Mortgage Marketing Guide for Loan Officers

Whether you've been a loan officer for 5 months or 5 years, you've likely tried your hand at different forms of marketing or lead generation. This guide is a timeless method for cutting through the noise and identifying the best strategies for growing your business, no matter what your business model or value proposition is. The Empower LO system was created by a producing loan officer, and we pride ourselves on being the #1 marketing partner for the front-line of the mortgage industry.

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Identify Goals for Your
Marketing Campaign

The first step of any good marketing campaign is to get clear on what it is that you're trying to accomplish. This step is almost too obvious, but is more important than you think. When it comes to your mortgage production, there are a lot of different reasons you could be attempting a new campaign, right? Maybe you want to increase the amount of free time you have in your business. Maybe you want to attract higher-quality borrowers.

Maybe you have a great business going now, and you just want to make sure that you can continue in the future without having to over-extend yourself. Or of course, what most loan officers are looking for with their marketing, you just want to increase your business as much as possible for as little work as possible. All of these different goals warrant a different approach. For example, if all you want is to increase your business, you might be willing to run marketing campaigns or generate/buy leads you wouldn't if your goal was to increase your average loan amount without increasing your effort per closed loan. Regardless of what your goals are, without identifying them before you start putting together your campaign, you're likely to miss the mark.

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Identify Your Strengths,
Weaknesses, and
Unique Value Proposition

Again, another point that just seems too cliche to be impactful right? Wrong. Knowing what makes you a good loan officer, what you struggle with, and why clients should work with you is foundational to starting an effective mortgage marketing campaign. If you're great with technology, your campaign should look completely different who's strength is their warm smile and handshake. Likewise, if your value proposition is how quickly you can close loans, you'll want to choose a marketing or a lead generating/lead purchasing campaign that will help you capitalize on that as best as possible.

If you're terrible at answering the phones and being on your A-game at the drop of a hat, you probably shouldn't choose to run a direct mail campaign with a phone number on the card that rings directly to your cell phone. On the contrary, if you're someone whose strengths are relentless follow-up, and unique value proposition is a very tech-driven experience for millennial homebuyers, marketing online or generating online leads is likely to be a good fit for you and your business.

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Choose The Right Channel
For Your Campaign

Alright, now we're getting into the meat and potatoes of running a successful mortgage marketing campaign. The next thing you need to do is choose where you're going to set up your marketing or mortgage lead gen campaign. If it's not obvious by now, you'll want to do this based on your first two steps. For example, let's say you're someone who's trying to automate more of your business so you can step away. Your weakness is that you're bad at answering the phone, but your strength is that you can close just about any loan thrown your way based on your product offerings and relentless attitude.

In this case, as in most cases, there are multiple different options you could consider. One option is to run an outbound mortgage email campaign targeting all of your current and prospective referral partners. Teach them about your outside-the-box loan offerings and ability to close tough leads. Or, you could run a direct response mortgage lead gen campaign using Google Ads and use automation/outsourcing as a way to slowly eliminate yourself from the process. You probably wouldn't want to run any campaigns that broadcast you as the unique value proposition, since your goal is to step back eventually.

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However, if your greatest strength was your ability to connect with buyers, and your unique value proposition was your top-notch communication every step of the way, and your goal was to become the top producer at your company, you may consider co-marketing with real estate agents based on what works best for them and their target audience. You'd want to do this if your business was heavily dependent on referrals and you didn't necessarily have the desire to step away from it anytime soon.

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Identify Successful Mortgage Advertisements Within Your
Chosen Channel

This is EXTREMELY important, and arguably the most important piece of your marketing campaign. In fact, this is the way that Michael McAllister built our original mortgage lead generation system. What it all comes down to, is not reinventing the wheel. This is where loan officers that invested time into Facebook Ads got it wrong.

There was a blueprint for success in generating mortgage leads with Google Ads, but because the marketers and loan officers weren't looking for it, they looked right past it and beat their heads against the wall trying to figure out how to make money off of the lowest quality mortgage leads imaginable. If you can't find a mortgage company, loan officer, mortgage coach, or otherwise that has previously been successful where you're thinking of advertising, you need to find a new channel. There are far too many options out there for proven mortgage campaigns for you to consider trying something that no one else has.

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If you're looking to send outbound emails to agents, reach out to your company or to other colleagues and ask if anyone has a successful campaign you can take a look at. If you're marketing directly to consumers, this is much easier as there are tools everywhere for you to monitor banner ads, search ads, emails, and more from companies like Quicken Loans and Veterans United that have insane amounts of success with consumer direct mortgage lead generation and marketing.

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Reverse Engineer The Successful Marketing You Identified

Once you've identified successful marketing campaigns on the channel that you want to be marketing in, the next step is to reverse engineer those campaigns. Now obviously you want to change enough for it not to be straight plagiarism, but especially if you're not the creative type, you can shortcut a lot of hard lessons by picking the right campaigns to model and starting from there. You may think that once you have a good campaign identified, successfully building it is going to be easy. Think again.

Learning different advertising platforms or the technology tools that you need to be successful in generating quality mortgage leads can be very time-consuming and frustrating. However, the good news is that there is a growing marketplace of freelancers and boutique marketing agencies that can help you with these pieces of your business. Whether it's direct mail, internet lead generation, getting referrals from real estate agents, or putting on first-time homebuyer classes, you can outsource just about every piece of your mortgage marketing campaign. Just be sure to complete all the steps up to this point prior to contracting someone, or who knows what you'll end up with!

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Launch. Test.
Change. Repeat.

Once you've identified and recreated a successful marketing campaign, it's time to launch your campaign. When asked what the most important component of a good marketing campaign is, President of Empower Funnels, Michael McAllister says "Proper tracking and measurement of your important metrics, hands down." Make sure if you're running a direct mail campaign, you're implementing QR code scanning or a unique phone number/identification number for each mailer so that you can collect as much information as possible.

Envision your mortgage sales funnel, and track it every step of the way. At a minimum, you want to track impressions (how many people saw your ad), interactions (clicks, website visitors/QR code scans for a direct mail campaign, opens for emails, etc), inquiries/leads (calls, lead form submissions, responses), applications, lost after an application is broken down by reason (price/realtor overrode/other), and of course closed loans with all of your relevant data about the mortgage. Obviously in addition to the amount of money you're spending broken down into as detailed time windows as possible. This way you can track your cost per impression, cost per interaction, cost per lead, cost per application, and cost per closed loan.

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Depending on the mortgage marketing campaign you're running, there may be other things to keep track of. Sticking with the direct mail example, obviously, you'll want to know where your mailers are going in your market either based on EDDM canvassing or data that you've purchased. If you're running a mortgage PPC campaign to a landing page you'll want to know things like how long people are spending on the page, what content they're reading, and what people originally searched for (if running a search campaign) that led to finding your ad.

We Know How Much Work Goes Into the Best Mortgage Marketing Campaigns

I'm sure by now you're realizing that most loan officers don't put this kind of thought into their mortgage marketing. However, we work with over 100 of the best loan officers in the country as marketing partners, and we know just how much work goes into the most successful campaigns.

Starting with evaluating your goals, we follow the exact above outlined process in building out your mortgage marketing system. In fact, we show you exactly what we do, what campaigns we modeled, and our measured results on the live demonstration of our done-for-you mortgage lead generation service.

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