Biggest marketing mistakes

If you ask the average mortgage professional what the most important aspect of a mail piece or advertisement is they would tell you that it is the headline. And they would be right. The headline can make or break a marketing campaign. But because of it’s obvious importance, loan officers do tend to spend time making sure that they have a effective headline.

What they don’t spend much time on is ensuring that they have the best call to action. The main goal in any marketing campaign is to get the prospect to take some sort of action (going to a seminar, setting up an appointment for a free consultation, getting them to request your special report, etc).

Most loan officers just stick a phone number at the bottom of their marketing piece with a quick little blurb to “call me for more information.” This in itself isn’t bad. But it can greatly improved on.

You see, the goal in your call to action is to make it as easy as possible to for the prospect to take the action that you desire. You want to decrease the resistance to act as much as you can. By just stating “call me for more information” you are creating a certain level of resistance. There is only one option you are giving them, and you are asking the prospect to call you directly.

And you will lose a ton of leads that you really shouldn’t. All the potential prospects who just aren’t ready to talk to a loan officer yet won’t respond. They have questions that you can definitely answer, but they aren’t serious enough yet to overcome the resistance to action that you have established.

But here is the key. In about 3 weeks, they may be serious enough to take action, but you will be the furthest thing on their mind. They will read a marketing piece by another loan officer and then take action.

So your goal is to have the prospect take action at the earliest stage of the buying process as you can. You want to establish a relationship with them BEFORE they become serious, but the only way for this to happen is to have them respond to your marketing piece early in the game. And you do this by lowering the resistance to call to action.

One thing that you can do to lower resistance is to give them more ways to contact you. Give them your mailing address, cell phone number, email address, etc. Some people are more comfortable writing letters. Some prefer email or phone calls. And some like the face to face meeting. If you limit your choice to just one, you will exclude a large percentage of potential leads.

Another thing you can do is make it as easy as possible for them to take the call to action. For example, you send out a direct mail campaign to your former customer base. Your call to action in this campaign is for them to fill out a survey and mail it back to you. How do you make it easy for them? You provide them with a preaddressed envelope. You put a stamp on the return envelope. You make the survey a multiple choice form where they only have to circle the appropriate action. You perform all the steps that you can so that they are basically required to just circle a few answers on a form, and place it in the mail.

Also, give the prospect a little incentive to performing the desired call to action. In the example above, you can offer a gift certificate to everyone who completes and returns the survey. That will definitely increase your responses. Another idea is to give them a coupon (ie. $150 off closing costs) if they perform your call to action.

I believe that after the headline, the call to action is the most critical part of any marketing campaign. Be sure to remember that you want to get your prospect to raise his or her hand as early in the process as possible, and the only way to do that is by making the resistance to taking the call to action minimal. Give incentives. Give choices. Make it easy.

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