Mortgage Direct Mail

Direct Mail has long been a proven and reliable marketing strategy for many of the most successful mortgage companies in the industry. If you’re considering a Direct Mail campaign, here are the top five things you should know before you make that important investment:

1) Target the Most Qualified Prospects

Successful Direct Mail all starts with the list. Sounds simple, but it’s true. About half of your investment goes to postage, so why spend it on unqualified prospects? Credit Bureau data assures that the borrowers you attract are already qualified based on a tight set of guidelines including: verified FICO scores, mortgage types, balances, payment history, and personal credit. Loan officers shouldn’t have to worry about wasting their valuable time chasing unqualified prospects.

2) Create a Compelling Mail Piece

No need to re-invent the Direct Mail wheel here. Qualified borrowers just want to know the bottom line, specifically “what’s in it for me?” A no-nonsense comparison of monthly payment savings works to get the message across clearly and concisely. It involves a simple formula of calculating monthly savings – based on their mortgage data, prompting a call for a free quote. As for format, a personal and confidential snap-pack style mailer will help improve your open rate – as opposed to an envelope that screams “advertisement” and gets quickly tossed to the junk mail pile.

3) Control Your Own Timing

Every Direct Mail marketer wants to know “when will my phone start ringing?” Truth is, no one can say exactly. Timing is everything, and the best way to control that timing is to spread out the drops to arrive daily and consistently. A weekly mail drop of at least 5K is recommended, so a significant sample can arrive on that magic day. Is it when the two spouses finally sit down to discuss their finances? Maybe it’s the day that big credit card bill shows up. Or maybe it’s when the neighbors boast about the new mortgage that saved them hundreds per month.

4) Maximize Your Budget

Let’s face it, Direct Mail isn’t cheap. It is, however, one of the most proven ways to generate a steady stream of revenue. Think about it, even at the most conservative response rates, you’re talking to pre-screened, qualified prospects calling you directly to apply for a mortgage – imagine how great that conversion rate can be. Another way to spread your mail budget is to ask for volume discounts by pre-paying for the list and printing cost upfront. Also, postage is a pass-through cost, and in most cases can be paid up to the time of each drop date – meaning up to 1/2 of your budget can be deferred over time.

5) Choose the Right Partner

It’s amazing how many marketers have been burned by unscrupulous business partners. Don’t let that happen to you (again?). Mortgage Direct Mail can and will succeed when managed properly. Let’s recap how to accomplish that: target the right prospects, develop a compelling mail piece, control your timing, maximize your budget, and choose the right partner.

Which Way is Up? Two “Technical” Views on Where the Market is Headed

Ever Wonder Which Way Is Up?As an Investment Advisor, I am wrapped-up in the daily ups and downs of the stock and bond markets, or am worrying about inflation, deflation or just “flation” – either “in” or “de” or “stag” or “re.”I constantly ponder questions like “What types of stocks will do better – large companies, small companies, domestic or international?” And “What direction are the markets headed in?”For some silly reason, I always think that most Americans are thinking about this stuff too. I forget that this is what I do for a living and that most people don’t think about this very much. And they shouldn’t.Most people get their financial news by catching snippets from newspapers, websites, radio, watching guys like Jim Cramer on CNBC at the gym, or by listening to my show or reading my blog.Technical AnalysisSo, while I have your attention, allow me to acquaint you with two “technical” views on where the market is headed.By the way, Technical Analysis is simply looking for patterns and trends in financial data to glean “insights” – really just guesses – on where the markets may be headed next.Truth is, no one really knows where the markets are headed. But markets do trade on technical analysis – sort of like the tail wagging the dog – making some of it a self-fulfilling prophecy, till some cataclysmic “real” event washes away all theories. Sort of like the dot-com bust or the mortgage market collapse where reality ultimately trumps theory.Two Technical Views on Market DirectionThe two technical analysts I follow are Lowry onDemand and Hedgeye.On the one hand, Lowry sees bullish patterns in the data. Here’s an excerpt from last Friday’s market commentary:”… any period of weakness should probably be viewed as an opportunity to add to equity positions. Investors might find this a good time to look for stocks with strong technical ratings in strong sectors and groups.”You can sense that Lowry does not believe we are headed for another nasty downturn.Hedgeye doesn’t agree. While Hedgeye analyzes technicals, they also closely follow the state of the US and world economies. Here’s the gist, in my words, of what Hedgeye principal analyst, Howard Penney, sees:”… a weakening labor market, softening consumer confidence, softening housing activity and retail sales, and an intensifying trade deficit – the early stages of a renewed economic decline.”SummaryWhile Lowry sees no near-term threats, Hedgeye believes another downturn is just around the corner. So there you have it, diametrically opposite views from fairly intelligent people. Welcome to my hell!The bottom-line is, how important are their predictions for the short-term? The answer is: not very… because short-term market movements are not all that important.The point is, many companies will create wealth over time so maintaining the assets you have in the market and adding during market dips should suit you well.By the way, most money managers and so-called stock market experts fare no better than you when it comes to picking winning stocks. So listen to all commentators with a grain of salt. We may sound confident, like we know what the future holds, but alas we do not!Building a portfolio based on trying to foretell the future will always lead to disaster. Generally speaking, buy good quality stocks, diversify, and let it ride.

Principles Of Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail is one of those techniques that are here to stay. This very effective form of marketing your business is something that a lot of people can use to make their business profitable. I used to do direct mail heavily in the past, and I can tell you what works and what doesn’t.For me, my problem was my list. I didn’t look in the SRDS, I didn’t contact a reputable list broker, and instead, I got my list from some random guy out of a magazine. I order 2000 names, and when I finally mailed out to these people, I got a 20% undeliverable rate due to the fact that the owner no longer lives there, and that the list wasn’t up to date.If I had to do it all over again, I would do a lot of things differently. But nowadays direct mail is becoming so expensive to do, that I only use it to ship out the products that I sell (and even this is a hassle!). In this article, I want to share with you some of the things that you can do to see more sales and profits flowing into your business using direct mail.Here’s the first thing that you can do to make your direct mail campaign work.1) Find a reputable list brokerDon’t follow the same road I went down. If you are going to pick a mailing list from a list broker, make sure the company is legit. I dealt with 1 man who had a list, not a company – so you will more than likely be able to get a list that will improve your chances of success. Here’s another tip that I recommend.2) The SRDSThe SRDS stands for the “standard rate and data service”, and it’s something that you should put into use in your business today. With the SRDS, all you’re doing is selecting a list that has known to buy something. And ideally, you want to match the price point that they have bought at also.So for example, an example list that you could buy could be: “Men from California, aged 30-35, who have bought a product for $300 within the last 30 days.”You can get more specific with your list as you possibly can, but know that the more list specific you get with your list, the more it will cost you. But you shouldn’t be intimidated by this, because usually the more money you spend on a list, the more likely you’ll be able to convert more of these people into customers.Direct mail is something that isn’t mastered overnight. It takes some personal experience to really get the hang of it, and the more you do it, the more knowledgeable you will become with your direct mail marketing efforts.Hopefully you’ll be able to use these tips to earn as much money as possible in your business. It will be more than worth it – trust me on this.Good luck with using these tips to make more money in your business today.