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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   January 2011

Tackle 2011 with a Strong E-mail Plan

The right approach can build your client list and help overcome challenges

Today's mortgage brokers face several challenges, including:

  • Client acquisition and conversion. The mortgage industry is competitive. Acquiring new clients is one of the greatest challenges new and experienced brokers face.
  • Relationship building. The better brokers are at building relationships, the better they'll be at ensuring loyalty, retaining customers and earning referrals.
  • Keeping up with online developments. Most customers start their search for mortgage rates and other information online. Brokers must have a strong online presence if they want to achieve a high level of success.

As 2011 gets under way, you can resolve to overcome these hurdles through e-mail marketing, which offers practical, cost-effective and results-driven solutions to each of these challenges. The best e-mail marketing lets mortgage professionals target specific audiences. Known as segmenting, this strategy filters lists based on collected information such as:

  • The price range prospects have listed for their home purchase;
  • Credit scores; and
  • Prospects' preferred property type, be it a condo in the heart of a city or a rural retreat.

Using segmented lists also can help you stay engaged with homebuyers throughout their purchasing cycle. You can send e-mails based on buyers' location, family size and home-search criteria. You also can track which recipients open each piece you send and which don't. This information can help you shape different follow-up pieces.

To make an even bigger impact this year, consider incorporating social media into your e-mail marketing efforts. If you don't already have one, create a Facebook page for your business. Use it to repackage information you send by e-mail. Share the link to your Facebook page with your e-mail subscribers and suggest they share it with their friends. Consider motivating them with a special offer, such as a discount you've worked out with a local business, if they promote your updates on their own pages. When you do this successfully, you will create new audiences that can help you build your list of contacts.

Be sure to include a signup form on your Facebook page that lets people opt in to your e-mail marketing service. Use the data collected to segment your e-mail list. Then, drive engagement by sending personalized e-mails that link to relevant conversations on Facebook.

Twitter also offers a channel to republish e-newsletter content and promotions. The difference is that you must do so in 140 characters or fewer for each post, or tweet. 

You can tweet special deals, opportunities, and news about home sales and refinancing. You also can recommend other industry professionals. Doing so should lead to more referrals. Include links and an easy way for your Twitter followers to opt in to your e-mails.

Also consider using an e-mail marketing service that includes reporting on who clicks on which links. This way, you can continue to use those that prove popular. 

By implementing a strong e-mail marketing program and building it with smart use of social media, you can grow your prospect list and tackle many of the challenges facing the mortgage industry this year.


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