last Updated 15 April 2024

A Complete Guide to Mortgage Email Marketing

If you thought that mortgage email marketing was no longer one of the most effective marketing strategies available to you as a mortgage broker or loan officer, it’s time to think again. 

Perhaps because email has been around for so long in the digital marketing space, some think it has had its day.

Email was developed in about 1971, and in 1976, Queen Elizabeth sent her first email. We have been blighted by spam since about 1994, and Hotmail launched in 1996. When you consider that Google launched in 1998 and Facebook is still a stroppy teenager, having been born in 2004, email may well seem like old technology destined for that scrap heap of video tapes and Palm digital organisers. 

But the reason that email marketing has lasted for so long and is still going strong is that it remains one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to reach your chosen audience with your marketing messages. 

Hubspot reports that in 2022 

  • 37% of brands increased their email marketing budgets. 

  • 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement

  • 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach their customers. 

  • 99% of email users check their inboxes daily 

  • 58% check their inboxes first thing in the morning. 

With statistics such as those, the question to be asked should perhaps be, “why do you not have an email marketing campaign for your mortgage or loan business?”

Is email marketing really right for a mortgage or loan business? 

- A Complete Guide to Mortgage Email Marketing

One of the objections that might be raised to an email marketing campaign is that a mortgage is a big purchase for most buyers. It is something that they will only need a few times in their lifetime.

So what is the point in emailing someone who might not need your services for another 10 years or so? 

There is some merit in this argument if you are only looking to send transactional emails if you are just trying to sell products to your current clients. Why not remove them from your list once the transaction is completed? 

But to do so would mean missing out on many of the opportunities that a mortgage email marketing campaign can provide to your financial services business.

Email marketing should primarily be about building and nurturing relationships with clients and potential clients rather than simply as a selling channel.  You want to be the business that someone thinks of when they are looking to raise finance now and in the future. 

This is the advantage mortgage email marketing has over other forms of marketing. It is difficult to build a relationship with paid ads or the one-way traffic that most blogs and websites represent. 

One of the most important factors behind successful email marketing is that it is based upon the consent of the recipient. They have agreed to give you their email address, usually in return for you providing something of value to them, such as an e-book. They expect you to email them to offer them more of the same. If they want the information you gave them in exchange for their email address, there is a good chance that they will be interested in what you have to say next.

Cold vs warm emails

Your email list will be one of your mortgage business's most valuable marketing assets, provided you build and maintain it correctly. 

 It should be a list of people who know who you are, what you can do for them and they have given you consent to communicate with them. They are what we call a warm audience.

A cold audience will be hard work, and a lot of it, for little return. They don’t know who you are and have little reason to trust you. Sending a “selling email” to someone you don’t know is like walking up to someone at a networking event and immediately pitching a sale. If you do it to 100 people, you might find one ready to buy, but you’ve annoyed the other 99, who now do not want to do business with you. 

A 3-step guide to building your email list

- A Complete Guide to Mortgage Email Marketing

First, dangle a carrot

People aren’t going to give you their email address and join your mailing list without a good reason.

So you need a hook - something that will encourage them to subscribe and which also gives them a taster of the kind of useful info they’re going to get from you over the coming weeks and months once they’ve joined your list.

The technical term for this kind of hook is a “lead magnet”.

The most common kind of lead magnet is a free guide - ideally something that will solve a problem or a pain point that your ideal client has.

For example, if your ideal client is a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage, then you’ll know that a common pain point they have is the lack of a big enough deposit. 

So a good lead magnet for this audience would be a free guide called 5 Ways to Save Up the Deposit for Your First Home Without Canceling Your Netflix Subscription.

The guide itself doesn’t need to be lengthy - just something that, in this example, gives the reader five actionable tips that will help them get a deposit together faster. 

If you want to know more about how to come up with a good topic for a lead magnet and how to create a professional-looking PDF guide like this, then check out this article on my blog.

Then get them to say yes

The second ingredient you need is a simple way for people to give you their name and email address in return for getting a copy of your lead magnet. This is called an opt-in form.

There are various tools that will help you easily create attractive looking opt-in forms that you can embed into your website. My favourite one that I use myself is called Thrive Leads, which you can get as part of a set of website tools called Thrive Suite.

