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The entire mortgage process is becoming more digital and remote. And in a post-COVID world, it looks like it’s going to stay that way.
Around 92% of today’s borrowers prefer to dig around online to find the best deals and do research before they ever speak to a loan officer.
This means if your lending company’s website and web presence aren’t up to par, you’ll risk alienating your audience or never even reaching them at all.
From independent brokers to the largest lenders, lead generation is the life force necessary to keep the sales engine running.
To generate qualified leads, you’re going to need a high-quality website and a thoughtful digital marketing plan to deliver your content through multiple channels.
At Kaleidico, we have over 15 years of experience as a mortgage digital marketing agency. We’ll gladly tell you our secrets to improve your digital mortgage marketing. Once you try it for yourself, you’ll see how much work it truly is, and you’ll see why lenders choose us to handle their online presence.
In this introduction to digital marketing for mortgage brokers, we’ll walk you through all the possible marketing strategies and channels. After implementing these tactics, you’re sure to begin generating leads online.
Email Marketing for Mortgage Lenders
Selling mortgages is a numbers game.
Applying online is so easy and convenient that you’re likely to get more overall leads but with varying levels of intent. And it usually takes many points of contact to close on those leads.
But studies have shown that half of those leads will convert into customers in the next 12 months.
So how does one keep in contact with prospective buyers until they’re ready to close their mortgage? Through email marketing, of course.
Emailing marketing is perhaps the most popular and effective form of marketing for mortgage lenders. And it’s extremely low cost. There are no printing fees, postage stamps, and the delivery time is instant.
Let’s take a look at a few examples that illustrate the beauty and power of email marketing for your mortgage lending business.
Sales automation drip sequences for outreach and ongoing follow-up
Drip campaigns, or drip sequences, are a series of ongoing emails that are sent out automatically according to a schedule.
Here’s an example of what a drip campaign might look like:
- Your prospective buyer fills out their contact info (lead) on your website.
- Once the form has been submitted, they receive an automated “Welcome email.”
- Then, after a few days, they will receive a follow-up email.
- After a few more days, they will receive another follow-up email.
- And so on, and so on.
Because closing mortgages takes many “touchpoints,” these can be factored into designing your own drip campaign. If you know it takes 7-8 touchpoints to close the deal, then set up 8 emails in your drip campaign.
Automated drip campaigns can be more sophisticated than this. The best campaigns are set up to automatically send out emails based on your user’s behavior, also known as “triggers.”
Triggers could be as simple as sending out birthday wishes, sending emails after newsletter signups, and more.
Digital Marketing Campaigns for Past Mortgage Clients
Selling your services to existing customers is easier and cheaper than selling to new customers.
If mortgage rates are going down, email this information to your previous clients who may be interested in refinancing.
You can also leverage existing clients to gain referrals from their friends and family. Many mortgage lenders have had success with referral programs, offering monetary incentives to people who refer friends.
Lead Nurturing Email Campaigns for Old Unresponsive Aged Leads
Remember earlier how we said sales is a numbers game and that the close rate is around 3%? Don’t give up on the other 97% of leads!
Many people who start the mortgage lending process simply aren’t ready to close yet. It might take months or years until they’re finally ready.
But through email marketing, you can effectively keep your name in the back of their mind and inbox. When they’re finally ready, they’ll know who to contact first.
Web Design and Landing Page Optimization
Most people know within a split second after visiting a website if it’s legit or not.
If your website is unattractive, clunky, and outdated, odds are your web visitors will quickly “bounce” off your website.
This is referred to as a “bounce rate,” and if more than 70% are bouncing immediately from your website, you’re in big trouble.
Ideally, you’d want your website to have a 20%-40% bounce rate. This means your website is a compelling destination that addresses your visitors’ needs instantly. It should offer clear navigation and thoughtful landing pages to draw them in further.
Let’s take a look at the key features and design elements your website needs to first retain your web visitors. You’ll then pull them further along into the customer’s journey.
Also, keep in mind that every page listed below should have clear calls-to-action (CTAs), lead path forms for quick contacting, and finish with education about the loan product or borrowing situation.
