A history lesson for Loan Officers:
In May 1897, the great American humorist, novelist and social critic Samuel Clemens — best known by his pen name, Mark Twain — was in London. It was one of the stops on a round-the-world speaking tour he’d embarked on in 1895.
He hoped to use the fees from speaking engagements to pay off the considerable debts he owed in the United States, due to a series of unsuccessful investments and publishing ventures.
While Twain was in London, someone started a rumor that he was gravely ill. It was followed by a rumor that he had died.
According to a widely-repeated legend, one major American newspaper actually printed his obituary and, when Twain was told about this by a reporter, he quipped:
To those who’ve proclaimed the “death of email for Loan Officers,” let’s look at some facts.
- There are over 4.35 billion email accounts accounts. This figure is predicted to reach 5.59 billion by 2019 which is a growth of more than 26% – Radicati Group (2015)
- 72% of US online adults send or receive personal emails via smartphone at least weekly – Forrester (2014)
- 122,500,453,020 emails are sent every hour. – MarketingProfs (2014)
And email marketing?
- 80% of content marketers use email marketing – CMI “B2B Content Marketing Research” (2014)
- Marketers consistently ranked email as the single-most-effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. – Gigaom Research “Workhorses and dark horses: digital tactics for customer acquisition” (2014)
- Email is almost 40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter – McKinsey & Company (2014)
Media hype often leads to “email is dead” headlines, followed by praise for whichever new technology killed email this time.
What’s really happening to email is its finally evolving, just like any other medium for communicating with people does. Technology has evolved to the point that people expect to receive relevant, timely and personalized communication via email from their Mortgage Loan Officer.
Email technology has evolved, allowing you to send targeted messages that reach the right people at the right time and to automate much of the heavy lifting.
The question isn’t is email live or dead for Mortgage Loan Officers. The question is, how are you using email to connect, engage and add value to your past clients, social network and sphere of influence?
There are plenty of email/CRM tools to help you automate and optimize the email engagement.
Here’s a short list of reputable CRM/Email providers purpose built for Mortgage Loan Officers:
Loan Officer Best Practices for Email
1. Have a Plan
Set a recurring schedule for email contacts based on where each prospect is in the sales funnel. For example, you might send a “Thank You for Joining” email shortly after the prospect signs up, information about how your business is unique in the first week, and then email newsletters with educational articles, industry updates, and special offers one to four times per month after that.
No one wants to feel like just another anonymous shopper, so personalize your message as much as possible. Dig deep to truly understand your avatar.
What is that person’s demographics, likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams? Is he an impulse buyer or a slow and methodical researcher? How much existing product knowledge does he have? What prevents people who fall into your target market from buying, and how can you overcome those obstacles?
3. Optimize for Mobile
Today’s shoppers move seamlessly between computers, smartphones, and tablets, and they expect their shopping experience to go with them. Optimizing your email marketing campaign for mobile devices can greatly increase your open rate, click-through rate, and minimize unsubscribes.
Focus on educating your readers by sharing relevant content. Not just mortgage rate updates but useful market insights, trends, local happenings, neighborhood stories, local interest stories. If it’s all just mortgage info, people tune out.
5. Track Your Engagement
Reader engagement is arguably the best metric for determining the success of your email marketing campaign. Are people opening your emails? If so, are they clicking on the links to learn more? Do most unsubscribe after a certain number of emails? Do they forward your newsletter to friends or share articles on social media? Do they reply to your emails with questions or feedback?
Here’s a Tip:
Sidekick is a email tracking tool that tells you who opens your emails, when, what they clicked and how many times. It may be a good time to call that prospect or past client when you see them engaging with your email content.