Marketing automation is often touted as the panacea for mortgage marketing executives, mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, and loan officers. If only you’ll automate your marketing, or subscribe to this platform, or do exactly as I say, your mortgage business will basically run itself.
Realistically, no matter what you do, the mortgage industry is going to require some hard work.
Can automated mortgage marketing lighten your load? Absolutely!
Can marketing automation make your business run more efficiently? Sure can!
And can mortgage marketing automation actually help you close more loans? You betcha.
The key to achieving the success you’ve been promised is making sure your marketing automation program is maximized for your needs. To jumpstart your marketing, focus on the areas where automation will make the biggest difference for your business (places you feel you’re spending too much time, for example) and where you need the most help. If you pinpoint those areas, you’ll maximize mortgage marketing automation’s impact early.
Here are 5 ways to use marketing automation effectively. See if they’ll meet the needs of your mortgage business.
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This is the first and perhaps most valuable place marketing automation can help your business.
If a prospect completes a lead form on your site, let’s assume they’ve requested information from several other loan officers as well. Perhaps your mortgage CRM software sends you a notification that you’ve received an inquiry, but you’re in the middle of closing and can’t reach out. Meanwhile, your competitor answers more quickly, and you lose the deal.
With marketing automation, your platform can send an appropriate automated response immediately after a form is submitted. Your platform should be set to recognize the nature of the inquiry—such as for a refi—so the automated response is specific to the topic.
So here is what can happen: The prospect submits the form from your online ad saying they want to talk about a refi. Immediately, they receive a message from you stating that you have received their inquiry and are unable to call right away but will send an email with some information that might interest them. Five minutes later, your system sends an email with a link to a refinancing calculator and answers to common refinancing questions.
What happened there? You just responded first while also buying yourself some time. You or a team member can follow up with a phone call at your convenience. Meanwhile, the prospect has received both a timely response and helpful information from you within five minutes of their initial inquiry.
Get more personal with marketing automation.
It may seem like personal communication and marketing automation mix as well as oil and water, but you might be surprised.
When you think of “personal” communication, think of inserting a borrower’s name or deal information into digital communications. Find a platform that will do that, then go further and help your prospects get to know you personally instead.
How? And how can you automate the process? With video and the right platform, you can create the feel of customized experiences in just one take. For example, Surefire CRM’s Power Video system enables you to record generic videos that can be deployed at the appropriate point in the customer life cycle and will feel personal to your contacts.
For example, you record a generic birthday greeting, closing congratulations, or educational message about a specific step in the loan process. Through marketing automation, your platform delivers the videos when the appropriate customer event occurs. As a result, it feels like it was deployed by you personally. The recipient gets to know your voice and your mannerisms through your videos. When you meet at the closing table, they’ll feel like they already know you.
It gets even better! A strong platform like Surefire will enable marketing executives to deploy the videos through companywide rules and workflows. In other words, even though each LO will have individual videos, there’s no need for separate content and distribution methods to be cloned for each. One closing congratulations delivery mechanism can be prepared for the whole company, and it can be deployed to the right borrower with the right loan officer’s congratulatory video, on time, every time.
Nudge and update your applicants through the process.
What can be more frustrating than a converted lead who drops out while completing their mortgage application?
If you have potential borrowers who stall during the process, a marketing automation platform can send a text message or email to offer assistance and nudge them through the process. If they stall long enough, the platform can also notify the LO or another team member of the delay. A simple text or phone call may be all that is needed to save the deal.
Once the loan is in process, marketing automation platforms can automatically send updates as certain milestones are met. When your platform is integrated with your loan integration software, this process is streamlined—there’s no need for double entry of the loan’s progress through the pipeline.
These in-process communications can make a big difference for borrowers who are unsure of the steps in the lending process and reduce the number of inquiries LOs get along the way. The combination not only creates a better customer experience but also improves efficiency for staff members who don’t have to manage the extra calls and emails.
Ramp up your social media game with marketing automation.
Social media posts should feel fresh and relevant, and setting those up through a marketing automation platform seems counterintuitive. But by being aware of cycles, seasonal behaviors and holidays, LOs or mortgage marketing executives can pre-plan and automate about 75% of social media messages.
The following topics/types of mortgage social media marketing posts can be scheduled ahead through marketing automation software:
· Holiday greetings/time change reminders (covering at least one post per month)
· Interactive mortgage landing pages
· Educational mortgage marketing flyers
· Motivational messages
As you schedule these, keep normal life/seasonal cycles in mind. Posts both late and very early in the year can focus on mortgage planning as people set and meet New Year’s resolutions. When graduation and engagement announcements typically appear, you might consider posts about cash-out refis or HELOCs to provide funds for tuition or weddings. Spring and summer are generally popular for home shoppers, so you might focus on pre-approvals and payment calculators during those seasons.
As you schedule your social posts, be sure to sprinkle in some levity with timeless mortgage memes or lighthearted interactives. Save room in the schedule to link to single property sites you’ve created in conjunction with your referral partners and for at least one or two timely news posts per month to give real-time updates on the markets, special programs or Fed activities.
Involve your whole team.
Another way for a mortgage company to increase efficiencies is to improve transaction-related communication among team members.
Marketing campaigns are often regarded as messages simply from the company to the customer or prospect. A marketing automation platform can expand that concept from simple one- or two-way communication to multi-directional communication.
For example, let’s consider an in-process email marketing campaign. The LOA enters an update into the mortgage company’s LOS. Through an API, the file in the CRM is automatically updated and triggers milestone communication. An email goes to the borrower and co-borrower, and copies are sent to the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent.
In-house, the LO, LOA and other team members involved with the file receive copies of the borrower communication and/or notifications that alert them of the loan’s progress and the next steps they need to take. Different team members can be notified at different stages, eliminating the noise of multiple notices that may not apply to them at every milestone. They’ll be alerted only when they need to take action.
Marketing automation bonus: Compliance has never been easier!
When consumer messaging is preset and automated, mortgage compliance reviews can be made all at once. There’s no need for a continuing stream of back-and-forth conversations between the marketing team and compliance officers.
Plus, when marketing is automated through a mortgage-centric CRM like Surefire, in-platform approval mechanisms can track compliance reviews to ensure only approved messages are delivered.
And when it’s time for an audit, a mortgage CRM like Surefire will offer the mortgage marketing tools to run a report on your own or, if needed, delve deeper with team-supported assistance.
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