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Mortgage Mailer

Creating A Captivating Mortgage Mailer Targeting Refinancers

Creating A Captivating Mortgage Mailer Targeting Refinancers

 

Mortgage companies have an opportunity to capitalize on the current market stasis by pushing out a captivating mortgage mailer that focuses on refinancing. If you are in the mortgage industry, you probably have stayed up to date on the latest trends. But if this is not the case, here is what is being reported as of today, August 9th, and what changes industry professionals are projecting over the course of this next week.  

 

Quick Overview of Mortgage Market Rates

 

According to an analysis conducting by Bankrate.com, Mortgage rates are holding steady. Here is what is currently being reported:

  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.27 percent from 3.28 percent.
  • The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.49 percent from 3.48 percent.
  • The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage fell to 4.03 percent from 4.05 percent.

 

Also noted in the report is a drop in American buying sentiment. In fact, it has reached an all time low. Although homeownership rose with people under the age of 35 by 1.2% from last year, this segment of the population is still facing “inventory shortages and rising home prices.”

 

Moreover, according to a news release by Fannie Mae, buying sentiment is not the only thing down—so is the desire to sell.

 

In Bankrate’s weekly Rate Trend Index, where mortgage experts predict which way the rates are going to slide over the next week, 50% predicted they will fall, 30% predicted they will remain the same, and another 20% said they will increase.

Direct Mail Copy To Capture New Mortgage Customers

 

Although it seems the market looks grim for buying and selling, the rates are remaining low and steady with the possibility of going down ever further. This can be an opportunity for people to refinance their homes, which is where a well-timed direct mail campaign comes into play. Here are some things you should consider to create a successful mailer.

 

First, decide if you are going to go with a brochure, a postcard, or some other medium. This will allow you to plan how much copy and images you will need. On the one hand, brochures are great because people will typically flip through them, and you can have more room for images, such as a chart listing current rates and trends. However, postcards have the benefit of sticking around longer for people will most likely keep it for later, while with a  brochure, they may discard it.

 

No matter what you choose, the copy should be concise and do a few things:

  • Address how your company stands apart from your competitors
  • Have a clear path to your website to start the application process
  • Promote a sense of urgency with an expiration date
  • Be written in a way where the recipient can skim it and still get your message
  • Make sure it is personalized—e.g. Using pURLS or taking advantage of data provided by a mortgage mailing list
  • Include all necessary contact information

 

Always keep in mind that the direct mail piece is the key to the door. If it is the wrong key, the door won’t open. That is why you need to make sure the information and images you are providing are highly relevant and to the point. The goal is to get potential customers in the pipeline, no matter if it is via phone with one of your mortgage professionals or filling out an application form on your website. Since direct mail is highly trackable, you can monitor your results and find ways to improve the campaign.

 

If the current rates weren’t enough to entice you, then consider what Michelle Peel shared in her article “Why Online Mortgage Marketers are Investing in Direct Mail.” According to Peel, research that was recently completed by Competiscan found that Quicken Loans dominated Q1 2017 by being the leading mortgage/refinancing direct mailer. Now is the time to get off the bench and get in the game.  

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Direct Mail Tracking Methods

Often we judge an advertising campaign’s success by the amount of conversions, new customer acquisitions, or revenue. Without a definitive incentive or variety of tracking methods, it can be nearly impossible to tally the actual success of a campaign. Try to think of the last time a customer came into your business and without being asked gleefully said, “Hi! I just wanted to let you know I found you on Google or I came in because of ‘X’ marketing you did.” More than likely the experience is extremely rare if it has occurred. When tracking methods are implemented properly, the guesswork is eliminated and campaigns become more transparent through analytics.

Tracking Methods

The best use tracking methods will allow a company to understand the progress and success of an advertising campaign without reliance on the customer to take additional action.

Tracking Number

A tracking phone number can help understand conversion from cold prospect to a warm lead. With a dedicated tracking number, you can isolate the number of phone calls from one specific campaign. For example, Nick’s Pizza may use the tracking phone number (949) 555-5555 for his Direct Mail Marketing campaign only. The phone number (949) 777-7777 is used on a landing page tied to a Google AdWords campaign. Both phone numbers get forwarded to (949) 123-4567, the main line for Nick’s Pizza. Nick can use the dashboard provided by his tracking service, Call Rail, to see how many calls are coming into each line. Nick is able to identify that in a 30 day period his pizza shop derived 327 orders as a result of sending out 2,000 Direct Mail Postcards.

Coupon

Cut out coupons are a great way to manually track offer redemptions. Tom’s Automotive is offering $10 off an oil change and $20 off a synthetic oil change to new customers. In addition, there are many great offers like a coupon for a completely free electronic diagnostic, a $60 value. In order to redeem the offers, the customer must cut out and present the coupon at Tom’s Automotive. At the end of the promotion, Tom is able to tally how many redemptions were made in addition to the total revenue spent by those customers and average customer spend. Tom is able to determine that offering a significant discount on an oil change allowed him to bring in 41 new customers and those customers spent $193 on average.

