Introducing Lifecycle Marketing and Marketing Automation
If there’s one thing, almost all mortgage brokers and loan originators need more of it’s qualified leads.
Many brokers invest additional money into advertising and marketing when they need more leads. Or they continue looking for that perfect lead source that provides a steady stream of eagerly awaiting new mortgage clients ready to sign. They try Google Ads, Zillow, Facebook Ads, increase their networking, and more to increase their monthly prospects.
All those lead sources can be effective.
And while there can be issues with ineffective advertising, the lead source is not the only problem more often than not.
If you don’t have a strategy and systems or processes in place to nurture leads and plug holes in your sales funnel, it doesn’t matter how much you throw at advertising, you’re still going to hit a wall. And, without a sales conversion system in place, your cost per lead continues to increase as you pour more into advertising.
If you experience any of the following:
Then lifecycle marketing and marketing automation can alleviate many of these issues and for very little investment. (learn more about Keap Marketing Automation)
Lifecycle marketing is a strategy. It’s a continuous process from start to finish of prospecting, nurturing prospects, delivering results to the customer, and then asking for referrals and reviews, which feeds new customers back into the process.
Here’s an infographic that illustrates this:
Each of these three sequential steps - Collect Leads, Convert Clients, Create Fans - can be addressed through systems and processes with marketing automation software to squeeze many more leads out of your market. And it’s not expensive to implement.
Let’s look at each step in Lifecycle Marketing
Lifecycle Marketing: Collect Leads
A large part of this step involves advertising - whether that’s through Facebook Ads, Google, Ads, networking, or Zillow leads.
Marketing automation software can help you significantly increase your capture rate of leads through the use of a Lead Magnet.
Lead magnets are any information that the prospect needs that is helpful in their customer journey that you provide in return for their name, email, and/or phone number.
A lead magnet can be in the form of:
The options are endless. What’s important is that it be something of value that the prospect wants and needs.
Below an example of a simple lead magnet on a related blog post.
If someone wants to save my Facebook Ads For Mortgage Brokers post to read later they just click the below button as illustrated below, then enter their email and name, and my marketing automation system automatically sends them a PDF of that blog post.
I also include my contact information in the PDF and the PDF links back to my site as well, so if it gets passed around to others, someone can always reach out to me.
When someone clicks on the button, a popup with a form appears where they fill out their information. These people can then go into a lead nurturing sequence of emails and/or text messages where I deliver relevant and timely content to them.
Lifecycle Marketing: Convert Prospects with Lead Nurturing
Every mortgage broker, loan originator, or mortgage bank needs new mortgage leads ongoing. If you stop farming your areas, stop prospecting, whether through advertising or networking, the leads soon dry up.
Every mortgage broker, loan originator, or bank needs new mortgage leads ongoing. If you stop farming your areas, whether through advertising or networking, the leads soon dry up.
The challenge is that advertising and marketing are expensive but necessary, and networking for referrals is time-consuming and thus costly as well. Cost per lead can get out of control if you’re not careful.
Here’s an infographic from Forrester that highlights the importance of lead nurturing and its impact on your profit and costs.
Companies that lead nurture see far more sales-ready leads at a much lower cost per lead. Who doesn’t want more leads at a lower cost?
But what if you could squeeze more out of your existing advertising and marketing, lower the cost per lead, and increase the volume of leads?
Regardless of the industry, but particularly for the mortgage and real estate markets, most leads acquired are not ready to act right now. And if they are, they are not ready on a first interaction to answer many sensitive financial questions.
There are many reasons why a prospect is not ready to act right now. For example, they just started searching for information about buying a home and what is involved in that process. Or, they are trying to understand how best to fix their credit so they can buy a home, or they want to understand better how much home they can afford.
As people move through their unique customer journey, they get closer to making decisions. As a mortgage broker, you want to be their “guide” through this process regardless of where they are.
" You have to meet customers where they are, not where you want them to be."
Estimates are that a prospect needs from 7 - 50 touch points before a customer buys from you.
Why so many?
Because you have to reach a certain level of familiarity - a familiarity threshold, if you will. People need to know, like, and trust you. If you give up too early, you never get to that threshold as they move through the customer journey.
And some statistics in the industry indicate that many loan originators and brokers give up on prospects after 3 - 5 touches.
But what we know for sure…
Is that it’s guaranteed that if you stop reaching out to the prospect, stop being the “guide” through the customer’s journey, they are not going to ever to use your services. Instead, when the customer is ready, they sign up with your competitor who has maintained awareness or had the last touch with the customer.
With marketing automation, you can feed leads into lead nurturing sequences.
What are lead nurturing sequences?
Lead nurturing sequences are emails and/or text messages “dripped” over time to the prospect that delivers useful and helpful information to the prospect. This ensures you are top-of-mind and the go-to resource for all their mortgage needs - you are positioned now as the “guide.” You’re a trusted resource for their journey to buying a home.
These lead nurturing sequences can be over as long of a timeframe as you need.
As an extreme example, I have a friend that stayed on an email list for 20 years. She never bought anything. Eventually, however, she did buy but after 20 years. Now that’s rare, of course. But you get my point. And the effort to keep reaching out to that person was minimal.
To be effective with lead nurturing, you always want to position yourself as the “guide” for the customer’s journey. So you need to deliver valuable, helpful information. Content that addresses their pain points, their questions. Become that trusted resource and advisor they need. But certainly, you should not relentlessly close on them or pitch them constantly…that doesn’t work and will alienate them from you. Nobody likes that.
Lifecycle Marketing: Create Fans
They have closed on their loan at this step, and hopefully, if all went well, you have a happy client.
But here again, is where marketing automation can automatically funnel customers into a sequence that pre-screens for happy customers and prompts them for a review.
We use the 10-point Net Promoter Score (NPS) question to pre-screen for happy customers. The NPS asks on a 10-point scale with 1 Highly Unlikely, and 10 Highly Likely.
“How likely are you to refer us to a friend or colleague?”
Only the happy customers - the ones that are considered “Promoters” and rated you a 9 or 10 - are then presented with links to leave you a review on whatever your chosen platform is (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc).
Those customers who rate you an 8 or lower are not prompted to leave you a review or presented with your review links. Instead, they are presented with a simple form to leave their comments that are sent back to you.
Then using marketing automation, you can automate emails that go to your team to follow-up with phone calls, perhaps to find out more about why they were unhappy. And conversely, when someone rates you well, a note goes out to the whole team notifying them.
Reviews can significantly impact social proof - people will check your reviews. They will look how current they are and dig into whatever negative comments people have made. Nothing kills lead generation faster than an overall negative rating.
And then, based on the high NPS scores of 9 or 10, the Promoters are funneled into a sequence asking for referrals.
All this can be automated at each step. And far more can be done as well.
Using a framework like Lifecycle Marketing combined with Marketing Automation significantly improves your lead generation efforts. The potential is huge. And the impact is significant to your business. It sets you up for long-term success. Reduces the chaos and labor it takes to run your business so you can focus on the things you do best. And the best part, is that it's like having a full-time assistant automatically working behind the scenes to grow your leads and lower your costs.
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