Thursday, April 5, 2007

Internet Marketing is Not Sales


There is often a bit of confusion about the blurry line of distinction between sales and marketing.

For example, we recently received an email from a brand new client. We were sending his company about 100+ mortgage leads a day. After a few days he wrote us saying, "I have received 500+ leads... but our sales are not very high?" To which we replied, "As we discussed, we do the Internet marketing and deliver the leads to your company. That is our job. We control the traffic flow to your web business. Once they arrive at your company, you do the sales. You control the sales with your staff."

Let’s talk a little about Internet marketing and what it entails.

Little Sizzle, a Dash Of Appeal, a Bit Of Allure

Internet marketing is a lot like marketing low interest rates. You need a little sizzle, a dash of appeal, a bit of allure and something that meets and satisfies the user's desire.

Here is an illustration of the distinctions between marketing, branding, public relations, sales etc… it goes like this:

You see prospective borrower at a party. You march across the room, go up to the person and say, in a matter of fact tone, "I have the lowest home loan rates in town. Want to sign up now?"" -- That's "Direct Marketing."

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a prospective borrower.

You give your friend ten dollars to approach the borrower and they say, "Hi, my friend over there (pointing to you) has the lowest home loan rates, want to sign up now?”-- That's "Advertising."

You see a prospective borrower at a party. You go up to them and get their telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I have the lowest home loan rates in town." -- That's "Telemarketing."

You're at a party and see a prospective borrower. You give two of your friends ten bucks each to stand within earshot of the attractive person and point over to you and say, "I hear that person has fantastic home loan rates." Then they talk about what a great person you are. -- That's "Public Relations."

You're at a party and see a prospective borrower. That person immediately walks over to you and says, "Hi, I hear you have the lowest rates in town, I want to complete a loan application now". -- That's "Brand Recognition."

You're at a party and see a prospective borrower. You talk them into getting a loan with your friend. -- That's a "Sales Rep."

Your friend can't satisfy them so the borrower calls you. -- That's "Tech Support."

You're at a party when you realize that there are so many prospective borrowers in attendance that you can’t possibly give each your total and undivided attention. So you start at one corner of the room and go to each person you find attractive and shout at the top of your lungs, "I HAVE THE LOWEST HOME LOAN RATES!" Soon you are asked to leave the party. -- That's "Spam” marketing.

Your Online Marketing Efforts

Now, how does all relate to your online marketing efforts? Are your visitors looking for something sexy, or are they seeking something more substantial?

Direct Marketing: Contact real estate offices and escrow companies and ask for a link from their web site to yours.

Advertising: Use pay-per-click efforts, buy keywords at various search portals, advertise in newsletters and opt-in ezines.

Telemarketing: Call online mortgage companies in other cities and states and offer to exchange leads for customers you cannot service.

Public Relations: Do postings in various newsgroups and moderated newsgroups providing helpful information. Also add a mortgage calculator to your web site that anyone can use without logging in our having to complete a sign-in process.

Brand Recognition: This is something that is earned.

Spam: Unsolicited emails can produce short term results, but the negative connotations and possible loss of your ISP or web site host can destroy your business.

Other Ways To Sell

A few other ways to improve sales for your mortgage web site:

A Pretty Face: Make sure your web site is attractive and pleasant in appearance. No one likes to see a mortgage site constructed with a FrontPage 97 template and with 13 different color fonts.

If you are selling mortgages, don't offer anything else. Links to Amazon, your favorite sites, the IRS, are detrimental to you. Customers are hard to get…keep them on your web site.

Don't skimp on information on your web site. If a visitor has to search, or heaven-forbid, call for ANY reason other to complete an application, then you haven't done your job. ALL information on rates, procedures, about your company, should be on your site.

Movies Are For The Theaters: Do NOT make your customers watch a Flash introduction of spinning houses, swirling interest rate symbols, flying dollar bills and end up at some monolithic edifice that is your office building. Visitors want info, not entertainment.

Never bad-mouth the competition from your web site.

The Promise of More Than You Intend to Deliver: Don't blink and blast an interest rate of 3.95% on your site if it only applies to loans of less than $50,000 and incomes in excess of $400,000. Show ALL your rates, not just the eye-stoppers.

Tricks are for Dogs: Any traffic generating trick, such as creating a Pamela Lee Anderson worship page on your site, that works will stop working next week when everyone wise to what you are doing and no one will fall for it.

Romance: People like to treated nice, they like to be cared for -- so, do this for your visitors at your site. Make it easy to navigate your site, answer their questions before they have to ask them and be responsive when they email you.

Stepping Stones To Acquiring And Maintaining Customers

What mortgage site owners are really seeking, is the same outcome that often occurs via a marriage. Mortgage web site owners want a relationship that is good for both parties to occur. The sex and romance, while an integral part in the courtship maze, are simply the stepping stones to acquiring and maintaining customers.


For online mortgage leads please visit our mortgage leads page.


Originally published June 2003.


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