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Driving Highly Qualified Web Traffic to Your Site
Optimizing Your Website to Capture Mortgage Leads
Lead Management — What to Do When You Get the Lead
Measuring, Analyzing, and Optimizing Your Mortgage Marketing Results
Ready to Build Your Mortgage Marketing Plan? Work with Kaleidico

These days in the mortgage business, you have to meet your prospective borrowers where they’re currently at — and that’s online doing preliminary research.

Mortgage lending has transformed from a face-to-face business, retail consumer experience to a consumer direct digital experience. The COVID pandemic has only reinforced this trend, and it may never go back to the way it once was, as borrowers prefer the online mortgage process.

Your job as a mortgage lender is then to produce mortgage marketing strategies that can get in front of these borrowers’ eyes while they’re researching different mortgage options on Google and throughout the internet, and generate mortgage leads.

You’ll also need to invest in sales and marketing automation platforms that can take the busy work out of your day — the kind of administrative work such as emailing, on-boarding, and scheduling appointments — so your loan officers can focus on sales calls with their important leads.

First, it all begins with bringing new prospective customers to your site…

Driving Highly Qualified Web Traffic to Your Site

There are numerous ways to promote your website — mortgage marketing content, paying for PPC ads, optimizing your website for search engines, and more.

Ideally, your mortgage marketing ideas will implement all of these strategies to divert mortgage researchers and potential borrowers to your website, and aid in mortgage lead generation.

Let’s review each of these tactics more in-depth.

Using SEO and Content to Capture Borrower Research

For most people, purchasing a house is the biggest and most important financial investment they’ll make in their life. Naturally, they’ll want to do a bit of research online before contacting a loan officer.

Your prospective borrowers turn to Google to answer their most common questions about the mortgage industry and application process:

  • How can I qualify for a loan?
  • Can I get a mortgage with a lower credit score?
  • How much should I save for a down payment?
  • Which loan option is best for my situation?
  • Where do I find real estate agents?

When they search for these questions, they’ll find plenty of articles that can answer their questions. Almost all of these articles will be blogs published on other mortgage companies’ or money lenders’ websites. 

This is the perfect example of content marketing — producing helpful content that your audience will stumble upon in Google searches, in the hopes that they’ll like your content, continue reading, and eventually fill out a form and generate leads.

In addition to content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) is the perfect compliment to further make your website more visible in Google searches.

SEO and content marketing both work by matching highly-searched keywords or phrases in a user searches with the keywords used throughout your website’s copy, landing pages, and blog posts. The more keyword-rich your website is, the more potential customers you can attract through Google searches.

By the way, this customer journey is the same for buying a home as it is for refinancing a mortgage, so consider writing explanatory content for all of your loan products. 

Remember, as a loan officer you know everything about mortgages, but the average person does not. That’s why they’re constantly searching for information. If you can break down these complex programs in a high-quality and easy-to-understand way, you’ll have a better shot of convincing your readers to fill out the contact form.

Here’s what I recommend: create an editorial calendar based on your customers’ most common questions. Then create content, whether they are blog posts, videos, or ideally, both. 

Your ongoing mortgage marketing content production will strengthen your website’s SEO and can be used as content to fuel your social media pages and your email marketing strategies. 

Using PPC — Google Ads and Facebook Ads — to Capture Refinancing Homeowners and New Home Buyers

Getting your mortgage website, landing pages, and content to the very top of Google’s search results will be difficult as it’s one of the most competitive markets online. 

Websites like Quicken Loans/Rocket Mortgage, Loan Depot, Better, Guaranteed Rate have all been in the game a very long time, and their high Google ranking reflects that.

But don’t be discouraged by that, because we can use Google Ads to our advantage. With Google Ads, you can essentially pay to have your website listed above these natural, “organic” search results.

The most common keywords “mortgage, FHA loans, VA loans, 30-year mortgage” are all pretty competitive — this is where keyword competitive analysis comes into play.

You can research keyword traffic volume online to find untapped and underused variations on these search terms that can draw in serious traffic to your website and help your blogs rank higher. Keyword research is crucial for both PPC ads and SEO/content marketing.

Google Ads is great for reaching people who are actively searching for mortgage help, while Facebook Ads is more passive, or lower intent marketing because your ads are shown to people who aren’t actively searching for mortgages.

