & digital) marketing campaigns so that when the timing is right they look to you as a trusted advisor and quit shopping around for a mortgage.

About The Author

Brandon Perry
Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company's ability to maintain it's position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Personalized Borrower Communications

As a lender, visualize a mortgage market where you can spend less time launching marketing campaigns and more time actually engaged with your prospective borrower. Through their interactions with your website, email campaigns and mailings, potential borrowers are telling you what they are looking for and when they need it, but are you paying attention?

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With so much talk about the digital mortgage experience, borrowers’ expectations regarding personalization and the type of brand experience that you are delivering have significantly changed. This is where personalization through data analytics and advanced marketing automation come into play.

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So let’s discuss how personalization helps you stand out in a highly competitive mortgage market and deliver on the type of brand experience borrowers are looking for. In a competitive mortgage market borrowers are getting bombarded with messages and offers.

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Personalization is about delivering relevant and timely content to the potential borrower at the exact stage of the buying journey that they are currently in. Lenders that can deliver personalized emails increase both transaction and revenue rates by more than 5X. They also experience higher open rates and click-through rates.

That’s where advanced mortgage specific marketing automation comes into play. Mortgage specific marketing automation helps manage the potential borrower data and the specific interaction that they have had to trigger relevant marketing content on their buying journey.

The right mortgage specific marketing automation combines print and digital marketing automation that allows lenders to progressively reach potential borrowers with personalized messages and effectively drive new business and retain current borrowers.  This automation also offers on-demand marketing with thousands of individual multi-media pieces to choose from.

So what are some of the ways that you can personalize your email and print marketing pieces for the greatest ROI? Here are 20 ways from Amy Saunders, who is a content creator at Infusionsoft:

20 Ways to Personalize Automated Emails

An automated email can be sent to hundreds or thousands of contacts, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Use these tips for sending automated emails that read like personal correspondence between you and your customer.

Add a personal touch

>> Send occasional non-branded, plain-text emails from you, not the company

>> Write as if you’re talking to a single customer

>> Use a subject line you’d send to a friend

>> Include a headshot in your signature

>> Change “click unsubscribe” to “let me know if you don’t want to hear from me anymore”

>> Mix up marketing messages with funny videos, personal photos, and holiday greetings

Make magic with merge fields

>> Call contacts by name, i.e. “Hi, [First Name]!”

>> Name-drop other contacts, like the customer’s spouse or child

>> Show you know who’s who, i.e. “Knowing you’re the [Job Title], I thought you might be the best

>> Person to talk to at [Company Name]”

>> Reference the current day, i.e. “Have a great [Day of the Week]!”

>> Make old content new, i.e. “The [Month] [Year] Newsletter”

>> Talk up a contact’s town, i.e. “How’s the weather in [City] today?”

>> Reminisce about the first time you met by referencing an event or meeting place

Write at the right time

>> Respond quickly—but not too quickly—by putting an automatic reply on a delay timer

>> Win at phone tag by using an automated email to follow up on a missed call

>> Check in on a downloaded resource with a personal message

>> Wish every customer a happy birthday (or anniversary or holiday)

Send them what they want

>> Use segmentation for personalization by tagging customers based on their interests and behavior

>> Personalize the next offer with automation

>> Ask what they want through a web form”

If you want to gain the attention of today’s borrower, you must be able to deliver personalized, relevant and timely content to the potential borrower at each stage of the buying journey through mortgage specific marketing automation.

About The Author

Brandon Perry
Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company's ability to maintain it's position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

The Right Approach

As I talk to lenders across the country there is a deep desire to discuss all things digital. With the success of lenders like Rocket Mortgage, more and more lenders are looking to how they can move into the digital mortgage. This includes many lenders looking to digitally attracting new borrowers through marketing automation, email blasts and social media.

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These are all great channels to use to attract new borrowers but these should not entirely replace print as a tool for attracting new borrowers. The most powerful marketing automation campaigns strike the right balance between digital and print to gain the maximum exposure and results for lenders.

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Print Your On-Demand Campaigns with the Right Marketing Automation

The right marketing automation allows lenders to deliver custom campaigns that can be run quickly and easily on demand to any mix of contact databases: prospects, applicants, borrowers and partners. You’ll want to run a campaign whenever you spot a tactical sales opportunity – for example: a change in interest rates or other market conditions. On-demand campaigns are also an effective way of just staying in touch with your database – for example: making announcements about significant changes at your company.

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The right marketing automation empowers central marketing to set up campaigns for all or any subset of loan officers, choose the marketing activity and specify the target audience. The system then provides a range of execution options to satisfy all cultural and operational preferences:

>> Run the campaign from the corporate level

>> Run the campaign from the corporate level, but first allow loan officers to opt out

>> Set up individual campaigns for loan officers to run if and when they wish

>> Create an Instant Campaign and make it available for loan officers to run from their Home page

Participating loan officers are notified of the campaign details by system-generated e-mail and a follow-up report is provided containing each recipient’s contact details.

