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What's in this article?

Web design for mortgage lender websites
Drive highly qualified traffic to your mortgage website using SEO
Content marketing for mortgage lenders
Social media marketing for mortgage lenders
How to use PPC for mortgage lenders
Email marketing for mortgage lenders
Lead generation for mortgage lenders
Learn more
Top marketing tips and tools for mortgage lenders
Kaleidico — A mortgage marketing agency

Mortgage lenders are well aware of how much competition they have. While some companies have a defined plan for keeping their spot at the top of the industry, others simply hope for the best.

In 2022, a comprehensive mortgage marketing strategy is a must. Without this, there’s not much hope for outperforming your competitors. They’ll always have a leg up on you.

Consider these three statistics shared by Ellie Mae, a leading mortgage technology company:

  • 91% of lenders offer online applications to borrowers.
  • 61% of borrowers used an online application to apply for a mortgage in 2020.
  • 61% used an online portal for electronically signing and notarizing mortgage documents.

With the mortgage industry moving primarily online, there’s no shortage of ways to find and engage your target audience. And when you do this, you’re in a better position to generate leads and increase revenue. 

Let Kaleidico help you

We know how much work it is to implement a solid mortgage marketing strategy, and we know that lenders don’t have extra time! Let Kaleidico take care of your strategy and help you meet your marketing goals.

Web design for mortgage lender websites

This is where it all starts. 

A mortgage lender website is critical to your marketing success. A website is your company’s online home. It’s where prospects go to learn more about your company and contact you for additional information. 

The first step is to review your current website. Answer these questions while doing so:

  • Is it personal and inviting?
  • Is it simple and clean? 
  • Are the applications online?
  • Are all of these common paths to getting a mortgage clear and intuitive?
  • Can users get a quick rate quote? 
  • Is it simple for a prospect to make an appointment?
  • Are local branch or loan officers’ contact information available? 
  • Can I do a little research, calculate my monthly loan payment, and see if I qualify for a mortgage at all?

The answers to these questions will provide you with the best path forward. Let’s look at more features that are simple enough to incorporate into your website and will help you generate leads. 

Web design and landing page optimization

Proper design and optimization are key to your long-term online success. 

Some immediate points of consideration:

  • User experience: Without a positive and engaging user experience, you’re driving away potential customers as opposed to keeping them engaged.
  • Mobile-friendly design: Mobile devices account for approximately half of the global web traffic. A mobile-friendly design ensures that you don’t miss out on this traffic. 
  • Bounce rate: Bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who enter your website and leave without viewing another page. Generally speaking, a lower bounce rate corresponds with higher conversions. 

Loan officer profile pages

These offer a personal connection to your site visitors. If somebody’s Googling a specific loan officer, they’ll be taken to this page on your website. 

Optimize profile pages for the loan officers. When users land there, they can fill out an application that goes directly to the loan officer or find other ways to contact them.

It also guarantees a spot for listing requirements such as NMLS licensing numbers, which also serve as social and legal proof of legitimacy, encouraging trust.

Branch profile pages

Most mortgage lenders have multiple branch locations servicing their communities. The best way to organize all of the different branch locations is by adding a simple dropdown menu at the top of the website’s menu, which will link to each individual branch’s page.

When visitors land on the general home page, they can quickly select their location and immediately get the contact info they need. 

This can also help pull in potential borrowers from Google, who are searching for local loan officers. Be sure to include your main office’s address or the address of each branch page. Google will index this information and show it to users in the area.

Loan program landing pages

Loans are the products being sold, so it makes sense to highlight them prominently on the website.

Like branch landing pages, we also suggest creating a loan programs dropdown menu at the top of the website to make these easy to browse. 

Each loan program has its own landing page with a clear structure that helps explain the program. 

We like to include FAQs (which can also help you show up on Google), a sidebar with a quick summary of the most important benefits, CTA buttons throughout the page, and progressive forms to encourage visitors to get in touch with you.