Using a tool like Thrive Leads, you can easily design in-line opt-in forms that appear within your blog posts or you can have pop-up forms that appear when someone first lands on your site or when they click a particular button.

I’ve talked about opt-in forms in more detail in this article.

Tip: Although you want to provide instant access, consider asking the potential client to verify or confirm their consent in a follow up email before you add them to your list. This two step process ensures that the potential client really does want to be added. 

Get people to know, like and trust you

Once you’ve got someone to download your lead magnet and join your list, the final step is to send them a series of follow-up emails.

Your goal with these is to get your new prospect to know, like and trust you, so as they’ll be more likely to want to do business with you.

So these follow-up emails shouldn’t be overt sales messages. Instead, they should be emails that provide further useful information that will be helpful and relevant for your ideal type of client.

- A Complete Guide to Mortgage Email Marketing

Developing your email marketing campaign

You are building your list and it is now time to start considering what you want to do with your email marketing.  As with any marketing, you should have a clearly defined objective and a strategy to achieve that objective. 

  • You may want to move potential clients closer to instructing you to find them the right mortgage deal

  • Perhaps it is time to share news of a special offer that you have

  • You may want to re-engage with potential clients who have downloaded your quote but not pursued their enquiry any further

  • You may want to advise potential, current and past clients of a blog post that you have just written

  • You may want to touch base with a former client so that they remember you next time they need a service from you, or perhaps to refer you to someone they know

  • You may want to welcome a new client and explain the full range of mortgage services that you can offer them

The same email, or mortgage drip campaign will not be appropriate for all of the potential clients that you may have.

Imagine the reaction from that new client whose mortgage you have just completed if they receive a newsletter from you with details of a better deal. Not good. 

And now imagine that same client who has just moved into their new home and who then receives an email from you congratulating them on their purchase. They are likely to feel pretty well disposed toward you. A perfect time to ask them for a recommendation, referral or review?

Mortgage Email Campaign Best Practices

Segmentation

Most email providers will enable you to divide your list into different categories so that you can provide different campaigns to different categories of clients. Segmentation of your list of clients means that you can provide information that is relevant to a particular type of client and exclude promotions that are not relevant. 

This is important because if you bombard a potential or current client with information that is not relevant to them, they begin to resent the intrusion into their inbox and may unsubscribe.

- A Complete Guide to Mortgage Email Marketing

Automation

You can set up mortgage email templates for some or even all of each campaign. You might have a campaign for a new client and a separate email for a client that has downloaded your quote but not proceeded further. An existing client will want different information. You could perhaps provide an email newsletter to existing clients to keep them warm.

Let’s look at an example of a template that could be sent out.

- A Complete Guide to Mortgage Email Marketing

This email is aimed at someone who has downloaded a quote from your website. You don’t know John, and John doesn’t know you. The chances are that he is taking a few quotes from different mortgage brokers. What you want him to do is to call you so that you can start to show him that you are the broker that he needs. 

John is probably not ready to buy yet. He is still in the research and evaluation stage, so an email to him saying Buy Now is unlikely to be persuasive. If you simply say that rates are likely to increase, will he think that you are trying to manipulate him? But if you talk about his needs and how you can help and make it easy for him to call, you increase the chances that he will do so. 

If you have set up your email automation system correctly, that email will go out to him automatically after he has downloaded your quote. The same email will also go to Kevin and Jill and everybody else. The software picks up the first name from the information John or Kevin has provided and all you have to do is take the call if it is made. 

Now let’s look at Catherine, who took out a mortgage with you a few months ago.

- A Complete Guide to Mortgage Email Marketing

You are not trying to sell Catherine anything here. You may not sell building insurance. But building insurance is something that she needs. She probably already has it, taking out when she took out the mortgage as a condition of the mortgage. 

And you know that she will need to renew it. The point of this email is to refer her back to your website, so she remembers you and remembers that you are helpful. And when she comes to renew her insurance, she will remember your post, and may even go back to the website to remind herself of what you have advised. 

And remember of course that email can be a two way process. Invite your readers to email you back… perhaps with ideas about future content for your next blog post or to ask them about the things that worry them about their mortgage. 