Both Google Ads and Facebook grant you access to their insane amounts of user data and demographic information and allow for very specific targeting options to keep your budget focused.

For Google Ads, keep your targeting tight. Consider using a small radius around your individual branches. For Facebook Ads, consider using it for audience development — target and acquire the attention of high probability homebuyers and homeowners. You can even upload old internal email lists, old mortgage leads, and purchased aged leads to create a custom audience so your Facebook Ads only show to those people.

One last thing: consider re-targeting campaigns. Ever visit a website, leave the website, and then see an ad for that website a couple of days later? Those are re-targeting ads and they’re effective at nudging past website visitors to come back to your website, especially prospective clients!

Using Sales Automation — Email Marketing and Text Messaging for Initial Outreach

When a potentially new lead fills out a form on your website, they should receive an email from you automatically. Of course, you didn’t actually send it, this has been automated for you.

Email marketing, and more commonly text message marketing, help convert your leads into customers. As soon as they fill out the contact form, boom! They receive a welcome email or text.

For emails, I recommend embedding a short introductory video, links to a couple of your blog posts, and easy access to your contact information. 

For text messages, keep your messages much shorter and don’t send any attachments. Keep it casual, but end with a call-to-action such as “When are you free to talk?”

We recommend using MailChimp or Drip for your email and text messaging campaigns. 

Using Marketing Automation — Email Marketing — For Long-Term Lead Nurturing

Not all of your leads will respond to your automated welcome email or text.

This can be surprising, especially if they just filled out a form and now are feeling sheepish and unresponsive to your messages. But that’s okay, because you can play the long game with these leads — maybe they’re just not ready yet.

In sales, you know it takes many points of contact to finally close a deal with certain buyers. Email marketing can help you stay in touch with minimal effort and cost.

As long as they haven’t unsubscribed from receiving your emails, continue sending automated messages to keep them engaged with your organization’s mortgage marketing content (blogs, newsletters, rate changes, etc). 

Email marketing platforms also give you pretty good insight into open rates and click rates. So you could try cold calling your leads once you’ve seen that they opened your email for a better success rate.

Email marketing is incredibly cheap compared to direct mailers, and gives you a very valuable tool for nurturing your future mortgage leads.

Optimizing Your Website to Capture Mortgage Leads

Now that you’ve gotten people to click on your content and redirect them to your website, you’ll only get a few seconds to grab their attention and keep them on your site. 

This means having a well-designed and attractive website that’s intuitive to navigate and matches their expectations — meaning no clickbait headlines or misleading titles that don’t match their intent.

Every page should be optimized to capture leads at any moment, whether there’s an easy “contact us” button prominently displayed above the fold of your home page, adding clear calls-to-action throughout your website, or keeping contact forms highly visible on every page.

Let’s examine a few more ways to keep your visitors on your website longer and improve your conversion rates.

Leveraging Branch and Loan Officer Landing Pages

Mortgage lenders typically have several branch locations, but just one website.

This can make it confusing for your visitors trying to find the correct contact info for their branch.

I recommend creating a drop-down menu at the top of your website’s navigation that reads “Branches.” Your visitors can quickly select the right branch location for them.

From there, they are sent to that branch location’s individual landing page and can find the address, phone number, or fill out a form that gets sent to that specific location. 

Another no-brainer, and something that’s actually missed quite a lot is creating individual pages for each of your loan officers. These loan officer profiles are the perfect opportunity to show your loan officer’s face, bio, location, and NMLS licensing numbers.

By creating these extra pages on your website, both for separate branch locations and loan officers, you’re adding more keywords throughout your website. Now when somebody Google’s a specific loan officer, or local mortgage businesses, your company’s website will appear in these searches. When somebody searches for mortgage brokers in their city, your website will appear in searches.

And of course, on every web page there are contact forms and calls to action to encourage your visitors to take the next step.

The Secret Sauce of Rate and Reviews Pages

It’s better to list reviews on your own website rather than third party apps like Yelp or Angie’s List.