Think like your customer when designing your website.
Would you want to submit your personal information to a website that didn’t tell you about itself? That’s an immediate red flag.
Every mortgage lending website should have a separate company page, or an “about us” page so your visitors can gain confidence in your company.
Add some personality to your page and write out your mission statement and company values. This way your readers will realize they’re on the right website and form an emotional connection and trust with your company immediately.
Loan Officer Profile Pages
Adding profile pages for each of your loan officers isn’t just a nice thing that makes your website pretty — it seriously establishes trust between the visitor and your company.
It offers an instant personal connection between prospective customers and your loan officers before any real-time communications even begin. This is an intuitive way to warm up a cold lead before your first conversation with a new borrower.
Profile pages also allow you to enter NMLS licensing numbers, further adding social and legal proof that your company is accredited and legitimate.
Of course, we also recommend adding a CTA and lead path form (progressive, survey style forms) at the top or side of the loan officer profile pages. These contact forms should always be plainly visible and easily accessible.
Branch Profile Pages
Unless you’re working for a small company, it’s likely your mortgage lending company has several branch locations throughout your community, state, or nation.
To reduce the bounce rate and to help visitors find their branch location instantly, we recommend adding a “Branch Locations” tab at the top of your website’s menu. We’ve found this to be the quickest way for visitors to get in contact with their individual branches.
Loan Program Landing Pages
Your loan programs are the products you’re selling to your prospective leads.
These range from VA loans, conventional purchase, conventional refinance, FHA loans, and other more specific loan types.
Each one of these loan programs should have its own landing page that thoughtfully explains each loan type, how it works, and offers a CTA and lead path so visitors can quickly get in touch with you to receive more information.
Using Customer Situations to Draw Visitors In
As a mortgage lender, you’ll likely know everything there is to know about mortgages. But non-industry people, especially first-time buyers, might not have a clue about the differences between an FHA loan or a conventional loan.
Help guide the visitor to find the information they need from your website to pull them along their customer journey.
We recommend creating a blog content landing page that organizes all of your website’s blog posts, categorized by topics that are easily searchable for your visitors.
For example, first-time buyers can click on the “First-time buyers” topic to be redirected to every blog post that first-timer buyers should read.
Another topic could be labeled “Refinancing a Mortgage” to be redirected to every refinancing blog post. Other curated topics could be FHA Loans, Mortgage Calculators, and so on.
Looking for more tips to improve your website? Read: Content Marketing Playbook for Mortgage Lenders.
Before the internet, mortgage lenders were happy to put their ads on TV, in the Yellowbook, on public benches, and on billboards. And we’re not discounting those marketing approaches, they can still work.
But the problem is these ads are being shown to an extremely broad audience, where only a percentage of people viewing the ads actually need mortgages.
Then pay-per-click advertising came along. Now, highly-targeted ads are shown to people actively searching for mortgages online.
Search for “mortgages for first-time buyers” on Google and you’ll see plenty of text-based ads on the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP, above the top-ranked websites. This is the power of PPC ads, allowing lesser known websites to position themselves above their top competitors.
PPC advertising is a quick and easy way to get potential borrowers with high intent. And it’s not as expensive as you might think.
You can start with as little as $2,000 a month in Google Ad spend, which could result in about 25 exclusive leads per month.
To ensure you’re spending your campaign’s budget wisely, you can stay geo-targeted around branches to avoid competing with the big lenders.
More sophisticated marketers and Google Ads managers can also perform keyword research to see the specific terms their audience is looking for, and also learn which keywords their competitors are bidding on.
Now, we’ll warn you now — Google Ads’ platform is overwhelming and the online mortgage space is insanely competitive.
Learning the complete platform is a full-time job and is one of the hardest aspects of digital marketing for mortgage brokers. This is one of the many reasons why lenders rely on an experienced digital marketing agency.
Facebook Ads is another popular platform for PPC advertising.
Depending on which mortgage lenders you ask, they might have a preference over leads created by Google Ads versus Facebook ads.
