Free CRM system for loan officers (MailChimp) - Mortgage Marketing

Email proves an extremely efficient mortgage marketing channel for loan officers when done well. It's very affordable and I believe that anyone can create successful campaigns when equipped with the right advice, which is why it's ideal for loan officers.

Email gives you a chance to really engage with your audience, nurture your leads and ultimately turn them into clients. You can also automate all your campaigns, which means you won't need to spend hours each day working on them, giving you more time to devote to other areas of your business.

MailChimp is the easiest way to create and send professionally functional and aesthetically appealing business emails. It organizes and manages subscriptions as well as tracks and evaluates the performance of email marketing campaigns. By using latest analysis techniques like A/B split testing, segmentations and return on investment (ROI) tracking, MailChimp produces the most accurate and instant results out of business email marketing. On top of that, MailChimp is absolutely free to use which makes it a unique and mouth watering service to avail. But being free only means one thing that MailChimp offers more features and better performance for absolutely nothing compared to those expensive brands and paid marketing service providers.

The secret of MailChimp success as marketer lies in its unlimited features fully updated to be compatible with modern trends and inventions in communication technology. Such features like new subscribers' addition and tracking through mobile make MailChimp as useful on mobile devices as on PC. Similarly, the social features of MailChimp comprehensively accommodate the rapidly growing people networking sites (Facebook and Twitter) by allowing it to use the power of social networks for business success. This integration is totally inevitable for a fruitful marketing campaign as it lures heavy crowd by keeping them informed through information sharing. Another essential feature of MailChimp is the integration with third parties (Google Analytics, Eventbrite, WordPress etc) by enabling smooth data transfer.

But generally speaking regardless of how you will deal with your email mortgage marketing, there are a few fundamentals that makes any email CRM campaign a successful one. Here is simple step-by-step guide to setting up your first campaign.

DOWNLOAD FREE EBOOK - MailChimp Guide for Loan Officers

Step 1. Build your list

Of course email is no good unless you have a group of people who have given their permission for you to contact them. So you'll need to start thinking about building a list.

By permission, I mean, they've willingly given you their email address. Just asking clients to enter their email address is often not enough to convince them to do so - they want to know 'what's in it for me?' so you need to provide what's called a value exchange (sometimes referred to as a lead magnet) such as a discount code, free pdf download, eBook or email series.

Also, tell them the kind of things that you will send them - for example, that as subscribers they'll be the first to hear about our new offers / ranges / releases.

In addition, emailing people who have not asked to be contacted are much less likely to turn into clients.

Step 2. Create your email!

This is the exciting part where you get to be creative. And if you're not creative - don't worry, it's not an essential prerequisite for creating effective campaigns!

Here are a few best-practice tips that will help ensure your email doesn't end up in the trash!

What's the objective? You firstly need to consider the objective(s) of the campaign - what is the email trying to achieve? And be specific. Also, think carefully about who you are talking to. Be sure to keep your client front of mind when putting your email together and make sure that the content is benefits driven - the reader will want to know within seconds what is in it for them.

Copy: Try and keep the copy concise and make use of bullet points to break it up a little. Think about what you want the recipient to do - what action you want them to take. Tip: Make it really obvious! Which leads on to...

Call to action: Make the call to action stand out so it's impossible to miss. A colored button with text on that tells them exactly what to do (ie: Get a free consultation / Register here fro first time home buyer seminar / Get your free eBook) should do the trick here. Remember, you can use more than one, in fact two to three buttons is recommended. But you can always test this in future.

Subject line: Don't neglect the subject line! A lot of people treat the subject line as an after-thought, but it is a vital consideration as it is the thing that gets your email opened in the first place! Make it benefits lead and not too long. It should make your recipient feel like they're going to miss out if they don't open the email to see what's inside - they just can't help themselves, they need to open your email!

Images: Can really bring your email to life and give it a polished and professional feel - but don't overuse them! Why? Although the email will look fantastic when images are enabled, a lot of email clients won't automatically enable images, or they won't load if there is a poor internet connection, so the client could just see lots of blank boxes and your message will be lost. A pro tip is to append "alt tag" descriptions to your images so that even if the images are not displayed a text alternative will be shown to fill in the blank. For example, if you're showing an image of a product, pop the product name in as the alt tag.

Logo: Make sure that your logo is at the top of the email, so that the client instantly recognizes who it's from, which means they are more likely to want to know what you've got to say.

Personalization: At the very least you should be including the person's name in the email. You can also try including it in the subject line too (to find out the impact on your open rates you can always test this - ie send 50% out with no name in the subject line and 50% with the name and see which one performs better).

Footer: You should always add a valid contact address at the end of your emails, usually in a 'footer' area, not in the main body of the email.

Unsubscribe: You must give clients a chance to opt out of receiving further communications from you in every communication you send - and you need to act on it too. It's always worth familiarizing yourself with the data protection laws that apply in your country. In the US, you need to comply with the Data Protection Act and in addition, for electronic communications including email, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

Proof read: Or, the boring bit! Once you've written your email, go through it a few times and check for spelling mistakes, typos and grammatical errors. It can be helpful to show it to someone else too, as they'll often spot things that you missed.

SEND! Once you're happy with it, you can select who you want to send it to (or hit up your entire list) and press send!

Step 3. Measure success

After all that hard work, did anyone actually read your email?

When analyzing your campaign, re-visit the original objectives of the campaign in order to determine what metrics you are going to use to gauge performance. Typically you'll always be interested in open rates and click throughs (how many people clicked the call to action), but you may also want to establish what the client did once they'd clicked through - the onward journey. For example, if you were offering a free download of an eBook - how many clicks turned into successful downloads, if you were trying to get them to buy something - how many sales did you get off the back of that particular email campaign? You get the picture.

And finally...

Step 4: Test and Learn

As you get more confident and experienced in email as a marketing tool, you can then start to think about testing various elements such as subject lines, time of day, day of week, length of email (short v long copy), images... The list goes on! Even a small increase in your open rates can have a powerful knock on impact on the success of your campaigns.

I hope you've found this guide useful and I wish you the best of luck with your first campaign!

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