Mortgage calculators

Online calculators inform the consumer of realistic price ranges so they get an idea of what they can actually afford. 

Once consumers have played around with the numbers, they’ll be more comfortable reaching out to a loan officer.

These can be included on the loan officer’s own page or on any other landing pages or relevant content posts.

Mortgage rates

Adding mortgage rate charts helps consumers see overall trends. 

If rates are dropping, it might encourage consumers to move quickly on getting a mortgage. If rates are increasing, it can also encourage people to shop quicker before rates rise higher.

Your rates don’t have to match these national rates for borrowers. This can serve as a reference point to help you explain to a borrower why they were approved at their specific rate.

Common lender website flaws and frustrations

Awareness of common website flaws and user frustrations can help you avoid them. The following is a list of common mistakes we see on mortgage websites. 

Generic web design or WordPress theme

A huge (slow loading) header image or slider with a unique value proposition, positioning statement, or Call-to-Action (CTA) will discourage users. Your customer is forced to wait and scroll past this arbitrary and useless design feature. 

Boring, general copy 

The loan product page should have more than just a generic list of loan programs, i.e conventional refinance, FHA loan, VA loan, etc. Use this opportunity to sharpen your sales skills. Good copy is just your best personable sales approach in writing. 

No clear path to my personal mortgage situation

Most lenders really miss the opportunity to guide their borrowers to the right path for their situation: first-time homebuyers, homeowners trying to figure out if they should refinance, a veteran trying to use their benefits, a new doctor looking for a mortgage that ignores their massive student loan debt, etc. 

The copy on each loan product page could illustrate each of these scenarios so users can find their situation on your site. 

No content or tools to help me research my situation

The vast majority of mortgage lender websites have less than a dozen pages, no indication of current interest rates or trends, and no mortgage calculators to run a few what-if scenarios. 

This lack of content causes two big problems. First, there is nothing unique or interesting for Google to add to its search engine index, which means no visitors. Second, even if you did get a few visitors there isn’t any information to help them research their mortgage needs.

A few informational blogs or infographics are easy enough to create. The educational content is the most important part, so don’t worry if your design or writing skills aren’t perfect. 

No way to get a rate quote or loan options

No quick and obvious way to get a rate quote or connect with a local branch or loan officer is a missed opportunity. Too often we make people hunt for a phone number or a generic contact page. Then, that call or contact form often doesn’t immediately route to a loan officer.

Honestly, these aren’t hard problems to fix. But, they do require your web design and development team to have some knowledge and experience in the mortgage business. More specifically, experience giving prospective borrowers what they need to engage with a mortgage lender online.

Progressive forms are a great way to guide the user along the journey you want them to.

Drive highly qualified traffic to your mortgage website using SEO

There’s nothing better than free website traffic, but as you know, it doesn’t come easy. And that’s especially true in the ultra-competitive lending niche. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making a website as easy as possible for Google to find so it will show up on its search engine results pages (SERP) for users to find.

This is primarily done by writing blog posts and website copy that incorporate commonly searched-for keywords. Adding links to other authoritative websites throughout your website also makes it stronger and more easily found by Google.

Producing a steady stream of posts is important for getting your website into Google’s search engine. The more content you have, the more opportunities there are for people to find you through Google.

Keyword research for mortgage lenders

A big part of SEO Is knowing which primary and secondary keywords to target. Keyword research will allow you to answer questions such as:

  • Which keywords will drive traffic with “buyer intent?”
  • What is the monthly search volume of each keyword?
  • What is the competition associated with each keyword?

You must have a clear view of which keywords best align with your business. If you guess and miss, you’ll end up chasing traffic that doesn’t convert. 

Rate and review websites

Rate and review websites can work in your favor in two essential ways:

  • Positive reviews can improve local SEO.
  • Positive reviews can give consumers the confidence needed to contact your company.

