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Is Your Marketing DB An Asset Or Liability?

We work with lenders across the country to help them leverage marketing automation so that they can attract potential new borrowers, keep current borrowers informed and past borrowers connected for future business or referrals while increasing customer satisfaction.

Invariably, lenders what to know what kind of marketing programs we have, how effective are campaigns are, what type of templates we have and how customizable the system is and best practices or examples from other successful lenders. Lenders want to know when they can start emailing prospective borrowers, how soon they will be getting leads and why it is not happening faster.

These are all good questions, but what amazes me is that they always want to jump to the marketing materials before we even discuss the most important first step. So what is the important first step that many lenders look past?

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The first step is discussing the condition of their marketing database. You would be shocked at how many lenders say that they want to start marketing immediately but when asked about the condition of their marketing database we hear things like this—“I think we have a list from the last couple of trade shows”, or “don’t worry about that we will send it over to you later”, or “I think we have a spreadsheet with that information somewhere.”

Unfortunately, these and many other similar responses indicate that the marketing database is not in the condition needed to fully maximize new and evolving marketing strategies. Would it surprise you that many trade show lists only include a physical address and not an email address? Or that lists that you buy online don’t always include the person’s full name, title or the physical address? O the information is outdated and has not been updated in years? At this point the lenders database is definitely a liability.

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If the keys to successful marketing to todays millennial home buyers include a dynamic mix of print and digital marketing materials delivered in a highly personalized manner specific to that individual when they are searching for a home, isn’t it absolutely critical to have a clean marketing database with as much information about the potential borrower as possible?

The companies that are most successful at attracting new borrowers understand that one of their greatest assets is their marketing database. It is the lifeblood of their organization and as such, treat it that way.

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They understand that to have a clean marketing database takes a commitment on a daily basis to constantly be updating, modifying and cleaning up this information. Information is power, and the companies that have a clean database are in the best position to maximize that information to drive new business.

If you want to successfully leverage marketing automation to attract new borrowers, it all starts with your marketing database, one of your businesses greatest assets.

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.

Mortgage Marketing Trends For 2018

At this time of year there are a number of articles that focus on the key trends in a certain discipline or industry for the coming year. I found some interesting articles on marketing trends for 2018. Here is what some of the predictions included.

In an article entitled “5 Trends Marketers Need to Prepare For In 2018” by AJ Agrawal, CONTRIBUTOR to Forbes, he states.

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1.) Establishing A Conversation

In 2018, look for marketers who are doing more than ever before to generate high-quality, relevant content and optimize their sites to encourage users to participate in the content they share. Marketers will need to find ways to connect more authentically and leverage social listening to strategize successfully in the new year.

2.) Short Planning Cycles

When it comes to marketing strategy, it’s important not to get too far ahead of yourself. Consumer tastes change frequently, so businesses can’t put all their advertising eggs in one basket. Kate Sayre, global head of consumer goods strategy at Facebook, explains that when it comes to marketing, the only real constant is change: “We do six-month planning cycles at Facebook because we don’t know the future. A lot of it is driven by the consumer.”

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3.) Contextual Marketing

Contextual marketing is driven by the insights afforded by big data, including market and customer analysis and predictive analytics; understanding the context in which consumers seek to engage with your brand can help you determine customer intent and drive conversions. Contextual marketing is the future of marketing, as consumers continue to demand greater personalization online.

4.) Purpose Driven Purchasing

As much as 79 percent of consumers would prefer to purchase products from a company that operates with a social purpose, and high-performing marketers are more than two times more likely to be leveraging purpose-driven marketing methods.

5.) Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

“In 2018, chatbots will become a far more common solution for brands wishing to serve their customers in a smarter and more cost-effective way,” explains Matt Navarra, director of social media at TheNextWeb. “With AI now being easier to integrate into various tools and services, chatbots will become far more useful and personalized with each interaction it has with users.” Artificial intelligence will also help to power big data interpretation and analysis, making it possible for startups to glean greater insight from the information collected.

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AJ’s predictions got me thinking about what which marketing trends the mortgage industry will see in 2018.

>>Content is Still King. You must be able to create and deliver highly relevant content when and where your potential borrower is ready to consume it. The content must be specific to that individual and help them along their specific home buying journey.

>>Big Data and Analytics. There is an enormous amount of data available about your potential borrowers. The lenders that can best utilize this data and turn it into meaningful content can engage with potential borrowers before they begin shopping around for the best mortgage rates.

