“Overthinking” marketing is a common error many brokers and lenders make when putting forward the best effort for their marketing approaches. Oftentimes, the best thoughts lead them down the path to failure. This can be attributed to thinking from the wrong perspective. Lenders and brokers without much experience will put forward what they think is the best as it suits their personal taste instead of looking at their approach from the eyes of their target consumer. Many also lose sight of the goal that direct mail is to spark the interest of the borrower to call and not to sell the borrower on the loan program being proposed.
The most common error in “overthinking” is in piece design. During the design process, the lender/broker envisions what they would respond to or attempt to elaborate in strong detail on what they are selling the borrower. This will often lead to a piece that is over the head of the borrower, using terms that a layman may not be familiar with or spending too much effort explaining why they should refinance with you. No borrower wants to read a two-page document about why they should refinance with you. When it comes to approach, the acronym K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) comes to mind. If the borrower does not understand terms that are simple and easily understood, they simply will not respond.
With direct mail, you only have a few seconds to capture the interest of the reader. Far too often, we encounter clients who saturate their mail design with verbiage that “explains” the loan program, thus relying on the mail piece to sell the loan program. This approach clutters the piece with information that most borrowers will not read, and in many cases, often confuses them. The most effective approach is when the piece is direct, highlights the benefits of the loan program you are targeting and is short with a call to action. Using color to highlight the benefits of the program amplifies the points that trigger the borrower to respond. Don’t overthink beyond these simple tenants.
Another common “overthinking” mistake is when companies want to test a market, but do not want to spend the money necessary to hit the quantity needed to give the test a fair shot. Many are hesitant to break into a new market out of fear of failure and money wasted. Testing should be approached as a normal drop would; the best test will come from dropping the maximum amount of pieces for the maximum return. By testing a minimal quantity, you will not hit enough of the quality within your universe to extract a comfortable return that would justify additional mail efforts. When testing, always focus on testing at least 5,000 pieces. With around 5,000 pieces is where the best returns begin. When thinking of your mail campaigns, whether they are continuous or are chartering into new territory, take simple steps in your approach to the design and target.
Jake Soley of Titan List and Mailing Services has specialized in mortgage-specific marketing since 2006. Jake’s commitment to educating his customers on the proper steps to take when launching direct mail programs has catapulted him as a leader in mortgage direct mail. He may be reached by phone at (800) 544-8060, ext. 209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.