Another option is to list reviews on your website with this providing benefits such as:

  • Greater control over the reviews you display.
  • Your visitors’ Google review searches will take them directly to your website, not another website.
  • Your reviews will act as social proof, making your website look more legitimate and trustworthy.
  • Showing reviews on your website can boost sales and conversions. 

Getting specific with loan program landing pages

As noted above, landing pages for specific loan programs can drive targeted organic traffic. 

Each landing page should have a primary keyword to focus on. Examples include:

  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • Mortgage refinance in [city or state]

When people search online for these terms, your goal is for the appropriate loan program page to display as a relevant search result for that page. 

Content marketing for mortgage lenders

Blogging and other content creation is all the rage, and for good reason—it works. 

Content is all about answering your audience’s questions by producing informative and valuable deliverables and downloadables for them to find in their targeted searches. This marketing goes hand-in-hand with SEO. 

Many people think of content marketing as blog writing. Blog writing makes up the majority of digital marketing for mortgage lenders, but there are numerous types of content out there for people to find, including:

  • Social media posts
  • Video content
  • Whitepapers
  • Slide decks
  • Infographics

The more you experiment with each option the more you’ll understand which ones generate the best results. 

Blogging about mortgages to draw customers to your website

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.

Grow your audience and database with lead magnets

This is all about growing your email list. Think of lead magnets as super-comprehensive blog posts that require a person to share their email address for access. Lead magnets are often in the form of PDFs and allow you to further explain a concept or compile all your expertise about a topic into one document. In the end, you grow your email list with their contact information, while also providing the person with valuable content. 

Other forms of content marketing formats for lenders

In addition to the above, other forms of content include:

  • Ebooks
  • Guides
  • Webinars
  • Case studies
  • Podcast
  • Newsletters

Social media marketing for mortgage lenders

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:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Whatsapp
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Snapchat
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter 
  • LinkedIn

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, and 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 about changing mortgage rates or other industry topics.

How to use PPC for mortgage lenders

Free website traffic is great, but it takes time for your web pages to rise to the top of page one. And of course, there’s no guarantee that will ever happen.

When you combine SEO with pay-per-click (PPC) traffic, you get the best of both worlds. 

Google Ads and Facebook Ads allow you to capture the attention of consumers who are interested in buying a home or refinancing their current mortgage. 

Highly-targeted ads are shown to people actively searching for mortgages online.

For example, 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 (above the top-ranked websites). This is the power of PPC ads, allowing lesser-known websites to position themselves above their top competitors.

The one thing you never want to forget is that PPC costs money upfront. You can quickly burn through thousands of dollars, so it’s best to do the following:

  • Start with a small budget and add to it.
  • Keep a close eye on your return on investment (ROI).
  • Hire a PPC expert. 

These three points aren’t a replacement for a comprehensive PPC strategy, but you can use them as an overarching guide to managing your plan. 

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 business 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 have come to rely on experienced digital marketing agencies.

Facebook Ads for mortgage marketing

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.

Email marketing for mortgage lenders

Get this: 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months.

Email marketing isn’t dead—far from it. With the right strategy, it’s a powerful and effective (not to mention, affordable) way to reach and engage your audience.

Mortgage email marketing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the process of using email messages to communicate with prospective clients and customers. 

Sales and marketing automation drip sequences for outreach and follow-ups

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 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 a 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.

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.

  1. 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. 
  2. Vary 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.
  3. Use their first name when addressing them. This is easy to set up and is really effective at adding a personal touch.
  4. Always include a call-to-action in everything you send. Schedule an appointment, read more on our website, click to call, download now, etc. Buttons can often be added to your messages to emphasize the call-to-action and link to where you want them to go.

Lead generation for mortgage lenders

It’s one thing to implement a comprehensive mortgage marketing strategy. It’s another thing entirely to generate leads from it. That’s what matters most as leads are best positioned to be converted into customers. 

Converting web traffic into leads with lead paths and progressive contact 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. 

