Direct mail is the most efficient and cost effective way to generate a new mortgage business. Marketing as we know it has changed dramatically over the past few years. Homeowners have more resources than ever before, can search for virtually any type of mortgage, company, or product online, and within seconds have the information they want. This has taken a large proportion of the traditional forms of marketing. New spam laws and do-not-call lists in telemarketing (on which more than 58 percent of U.S. homeowners are signed up) don’t leave much avenue for direct marketing to homeowners. With these factors in mind, direct mail can be the best cost effective way to reach new mortgage prospects. Through direct mail, you can reach 100 percent of all homeowners in the United States.
What if I told you that I discovered a piece of direct mail that generates an amazing 20 to 30 percent response rate?
I send 75 items per week at a cost of $35 (including postage). Of those, I’ll usually get 15-20 incoming calls. This will generate about 8-10 new applets per week which is all I need to reach my current end goals of 5-6 closes per month.
It should be clear that in order to generate this kind of response, the piece of direct mail must be violent. There are two components to my direct mail campaign, both packaged in one envelope. The first is a simple message that says, “Please contact me as soon as possible at (phone number) regarding the attached document,” followed by my name and signature. The second part is what gets the homeowner’s attention, and it’s also what helps generate a huge response, a copy of the trust deed.
A trust deed is considered by most homeowners to be a very private financial document. In reality, of course, it is available through public records at any county clerk’s office. However, most consumers are not aware of this, so curiosity plays a large role in the effectiveness of this transmission. When they read the letter, they realize that someone has a copy of their deed of trust, people immediately wonder who the person could be and what it’s about, especially because there is no wording regarding a petition of any kind in the accompanying letter. In fact, I created this mailing campaign based on a similar tactic sent to my house, 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 be angry or upset with the transmitter. Use these calls to explain your situation and take the opportunity to advise them of your services. Homeowners who are in debt may worry that this is another letter from their bank, or a warning about foreclosure. Once you reassure them that you are there to help, you can always get an application over the phone. You will be surprised by the results.
In addition to the county clerk’s office, you can also obtain trust deeds from the title company you work with. Not all title companies are the resources to obtain title deeds, but give us a call and you will be able to find one. If not, worry about my website http://www.MortgageDirectMail.com Contains information on how to obtain copies of instruments.
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 recipient’s name and address appear also have a big impact. There’s a reason the average national response is less than one percent. People hate junk mail and when they spot it, they tend to discard the mail even before they open it. Your first goal is to get the homeowner to open the envelope. It sounds simple, but many people don’t think about it, which is why the response rate is so low.
Here are some suggestions for creating an engaging direct mail piece:
The first step
Develop a compelling direct mail piece. Use one described above, or invent one that will trigger a high response. Remember, you don’t necessarily need to mention your services to the sender. The method that has worked well for me is to simply provide my phone number, and request contact on the attached document.
The second step
Select the homeowners you wish to target. Do you work mostly with conventional, jumbo or FHA loans? Do you want to specialize in a specific field? Next, compile a list of homeowners that you’re focusing your marketing efforts on. You probably already have a similar list in your database. If not, contact some of your contacts and title companies, many will issue you a free listing. Or you may want to purchase leads from a reputable company.
The third step
Now that you have your list of addresses, you must hand each piece of mail that you will send. This will take some time, but the results are worth it. If you really don’t have the time and don’t have an assistant, you can recruit your kids, hire a temporary assistant, or ask your friends for help.
Taking the time to turn in envelopes is one of the most important steps, which greatly increases your response rate. This is what makes them open the mail piece, and most junk mail is not manually forwarded. Additionally, I’ve found the effect to be greatest when I don’t use a company envelope to put my return address on. You may choose to simply put your name and address, but leave your company name and logo off. Many people get turned off by junk mail of any kind, and this is a way to get around that.
The fourth step
Use regular postage, not the wholesale price. Deliver marketing pieces to your post office on Saturday morning to ensure your mail reaches homeowners on Monday and Tuesday, with a few arriving on Wednesday. Believe it or not, most people who respond to direct mail respond in the first three days of the week. When mails arrive on a Thursday or Friday, consumers tend to put off contact until after the weekend, and then, in most cases, forget to follow up.
That’s it! Four Simple Steps to a Successful Direct Mail Mortgage Campaign You Can Do From Home. By engaging and arousing consumer curiosity, you will greatly increase your direct mail response rate.
Oliver Maldonado is a mortgage advisor, national sales coach, author of The Mortgage Book, and The World’s Largest Sales Book.
OliverMaldonado@comcast.net or www.MortgageDirectMail.com .