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Three quick ways to get more business in 2007

Mar 22, 2007

Two powerful direct mail marketing secrets revealedEdward Englishconsumer direct mail, do-not-call lists The truth be told, todays mortgage marketing push is toward consumer direct mail. With 70 percent of U.S. consumers on state and federal do-not-call lists, companies utilizing telemarketing are missing out on a huge portion of their available target audience. The do-not-call lists are growing immensely with no end in sight. Internet lead and live transfer companies are running into the same dilemma - a diminishing target audience. Response rates have dropped considerably over time as many utilize telemarketing and the Internet as marketing methods. Limiting telemarketing effectiveness even further is a pending law that will ban the use of automated voice telemarketing systems, effective Jan. 1. Those are the ones that solicit by recording when the call is answered. Another problem plaguing Internet lead companies is non-exclusivity. Many Internet leads are sold many times over to non-suspecting mortgage brokers. The only true exclusive lead is consumer direct mail - a response-driven lead. Consumer direct mail produces an exclusive inbound call from a warm prospect. A prevailing advantage of direct mail is the ability to target consumers by many factors, e.g., loan type, current mortgage amount, date of loan issue, lender type and geographic location down to the ZIP code. Utilizing these factors generates a direct mail list that appeals to a targeted audience that is the most likely to respond. To best gauge your direct mail campaign results, important steps must be taken by the mailing company placing a tracking mechanism on each mail piece delivered and every inbound call generated. The following systems create detailed reports tracking the performance of your campaigns. You will know the how, when and why for each campaign. Detailed tracking allows you to perfect your future campaigns for peak success. These tracking tools are very effective in differing markets. Every market area has its own unique marketing characteristics. The first tracking system to utilize on all direct mail campaigns is bar code tracking. Many magazine and newspaper publishers are utilizing this powerful tracking mechanism. Look at the address panel on periodicals you receive and you will see a second bar code beneath the addressee. This bar code is linked individually to each mail piece and the post office. These bar codes are scanned when each mail piece arrives for delivery to the consumer. Mailing companies providing bar code tracking will provide detailed reports for each campaign. The tracking report details include the name of the mailing campaign, date of mailing, total number of pieces in the campaign, number of mail pieces scanned for delivery and number of mail pieces pending delivery. Bar code tracking eliminates concerns of when (and if) your mail campaign has been delivered. Knowing that the direct mail company fulfills your direct mail campaigns provides peace of mind. An important consideration when choosing a mailing company is whether all of your mail really is getting printed and sent out. Bar code tracking eliminates fulfillment concerns. The second tracking mechanism that must be utilized on all direct mail campaigns is 800 number call capture. Call capture is very affordable and available from various vendors. Call capture service allows you to see, in real time, the phone number each prospect is calling from, along with his name and address. Many systems will record the audio, providing a training aid for your management team. The system is programmed to ring directly to any phone number you choose, giving you the ability to answer calls in the evening and on weekends. Online, you can also set the desired number of rings before a call is forwarded or sent to voicemail. Should a call come in that is not answered, you will be able to obtain the call details online, permitting a quick return call, even if the caller did not leave a voice message. This is a powerful tool to catch a prospect while he is in the mindset of speaking to someone about the mail piece he received. Caller ID blocking does not prevent you from getting the callers number. Toll-free numbers capture the number by another method. Since you are paying for the call, you are entitled to the number of the caller. Tracking your inbound calls for each direct mail campaign arms you with valuable information to help improve the effectiveness of future campaigns. Utilizing more than one 800 number allows you to track numerous campaigns, pinpointing hot spots in your market area. Many systems offer bar-graph and pie-chart reporting that can be utilized in your marketing reports or staff meetings. Both of these powerful tracking systems are a must for all direct mail campaigns. Each is very cost effective and should not be overlooked. These services should be looked at as more of an insurance policy and marketing tool than an added cost. By utilizing these tracking systems, you will be able to fully analyze each campaign, permitting you to improve on future campaigns. Armed with this knowledge, you can stay one step ahead of your competition (not to mention the peace of mind you will have, knowing that all your mail pieces are getting delivered). Your return on investment will improve month after month, far out weighing the minimal cost associated with these tracking systems. Edward English serves as vice president of Wall Street List, a Coral Springs, Fla.-based direct marketing agency. He may be reached at (888) 833-5478 or e-mail [email protected].
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