Standing out in a crowded marketplace is challenging for most businesses. In the mortgage business, it is particularly crowded and competitive. How can you get an edge over the competition? How can you cut through the noise and stand out? Fortunately, technology offers some tools that are new to the market, as well as others that are highly underutilized, which you can use to make a significant impact on your business.
Let’s take a look at five tools and strategies you can take advantage of to get a leg up on the competition.
Quizzes: Gamify Mortgage Marketing And Get Better Leads.
Chances are you have come across one of many quizzes your friends may have shared on social media. Those using quizzes for marketing have very strategic purposes in mind, usually to drive traffic to their website, app or social media page.
Quizzes are a great way to engage potential mortgage prospects in a fun and interactive. When they participate in one of your quizzes, they get involved at a much deeper level than they would with other types of content. Quizzes create an immersive experience and require the quiz taker to actively participate, and if set up properly, they can educate the participant on your product or service.
A perfect example of this for mortgage marketing would be to set up a quiz with a title such as: “Test Your Home Buying IQ” or “What type of GOT homeowner would you be?” using the Game of Thrones buzz at the moment. By doing so, you stimulate thinking and bring some levity to an otherwise relatively dry subject. To see some more examples outside of the mortgage and Real Estate industries, see this article by econsultancy.
Chatbots: The New “Email” In Marketing
Depending on how active you are online and Facebook, in particular, chances are you have been interacting with a Chatbot at some point. Although not currently mainstream, this is a technology that you would be well served to find out more about, and use.
In the event that you are completely unfamiliar with chatbots, here is a brief primer. Chatbots are those widgets or website add-ons that you may have interacted with when you visit some websites. Companies have adopted bots as an effective way to provide customer service for current users and answer questions of potential buyers. Chatbots are a lot less intruding than a phone call. Perception is that you interact with the bot anonymously, and you can dispense with the annoying questions that live calls can lead to. Chats are usually briefer than phone calls.
You may have also visited Facebook pages that have messenger bots enabled to welcome the visitor and guide them along their purchase inquiry. A great example of a bot that helps guide customers to place an order is 1-800-FLOWERS. If you interact with their bot, you can get a clear sense of how effective this is for them as a business in a couple of areas. First, it provides guidance and assistance 24/7/365, it never sleeps or takes breaks. Second, the answers they provide can be analyzed on the back end. They can track those that came into the bot who are potential buyers but did not buy. They can then re-engage these buyers strategically at a later date to bring them back into the sales funnel.
One of the most important features of messenger chatbots and chatbots, in general, is the ability of the business to capture users’ information and use it for marketing later. When users interact with a messenger bot, especially if it is set up through a third party app such as manychat or chatfuel, the users can become subscribers to the bot, almost without really knowing they have done so. Once they are subscribers, the owner of the bot can deploy a complete sales funnel through messenger.
If you do any email marketing, you have probably realized the shrinking open rates of emails. Anywhere from 15-25% of emails will be opened by the recipient according to a study by Mailchimp in 2018. The most troubling statistic you will notice on that report, is the click-through rate (CTR), less than five percent of emails on the average get click-throughs.
Using messenger chatbots, open rates, and CTR are exponentially higher. Neil Patel, a well known online marketer recently published a post on his blog on a case study where he was able to get 88% open rates and 56% CTR. This is practically unheard of in the email marketing space. That is the power of messenger chatbots.
This technology is just barely making its way to the Real Estate and Mortgage world. Be an early adopter, this will be one case in which you will definitely be glad you did.
Those that are users of Facebook on a regular basis have probably come across an invitation or opportunity to join a Facebook group. You may not have realized the huge potential that exists within the right groups. And a great bonus to the strategy: It is 100% free.
The best way to get started is to join existing groups. For example, use the search bar on Facebook and look for groups such as “homes for sale Denver” you are more than likely going to find multiple groups that have been started. You want to join groups that are active and have high membership numbers. Join several group as each one of them has their own merits. You may also find the personality or rules of the Admins problematic and not conducive for you to promote your business.
When you join the group, listen to the conversation first. Read the posts, Like/Comment/Share on other’s posts initially. Once you have a better idea of the tempo of the group, you can start to promote your business. There are a few ways you can do this; The first is to post about your service, overt promotion. Use attractive graphics and good ad copy since you are probably going to be competing with others who may be promoting as well. The second is by privately engaging with the users. If you notice someone asking about loans and programs, you can send a direct message to them and offer your assistance.
Keep in mind that the main purpose of groups is to form community and offer help/assistance in most cases. There is a right way to market on group, and after you spend some time you will figure out where you are having success and where you may need to change your strategy. If you want to shorten the learning curve, there is a book that is going to be released by someone who has had quite a bit of success with this strategy. Take a look at the book here and see if it may makes sense for you. It’s only 99 cents and is being released by someone who has already figured out the best way to market Real Estate and Mortgage services in groups.
