Direct mail is the most effective and cost effective way to generate new mortgage business there is. Marketing as we know it has changed dramatically over the past few years. Homeowners have more resources than ever before, they can research almost any type of mortgage, company, or product online, and within seconds have the information they wanted. This has taken a significant percentage away from conventional forms of marketing. New spamming laws and telemarketing Do Not Call lists (Which over 58 percent of homeowners in the United States are registered on) don’t leave a lot of ways to directly market to homeowners. With these factors in mind direct mail can be the best most cost effective way to reach new mortgage prospects. With direct mail you’d have the potential to reach 100 percent of all homeowners in the United States.
What if I told you I’ve discovered a direct mail piece that generates an amazing 20 to 30 percent response?
I send 75 pieces per week, at a cost of $35 (Including Postage). Of those I’ll typically get 15 to 20 incoming calls. These will generate about 8 to 10 new mini applications per week which is all I need to reach my current closing goals of 5 to 6 closings per month.
Creating the Mailer
It should be obvious that in order to generate this kind of response that the direct mail piece must be an aggressive one. There are two components to my direct mail campaign, both packaged in a single envelope. The first is a letter that simple says, “Please call me at your earliest convenience at (Phone number) regarding the enclosed document,” followed by my name and signature. The second piece is what gets the homeowner’s attention, and is also what helps generate a huge response, a copy of their Deed of Trust.
The Deed of Trust is perceived by most homeowners to be a very private financial document. In reality, of course, it is available through public records at any county clerks office. However, most consumers are not aware of this, so curiosity plays a large role in the effectiveness of this mailer. When they read the letter they realize that someone has a copy of their Deed of Trust, people immediately question who it could be from and what it is regarding, especially because there is no wording regarding solicitation of any kind in the accompanying letter. In fact, I created this mail campaign based on a similar tactic sent to my home, which intrigued me in exactly this way.
You may receive calls from homeowners who are confused or surprised at the prospect of someone (You) having access to their legal documents. Some callers may even be angry or upset by the mailer. Use those calls to explain your position and take the opportunity to inform them about your services. Homeowners in debt may be concerned that this is another letter from their bank, or a warning about foreclosure. Once you reassure them that you’re there to help, you can almost always get an application over the phone. You’d be amazed by the results.
In addition to the county clerk’s office, you can also get the Deeds of Trust from the title company you work with. Not all title companies the resources to get deeds, but call around and you should be able to find one. If not don’t worry, my website http://www.MortgageDirectMail.com contains information on how to get copies of deeds.
The contents themselves are not the only reason for this positive response. There are other aspects to why this direct mail campaign is so successful. The envelope and the way the recipients name and address appears also has a huge effect. There is a reason the national response average is less than one percent. People hate junk mail and when they spot it, they tend to disregard the mail before even opening it. Your first goal is to get the homeowner to open the envelope. Sounds simple, but many people don’t think about this, and that is the reason for a lower response rate.
Here are some suggestions for creating an appealing direct mail piece:
Develop a compelling direct mail piece. Use the one described above, or invent one of your own that will induce a high response. Remember, you don’t necessarily need to mention your services in the mailer. The method that has worked well for me is to simply provide my phone number, and request that they call regarding the document enclosed.
Determine which homeowners you’d like to target. Do you mostly work with Conventional, Jumbo, or FHA loans? Do you want to specialize in a particular niche? Next, compile a list of homeowners on which to focus your marketing efforts. You probably already have a similar list in your database. If not, call some of your contacts and title companies, many will produce a complimentary list for you. Or you may want to purchase leads from a reputable company.
Now that you’ve got your address list, you must hand address each mail piece you will be sending. This is going to take some time, but the results will be worth it. If you really don’t have the time and you don’t have an assistant, you can recruit your children, hire a temporary assistant, or enlist your friends help.
Taking the time to hand address the envelopes is one of the most important steps, increasing the response rate substantially. This is what gets them to open the mail piece, most junk mail is not hand addressed. Additionally, I have found the effect to be even greater when I don’t use a company envelope of put a return address. You may choose to simply put your name and address, but leave your company name and logo off. Many people are turned off by unsolicited mail of any kind, and this is a way to circumvent that.
Use regular postage, not bulk rate. Deliver the marketing pieces to your post office on Saturday morning to ensure your mail will reach homeowners on Monday and Tuesday, with a few arriving on Wednesday. Believe it or not most people who respond to direct mail respond on the first three days of the week. When mailers arrive on Thursday or Friday, consumers tend to put off calling until after the weekend, and then, in most cases, forget to follow up.
That’s it! Four simple steps to a successful mortgage direct mail campaign you can even do from home. By engaging the consumer and piquing their curiosity you will increase your direct mail response rate dramatically.
Oliver Maldonado is a Mortgage Consultant, National Sales Trainer, and Author of The Mortgage Book and The Greatest Sales Book in the World.
OliverMaldonado@comcast.net or www.MortgageDirectMail.com .