Are you missing the mark with your email marketing?

by Kimberly Greene10 Jul 2019

If you haven’t quite gotten the hang of email marketing, you’re not alone.

Creating an email campaign and crafting the content isn’t as simple as it sounds, and there are some major necessities for email that many mortgage originators dismiss or, at the very least, overlook.

Any email that’s being sent needs to meet four basic criteria:

  • Is it being delivered and opened?
  • Is it readable?
  • Is it specific to the borrower?
  • Is it trackable?

Deliverability
The content of the email won’t matter at all if it can’t get to the recipient because it’s going straight to their spam folder, or to an unchecked account. Or sometimes originators will create a newsletter and send it as an image, not realizing that many people have selected not to receive email images, so that content isn’t being seen at all. Do not include attachments, because that’s another easy way for emails to get caught in spam and junk filters.

Small details can make a difference for metrics like open rates (the percentage of people who open those emails) and click-through rates (the percentage of people who engage with the content and click through to the website or application). Two of those details are the email subject line and the preheader, which is the short snippet of text describing the content of the email. Having a preheader tends to result in a better click-through rate.

Readability
Even though there’s a temptation to load the email with information, there is a delicate balance to be struck between grabbing the reader’s attention and overloading them with too much information.

Keep paragraphs short, and most importantly, feature product highlights or client-specific opportunities in the first couple of sentences. Even if people open emails, it’s a pretty safe bet that they won’t read until the end every single time, so don’t bury the good stuff at the bottom.

Sometimes emails will be missing the call to action, which is a big miss. Even when the email is used for informational purposes, there should always be a desired result, which could be anything from contacting the originator or company that sent the email, driving traffic to the website to get more information, or starting an online application. Having a highly visible button that draws the reader’s attention works better than just saying, ‘click here,’ which can be easily overlooked. Regardless of how it presents, that one click needs to take the reader to the place you want them to go. Very few people will be willing to go the extra step to copy a link and put it into a browser on their own.

Don’t forget to proofread! Even the best writers and communicators make mistakes, which can look unprofessional or lead to misinformation and misunderstandings.

Specific to the borrower
The message should always be neat and clean both visually and with language, and the message should always be sensitive to the borrower’s needs. After all, if you have a database with 2,000 clients, not everyone is going to be at the same point in their journey; some people will have recently bought, some will have recently refinanced, and some will have not even purchased a property yet.

Most people won’t read information that doesn’t pertain to their particular point in their journey, which means that you could lose engagement from a lot of people. Connecting with them at the right time in their cycle is really important, and originators should treat them differently and giving them different information based on that.

Not only do they have different needs and want individual information, but they want to be addressed individually as well. One way to do this is by using names as opposed to a generic greeting.

Tracking
Now that you have a beautifully crafted email, targeted to specific customers, with impeccable spelling and grammar, how will you know that your efforts are paying off? Here’s where things can get complicated, but they don’t have to be.

Some email marketing programs do much more than manage email marketing campaigns. Active Campaign, for example, is a program that also includes a CRM and support for website, email, and social media integration. Mail Chimp is a simple, affordable option, and Hubspot and Omnisend are options that provide marketers with more in-depth options. Don’t write off more expensive and expansive systems right away. Do a demo and a free trial and evaluate whether the initial investment would be work your time and money. They may require a bit more energy upfront, but they could end up running themselves with minimal guidance down the road, freeing up your time for prospecting and more interactions with clients and partners.

The most telling result will of course be an uptick in that call to action response. If that doesn’t change after implementing an email campaign, then there are some things that still need to be tweaked. Tracking metrics such as open rates and click-throughs can be done on an individual basis, but using certain programs can help with that kind of detailed and automatic reporting.

Set realistic and attainable goals for your campaigns, and then track what’s working and what’s not working. Play with subject lines and teasers, test various colors and even things like placement of images within those emails. Compare results from one email to the next and decide how to improve based on that date.

Email is informative, but it’s also an important role in building a voice and a brand, which should be the same across other platforms. Everything should work together to engage borrowers and keep them interested in you and what you have to say.

Being cohesive and consistent are the building blocks to any email message; everything else is just gravy.