E-mail lead incubation helps brokers hatch closed loans from dead leadsGene Devinehatching closed loans from dead leads, incubation marketing, critical e-mail design considerations
In today's tight market, it is imperative to keep a steady
stream of leads in your pipeline. Lead generation is capital
intensive, yet conversion rates from lead to funded loan range from
less than one percent up to eight percent for the savviest mortgage
marketers. What can retail originators do to lift conversion rates
without increasing loan acquisition marketing costs? Lead
incubation may be your perfect answer.
Hatching closed loans from dead leads
Lead incubation is an innovative new business marketing strategy
that can increase conversion, lower marketing acquisition costs and
increase fee income from leads once considered dead. Retail
originators can identify aged leads that have yet to fund and then
utilize new business intelligence to fine-tune messaging and
re-market to those previously ignored yet potentially valuable
leads. The result is a predictably steady source of fundings -
hatching closed loans from leads previously considered dead.
The lead incubation process requires application of
sophisticated fundamentals of direct marketing across a robust
e-mail marketing platform, beginning with the evaluation and
understanding of an originator's marketing and lead generation
initiatives. This requires significant analysis and modeling on
your current lead generation programs to understand where and why
your leads are falling off.
E-mail lead incubation deploys a very different marketing
strategy than typical new customer e-mail marketing initiatives. It
begins with a known prospect (which may previously have been
considered dead) that has shown an interest and meets basic credit
criteria, but has yet to convert to a closed loan.
Because each retail originator has different lead
qualifications, sales and back-office processes, a lead can fall
out at many different points in the origination cycle. Since no two
originators are alike, there is no off-the-shelf e-mail marketing
solution that all originators can deploy to generate consistently
high conversion rates to make lead incubation marketing
Successful lead incubation marketing begins with the evaluation and
understanding of your marketing and lead generation initiatives.
This requires significant analysis and modeling on your current
lead generation programs to comprehend where your leads are falling
off in the sales and funding cycle, and why. Choose an experienced
solutions provider with combat experience in lead incubation
techniques or you could end up being their guinea pig - at your
expense. Thoroughly analyzed results will provide a comprehensive
understanding of your response and conversion rates by lead
Next, create a custom-tailored lead incubation strategy that
incorporates all of your specific needs, including projected lift
in pull through rates and expected return on investment (ROI).
Results differ by originator.
Your custom lead incubation marketing solution should begin with
a base of prospect/customer lead-initiated actions at the time the
candidate is interested in a potential mortgage loan. Instead of
dropping into oblivion if they do not fund, the lead incubation
marketing solution revisits the prospect with a strategically
developed series of direct, one-on-one e-mail messages and offers,
sent on a set frequency schedule by a defined incubation pathway
determined by the specific stage of case for each funding
Critical e-mail design considerations
Each e-mail communication must deliver relevant product and
needs-based content designed to drive a response back to you once
the prospect is back in market.
Design your e-mail marketing communications with three primary
1. Identify each prospect's sales stage of case to predict when
they will be back in the market and ready to apply.
2. Utilize proven direct response marketing copy and offers that
invoke a ready-to-apply response.
3. Always include a response to apply.
Each lead-directed communication must be written to create a
continuous dialogue of information that can be automatically
adjusted based on the prospect interaction with each e-mail that
generates a response.
Targeting the most lucrative incubation
Purchase money leads are ideal candidates for lead incubation.
Internet aggregators commonly sell these leads far below refinance
leads because their sales cycle is so long that lead-dependent
originators don't purchase these leads.
Other top candidates for lead incubation include:
-New construction finance leads, which typically have long sales
-Pre-qualified applicants who weren't ready to transact at your
initial point of contact
-Non-approved prospects that were denied on credit or collateral
issues, but may be back in the market after clearing up these
-Registered users from online lead generation Web sites who may be
back in the market and ready to transact
Your one-on-one e-mail messages are a strategic component to the
success of your lead incubation program. Content must be timely and
relevant to each prospect's stage of case and designed to invoke a
response. You must accurately measure by specific finite variables;
i.e., which prospects are reading your e-mails, and of those, which
are responding, which are funding and, importantly, which are
driving your greatest ROI. This requires a high level of
sophisticated analysis and modeling, but the results will enable
you to make informed and statistically valid business decisions to
target your highest propensity prospects.
If you want to keep and build market share, lead incubation can
help savvy retail originators increase prospect-to-funding ratios
to gain a solid competitive edge in a difficult market. Consider
Gene Devine is executive vice president of Intellidyn
Corporation, a marketing analytics firm based in Boston. He may be
reached by visiting www.intellidyn.com.