Reference Code

Companies trying to generate leads with Direct Mail Postcards or Mailer Letters can find great success and lead handling efficiency when using reference codes. Student Solutions, a student loan debt relief agency, has purchased a database of 100,000 individuals who have graduated college and are delinquent on their student loans. Their IT team has uploaded all prospect information into their CRM and attached a unique reference code to each prospect. Student Solutions utilizes Variable Data Printing to print letters that have the first and last name of each recipient alongside their unique reference code. Having a personally addressed letter created a higher conversion rate. The reference codes provide the Student Solutions employees a simple and nonintrusive method to bring up the prospects information when they call in for assistance. New sales can be filtered by all reference codes with the prefix PJ36. The company determines that mailing out 100,000 postcards created 3,000 new customers and generated $700,000 in gross profit.

This article is part 3 of a 4 part series covering:

Branding or Marketing?
What Makes an Offer Irresistible?
Direct Mail Tracking Methods
Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

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What Makes an Offer Irresistible?

A successful marketing campaign will be meticulously crafted from beginning through end to maximize conversions. The core foundation of creating a successful campaign begins with establishing an irresistible offer. Whether a lead magnet, tripwire or standard promotion is used, incentive’s will determine whether a prospect turns into a client. Understanding that not all promotions are created equal is paramount in crafting the perfect offer for your business.

Lead Magnet

The quid-pro-quo of marketing, a lead magnet requires the business provides a freebie in exchange for an opt-in or participation from the prospective customer. A few examples of irresistible lead magnets can include free product, a significant discount, product trial or giveaway.

Examples include:

  • Tony’s Pizza gives a voucher for an absolutely free personal pizza to new residents in the city.
  • AAA+ Automotive provides absolutely free basic diagnostic via an OBD Scanner to get people in his shop.
  • Grandview Timeshares provides a $100 restaurant gift card in exchange for participating in a presentation.
  • Sarah’s Insurance gives all prospects a $10.00 gas card for getting an insurance quote through her agency.

 

Tripwire

Creating a low barrier entry point for prospective clients is a great way to let consumers test a company’s products or services without having to commit to a large purchase. A tripwire aims to capture a greater amount of new customers by casting a wider net and luring them in with a low-cost offering. An example of this might be an HVAC business offering a cleaning and inspection for $49.00. This provides a service which may not be incredibly lucrative but allows the company to do business with the homeowner. As additional services are needed it becomes easier to sell the client higher priced items or services based on the established business relationship.

Examples of great tripwires include:

  • Perfect Auto & Mechanic is offering a $30.00 oil change and multi-point inspection where they hope to identify additional repair needs.
  • A’s Pizza & Brewery sells $2.00 slices during lunchtime to help increase familiarity with their dinner menu and ideally bring the whole family.
  • West Park Valley Dealership is offering a $300.00 ‘Sell Your Car’ detailing package which gets your vehicle to a pristine state. Their emphasis is to get people to test drive and buy vehicles since they know the detailing customers are looking to sell their vehicle.

 

Standard Promotion

A promotion can simply be a discounted percentage or variable offer and still produce a high conversion rate. Although standard promotions are most commonly seen in marketing, they are often poorly implemented. One of the most important aspects of a standard promotion is to include an urgency factor such as a time constraint for redemption.

Examples of standard promotions include:

  • Jeff’s Dog Grooming offers 15% off a bath and haircut service.
  • Golden Hair Salon is marketing a promotion that gives $10.00 off a cut and color.
  • Ray’s Tires is giving a 4th tire free when you purchase 3 at full price.

 

Not All Offers Are Created Equally

Keep in mind consumers are advertised constantly and in every aspect of life. Via cell phone apps, Facebook, Instagram, billboards, radio, TV, you name it. An offer has to really sizzle to make a consumer decide to purchase or opt-in. A great incentive will be the differentiating factor between you and your competition. If you own a lawn care business, you know that 95% of your customers will need to use you more than once, so it makes logical sense to offer a steeper initial discount in an effort to persuade the prospect to choose you over the competition. Here are offer incentives ranked from most to least effective.

 

Best

FREE – Everyone loves free. When Iron Strength Karate is gearing up for summer and back to school promotions they offer a completely free karate uniform. Dave, the owner, understands the initial investment eliminates the entry barrier for most families and is able to maintain most students as customers for years. Due to the

 

Good

Dollar Amount Off – Getting a set amount off a product or service is great. Consumers don’t have to guess or do the math to understand the savings and benefit. Customers will be more inclined to frequent your business versus competition and have increased loyalty if they feel you provide a good value.

 

Mediocre

Percent Off – We’ve all see discounts ranging from 5-75%+ off. Although consumers do redeem these offers, they’re often difficult to understand. Unless a buyer thoroughly knows your pricing beforehand, it’s tough to get an idea of true savings and often requires a calculation. This method makes it difficult for a consumer to understand the value. Additionally, many buyers feel that percentage discounts are played out and often feel prices are artificially inflated to give a false sense of savings.