>>Mobile. Mobile is not just important in delivering on the digital mortgage, it actually begins when the potential borrower begins their housing search. This usually starts on mobile devices; therefore, your mortgage marketing must be mobile and highly engaging to capture their attention and to keep them engaged.

>>The Need for Print & Digital. While more and more of today’s borrowers are starting their searches online and looking for a digital mortgage experience, what we have found is that the most engaging mortgage marketing campaigns combine both print materials that are highly personalized to that specific borrower and digital marketing. Because so many people are getting inundated with emails and digital ads, combining strategically placed print with your digital campaigns truly captures the attention of the borrower.

>>Marketing Automation. The days of lenders using their outdated CRM or email marketing tools to drive business are long gone. With big data, analytics, the need for personalization, and the need for event triggers to send highly targeted marketing materials at the exact time the potential borrower will consume them requires sophisticated marketing automation.

 What mortgage marketing trends do you think lenders are looking to incorporate in 2018?

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.

Attracting New Borrowers

In today’s hyper-competitive mortgage market with fluctuating rates, low inventories, and changing borrower expectations, it is vital for lenders to truly understand their target audience if they want to attract new borrowers.

In an article entitled “How to Define Your Target Market” by Mandy Porta from Inc.com, Porta addresses this topic and states, “To build a solid foundation for your business, you must first identify your typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.”

“Given the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target everyone. Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.”

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“Many businesses say they target “anyone interested in my services.” Some say they target small-business owners, homeowners, or stay-at-home moms. All of these targets are too general.”

The mistake a number of lenders make is trying to appease every possible potential borrower instead of focusing their marketing message and materials to a specific or a limited number of target audiences.

In addition, Porta says, “Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.”

For example, “an interior design company could choose to market to homeowners between the ages of 35 and 65 with incomes of $150,000-plus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To define the market even further, the company could choose to target only those interested in kitchen and bath remodeling and traditional styles. This market could be broken down into two niches: parents on the go and retiring baby boomers.”

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By clearly defining your target audience, your marketing materials and value propositions can be much more specific, personalized, and meaningful to your prospective borrowers.

Porta goes on to state, “With a clearly defined target audience, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your company.” Here are some tips she provides to help you define your target market.

“Look at your current customer base.

Who are your current customers, and why do they buy from you? Look for common characteristics and interests. Which ones bring in the most business? It is very likely that other people like them could also benefit from your product/service.

Check out your competition.

Who are your competitors targeting? Who are their current customers? Don’t go after the same market. You may find a niche market that they are overlooking.

Analyze your product/service.

Write out a list of each feature of your product or service. Next to each feature, list the benefits it provides (and the benefits of those benefits). For example, a graphic designer offers high-quality design services. The benefit is a professional company image. A professional image will attract more customers because they see the company as professional and trustworthy. So ultimately, the benefit of high-quality design is gaining more customers and making more money.

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Once you have your benefits listed, make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfills. For example, a graphic designer could choose to target businesses interested in increasing their client base. While this is still too general, you now have a base to start from.

Choose specific demographics to target.

Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. Think about the following factors:

>>Age

>>Location

>>Gender

>>Income level

>>Education level

>>Marital or family status

>>Occupation

>>Ethnic background

Consider the psychographics of your target.

Psychographics are the more personal characteristics of a person, including:

>>Personality

>>Attitudes

>>Values

>>Interests/hobbies

>>Lifestyles

>>Behavior

Determine how your product or service will fit into your target’s lifestyle. How and when will your target use the product? What features are most appealing to your target? What media does your target turn to for information? Does your target read the newspaper, search online, or attend particular events?

Evaluate your decision.

Once you’ve decided on a target market, be sure to consider these questions:

>>Are there enough people who fit my criteria?

>>Will my target really benefit from my product/service? Will they see a need for it?

>>Do I understand what drives my target to make decisions?

>>Can they afford my product/service?

>>Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?

While targeting is a very powerful tool to help maximize marketing dollars and results, it is important to prudently carve out your niche. Companies can get too narrow with their focus and have a very limited number of prospects to market to.

Porta’s tip, “If you can reach both niches effectively with the same message, then maybe you have broken down your market too far. Also, if you find there are only 50 people that fit all of your criteria, maybe you should reevaluate your target. The trick is to find that perfect balance.”

She concludes with, “Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out which media you can use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them. Instead of sending direct mail to everyone in your ZIP code, you can send it only to those who fit your criteria. Save money and get a better return on investment by defining your target audience.”

Knowing your target audience will not only save you money on your marketing but it will also deliver greater results as you look to attract more new borrowers in today’s highly competitive 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.

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.

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.