There are a few reasons for doing this:

  1. You have greater control over the reviews you show
  2. Your visitors’ Google review searches will take them directly to your website, not another website
  3. Your reviews will act as social proof, making your website look more legitimate and trustworthy
  4. Showing reviews on your site boost sales and conversions

Getting Specific with Loan Product Landing Pages

In addition to creating separate web pages for each of your branch locations and loan officers, you need to create separate pages for each of your loan products or programs.

Again, this is an SEO thing. If you can have more web pages on your website with the important keywords, they’ll make your website more visible in Google searches.

Create pages for Conventional Mortgages, Fixed-Rate Mortgages, Adjustable-Rate Mortgages, USDA Loans, etc. 

Each one of these landing pages can simply explain how each loan product works, and should include a list of FAQs that can quickly answer your readers’ questions. This will also help your pages show up in Google’s search engine result pages.

As usual, each page should be optimized by adding calls to action (“contact us today to speak with a loan officer”) and placing contact forms on the sidebar to make it very easy to contact you. 

Generating Leads from Blog Posts

Many of your website’s pages will be static — once you’ve updated your branch location pages, loan product pages, and loan officer pages, you’re basically not going to touch them again.

But you need to find new ways to add more keywords and backlinks to your website to improve SEO. 

Aha! Blogging is the answer!

With blogging, you can really go more in-depth on your loan products, helping to break down specific and confusing aspects of each process. You can create explanatory how-to articles or create specific loan scenarios with plenty of examples to draw in more traffic from Google searches.

Blogging and SEO go hand in hand helping to make your website easier to find in a Google search, but it’s really the blogs that bring in so much of the traffic. Google likes websites that constantly create new content. That’s why creating a monthly content calendar is recommended. A consistent schedule combined with authoritative information and relevant keywords results in sure-fire success.

Like the product pages, every blog post needs to end with a call-to-action encouraging them to contact you via email or with a progressive form. You can even go a step further and include a lead magnet.

Growing Your Audience and Database with Lead Magnets

Not every visitor will feel comfortable filling out a contact form, but you can still find another way to get their contact info — lead magnets.

Lead magnets (or content upgrades) are those free pieces of content that your visitor can quickly download and add to their stack of research. In exchange for this valuable (and desirable) piece of content, you can ask for an email to deliver the content and permission to add them to your email newsletter list.

If your visitor searched something like, “How to Make a Successful Mortgage Application,” they might be taken to a mortgage landing page that says, “Download our free template to help organize your mortgage process.” Think of a lead magnet as an in-depth blog post on a specific topic. Make it valuable.

Sometimes these lead magnets are placed in pop-up ads that appear when a user scrolls down the page, or they’re simply added at the bottom of a relevant blog article.

Once your visitor has subscribed to your in-house email list, you can automate a custom drip marketing campaign to regularly send them emails to keep them in the loop until they’re ready to reach out again.

Lead magnets come in different forms, you can try creating:

  • eBooks
  • Worksheets
  • Checklists
  • Cheatsheets
  • Templates

The Power of Lead Paths and Progressive Forms

The classic web form is so outdated and frustrating that many of your visitors will abandon them before they finish filling them out. 

If they’re trying to fill out these clunky contact forms on mobile, forget about it, it’s not going to happen. Which is a shame, because 54% of internet traffic is done on mobile phones!

Instead, build standardized lead paths that collect the information to give your loan officers a consistent, highly detailed lead.

These lead paths (also known as progressive forms) are more like online surveys than traditional forms. If you’ve ever used TurboTax before you’re familiar with these intuitive, pop-up bubble questions. 

Lead path forms are much smarter than traditional questionnaires. They are responsive, meaning they use your answers to update their questions — so it knows not to ask annoying, redundant questions that typically drive people away.

Because of this, lead paths are an essential tool for your sales funnel to coax people along their customer journey.

In a matter of just seconds, not minutes, the progressive form is complete and gives your loan officers the relevant info they need. 

Lead Management — What to Do When You Get the Lead

Now that the leads are rolling in, you’ll need an efficient lead management system to make sure nobody slips through the cracks.

It would be a shame to waste a lead considering how much work went into getting them to fill out the form. Let’s look at a few tried and true tricks to managing your incoming mortgage leads.

Lead Capture and Distribution

You’ll want to ensure the new mortgage leads get quickly and effectively assigned to active, ready-to-respond loan officers.

You’ll also want to assist loan officers in reaching out to potential new clients 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. Remember, “Leads never die; salespeople just stop talking to them.”