You can put together a sequence to go out at a sensible regularity appropriate to each category. With John who is not yet a client, you might email him every day with a different message, following up on the original contact with you until either he gives you a call, or you decide that you’re flogging a dead horse. 

Catherine is a client already and almost certainly doesn’t want an email from you every day. Once a fortnight or once a month may be a better posting period. This campaign is all about keeping you at the front of her mind. Even if she doesn’t open your emails, every time she sees an email from you in her inbox, she is reminded of you and what you have done for her. This can lead to repeat or referral business.

Personalisation

You will note that both emails are addressed using the recipient’s first name, drawn from the information that the recipient provided. 

I mentioned earlier that you could obtain the potential client’s date of birth in the initial sign up stage. It is not out of place in a mortgage enquiry to ask for a date of birth, and now you can send them an email on their birthday to wish them a happy birthday… and most definitely not to ask them about their mortgage needs. 

This helps to persuade the recipient to open it. You can take this personalisation a step further by writing this template email as if you were writing to just that one person. You are writing as if you were writing to a friend. You will use simple language which is free of industry jargon because this is what will resonate more with the reader. Simple, jargon free language helps to build trust, whether it is on your website, your Facebook page, or in the emails you send out. 

Subject Lines

- A Complete Guide to Mortgage Email Marketing

It’s all very well writing a great email but if the email remains unopened, then it doesn’t matter how good the email is, the recipient isn’t going to read it. 

Try this little exercise. Open your inbox and decide which ones you are going to open, which ones you are going to ignore and which you are going to delete. 

There are probably two factors behind your decision.  Who they are from, and the subject line. 

If you recognise who the email is from, then you are more likely to open it. If the email is coming from info@, or sales@, you will think that this is a generic email and will be less likely to spend time opening it and reading it. If, on the other hand, you receive an email from paul@bestmortgages.co.uk, you know that it is from someone that you know and that he might have something interesting to say to you. 

And the second factor is the subject line. Does it make you want to open it and see what the email has to say?

You might say that the subject line is perhaps the most important part of the email. Without an effective subject line that says to the recipient, “Open me, there’s something good in here for you,” there is a good chance that the recipient will not open it. 

This is where looking at the emails you receive is important. You can analyse what caused you to open something or not. You will also want to have a look at your customer persona and in particular, at the things that are of concern to your ideal client.

So, taking as an example the Catherine we emailed about the post on our website, do you think she is more interested in the best price she can get for home insurance or would she be more interested in learning about the things to watch for in her home insurance? 

It is likely to be the latter. She will want to know whether she has got the right buildings insurance and your article is going to help her decide that and whether she needs to do anything about it.

Email Marketing Software

Email marketing campaigns remain one of the best marketing tools available to your mortgage business because of the ability to send the right messages to the right people at the right time. And the cost remains relatively small with no advertising costs, no stamps, and no printing costs. 

There is no doubt that such email marketing efforts can be time consuming, but software helps bring marketing automation to the process and it would be very difficult to run any campaigns effectively with some degree of automation. 

I have another here which will help you choose the best email marketing software

So, build your email list of subscribers by providing them with some valuable information in exchange for their email address. Retain those subscribers with more valuable information and not just sales messages. Segment your list so that you send the right messages to the right people at the right time.  Automate the process as much as you can with the right software. 

Keep it personalised with a view to building good relationships with the people on that list. These are your friends, friends that you are helping, and who can help you. 

Once you have this sort of mindset with your email marketing, you will understand why so many marketers describe your email marketing list as your most valuable asset, something that you own and which is not affected by Google or Facebook changing their algorithms or a particular channel disappearing.

Conclusion

If you don’t have an email marketing campaign up and running, now would be a good time to start. 

Start small and let it grow gradually. The email you write today for that first client may well be the same email you write to your 100th subscriber in a year’s time. And if you are only writing one email a week, you have 52 emails to send to that 100th subscriber in a year’s time. 

If you are still finding the process a little daunting or time consuming, you will find some further free resources to help you on my website. It’s also a subject we cover regularly in my membership programme, helping members incorporate successful email marketing campaigns into their marketing. 

And of course I do offer a done for you service if you need any further help or assistance. 

So, are you ready to start? 

About the author 

David Miles

As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.

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