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?
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.
Mortgage Email Campaign Best Practices
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.
Building your list
Few potential clients will give you their email addresses and consent to communicate with them unless you offer them something first. None of us wants to be bombarded with emails from people we don’t know.
The starting point will usually be some valuable information that is relevant to the potential client and which they can download, for which they will need to provide you with their email address.
The call to action to download this information could be on your website or a dedicated landing page. It could be on your Facebook page. You could post some of the information on a LinkedIn post connected to a landing page. It could be a link in your email signature. And, of course, it could be all of these possibilities.
It takes time to build a good email list and it is important to avoid any shortcuts, such as buying a list or emailing people who have not consented to receive information from you. The value is in the consent but also in demonstrating that you are a reliable mortgage professional, someone your client can know, like and trust.
You want to make it easy for the potential client to gain instant access to whatever you are offering, but at the same time to gain the information you need to market to them effectively.
First name is very important as you will see in the sections below. An email address is of course, essential. And you may want to consider a date of birth again for reasons which will appear below. Do you really need to collect any further information? A surname perhaps, but you should have a good reason for collecting any further information at this stage of the customer’s journey with you.
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.
The valuable information
You will have been in the same position that your potential client is in. You’ve read something of interest, you want some more information and have downloaded it, only to find that it is underwhelming and disappointing.
The chances are that you will either ignore any future emails or will unsubscribe.
It is therefore important to consider carefully what is important to your potential client. What will really add value to them and be relevant to them? We have spoken before about the importance of establishing a niche within a mortgage business, and so your valuable information and email marketing campaign should be centred around that niche. This is an opportunity to develop your expertise in that niche.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com, 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.
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?