The right marketing automation solution delivers a comprehensive Collateral Catalogue that allows you to purchase essential promotional materials – quickly and easily – including business cards, letterhead, pads, brochures, card products, flyers, posters, booklets and catalogues. You’ll enjoy all the advantages of “print on-demand”. What’s more, unlike traditional print shops, a fully integrated marketing automation platform and print facility does not specify minimum quantities.

The Collateral Catalogue also provides tools for you to create/upload your very own collateral materials so that you can easily maintain a “look and feel” consistent with your brand strategy.

The right marketing automation solution delivers powerful marketing tools in the form of print and digital. The right combination attracts the greatest number of potential borrowers, highest ROI and consistency needed to prosper in today’s mortgage market.

About The Author

Brandon Perry
Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company's ability to maintain it's position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

The New Face Of Mortgage Marketing

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In today’s highly regulatory environment, not having the proper corporate control can be extremely costly.

You’re faced with a difficult choice. On the one hand, with fierce competition intensifying to attract new borrowers, you need to use every marketing tool at your disposal to drive high-quality business to the point-of-sale. On the other hand, a flood of new rules and regulation is seriously impacting how you can and can’t market to prospective borrowers.

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Until now relatively little attention has been paid to the laws and rules that bear upon mortgage marketing. There’s an array of mortgage-specific regulations that constrain marketing activity, notably certain provisions of the SAFE Act. Looking beyond the mortgage market, we find yet more regulations (at both the federal and state level) that come into play. The bottom line is that we are now operating in an environment where mortgage marketing attracts greater scrutiny than ever before – not only by regulatory authorities, but also by trade associations and consumer groups.

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What follows is not intended to be a comprehensive or authoritative survey of the law as it currently stands. The writer is not a lawyer and this is not meant to be an exhaustive review of all laws impacting mortgage marketing. It’s simply an indication of the scope and type of pitfalls that await the unwary.

Licensing And Legal Disclosure

The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act of 2008 “is designed to enhance consumer protection and reduce fraud by encouraging states to establish minimum standards for the licensing and registration of state-licensed mortgage loan originators.” The major consequence of the Act was the establishment of the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) and Registry. An originator’s NMLS number must now be displayed in specific relationship to their name and contact information on all outbound marketing communications.

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In addition, marketing communications must incorporate the relevant legal disclosure per jurisdiction in which the company operates. How and where this information is displayed is typically indicated in state law, down to details such as minimum font size. Originators must, of course, be licensed to operate in a particular state before they can communicate with anyone living in that state.

Data Protection And Privacy

The Financial Services Modernization Act (commonly known as Gramm-Leach-Bliley, or simply GLB) became federal law in 1999. Title V of the Act covers issues of data privacy, including giving consumers certain opt-out rights regarding their non-personal public information. It is clear from the Act’s language that the responsible party is deemed to be the financial institution rather than individual sales agents or marketing executives.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 was the first to introduce controls on the unwelcome attentions of telemarketing operators. The Do-Not-Call Implementation Act came in 2003, which established the FTC’s “National Do Not Call Registry”. The Do-Not-Call Improvement Act followed in 2007, which tightened a key provision in the consumer’s favor: they need only register once, for life. Many states have introduced complementary measures, including Do Not Mail legislation that typically creates a consumer registry at the state level.

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 sets rules for the commercial use of email, which it defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service”. Among the law’s key provisions are prohibitions on the use of false or misleading header information and deceptive subject lines plus, perhaps most significantly, the requirement for a clear and conspicuous mechanism for the recipient to opt out of future emails, either selectively or in their entirety – which many do, raising serious questions about the effectiveness of email as a business-to-consumer marketing medium.

Brand Management

Regulatory compliance is one thing, but professionalism and adherence to corporate brand standards must also be assured. The topic is raised here since this is a natural although non-legal extension of the other issues discussed: the solutions are going to come from similar processes of management control to those that meet the challenges of compliance.

Mortgage Marketing Compliance

For some mortgage bankers – anxious to avoid costly lawsuits or simply to maintain (or restore) their reputation for transparency and professionalism – the response to the ever-tightening regulatory environment has been to issue policy statements to loan originators and/or require them to obtain approval before doing anything.

Clearly the MAP Final Rule has rendered this approach inadequate. Apart from which, blanket prohibitions were never likely to be effective. In the first place they run counter to human nature; people forget – and punishment after the fact is too late since the damage is already done. More significantly, speed to market is lost. Windows of opportunity open and close so quickly in today’s roller coaster mortgage market that even a brief delay can be disastrous. In any case, this is a highly inefficient solution, expensive to administer and wasteful of human resources.

What if there was a way to get the marketing compliance issues handled that at the same time brings with it the benefit of superior operational efficiency?

Copyright Law

We all know that we can’t reproduce copyrighted language – at least not without first obtaining permission from the copyright holder. What many don’t know is that photographs and other images of celebrities (alive or dead) are also typically protected under copyright law or under various “rights of publicity” laws, which can vary from state to state. In general, unless specific permission is granted, you may not use the image of a celebrity in marketing communications of any kind. Even if you own both a photograph of a celebrity and the copyright of the photograph, it still doesn’t give you the right to do anything with it in the absence of proper approval by the celebrity or their licensing agent.