A sound lead management system will increase your lead conversion rates, improve your overall lead ROI, and ultimately become another high-effective mortgage lead generation channel.

This is what the goal of your mortgage marketing plan is all about.

Sales Automation for Initial Outreach and Appointment Setting

In the previous section, I mentioned setting up your email marketing system to automate the onboarding of new leads — sending them emails or text messages based on specific actions they take, such as downloading lead magnets, filling out forms, signing up for newsletters, etc.

To take it a step further, you can add an appointment scheduler inside these automated messages, allowing your lead to schedule an available time slot based on your existing schedule. Once they book, your calendar automatically updates. Pretty smart.

Calendly and MailChimp are both solid options for appointment scheduling apps.

Long-Term Lead Nurturing Tactics

Email marketing is your best bet for nurturing long-term leads that aren’t quite ready to buy yet, or reaching out to existing clients who you haven’t worked with in a while.

To go a little bit more in-depth, try using these lead nurturing techniques to send better and more relevant emails to your older leads:

  • Segment your audience based on which actions they’ve taken on your website. If they downloaded an eBook, send them another eBook once it’s been published. Have customers who got a mortgage years ago? Maybe they’re interested in hearing about updated refinancing rates. 
  • Vary up the styles of content you’re sending out. In addition to blog posts and eBooks, send out invitations to webinars, links to YouTube videos, free content, birthday greetings, and more.
  • Use their first name when addressing them. This is an easy automation to set up and is really effective.
  • Always include a call-to-action in everything you send. Schedule an appointment, read more on our website, click to call, download now, etc. 

Measuring, Analyzing, and Optimizing Your Mortgage Marketing Results

No marketing plan can properly be assessed or improved without monitoring your key performance indicators and metrics.

Before you started your marketing plan, you should have gathered these basic metrics to let you know where marketing efforts currently stand:

  • Monthly website traffic (including landing pages and blog posts)
  • Conversion rates (for filling out forms on blogs, landing pages, PPC ads, emails, and other content pieces)
  • Number of monthly online leads
  • Cost per lead acquisition
  • Social media page follows
  • Cost per keyword
  • Cost per ad click
  • Keyword performance
  • Engagement rates with content (social media posts, replies, shares)
  • Ad impression, reach, and clicks
  • SEO website ranking
  • Backlinks (links on your website to other websites)
  • Bounce rate (whether or not people stayed on your page, or immediately left it)
  • Time spent on website or pages
  • Sessions and page views
  • Monthly ad spend budget

If you’re starting out fresh, obviously you won’t have access to most of this data and will need to start with a blank canvas. If that’s the case, don’t make too many changes or optimizations in the beginning. You’ll need to give your marketing strategies some time to get results before you can improve them. 

Google, for instance, can take weeks to index new blog posts and make them available in searches. So be a little patient in the beginning. I recommend looking back and fine-tuning your mortgage marketing plan every quarter.

Formalize your marketing review into a 90-Day mortgage marketing plan, which should serve as a benchmark for assessing your effectiveness and looking for opportunities.

Ready to Build Your Mortgage Marketing Plan? Work with Kaleidico

I know that was a lot of information to take in. If you’re overwhelmed, that’s okay. Kaleidico can help.

Kaleidico is a lead generation agency for mortgage lenders, law firms, and fintech.

We have over 22 years of experience generating mortgage leads — through booms, busts, to mortgage meltdowns, and back again.

Are you a loan officer in need of increasing your mortgage lead generation? A team of real estate agents trying to get your names out there?

It all starts with a simple conversation that we call a Discovery session. A quick phone call or video chat is all it takes to see if working with us can get those results you’re hoping for.

Book your Discovery session today and check out our 50+ Mortgage Marketing Ideas for more ideas to jumpstart your mortgage marketing plans.

About Matthew Dotson
Matthew Dotson is a freelance writer experienced in blog, copy, and technical writing. He covers everything from marketing and digital advertising to technology and senior living. Previously, he worked for a Y Combinator tech startup in the Silicon Valley and traveled the country covering auto shows for Ford Motor Company. Matthew is also a multi-instrumentalist who composes, produces, and records original music. He enjoys photography, videography, fine art, and cinema.

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