As interest rates continue to rise and tech- nology companies level the playing field with affordable turnkey digital mortgage solutions, mortgage companies are turn-
ing to data to gain a competitive advantage. The ability
to use data to reach clients at the right time with the
right message, using their preferred communication
channel, has fueled growth for originators even in this
challenging mortgage environment.
The days of receiving an inquiry with basic consum-
er details and consistently calling, texting and emailing
until they respond are long gone. This type of brute-
force marketing, also known as lead-based marketing,
creates a sour customer experience that is just as likely
to decrease the chances of earning their business.
Today’s borrower expects originators to understand
how and when to communicate with them throughout
their mortgage-shopping journey. Marketers leveraging
unique consumer data sets to execute an individualized contact strategy call this approach “people-based
marketing” — and it’s working for companies in
various sectors, including the mortgage industry.
By employing a people-based approach, mortgage
salespeople are recognizing leads that shouldn’t be
contacted during the first 10 days following an inquiry.
Only when the person behind that lead shows renewed
interest on day 20 will teams view this as a valuable signal to re-engage them with a timely and relevant call,
text or e-mail, depending upon their preferred method
The effectiveness of people-based marketing dramatically improves as the view of the customer becomes
more complete. Technology has advanced to a point
where it can identify a consumer’s buying style and preferred communication method, as well as whether their
behavior signals high or low buying intent.
Combining these inputs makes it easier for marketers
to customize an outreach plan to a specific person and
create a more valuable interaction that is appreciated by
n Attitudinal data is information about how a person is feeling about something, whether it is a product, service or their interaction with an originator.
This type of data allows marketers to form consumer
profiles, which can help an originator understand
who a consumer is and how they like to buy.
Are they tech savvy? Will they be put off by direct-mail outreach? Do they prefer communicating via text?
Knowing the importance of these customer preferences will help you determine what to do next and create a
better opportunity to close a sale.
n Behavioral data is the king of predicting outcomes and refers to the insight produced as a result of
specific consumer actions. Credit triggers are a great
example of behavioral data that is useful in knowing
where a customer is in their mortgage journey.
A credit trigger, however, often happens after the
borrower has already selected a mortgage company.
Behavioral data helps you understand changes in consumer intent throughout the complete buying journey,
allowing you to effectively time your communications
to the moment when a borrower is most likely to make
Behavioral data such as the amount of time spent
on a website, the number of visits over time and the
total number of websites visited can all be positive
signals that a consumer is ready to move forward with
the mortgage process.
Collecting and combining the two different data
sets typically is not an overwhelming task. There are
data-service companies who already possess this
information specifically for the mortgage industry.
By providing basic consumer information, these companies are able to access thousands of data points and
return simple, actionable responses to originators.
A consumer list, for example, may be monitored for
in-market indicators. When consumers from that list
are showing increased activity on mortgage-related
websites, the lender would receive an alert indicating such behavioral activity is occurring. In addition,
if that consumer is identified as someone who prefers
texting on their mobile device, you will know when to
reach out to the customer and how to communicate
Even starting with basic models can improve outcomes for your business and support you in making
incremental enhancements as the data becomes more
predictive of loan originations. Depending on the sophistication of the marketing team, there are three different ways to combine attitudinal and behavioral data:
simple, matrix and artificial intelligence (AI) driven.
n Simple models combine basic understandings of
groupings into four categories. A consumer is either
a high or low value prospect and has either high or
low activity. Combining them creates four groups —
high/high, high/low, low/high and low/low. Originators can target communications to each group based
on their likelihood to convert into an origination.
n Matrix combinations create even more categories. In a four-by-four matrix, for example, there are
16 different combinations. As the number of combinations increases, so does the required content production. Although it can be easy to create campaigns
on the back of a napkin, developing them is where
the real magic lies. Determining which groups flow
into a call center or a text campaign takes thought,
testing and patience. The outcomes, when done
right, tend to justify the investment.
n AI-driven marketing campaigns are widely
talked about, but how to create one is still a mystery
to many. The hyper-personalization that AI makes
possible for marketers is tempting, but it requires a
tremendous amount of work and understanding of
granular customer segments. Although the technology is promising and the applications are becoming
more concrete, AI remains reserved for companies
with deep pockets who can fully fund a project.
n n n
Today, it is easier than ever to connect your consumer
information with additional data sets and improve
your relationships with potential customers. Taking
some time to research which data is right for your
business — and to fully understand how the data is
being collected — will prove invaluable as more and
more originators enter into the rising strategy of
people-based marketing. n
Mike Eshelman is the head of consumer finance at Jornaya,
a data-as-a-service platform that delivers consumer-journey insights to publishers, marketers, analytics and
compliance professionals with the highest-resolution
view of the consumer buying journey. Reach Eshelman at
Jeremy Bowling is national sales manager at Union Home
Mortgage, a full-service residential mortgage banking
company. He has worked for the company for three years.
Reach Bowling at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data Powers Marketing Campaigns
Originators can reach clients at the right time with the right message
By Mike Eshelman and Jeremy Bowling
Information related to what an individual is thinking or
feeling about a particular subject, such as a product,
service or interaction with a mortgage professional.
Data on attitudes allows marketers to build consumer
profiles, which can help mortgage originators understand a potential client’s thinking and how and when
they are likely to make a purchase.
Information that helps predict outcomes and refers to
the insight produced as a result of specific consumer
actions, such as the amount of time spent on a website,
the number of visits over time and the total number of