Mortgages, especially the process for getting a mortgage, are complex and often confusing to homebuyers and homeowners refinancing. However, a comprehensive mortgage marketing plan can make the mortgage process less confusing and stressful for your customers.
Mortgage marketing is the process of educating and guiding your customer. Grow their confidence and certainty about getting a mortgage from your organization.
Building that mortgage marketing plan and helping you to execute it effectively is the goal of this guide.
The Simplest Mortgage Marketing Framework
These nine simple steps will get mortgage leads flowing into your organization immediately. Your loan officers won’t have to waste time prospecting for referrals. Instead, they can spend all of their time selling to a consistent pipeline of high-quality opportunities.
- Target a specific loan scenario or product
- Make a landing page
- Create a progressive lead form
- Create content that helps customers make decisions
- Use Google Ads to attract customers
- Use Facebook to attract customers
- Capture subscribers and grow an email list
- Develop a lead management system
- Measure and optimize
Let’s break these steps down to assist your planning and execution.
Target Scenarios or Products
When building a marketing plan, even the most sophisticated program, start with customers’ scenarios (problems) and your products. This focus and clarity are essential for designing campaigns that convert web visitors into leads.
In the mortgage marketing context, some examples might be building a marketing plan around veterans buying a home, new physicians purchasing a home or homeowners with FHA loans looking to get rid of mortgage insurance.
Create a Landing Page for Each Scenario or Product
Each of your products and the common problems that your product solves should have specific landing pages. For example, you should have a landing page for a conventional mortgage refinance. Still, you should also have landing pages for a general cash-out refinance, refinancing for debt consolidation, and refinancing for home improvements.
These highly targeted landing pages will help your Google Ads work more effectively and be the primary source of your mortgage lead generation.
Create a Lead Path or Progressive Form
The classic web form is clumsy to fill out and often causes enough frustration that customers often abandon them. On mobile, it’s hard trying to navigate each little box and hoping the mobile controls work correctly with keyboard activation, dropdowns, and auto-completes.
Instead, build standardized lead paths that collect the information to give your loan officers a consistent, highly detailed lead.
These lead paths or progressive forms are like online surveys that ask specific questions and offer standardized answer options. This approach allows customers to quickly and simply select the most appropriate response to each question. They can complete the lead path in a matter of seconds, not minutes.
These forms allow you to ask more questions, collect more consistent data, and ultimately capture more mortgage leads at a much higher conversion rate.
Create Content that Helps Customer Make Decisions
Most purchases start with a bit of research. Most of that research begins with some Google searches. That Google search then lands on content articles and landing pages that help people better understand the solutions to their problems and the products and services that solve their problems.
This customer journey is the same for buying a home or refinancing a mortgage. The more complex or infrequent the purchase, the more research customers tend to do. Creating high-quality, easy-to-understand, but comprehensive mortgage content effectively attracts and converts mortgage customers because of this natural customer research process.
Create an editorial calendar by listing some of the most common questions that you get from customers. Then start creating content. These can be blog posts or videos, or ideally, a combination of both. These educational articles and videos can fuel your SEO, social media, and email marketing strategies. They can quickly attract many prospective customers.
Use Google Ads to attract customers
We would love to have all our landing pages, and blog posts rank number one in Google searches. But, the reality of the matter is that the mortgage market is way too competitive for that to be realistic, especially for the juiciest of inquiries, like: home purchase, 30-year mortgage, refinance mortgage, FHA loans, or VA loans.
A smart Google Ads strategy can help you compete against the biggest lenders in the market. You know them: Quicken Loans/Rocket Mortgage, Loan Depot, Better, Guaranteed Rate. Even the providers that you buy leads from: BankRate.com, NerdWallet.com, Zillow.com, and many more.
Keep your Google Ads targeting narrow – keywords and geography. One effective strategy is to limit your Google Ads targeting to a tight radius around your branch(es). In addition, make sure that you are getting the ROI-enhancing impact of remarketing audiences.
Use Facebook to attract customers
Unlike Google Ads, social media advertising tends to be of a lower intent (i.e., not explicitly searching for a mortgage) but can still be effectively targeted.
Facebook is great for audience development. Not only can you target and acquire the attention of high probability homebuyers and homeowners, but you can also leverage your internal email lists, old mortgage leads, or even purchased aged leads to create custom audiences. These custom audiences can turn Facebook into a very efficient remarketing machine.
Like Google Ads, keep your targeting tight. But, unlike Google Ads, educational content and interesting (even entertaining) creative is better. Also, keep in mind that you should regularly update your creative and content on social media. Algorithms that manage ad visibility and frequency will quickly bury old or underperforming ads.
Capture subscribers and grow an email list
Whether you are attracting homebuyers and homeowners to your website with SEO and content marketing, Google Ads, or Facebook Ads (ideally, all of the above), not all of them will fill out your mortgage lead form.
Even with the best conversion rate optimization on the market, 90-95% of your web visitors will not become a mortgage lead. Even for the most seasoned home buyer or homeowner, mortgages are complex and need a fair amount of research to make a smooth home purchase or mortgage refinance. So, we want to allow these folks to engage with the organization even if they are not ready to talk to a loan officer.
Lead magnets are the secret to upping engagement in your mortgage marketing strategy.
Lead magnets (sometimes called content upgrades) are more unique pieces of content (i.e., an ebook, worksheet, checklist, or cheat sheet) that gives a web visitor something to take away and add to their stack of research. In exchange for this valuable (desirable) piece of content, you can ask for an email to deliver that content and permission to add them to your newsletter (email list).
Once they have subscribed to your in-house email list, you now have another valuable and remarkably cheap audience to nurture and turn into future mortgage leads.
Develop a lead management system
Once you have leads and an audience of email subscribers, you must have an effective lead management system.
You want to ensure that new mortgage leads get quickly and effectively distributed to active, ready-to-respond loan officers. You also want to assist loan officers in reaching out to new opportunities instantly, persistently, and indefinitely following up on all the leads in their database.
Systemized follow-up is a critical part of any high-performance mortgage marketing plan. As I like to say, “leads never die; salespeople just stop talking to them.” Then, of course, the reality is they simply wander into another mortgage lender and get a mortgage with one of their loan officers.
A sound lead management system will increase your lead conversion rates, improve your overall lead ROI, and ultimately become another high-effective lead generation channel.
Measure and optimize
Last but not least, measure and continually improve every facet of your mortgage marketing plan.
I recommend looking back and tuning your mortgage marketing plan every quarter. Formalize that review into a 90-day mortgage marketing plan, which should serve as a benchmark for assessing your effectiveness and looking for opportunities.
Mortgage Marketing Plans are Never Done
Even after you have been through the mortgage marketing planning process over a few quarters or even years, you won’t have it perfectly tuned. The mortgage market, loan products, and homeowner needs are constantly changing along a somewhat recurring cycle. Understanding this cycle will help you plan and get ahead of competitors, but only if you continually make a marketing plan and working the plan.
Ready to Build Your Mortgage Marketing Plan
Here are a few resources that can get you started:
Or, you can just schedule a discovery session with my team, and we can get your mortgage marketing strategy jumpstarted.