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Trigger mail lends relevancy to offers by mortgage professionals

Jul 27, 2009

As a mortgage professional, traditional direct mail marketing is likely part of your arsenal to help drive sales. Perhaps you’ve heard of the latest game-changer, trigger mail. Trigger programs deliver relevant offers at the “moment of truth,” rather than using “spray and pray” marketing which may result in reaching the wrong customer or reaching the right customer, but at the wrong time. The best reason to use trigger marketing is simple. According to the Aberdeen Group, many companies report a 200 to 400 percent improvement in marketing campaign performance using event-based triggers. In this article, we’ll explore what trigger mail is and how it can help boost your sales. What is trigger mail? The simple definition of trigger mailing is “A program designed to automatically generate a communication in response to an event.” In other words, trigger-based marketing programs capture just-in-time data and turn that data into executable campaigns before the window of opportunity with customers and prospects begins to close. For example, you might generate refinancing offers to just those in your market who now qualify for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) refinancing. Why use trigger mail? Trigger campaigns seek to eliminate much of the waste inherent in push-marketing tactics where marketers provide unsolicited messages and offers to consumers. Driven by data rather than the constraints of individual media, trigger campaigns are relatively channel-agnostic. In addition, trigger campaigns may enhance response, while driving multiple functions including: ● Response management: Providing a mechanism to satisfy consumer information requests; ● Internal transaction history: Responding to known consumer purchase behavior to generate appropriate follow-up offers; ● External transaction history: Leveraging a holistic body of known personal information to predict behavior and needs; and ● Geo-location targeting: Extending specific offers to consumers at precise times, given expected need, available alternatives, psychographic variables, and specific geographic variables. Types of trigger programs Trigger programs generally fall into three categories. ● Notification triggers are used to alert customers to changes in service, account monitoring and data breaches. ● Acquisition trigger programs use event triggers to create a new offer (often an up-sell or cross-sell) for an existing customer or an introductory offer for a prospect. ● Retention trigger programs are sent to existing customers and may be based on purchase behavior or account activity. Here are some scenarios you might leverage to generate new business via trigger mail: ● New homeowners in your geographic area may now qualify for FHA refinancing. ● A newly-married couple is likely looking to purchase a new home. ● Similarly, someone going through a divorce is likely looking for a new residence. ● Current customers who may qualify for rate reductions. If you’re not communicating with them, someone else is. ● Something as simple as a birthday card sent to your current customers creates a personal connection and keeps you top of mind when they decide to purchase their next home. Creating trigger mail programs Successful trigger marketing programs rely on a set of tools and capabilities to collect, store, enhance and analyze customer data. According to research by the Aberdeen Group, 63 percent of best-in-class companies integrate customer data analysis into direct marketing campaign creation and 83 percent cleanse their customer data to minimize duplicates. Data is just one component of trigger mail. In order to effectively produce a trigger marketing program, it’s important to find a print and mailing vendor who has the tools, technology, and experience to turn programs quickly and accurately, along with a postal strategy that ensures fastest delivery at the lowest postage cost. In addition, many of today’s trigger programs are multi-channel programs that include personalized URLs (pURLs) to drive response to Web sites and personalized landing pages. Ask your current direct mail partner if they have trigger mail capabilities. When used effectively, trigger mail can increase sales by providing relevant offers at just the time your prospects are in a mindset to consider them. Debora Haskel is vice president of marketing at IWCO Direct, a provider of integrated direct marketing services. She can be reached by phone at (952) 470-3295.  
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