In our daily operations, banks and lenders will expand into new states with their direct mail marketing efforts after finding success in their local markets. In addition, we commonly encounter clients that learn of a “friend” in another state using an approach with great success and have the desire to do the same in their local market. For these clients, the typical “broad stroke” approach for their data and mail piece design does not apply to all markets. When you are going from state to state, experience and research are paramount to continued success.
When building a multi-state marketing campaign, you must recognize that successful campaigns in your current state may not translate into the same results in new markets. What may generate a two percent-plus response in your local market may only produce half of that in a new market with a similar approach. When expanding, multiple aspects of the campaign must come under scrutiny; data selects, mail piece design and product offering are pivotal starting points to maximizing your efforts.
Let’s take, for example, a customer who successfully markets FHA streamline loans in California and is looking to expand into the New York market. What changes are necessary to duplicate success in New York? Would the same piece be as effective, or has it been saturated? Are the standard demographics appropriate to the new market, or do they need to be modified in order to accommodate this new potential clientele? Furthermore, is the FHA approach in New York currently profitable, or should it be modified completely to target another program such as HARP 2.0? How do you get around this? By being aware of what your competitors are using, you can exploit the mail pieces they are not, target the demographics they overlook and focus on products that are not as saturated.
One of our main focuses when advising clients on multi-state approaches is the saturation rate of their approach and how it relates to their new states. You don’t want to add to the saturation rate by sending a similar mailer to the same prospect pool as your competitors, so we may recommend changing the outer appearance or overall design of the mailer. In addition to the piece, we consider the data selects. Would it benefit them to increase the loan amount or modify the seasoning to capture consumers that their competitors over look? These small tweaks can make or break the success of the campaign.
Your current marketing firm should be able to provide their expertise with your newly intended states, and their recommendations necessary to maximize your results. Keep in mind that their experience may be the single most important aspect of your multi-state marketing efforts. A marketing professional will be able to advise you on the proper steps to take to ensure your efforts aren’t wasted on targeting an already saturated prospect base. While there is not a “crystal ball” for marketing, proper guidance as you expand into new markets will ensure that your efforts are not wasted.
Bob Caruso, sales manager and an asset at Titan List and Mailing Services, has specialized in mortgage-specific marketing since 2007. Bob takes a no-nonsense approach to effective marketing and has demonstrated to his customers the value of effective direct mail marketing. He may be reached by phone at (800) 544-8060, ext. 210 or e-mail [email protected]