Although not a copyright issue as such, it‘s also necessary to guard against the use of offensive language and graphics in marketing communications. These too can lead to legal entanglements – or at least they can become a source of serious embarrassment to the mortgage banker.

It’s clear that the tentacles of regulation are now reaching into all aspects of mortgage operations, not least the marketing side. The days are long gone when a mortgage banker could turn loan originators loose to do their own marketing. In the new world this is simply too dangerous.

Management has to take an active role in ensuring the company’s brands and its products are correctly and compliantly represented in the marketplace. Outbound communications with prospects, customers and referral partners – whether driven from the center or by originators – must be controlled, without inhibiting genuine creativity and individual initiative.

So how does a mortgage banker establish a controlled environment that ensures sales and marketing people are adhering to all relevant regulations, but at the same time still allows ingenuity and enterprise to flourish? Simple oversight of all outbound marketing – including variable communication content, such as personalized copy and graphics – is a good start, but it’s not enough.

What’s needed is rules-driven technology – a compliance-centric corporate marketing solution — that handles the regulatory requirements, thereby minimizing reliance on human intelligence.

This technology needs to provide graded levels of control over the players in the marketing process. Management simply has to decide what degree of control to exercise in relation to each of the system’s key functions.

The levels of management control might follow the pattern below, working down from the most to the least restrictive:

Prohibition: Different types of users can be prevented from accessing specific system functions by means of a customizable “permissions” capability.

Authorization Marketing materials created by users at lower levels in the corporate hierarchy cannot be implemented until approved at the center.

Alerts: A defined set of fields is monitored and changes are reported via an online feed, enabling quick action to remedy any departure from company policy.

Oversight: Users at higher levels in the hierarchy can “impersonate” users at lower levels, giving management an instant window on the activities of originators.

Reporting: A dashboard of mission-critical metrics provides information that allows management to hold users at lower levels accountable for their performance.

Audit Trail: Online access to a real-time log of actions taken by users, including copies of all-outbound marketing communications (per the MAP Final Rule).

Finally, in order to close the circle on this vital issue, management should implement a regime of regular instruction and training on both current law and how the company’s marketing technology enables compliance, ensuring that everyone involved remains fully conversant with their role and responsibilities in mitigating the inherent risks.

The right marketing automation provider delivers a proven enterprise-wide marketing automation solution that supports you and your specific initiatives to address market conditions. Each person in your organization that is involved with driving growth is empowered to focus on what they do best.

For example, Loan Originators are free to close more loans, instead of having to create custom marketing materials. C-level executives are presented with sophisticated, yet easy to use tools for more effective oversight and management, while marketing managers can demonstrate their marketing genius and compliantly maintain brand consistency across the entire organization. The right marketing automation provides the ability to:

>> Establish consistent long-term profitability

>> Yield unseen business opportunities

>> Leapfrog the competition

>> Reduce marketing compliance risk

>> Attract new talent and retain top producers

>> Automate company branded marketing

In today’s market with intense competition, mortgage companies cannot afford to stop marketing to prospective borrowers. The key is having the right tools and partner to deliver compliance and control in their mortgage marketing efforts.

About The Author

Brandon Perry
Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company's ability to maintain it's position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Why Print And Digital Is More Powerful Together

Believe it or not, print is not dead, or at least it shouldn’t be if you truly want to get the greatest return on your marketing dollars. I know many of you will say that I should get my head out of the sand, that this is a digital world. You need to get with the times.

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By no means am I suggesting that you should shift all of your digital programs to print and immediately stop using digital. What I am saying is that the right combination of print and digital can produce far better results than digital alone.

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We recently had a client that was looking to close more repeat and referral business. We recommended that instead of just using digital methods such as email and social media that they should also incorporate print into the mix.

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They rolled out a pilot loyalty campaign to a select group of past borrowers that combined targeted emails and personalized print pieces which included postcards, holiday cards, birthday greetings and mortgage reviews.

This fully customizable marketing automation combined direct mail (print) and digital communication to ensure that past clients were continually reached.

The strategy was successful. In less than six months that pilot program produced 60 closed loans that were a direct result of the pilot program.   The average home price in 2016 is roughly $300,000 +, and that number multiplied by the 60 closed loans translates into over $18,000,000 in new business directly from a program that combined print and digital for maximum results.

As you can see these two methods do not have to be mutually exclusive to produce significant results. In today’s business environment many companies appear to be entirely focused on their online marketing campaigns. Many solely rely on sending out email blasts, updating the layout of their website and posting on social media to attract the attention of potential borrowers.

While there is a good reason to put significant time and resources into digital marketing programs, you should not forget about the effectiveness of incorporating print into the mix.

Advancements in printing technology have significantly lowered printing costs. Variable printing is extremely effective at getting your message across to your specific borrower while keeping your printing costs down. In essence, this involves personalizing print media to let potential borrowers feel more connected to your brand.

Different components of your print materials can be customized, enabling you to make each piece completely unique. For instance, you can send out direct mail to your borrower with their name on it.

At the end of the day the right combination of print and digital can produce far better results for lenders than digital alone.

About The Author

Brandon Perry
Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company's ability to maintain it's position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.