Try these customer-centric refinance mortgage marketing strategies to increase engagement, conversions and profits.
The recent uptick in interest rates has led the refi market to cool off slightly compared to this time last year. The downturn may leave financial marketers wondering how to adjust their refinance marketing tactics to increase conversions.
The good news is that rates are still considered historically low, and while refis may be slowing down, they’re still an appealing option for many homeowners. On the downside, refi prospects can be more challenging to engage and convert. Unlike first-time homebuyers, they require less hand-holding during the mortgage application process and are more likely to shop around for competitive interest rates. For financial institutions, this presents an opportunity to target refinance prospects by helping them identify a need — and to keep them engaged throughout the sales cycle.
How to Market for Refinancing in a Customer-Centric World
Bank customers have more options and more ways to gather information than ever before — from digital to direct mail to in-branch communication channels. And as consumers, they’ve come to expect a seamless user experience from nearly every industry, including banking. To market for refinancing, it’s essential to not only pay attention to what your competitors are doing, but also to understand the refi borrower audience segment, and how their needs and priorities differ from first-time homebuyers.
With the right refi marketing strategy in place, you can more easily identify your prospects and move them through the sales funnel. Below, we share five strategies your financial institution can implement now to leverage the opportunities, minimize the challenges — and ultimately strengthen your refinance marketing campaigns and increase conversions.
1. Identify your optimal audience.
To differentiate your refi prospects from homebuyers, start by looking at your data and segmenting the two groups. This will make it easier to deliver more relevant communications to your target audience and boost the chances that they’ll respond to your offers.
For example, use data to identify and target prospects or current customers who are eligible for pre-approved refinance offers. Then target them with personalized communications showing them how much money they could save by refinancing.
You can also use your data to target refi prospects with “invitation to apply” and “offer of credit” messaging. Leverage data to include personalized information on factors such as home value, length of current loan, loan-to-value and current mortgage terms.
2. Invest in content marketing.
Use value-added content to engage and retain refinance prospects. While providing helpful information, you’ll also build brand awareness and position your financial institution as a reliable resource regardless of where prospects are in the sales cycle. And if they’re considering a refi to net a lower monthly payment, shift to a shorter loan period, convert from an ARM to a fixed rate or consolidate debt, then the right financial content can help them identify a need and show them why a refi makes sense.
Nurture prospects with helpful, informative content such as tips to improve a FICO® score for a better interest rate, home maintenance checklists and home improvement ideas, for example. Even if they’re not yet ready to refinance, they’ll remember your brand when they’re ready to purchase.
3. Leverage email marketing.
To maximize your refinance marketing campaigns, take advantage of your email lists. Email remains one of the most cost-effective and proven methods to reach the right audience with relevant messaging, personalized offers and strong calls to action. It’s also a simple way to dynamically version content to make it highly relevant in near real time.
For example, consider using email to provide regular interest rate updates while you provide engaging, personalized content. Include calls to action such as “subscribe to rate watches” or “calculate a loan payment.” The response to your emails can also help you screen prospects to see where they are on their purchase journey.
4. Maximize every one of your marketing channels.
Consumers are increasingly turning to multiple channels to search for information. Make it easy for refi prospects to not only engage with your brand, but also to find the information they’re looking for by providing an engaging and consistent user experience across your brand’s marketing channels.
From digital channels like your website, app, and social media pages, to print materials, email and in-branch collateral, provide consistent messaging — as well as up-to-date rate information — across all channels. For example, consider placing digital signs inside branches and include refi calculators in emails, your app and on your website.
Finally, be sure to view your bank’s website on your phone to confirm that the mobile design is responsive, meaning that content and design adapt to the size of the device screen being used.
5. Try retargeting ads.
Retargeting can be an effective tactic to lure back prospects who have previously visited your website. Since it costs less to convert an existing customer than it does to acquire a new one, retargeting can be a cost-effective way to re-engage prospects and keep your brand top-of-mind. CRM retargeting takes this marketing tactic a step further by using your offline data (like a physical mailing address) to identify refi prospects. These prospects are then delivered personalized online ads, regardless of whether they’ve been to your website or visited your local branch. To boost engagement and increase leads, for example, a refi marketing campaign idea might be to use CRM retargeting to deliver Invitation to Apply campaigns to a select audience.
Stay Ahead of the Competition with Data-Driven Refi Marketing Strategies
Refi marketing strategies like the five highlighted above work well on their own. But they can have a stronger impact when they’re included as part of your overall financial marketing strategy. Interest rates and the refinance market will likely continue to fluctuate. However, the financial institutions poised to stay ahead of the competition will be those who can effectively leverage data, content and a broad array of marketing channels to deliver engaging, relevant information to the right audience.
Could your refi marketing campaigns use an extra boost with data sourcing, analysis or segmentation? We can help. CCG’s financial marketing experts have four decades of experience working with financial institutions to deliver the right message to the right customer — at the right time. Our financial marketing solutions and services include customer data, analytics and research, as well as value-added financial content and creative strategy.
Request a free consultation or call us at 800.525.0313 today.