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.

Generally, it will work something like this:

The visitor sees a button that says “Get a Free Quote.” They click on it.

The form asks “Are you buying or refinancing?” From there, depending on what was selected, a new question appears. 

Soon, after answering a few quick questions, the visitor gets to the last page of the form where they enter their contact info and press “Submit.”

These forms are a great way to generate leads and kick off the lending process with a new customer.

Don’t do anything that could potentially scare away an interested customer. Make the process of sharing information and getting in touch as simple as possible. You can lean on progressive contact forms to do just that. 

What to do when you secure 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.

  • Use software to track leads and manage follow-ups: Doing this manually takes too much time and energy. Use software to track and follow up with leads. It’s the most efficient and effective way to keep your pipeline clean.  
  • Don’t wait to contact a lead: They’re probably considering other lenders. The longer you wait to contact a lead the greater chance there is that another lender will step in and steal your business. 
  • Use their preferred communication method (if you know it): If a lead wants you to contact them via email, do so. If they ask you to call, that’s fine too. If you don’t know a prospect’s preferred method of communication, ask them early in the process. 
  • Track all communication: You have too many leads to rely on your memory. Just as you’re tracking new and existing leads, track all communication too. The last thing you want to do is miss out on a sale due to a lack of communication or miscommunication. 
  • Abandon the lead after you’ve exhausted all your options: You want to give yourself every last chance to make a sale. If you bail out too soon, you eliminate the chance of doing so. 

Learn more

Want to learn even more about our proven framework for marketing your mortgage business? Download our free 90-day plan, guarenteed to help you generate leads!
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Top marketing tips and tools for mortgage lenders

You need all the help you can get when managing a marketing program in a highly competitive niche like mortgage lending. Fortunately, there are plenty of tips you can follow to get on and stay on the right track. If nothing else, remember these five things:

1. Build awareness for your brand

This isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes many months, and even years, to build awareness for your brand. The space is crowded, but there’s always room for one more. Stick with your plan and watch your brand grow. 

2. Engage with borrowers online first

Gone are the days when mortgage lenders would first connect with potential buyers over the phone. This may happen from time to time, but your first engagement should generally come online. The internet provides the opportunity to collect information in a low-pressure environment. 

3. Customize and personalize each engagement

Forget about sending out “blanket emails” that look the same as every other mortgage lender. Customize and personalize each agreement to make an immediate connection with the lead. Putting in this effort up front will pay off dividends in the long run. 

4. Use technology to scale

You can only do so much without technology. There’s only so much you can do with manual processes. Your time is precious and you must spend it on tasks that will move the needle. 

5. Follow-up

Yes, there will come a point when a lead is no longer worth pursuing. But don’t give up on a lead before you give yourself a chance to make a sale. Use new content or updates about loan products as a reason to reach out again.

Analytical tools and software

As for analytical tools and software, here are some effective options to consider.

  • Google Analytics: For tracking traffic, demographics, bounce rate, and more. 
  • Google Search Console: Use in cooperation with Google Analytics for a clear understanding of how your website is performing in the search results.
  • SEMrush: A keyword research tool that also allows you to uncover competitor marketing strategies and tactics. 
  • Ahrefs: An all-in-one SEO tool for finding new marketing opportunities. 
  • SpyFu: A tool to expose the search marketing formula of competitors. 

Don’t ever shy away from using analytical tools and software. Experiment, compare results and continually narrow down your list of the most important tools. 

Kaleidico — A mortgage marketing agency

Kaleidico is a digital marketing company and lead generation agency with over 15 years of experience in both marketing and the mortgage industry.

We understand the mortgage 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 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.

About Chris Bibey
Chris Bibey is a freelance writer with 15+ years of experience in the insurance and finance industries. Clients include Sales Hacker, Outreach, Discover, PayChex, and Moran Insurance. He has also worked as Head of Sales for Verma Media.

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