Rethinking lead generation for a post-pandemic world

While the pandemic and refinance boom are really separate phenomena, it’s hard to know which one is causing which consumer behavior, said Nick Belenky, chief revenue officer for Top of Mind, which offers customer relationship management system Surefire and is now owned by Black Knight.

Lenders are “looking for ways that they can influence borrowers to interact with their websites, interact with him socially, through social posts and are looking for sources of content,” Belenky said. So Surefire is creating social content for its clients to help them deal with what it calls the “refi boom recovery.”

But that is not enough. Counter to prepandemic research indicating diminished influence for direct mail, Surefire is creating omnichannel marketing pieces such as direct mail to enhance contact. Consumers are getting inundated by email, especially now that many people are working from home, Belenky said.

As part of the omnichannel experience, “we’re being asked to deliver physical — physical closing gifts, physical postcards for lead generation in addition to mobile outreach.

“They’re at home working and getting physical mail in a location that is the same place where their decisions are made,” Belenky said. “So sending physical goods to the home just becomes more effective when people are in the home more of their day.”

Those mailings work in tandem with text messaging video, about, for example, someone’s milestone in their home purchase journey, Belenky said.

Big Purple Dot recently added SMS/MMS video marketing into its CRM lead management platform.

The pandemic meant originators had to “not only conduct business in a virtual way, but also they needed to stay connected with the borrowers with no interaction,” CEO Roxana Davidoff said.

Unlike Belenky, Davidoff sees physical pieces as a casualty of the pandemic. “They were so fixated on mailers but overnight because no one wanted to handle anything coming from the mail right due to contamination, that all changed,” she said. “Because no one wanted to handle anything anymore, we had to find a more creative way to interact and connect with borrowers.”

Consumers are expecting a seamless experience in getting a mortgage, one they can do from the comfort of their home.

“We’re seeing more and more lenders leverage the marketing that combines SMS, MMS, AI, customized text and multimedia messaging with what Big Purple Dot does, video,” Davidoff said. “So all of those things now have kind of pushed this industry forward as it relates to the communication and the way that we communicate with the borrowers.”

And that led to adding video to text messages. Users are creating personalized messaging in those videos to make the connection with the prospect.

“It’s much more pointed to the borrower and what their specific needs and wants are,” Davidoff said. “We’re trying to connect with them because we can’t connect with them in person.”

Leaving a voicemail message is not going to work, she said. If anything, many people have stopped checking their voicemail, especially if it appears to come from a mass marketing blast. They would rather have that text message.

“People want things now, they want it to be personalized and they want it to connect with them,” Davidoff said. “If it doesn’t connect with them, if it’s not personalized, they don’t want it.”

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