 

Customer Value

Ultimately what you’re willing to spend or give in exchange to acquire a new customer will depend on what you are willing to invest to earn the client over your competition. It makes far more sense to invest in a new client upfront rather than having to win them over from the competition. The cost of a new customer with incentives factored in can actually have a higher customer value over customers acquired without incentives. Consumers see marketing promotions as a positive benefit and are much more likely to become loyal, repeat customers.

 

This article is part 1 of a 4 part series covering:

Branding or Marketing?

What Makes an Offer Irresistible?

Direct Mail Tracking Methods

Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

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Branding or Marketing?

Branding or Marketing?

 

Anytime you’re creating a new marketing campaign you find yourself asking a sleuth of questions. Will the objective of your campaign be to increase brand’s reach, acquire new customers, monetize your existing customer base or if you’re like most– are you unsure of what to expect? Understanding the difference and setting the correct expectations will infinitely improve mediocre advertising tactics and allow you to make the most of any campaign.

 

What’s the Objective?

 

If your marketing department functions like most, you’ve got an annual budget and department expectations that were established by upper management during the latter end of the previous year. We’re past the halfway mark and now the pressure is on, we need results. One of the most frequent questions we get is, what’s the difference between branding and marketing?

 

Brand Awareness – Think billboards. You’re driving on the freeway and see a catchy ad with cows telling you to eat more chicken. Some drivers familiar with the brand will get a laugh out of the billboard while others unfamiliar with the brand may connect the logo with a restaurant they see occasionally. The goal of this marketing method is to increase awareness and be visible to as many people as possible. Strictly defined sales goals are not to be expected of this method and more often than not, you won’t see strict tracking methods implemented with brand awareness campaigns.

 

Marketing – If the name doesn’t say it loud enough, direct action result based campaigns strive to provide a trackable increase in conversions. Whether the conversion metric is more newsletter signups or an X increase in new customers that translates into a Y increase in revenue, your campaign has set expectations and goals. Examples of these campaigns include coupons, limited time offers and opt-in campaigns.

 

Branding 

 

Increasing brand awareness may nearly impossible to correlate with monetization. For branding, reaching new, existing and potential customers is the objective. An example of an awareness through conversion cycle for a brand awareness campaign can look start with a direct mail postcard or billboard ad designed to peak your interest.

 

Fictitious pizza chain Chewy’s Pizza has been experiencing a slump in sales for nearly a decade. A focus group has revealed the brand’s image is struggling due to its low-quality pizza’s and sub-par taste. The pizza chain has decided to revamp its entire operation and will now use high-quality ingredients and focus on an artisan pizza rather than provide a bottom dollar product. The general perception of the brand needs to improve. Chewy’s Pizza runs radio ads, tv commercials and send postcard mailers to all homes within a 4-mile radius of a franchise in each market.

 

The advertisements emphasize a brand revitalization and commitment to top quality ingredients and taste. The messaging directs people to pizzamatters.com, a website the Chewy’s Pizza created to build value and modify existing perception of the brand. The company is monitoring campaign impact by keeping a close tab on the amount of unique and return visitors to the website. A conversion will be counted anytime an individual watches a video about the company’s new image or signs up for the mailing list.

 

Marketing

 

For many SMB’s it is crucial to understand if a marketing effort is profitable, has the potential to become profitable or perhaps it’s a complete wash. Direct action result based campaigns strive to provide a short customer monetization cycle with a trackable value tied to each conversion. The ideal way to track campaign effectiveness is to use a variety of calls-to-action and tracking methods that will simplify the how the results can be segmented.

 

Fictitious company Lazer manufactures computers and computer peripherals. The company has 50,000 addresses of previous customers but is having a difficult time engaging its fan base through emails and social media. Robert, Lazers sales director, has been tasked with spearheading a sale in an effort move stagnant inventory and make room for upcoming new products. The company decides to mail a scratch to win postcard to all previous customers. The direct mail marketing postcard offers vary with incentives ranging from 5%-50% discounts and a select few postcards have online-store gift cards or free item redemption codes.

 

The offer codes needed to redeem the incentives will allow Lazer to track how many customers redeemed offers, the campaign participants’ average spend if individuals purchased additional products and additional data to determine lifetime customer value and the potential for future monetization. Data shows Lazer that the campaign was able to provide a significant increase in revenue and was able to re-engage previous customers who had not made purchases in a long period of time.

 

Which Do I Use?

 

Although branding and marketing can function in tandem, it is important to understand the difference in order to craft a successful advertising campaign. If your goal is to spread the word far and wide, branding could be the best solution to your advertising woes. Marketing campaigns have the benefit of being incentive based and allow time constraints to increase urgency. Next week we will discuss the difference between good offer and a fantastic one.

 

 

This article is part 1 of a 4 part series covering:

Branding or Marketing?

What Makes an Offer Irresistible?

Direct Mail Tracking Methods

Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

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There’s no need for more buildup; let’s just get right into more great ideas for integrating digital print into your marketing and outreach!

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More Possibilities In Digital Printing, Part 1

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Digital printing now offers numerous new options for getting your message out, and physical media is still one of the most effective forms of local outreach you can engage in.  So, we wanted to write a few blogs highlighting some of the lesser-used forms of printed marketing, in hopes of giving you new ideas for your local campaigns.

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