Do your due diligence and beat the majority: How to beat your competitors before the onslaught
Dear Mortgage Brokers,
I would like to offer you the marketing tips that have worked for me and my customers in order to help you get ahead of the rush at the end of summer. I've tailored this advice for your industry specifically in order to be most helpful to you.
Yes, you can beat others to the punch, and this is how. I hope these tips will prove as helpful for you as they have for me and those I've worked with.
According to CNNMoney.com, the mortgage industry – specifically Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) – is about to be blasted through the roof, but some aren't sure if the ramifications will be positive or negative. A record will be set according to Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody's Economy.com. “In October alone more than $50 billion in ARMS will reset.”
At the front of everyone's mind is the worry about whether hundreds of thousands of homeowners will be able to keep up higher mortgage payments to avoid losing their homes. For those borrowers who took out hybrid ARMs in 2004 and 2005 with teaser rates for the first couple years, monthly payments could go up by 35% or more. The Mortgage Bankers Association is expecting as many as 600,000 home owners to get into trouble, with about half of them indeed losing their homes.
This does not have to be a negative situation for you, the consumers or our economy. Make it a positive situation and turn the table of the predicted negative results. You should be scouring the countryside in your area, looking for those that have ARMs due to reset soon. Chances are they may be interested in refinancing and getting a fixed rate.
Direct mail postcards can be the easiest way to get your prospects' attention – the message is not covered up by an envelope; and the message is sent to a highly-targeted list of people that you know have ARMs. In order to use direct mail postcard marketing correctly, here are the three main points you need to follow:
1. Repetition = Credibility
Per the definition of campaign: “a planned and organized series of actions intended to achieve a specific goal”, you need to repeat, repeat, repeat your mailings. Not only does this put your message in front of your prospects many times over, but it establishes credibility for you. In today's mortgage market, you need to establish creditability.
Think back to the last time you got an advertisement in your mailbox. Have you gotten that advertisement before, or a similar one? When I get a postcard in the mail from a business I sometimes toss it out right away or I keep it a while and then toss it out. But, each time I get another postcard I think, “Wow, these guys are serious and committed enough to stick with it.” It impresses me. The majority of the time that company is who I'll go with when deciding to order a new product or service. I cannot stress this point enough, and it's my number one rule. Always repeat mailings.
TIP: Don't be discouraged if you don't see intense results after your first mailing. Like I said, you're establishing credibility. After a few mailings you'll see a snowball effect.
2. Captivating, Colorful Front
Consumers are hit with an average of 3,000 messages on a daily basis, and postcards have the highest read rate. The reason is simple. You don't have to open them. You always see it even if flipping through your mail quickly. And if it's really colorful and not too jam-packed with data, you can easily decide if it's something you're interested in or not (and if the marketer chose a qualified list you will be more likely to be interested).
Many people think that putting color on the front and the back of the postcard is best. I don't think so. By having a super-colorful, high-glossy front, people zero in on it. Then they get interested and flip to the back. If there's color on both sides, it's more confusing. It's best to keep it simple.
TIP: Use colors and images that immediately draw your attention. Think like your consumer and target market. What colors and images make you stop and think about what the postcard is talking about? Our most popular ARMs cards are simple with 3 or 4 colors total. You also want to choose colors that match your other marketing efforts – like your website for instance or your logo/ business cards.
3. Simple Message
Like the colors and images, keep your message simple. Pick ONE thing to say. Example: “Is you ARM payment getting Bigger? Refinance today and save!” or “Is your Adjustable Rate Mortgage getting too hot to handle?” On the back you can put more data, including how to contact you. But for the front keep it catchy and uncomplicated.
TIP: When thinking of your message, again think like your audience. What emotions are they going to be experience about their ARM resetting? For many it will be fear or anxiety. Push that emotional button. Have your message say something like: “Rising payments got you down? Don't let DEBT take over. We can help.”
A US Postal Service study in which consumers revealed the importance of mail to their daily lives revealed certain insights:
Consumers spend an average of 30 minutes reading their mail on any given occasion
Consumers cited 3 “jobs” they wanted commercial messages to help them perform:
Managing the home
As mortgage brokers, you fit into all three categories above. Marketing can be your “right ARM” – use it to help out a lot of people. Our economy needs it.