Whereas Google leads are actively searching for mortgage terms, Facebook leads stumble upon sponsored posts scrolling through their News Feed, as a form of “interruption marketing.” This may result in lower quality leads because their intent isn’t as urgent, but Facebook’s PPC costs may be lower than Google’s and can result in a higher quantity of leads.
SEO and Content for Digital Mortgage Marketing
If your web visitor didn’t come to your website based on a PPC ad, then it’s most likely they stumbled upon your website from a Google search query.
When a prospective lead Googles “FHA loan near me” or “First time buyer mortgage” you hope that your website’s blog posts will be in the top search results.
SEO and content marketing is a different kind of advertising, one that answers questions and solves problems for your audience. It’s referred to as “organic” marketing because there’s no price you can pay to put your blogs higher up in Google’s SERP.
Your website’s placement in Google’s SERP is based entirely on your skills in planning and researching keywords, understanding your competitive space, and cranking out consistently great content using the same language your audience uses.
PPC ads allow you to instantly place your landing page on the first page of Google. SEO and content marketing take time. And this is why SEO and content marketing form a part of your long-term strategy.
Keyword Research for Mortgage Brokers
Of course, SEO, content marketing, and PPC advertising all tie into each other. Using a Keyword Planning Tool, you can actually see the frequency of search terms related to your industry. You can see which search terms are the most popular, and least popular, and use this as a starting point to developing blog posts and content using these search terms.
In oversaturated markets, you can use Keyword Planning to find underutilized search terms — those terms that don’t get that much traffic but show a great deal of intent. As a result, they often cost less to bid on, which helps stretch your campaign’s budget further.
There’s a big difference in intent when somebody searches for “FHA loan,” and “help I need a mortgage fast.”
Learn how to do a little keyword research, even if it just searching Google
Remember this one key rule: be consistent and continuously produce content, because it takes Google months to recognize this content and categorize it.
Just finished writing a blog? Great! Use it as content to fuel your email marketing or use it as social media content.
SEO and Content Marketing is More Than Just Blogs
There are numerous forms of content besides blogs that you can use to promote your company in hopes of somebody stumbling upon it.
A few examples of other types of content you can produce include:
- Case studies
- Ultimate guides
- YouTube videos
- Facebook surveys
- Quora posts
- Reddit posts
- Pinterest infographics
- Instagram posts
Looking for more tips on digital marketing for mortgages? Read: 25 of the Best Mortgage Content Marketing Ideas.
Social Media Marketing
Okay, so there are about a million different social media sites out there.
Don’t feel like you need to be an expert on all of them.
The most popular social media sites, in order of their popularity are as follows:
Will spending all your time marketing on TikTok be as effective as Facebook or LinkedIn? Probably not, but you never know.
There are customers out there using each one of these social networking sites, so pick the one you personally use and you will naturally engage with your audience better.
Ideally, you will use simple videos as your main driver in any social media channel you pick. Videos give you the highest likelihood of success, and for good reason — you’re showing your face, your personality, and you’re forming an instant connection more powerful than just words.
Just like email marketing and content marketing, you’ll need to post fairly regularly. As we mentioned before, you can use your social media channel to share your website’s new blog posts, or provide timely news around changing mortgage rates.
Schedule Your Discovery Session with Kaleidico Today
Kaleidico is a digital marketing mortgage company and lead generation agency with over 15 years of experience.
We understand the mortgage lending business and know how to generate leads for your company.
At Kaleidico, we’re transparent about the services we provide for each of our clients, that’s why we’ll tell everyone our secrets about our processes. We welcome you to follow our advice and use our tips to get started building your own digital marketing plan for your mortgage lending business.
You’ll see implementing these lead generation strategies is a ton of work, and that’s why many companies choose to hire us to handle branding, designing and building their website, running their paid ad campaigns, and producing high-quality content.
Are you a mortgage lender looking for help generating leads with your website? Schedule your discovery session.
We’ll spend 30 minutes discussing your business objectives and sharing examples of how we’ve helped clients in the mortgage industry build more effective brands and lead generation platforms.