9 Hidden Secrets to a Powerful Mortgage Marketing Letter
Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #1: Know your readers well – You can’t influence everyone, so why waste time and money contacting consumers who have no interest in your mortgage services? It’s vital that you thoroughly research the most appropriate way to reach your target audience.
How you generate the contact information for the people you’re sending your mortgage marketing letter to is not as important as who receives that message. There are numerous companies that will create worthwhile lists of potential customers who might need your lending services. Most likely, the names were collected because the person showed a prior interest in purchasing or refinancing a home.
You could also create a list yourself. Organize a free giveaway that entices the people you want to reach. In return for the complimentary product/service you give away, ask for each person’s name and mailing address. Be prepared, though, as some people might be hesitant to offer this information. You’ll want to emphasis the information is for internal use and will not be shared with outside parties.
Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #2: Grab your reader’s attention immediately with an offer – You only have seconds before a reader gets bored and moves on, so use your time wisely. How is your lending company different from the competition? Whether the benefit(s) you’re providing to your customers is a risk-free offer or a unique service, make sure it’s the first point your reader sees.
Your offer might include free information, a no obligation consultation, a contest, an exclusive invitation or a limited-time discount.
One of the most common mistakes marketing writers make is to focus their writing toward an aspect of the lending firm that is too obvious. How many times have you seen a mortgage marketing letter praising a company’s customer service as its competitive edge? As a consumer, you assume any lending firm you work with will be able to service your needs at a high level. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t contact them in the first place. So determine another facet of the business that sets you apart from your competitors. With a little creativity you should be able to find something that makes your lending firm unique.
Also, avoid the urge to copy the marketing techniques used by other companies in your field. Not only is this unoriginal, but it will cause you to duplicate a plan that might not be effective. No one else knows your business better than you, so don’t be afraid to take a risk with your mortgage marketing copy.
Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #3: Tell your audience what you want (your call to action) – How are your readers going to know what you want from your mortgage marketing letter if you don’t tell them? Yes, I know this seems obvious, but far too often this important step is forgotten.
For example, if you want your potential customer to call for a free consultation, include a phone number (toll-free is always best) that will allow your readers to talk with a live person. The fastest way for your new customers to lose interest is by answering the call with a recording – especially when you’re encouraging their phone calls.
The popularity of the Internet has led some lending companies to use a call to action that encourages readers to visit their websites (e.g., Visit us online today at [http://www.xyzlendingcompany.com] to fill out your loan application).
Another common request in lending companies’ marketing letters is to have the reader respond back with a postage-paid mailer. This is effective because many people view filling out a card and returning it less of a hassle than a phone call. Here’s a reminder for your return mailers: Be sure to clearly restate your offer because some people will skip your mortgage marketing letter altogether and go right to the response card.
In addition to explaining your call to action, let readers know what type of person is ideal for your lending program. If you’re a large firm specializing in helping people with bad credit secure loans, tell your readers. On the flip side, if you don’t want to deal with low credit scores, make this fact known. By narrowing down your audience, you’ll demonstrate a niche, which often leads to increased credibility.
Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #4: Establish a deadline to encourage immediate action – Once you’ve hooked your readers with the offer and explained the action you want them to take, set a deadline for responses. You could even present discounts or special deals as incentives for acting quickly. This would also be a good time to re-introduce that magic four-letter “F” word – FREE. After all, when was the last time “free” failed to grab your attention?
For those times when you need your readers to act even faster, take the deadline a step further by making your offer available to only a select number of customers. A benefit of this technique is that the readers who respond will feel like a select member of an elite group.
Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #5: Back your offer up with a guarantee – Your writing won’t persuade anyone unless you’re convinced first. So state your message confidently and back it up with a guarantee. A lending company that uses a guarantee will almost always be perceived as more credible than a firm that doesn’t apply this writing tip.
Your guarantee can cover your pricing, customer service, response time, the time it takes to close the loan, etc. The benefit of a guarantee is that your readers will feel like there is limited risk when contacting you or trying your service.
Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #6: Use basic words or phrases that create visual images – Active verbs and attention-grabbing adjectives are the best way to create visual images in your readers’ minds – but don’t get too carried away. Also, write to your audience in a tone and vocabulary they understand (studies show most people read at an 8th grade level). Frequent use of the words “you” and “your” is one effective way to communicate directly with a reader.
Creating mental images in the minds of potential customers will require separate techniques for different audiences. A wealthy, well-educated businessman doesn’t develop the same visual images as a young newlywed who just purchased his first home. This statement might seem obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many mortgage marketing letters I see that are improperly targeted to a mass audience of varied and unrelated consumers.
Connecting with a reader on an emotional level is the primary key in getting your message to sink in. You want your readers to feel like the text is speaking directly to them. So put yourself in their shoes. Why would your offer be appealing to your readers? If you don’t know, ask your customers why they’re funding their mortgage with you. This can be done through a mailed survey or over-the-phone conversations. Not only will you receive valuable feedback, you’ll also find the most effective ways to write your mortgage marketing copy.
Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #7: Use testimonials from satisfied customers – Consumers relate to people who are similar to them. Luckily for you, satisfied customers are more than happy to volunteer praise. To back up your marketing message, get a few flattering remarks in writing and match those testimonials to the needs of your target audience. What are the unique selling propositions you stress? Get people to praise those specific aspects of your lending company.
For any testimonial, the two questions you want answered are the following: Prior to using XYZ’s lending services, what challenges were you facing? And, now that the service is complete, how is your situation different? Vague statements such as “Your service is great!” or “This lending program works well.” fail to give details as to why your lending company is better than the competition.
When it’s time to collect testimonials, don’t wait. Timing is an essential component when developing an effective testimonial. The longer you wait, the less likely your chances are for getting useful feedback. Approach your clients with a testimonial request while their satisfaction is still at its peak.
And a final point about your testimonials – always use your source’s full name and location. Limiting a person’s name to initials only leaves a reader guessing the validity of the statement. When people put their names next to comments about your lending company, you can be sure they support your services.
Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #8: Use an appropriate length with bullets and subheads – The length of your marketing letter will depend on the situation, but longer is not necessarily better. As with any type of marketing copy, strive for quality over quantity and make certain each word is a necessary component to the sentence.
A common rule of thumb in direct-mail writing is the more expensive the item or service, the longer the letter. If your offer is strong enough, your audience won’t mind reading a lengthy explanation.
When it comes to formatting your mortgage marketing letter, don’t forget about bullets, subheads and white space. Your reader will feel overwhelmed when presented with large blocks of text without any spaces between the paragraphs. Bulleted text gives readers an opportunity to pause while scanning for the most important points in your letter. Shorter paragraphs (1-3 sentences) allow your audience time to fully comprehend the information without feeling the need to keep reading.
Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #9: Conclude with a postscript (P.S.) – One of the most popular techniques used by letter writers for encouraging immediate action is through a postscript, that is, a “P.S.” Some studies have shown that many readers scan down the page to the P.S. before they read anything else. That means there’s a chance some of the most essential components to your letter won’t even get a glance.
So, whether your reader jumps to the last few lines of your letter or reads every word, you want to make sure your P.S. statement is convincing enough that your reader wants to take action. You may even want to restate your proposition in the P.S.
Additional ideas to consider in your mortgage marketing letter:
• Test your letter on a small group of people before mailing to your entire list.
• Make sure your letter is formatted so it meets postal specifications.
• Be honest. Readers know when you’re trying to trick them with false offers.
• Find a successful marketing letter and hand-write it word for word. As you do this more and more, your subconscious mind will begin remembering the effective techniques used by other authors.
• Spend some time testing teasers for your envelope.
• Come up with a reliable method for tracking your mailings (e.g., codes, phone numbers, etc.)