Craig Rowe is a contributor to the Adwerx content team. He
is a technology columnist with Inman, a freelance writer with
an extensive background in real estate and marketing, and
has worked in commercial tenant representation and multifamily sales. Rowe writes from his home in Truckee, California,
where he also works as a commercial backpacking guide.
For more information about Adwerx, visit adwerx.com.
Reach Rowe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capitalize on the Web
Landing pages and retargeted ads are powerful
By Craig Rowe
Online advertising has evolved from a high- dollar, relatively vague marketing tactic to something almost any small business can do well — although few do, yet.
From real estate agents to insurance professionals, top local businesses nationwide have realized its
advantages, launching targeted campaigns to pull in
new clients and advertise past successes. Mortgage
originators, however, have yet to adopt these new
While caution is for the best in the mortgage industry, the time is right for mortgage professionals to
think tactically about digital tools for business development. Best practices have taken shape around
online advertising to help originators leverage the
technology and better measure their investment.
Almost any successful online ad effort involves retargeting — a method that allows an advertiser to serve
ads to an audience by tracking visitors across multiple
websites. Retargeting involves depositing a pixel (or
“cookie”) on a person’s web browser that serves as a
beacon for delivering the advertiser’s message across
numerous online environments, ranging from local
websites to national media platforms.
Also known as behavioral remarketing, this targeted
online advertising is aimed at prospective customers
based on previous internet actions that didn’t result
in a conversion. Considering that up to 98 percent of
web visitors leave an online site without converting,
retargeting is a powerful way to bring them back.
This serves the mortgage professional on multiple
fronts. It offers a broad reach in a hyper-targeted way.
It strengthens the originator’s credibility by using
repetition to build confidence with those who have
expressed interest in your business through their
browsing behavior. And it keeps your mortgage
services “top of mind” with a valuable audience —
Retargeted ads are highly personalized and remain
well within the bounds of all standard online privacy
rules. And the data supports the usage. According to
a report from Retargeter.com, retargeted consumers
are nearly 70 percent more likely to complete a purchase or fill out a form as compared to consumers who
have not been retargeted.
Data also shows retargeting ads can provide a lift to
organic web searches. This is when prospective bor-
rowers, who have seen your ads follow them around
email newsletters. In addition, other display efforts —
when combined with retargeting ads because of the
multichannel approach. Even your print and on-air ads
can benefit from retargeting ads.
Online ads are effective alone, but are even more
powerful when combined with a follow-up strategy.
As with traditional print ads or radio campaigns, audiences need this follow-up process to become more
deeply invested in your brand.
One of the best parts of this follow-up strategy in
the digital-advertising world is the landing page.
These web pages are a critical component to getting
the most value out of your online marketing for business development.
Landing pages take a more overt approach to capturing prospective borrower information — by simply
asking for it. A best practice is to have the landing
page continue the conversation started with your
Take the promise offered in your digital ad one step
further by using a landing page to help potential
borrowers better understand how your mortgage
services are best matched to their needs. In exchange
for their e-mail address and name, you can offer a free
download through your landing page of a financial
worksheet, a branded list of best restaurants in their
zip code, or maybe a summary of recent local deals
complete with borrower reviews. The key is to offer
something of value in exchange for data.
Mortgage-business landing pages aren’t stand-alone websites. They are, in essence, individual web
pages. They can be a page within your company’s
website or hosted on a third-party server.
Landing pages should be tightly branded, brief
and measurable. You will want to be able to track all
activity, from referral sources to the number of downloads. A landing page should also be designed to
encourage a deeper dive into your full website.
A number of companies have emerged to offer
tools for building and managing landing pages.
Leadpages.net will float to the top of most searches
on the topic. They offer hundreds of information-capturing templates that reflect contemporary design
trends and user habits. Landing pages can be optimized for browser and mobile environments. Pages
are easy to create, edit and launch, and it requires
minimal website management savvy to set up.
Like Leadpages, a vendor called Unbounce.com
doesn’t demand that you know how to write computer
code. Templates can be customized when needed, and
the service uses a drag-and-drop interface to arrange
Dynamic text replacement is a slick component to
Unbounce’s landing page tools. This feature automatically adjusts your page’s copy to reflect what the prospect searched for. You don’t have to create an array of
different pages for slightly different product offerings
Instapage, like Unbounce, is an easy, smart, and
powerful tool for landing pages. This option offers
a host of integrations with e-mail marketing and
automation tools, media providers and customer-relationship management (CRM) tools. Instapage also
helps drive traffic back to social media platforms and
can be plugged directly into a Wordpress.com site, a
common platform for small businesses.
Like online advertising itself, these landing-page
builders have evolved to be much more than creative
tools. Each service mentioned offers advanced,
team-driven dashboards, deep analytics, and visitor-oversight features. Plus, the costs remain very much
within reach for independent mortgage companies.
Landing pages have become an increasingly important cog in the larger machine of web marketing, helping businesses of any size in any industry be better at
developing new business.
n n n
If you are at all thinking about how online advertising
and landing pages can boost your business, this is the
year to jump into that world. The technology is growing rapidly, and your competitors might be, too. n