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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   March 2018

Put Your Sig Line to Work

Get full marketing potential out of your e-mail with one simple trick

Put Your Sig Line to Work

When sending any e-mail, it is important to think of it as marketing material and not just a form of quick communication. Every e-mail you send to someone is an opportunity to market your services to them, so don’t waste it by using just a standard signature line with your name, address, company name,
contact numbers and NMLS number.

Instead, kick your e-mails into overdrive by hyperlinking each of those elements to your professional website, company website or any other URL you would like recipients to visit. These links could include your blog, social media pages, a YouTube video you have produced, or any other online marketing piece you want to promote.

According to a 2012 study conducted by the software company Varonis Systems, the average person receives more than 50 e-mails a day and 25 percent of us receive more than 100. Taking a few extra minutes to create an impactful e-mail, therefore, can produce an untold return on your time by creating a lasting impression on those who receive your e-mails and also help you to start building a deeper relationship with them.

Mortgage originators can use every e-mail they send during the day to promote a new loan product their lender or parent company is currently offering. So, if you have access to a new downpayment-assistance program, combo-loan program or Jumbo loans with 10 percent downpayments and no mortgage insurance, for example, you can easily promote these programs by adding appropriate links to your sig line.

Any time you begin work on a purchase transaction, you can send an e-mail to all of the individuals involved — borrowers, Realtors and even the builder or seller — to introduce yourself and direct them via a link to read a blog or watch a video on what to expect during the loan process with you and your company. You can even introduce your team and list who to contact for information about loan processing. Get creative and build on how mortgage loans work, and take the time to assure everyone that you have their best interests in mind throughout the process.

Although bulk e-mailing needs to comply with anti-spam rules, your everyday emails to individuals — borrowers, potential clients, Realtor partners, builders, etc. — are not considered bulk, so you shouldn’t run afoul of those rules. If you have any questions, however, check with your compliance officer or attorney.

Create links

Adding a hyperlink to a line or image to make them clickable is easy in most e-mail programs. Generally, you just highlight the text or image you wish to make clickable and use the program’s insert hyperlink command to access the spot where you paste the web address or URL for the web page you wish to direct people to.

Check your e-mail program for specific commands or ask someone in your marketing department if you need help. Do not make your signature line overbearing by making every line clickable, however, because you will end up with a sig line that has every word underlined, which just creates clutter.

Any time you begin work on a purchase transaction, you can send an e-mail to all of the individuals involved. 

You can even automatically attach your hyperlinked sig lines to every e-mail you send. This is generally done through your e-mail signature settings. Again, check your program or find an e-mail guru if you need help.

Most e-mail programs even allow you to create numerous different custom signatures that you can tailor to different types of recipients. You can, for example, have specific sig lines for e-mails sent to new prospects, Realtors, new borrowers needing help with the loan process, prospects who have questions about the buying process, refinance clients, etc. Each signature can have a unique image and/or set of clickable phrases.

Add images

People like to click images. They garner much more attention than text links. This effect can be seen on social media sites every day, where images dominate news feeds. It’s like the images are just begging to be clicked.

Place the image above your name in the sig line to help draw attention to the signature area. Have fun with it and create an image with a play button or text that states “Click Here for More Information.” This lets readers know they will be directed to a video or a site with more information.

When first working with images in e-mail, make sure to send yourself a test e-mail before sending to clients. This gives you a chance to make sure the links work properly and the images are sized correctly. 

Most people open e-mails on their cell phones, so image size is key to avoid long loading times and images that don’t fit on small screens. Check the e-mail on your desktop computer and your cell phone to make sure everything looks right.

If you need help creating irresistible images that will make people want to click them, help can be found on the internet. Canva.com is a free site for creating images that is easy to set up and use. The YouTube image size is a good choice and canva.com allows you to play around with the colors and text. Bright colors are best, but it’s also a good idea to pick your company colors to stay in line with other marketing messages.

Have some fun with image creation because the excitement you bring to this will pay off with reader attention. Take selfies of yourself in action, with a big smile on your face or your thumbs up. Point to the play button or to the “Click Here” text. Be creative with the image but always remain professional. Use an image for no more than a month before changing it out for a new image. This makes sure that readers don’t see the same standard e-mail all the time.

Follow best practices

Setting up sig lines and image links is not terribly hard once you understand the basics, but there are tricks that marketing professionals know for getting the most of e-mail communications. Don’t make the e-mail to busy, for example, or readers won’t know where to click.

Also, make sure you clearly indicate what you want readers to do. Have them click an image or a line, for example, but not both. Many people who receive an e-mail with a lot going on will just move on.

Treat your business e-mails as part of your marketing efforts. Use them to share information and build trust. 

Stay on message and use no more than one or two colors for the wording. Generally, black or dark blue work best. Do not add a colorful back ground in the body of the e-mail because it will slow down load times and distract from the message itself. If you add social icons with links to your pages in your signature line, only link to your best two sites to avoid cluttering the e-mail.

Make sure you add your confidentiality and legal disclaimer below you signature line to remain in compliance and protect yourself. If you do not have one, consult compliance team or reach out to your state’s financial governing lending body for guidance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Integrate your marketing

You should treat your business e-mails as a vital part of your marketing efforts. Use them to share information and build trust, brand awareness and loyalty. Make every e-mail count by directing readers to websites where they can download a free e-book from you, watch a video you created on how to repair their credit, fill out their home-loan application online and more. The possibilities of where to you can direct people are endless.

Interactive e-mail sig lines don’t take long to create and can help you start building relationships right away. Mortgage professionals use e-mail every day to communicate with clients and referral partners without even a thought about using it to promote their services. With just a little effort, you can set up specific signature lines for every stage in the loan process, from application and data collection to underwriting, title search and closing. 

So, break away from standard, boring e-mail sig lines and put them to work as a vital part of your marketing and relationship-building efforts. You’ll be amazed when you start receiving calls from more real estate agents, escrow officers, transaction coordinators and others who followed a link and found out more about your services. Happy e-mailing.


 


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