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Ask Brian: A simple formula for direct marketing success

Jul 22, 2009

What I am about to share with you is so simple you might not even believe it. So please stay with me. It could be that big “aha!” you’ve been wondering about all this time that will finally explain why your marketing may not be working as well as it could. Ready? Here’s the formula: FP + RA + EDRM = $$$$$ So, now let’s break it all down, ingredient by ingredient. Let me first tell you what does not work and why. What doesn’t work Many of us are bombarded each day by people who tell us that we: “Need to get our name out there so when people need a mortgage they will think of us.” Well nothing could be further from the truth. This causes us to waste money and become frustrated. Why? Well nobody will choose you from a placemat, shopping cart ad or a quick radio or TV message. It just doesn’t work that way. What’s worse is that you cannot track any business you do get from any of these methods. What does work Alright … let’s get back to that formula at the top of the page. Ingredient #1: Find the program (FP) Think about what we do each day. We try to get people to call us. Then, we find out what they’re looking for and finally try to find a place to put the loan. Sometimes, we are successful … sometimes we’re not. But what a big waste of time that is. Instead, what you need to do is pick a niche—find the investors who offer that product and learn all you can about the guidelines. For example, let’s say you want to do reverse mortgages. You find two or three lenders who offer the program, learn all the program guidelines, and then go ahead and learn the guidelines of the investors. Even if the program has certain guidelines, oftentimes, the investor has additional guidelines. Like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) … it will insure loans that meet its guidelines, but often, the investors have their own additional guidelines. Now that you know the guidelines, let’s move on to the next ingredient. Ingredient #2: The right audience (RA) Our job now is to find the right audience who meet these guidelines. The mistake here is that we do general brand type advertising instead of only marketing to people who meet the guidelines of the program we are offering. Back to our example of reverse mortgages: Why would you mail to people who are less than 62 years of age? Why would you put an ad in a paper that only 10 percent of seniors read? Instead, market in a senior publication where you know 100 percent of the readers meet your guidelines (at least they are likely to be 62 or older or wouldn’t be reading it). Ingredient # 3: Emotional direct response marketing (EDRM) Our money is really tight right now for most, so you must make sure that every dollar you invest is accounted for and can be tracked. That means you need to know what results you got from each campaign. Here are the tools I use. ► I use this tool to let people call in for a free report. Users can call in 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I use a different extension for each marketing piece or ad. ► I use this tool as an online system to let people visit my site, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and receive a free report. The beautiful thing about this tool is that it will automatically follow up with these clients with follow-up messages encouraging them to call for an appointment or fill out an online application. I use a different sub-domain or URL (Web address) for each ad or marketing piece. Free report? Million dollar idea? You’re probably saying, “Huh?” What’s a free report? Let me explain. Think about what you do every day. A client calls and you give them your sales speech. You tell them why they should use you instead of the competition and convince them to apply after you answer their questions. What if instead you put it all in a report they could read. ► It would have the answers to all their questions. ► It would have testimonials of all your past satisfied clients. ► It would explain why they should use you instead of the competition (your expertise, not price). ► It would tell them what to do next. ► It would allay their fears. So here’s the process … Someone you have targeted who fits the profile for the program you offer responds to your ad or marketing piece. They go online or call a toll-free number to get a free report. The free report is really your sales message, so they now call you already sold on using you! That’s important for a couple reasons. First, it allows you to get your message out to the right people without spending all the time you now take trying to convince them. Next, each ad or marketing piece has a different toll-free extension number and Web address. That way, you can track every penny you are investing and make sure that you are getting the proper return on your investment. That’s the beauty of emotional direct response marketing. See how formulaic this becomes? Now go ahead and give it a try. Brian Sacks is CEO of He has been an industry expert for more than 25 years, closing 6,000-plus loans totaling $1 billion. You can read Brian’s 32-page special report entitled “The Death of Mortgage Origination as We Know It” and “The 10 Things You Must Do Now to Survive and Thrive” at This report sells for $97 and has been downloaded by more than 9,200 originators and company owners, but is free for a limited time for readers of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.
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