Have you received a voicemail recently, and you just know your phone never rang? Yet, you have a notification of a missed call on your phone. Enter the world of Ringless Voicemail (RVM). This is a technology that many of your competitors are not using, though many consider it a spam tactic. It also has very high open rates, as most people at least check their voicemail, even if they don’t respond.
Many in the mortgage and Real Estate business may have come across Slydial, an app that allows you to leave a ringless voicemail. Usually, this is used as a one-off call where you may have wanted to leave a voicemail for someone and not necessarily have a conversation, and email/text just did not seem appropriate.
There are however thriving enterprises which make available the ability to send out these RVMs at scale. You can actually drop hundreds or even thousands of messages in minutes! How would you like to reach that many people, have your message heard practically every time, for just pennies per drop?
When used properly, this is a powerful method of reaching out to prospects as well as current clients and deliver a more personalized message approach. Slydial has a sister company; Slybroadcast which offers such a service.
A word of caution; sending out unsolicited voicemails is not only frowned upon but borders on the illegal. Up to recently, because of the technology used, RVMs were not considered to be covered under the TCPA act. That changed late last year. For more information on that, read this article by Bill Rothbard, an advertising and regulatory law specialist.
For many this technology is too controversial and opt not to touch it. If you’re one of those people we actually created a fully legal system that where you can mass call people with a recorded voice message and allow them to push a button to get on an actual call with someone from your office. We’ve found this system to be a bit less shady and actually more effective. You can schedule a demo of this feature here.
Premium Data, Hyper-Targeted Segmented Lists Of Prospects
Although this strategy is a mix of old and new technology, and the concept of targeted marketing has been around for decades, proper implementation is still fairly low. In Mortgage and Real Estate marketing, “shotgun marketing” is more the norm.
If you want to increase the ROI of your marketing dollar and be more effective and efficient in your lead generation, this is a concept which would serve you well if implemented. As our friends at Google have shared in this publication, research and data make the case that in order for your marketing to have the highest impact, you need to deliver “The right message, to the right people, at the right time”. This is a concept that is highly overlooked in the lending and Real Estate industries. It is not uncommon for lenders or agents to want to be “All things to all people”. The marketing messages are usually unfocused and fragmented. The results, or lack thereof, clearly demonstrate that they are missing the mark.
There are solutions though. Most lenders and Real Estate agents have some type of access to data companies which will provide what we know as “Farms”. Records of people that meet certain criteria which the agents or lenders define. The problem usually is the criteria selected is not well thought out, and the marketing plan or sales funnel is often superficial.
Let’s take an example of something that happens every day in the industry. A lender will request a list of homeowners who have owned their home for 5-10 years and have a mortgage rate over five percent, maybe choose FHA and VA loans, and that is about it. The problem here is, everybody is looking for the same data, sending the same marketing message and in the same format. Usually a postcard with a weak call to action, and exaggerated benefit, etc. The recipient has already started to ignore those because they have been coming in with the same message for years now. Response rates on that type of marketing, which everyone practically does, is dismal.
There is a better way. Using more targeted lists from premium data sources such as BlackNight, Experian or InfoUSA’s sales genie, you can get more targeted, and better prospect lists. For example, you can request lists of people who have recently filed for divorce. Usually, these people end up refinancing to buy out the other party, or they sell the home and still need a new loan to buy their next home or homes. If you have the right mortgage product, you can purchase lists of people who may have been 30 days late on their mortgage in the past twelve months, and carry consumer debt of say, twenty thousand dollars or more. This is a sign of people who may be struggling to keep up with their mortgage and their consumer debt. They are highly targeted debt consolidation refinance prospects. People in this category tend to less rate sensitive so you may not have to participate in that “race to the bottom” that most lenders end up with the typical rate/term refinance crowd who will drop you in an instant to save one eighth of a percent on their refinance.
There are many niches that you can focus on and execute marketing campaigns around. You just need to think outside the box, as cliche as this statement has become. Study consumer trends and identify the needs of the consumer. There are plenty of avenues available for you to find the ideal customer for your mortgage business.
As the mortgage business changes rapidly in our current environment, companies left and right are running for the hills. There are massive layoffs and many are just shutting down their doors. Your business does not have to be part of the exodus. You can take a stand and not just survive but thrive if you focus and become innovative. Any one of these five strategies can have a positive impact on your business. Using more than once could take your business to a whole new level.
BNTouch has tools to help you manage those leads you generate through any of these strategies and maximize the opportunity new prospects will bring to your business. Schedule a demo today to learn more about our world class Mortgage Marketing CRM.