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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   March 2005

Remember the 12 Rules of Marketing Loans

When using advertisements to market commercial loans, it pays to remember the following 12 rules about today’s market.

 1. Go specific with your advertisements, as they out-pull generic ones by a 3-to-1 ratio. A full-page ad saying, “We do stated income, bad credit and this and that” will not pull as well as an ad explaining the one program you do better then everyone else and why you’re better.

 2. Follow a direct-mail piece or letter with a phone call; it can multiply your conversion percentages by five. Market every lead this way.

 3. Let each marketing effort work five times. It’s the “law of five,” the No. 1 rule in marketing. Follow up with leads as many as five times — if not, you might stop before they bear fruit. After I spent a month marketing my first seminar, my first audience was all of five people. But I stuck with it for five more months. By then, my audience grew to 25.

 4. Test small with a light cash outlay and go large when you have a winner. Never sink a lot of money into an unproven lead source without testing it first.

 5. Always ask how high is “high.” Never be satisfied with your ad results — always test. Test headlines, lists, follow-up systems, etc.

 6. Seek “free” investment returns whenever possible by leveraging existing pieces. For example, adding “We also specialize in commercial mortgages” to your existing ad costs nothing but can draw more loans. It also helps your company stand out among its competitors.

 7. Tell the customers what’s in it for them in your headline. Ask yourself this before you send off your ads.

 8. Use the most powerful word in all of marketing: “free.” Give away a free book with customers’ first calls, urge them to call for “free information,” advertise a free service you already offer, etc.

 9. Pay attention to your first and last lines, as that’s all that most people read. Clearly and compellingly, these lines should tell customers what is in it for them.

 10. Hand-address and stamp plain white envelopes, as they out-pull other direct-mail pieces. This works great on small mailouts, though it is impossible with larger projects.

 11. Remember your ABCs — “Always Be Closing.” This applies to everything you do for your business. Advertising merely for name recognition works for companies with large budgets, but the rest of us need clear investment returns.

 12. Embrace and utilize value-added marketing — the No. 1 marketing form today. Whenever possible, consistently try to add value to your marketing pieces.

These 12 rules are simple but powerful. Better yet, they will help you grow your business.


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