Lead generation for mortgage brokers can be as simple as asking a realtor for a referral. However, there is a big gap between a scalable lead gen strategy that produces leads every month and the inconsistencies that come with referral-based lead gen. At its core, lead generation for mortgage brokers should not be any different from other service-based marketing plans. Create a sales funnel, provide value, and leads will roll into your pipeline. With this said, building a digital sales funnel can seem overwhelming to anyone who has not worked in marketing. However, a sales funnel is simply a guided consumer journey.
Lead Generation Strategy: Mortgage Broker Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is simply the process of familiarizing consumers with your brand. From the first touch of awareness, you guide your customer through interest, decisions, and the final action. Sales funnels can span years for some people or can be as quick as a few minutes. The key to a successful sales funnel for mortgage brokers is giving value to the lead and asking for little in return.
To generate quality purchase leads for mortgage brokers, the best digital funnel is through PPC. The process is simple, a lead searches for a mortgage broker in their area. A search ad populates at the top of the Google results. The advertisement tells the user who you are and what you can provide them. For example, a successful search ad may state, “Top Rated Mortgage Broker | Get Pre-Qualified Today.”
The user clicks on the advertisement and lands on your landing page. The landing page is full of useful information that allows the user to learn about your experience, authority, and value. From there, the prospect makes a decision to fill out a form and get pre-qualified. This funnel is the fastest way to turn a cold user into a warm lead. With this said, 90% of leads that visit your sales funnel will bounce. This is where email drips and remarketing come into play. At the end of the day, successful Lead Generation For Mortgage Brokers comes down to optimizing your sales funnel constantly. Now that we have broken down the theory of a sales funnel, we will build out a real sales funnel using Google Ads, Landing Page builds, and even discuss conversion tracking.
Google Ads For Mortgage Brokers
Google Ads is the premier lead generation platform for mortgage brokers, loan officers, and real estate agents. What separates Google Ads from other lead-gen platforms is user intent. Social media marketing is based on past consumer interests. For example, I looked at a website a week ago and now I’m seeing ads on my feed. Because the user is not actively in-market, the conversion rates and lead quality are much lower. Inversely, when someone searches for a mortgage broker near them, they are actively looking for a solution to their problem. By focusing on active consumers, you can find the low-hanging fruit and convert them quickly. For this reason, mortgage brokers are flooding to channels like Google Ads to generate leads. With the flood of advertisers on Google’s search network, you run into a costly and saturated lead gen channel. However, experienced PPC managers have cracked the code.
More data equals better leads: Google Ads is an auction-based ad network. This means you tell Google how much you are willing to pay per click. When someone searches for a targeted keyword, your ad shows up at the 1,2,3, or 4 spots based on your bid. If you bid too low, you will never receive any quality clicks, if you bid too high, Google will overspend your budget. Additionally, Google factors in the quality and relevancy of your ad to the user searching. Therefore, if your ad is highly relevant to the user, you can bid lower than competitors that are less relevant. As you start to generate mortgage leads, clicks, and impressions, you can adjust your bidding parameters.
For example, you can tell Google you want to pay per lead, instead of per click. However, if you make this change too early, your lead generation could suffer. Google is constantly learning from your keywords, devices, audiences, times, locations, and the list goes on. When Google finds patterns, it often replicates them. For example, if two leads come from the same keyword, Google will target the keyword more. However, if you switch to lead-focused bidding, Google will make the wrong assumptions. If you have 30-45 conversions within a 30-day window, conversion-focused bidding will improve your account performance.
Constant Optimization: When generating mortgage leads through Google Ads, there is no perfect account. As long as your competitors are making changes, you will always need to optimize your account. There is no set it and forget it solution for lead generation. Mortgage Brokers need to be okay constantly managing their Google Ads accounts or outsourcing this process. Optimizing your campaigns usually starts at the keyword level. If you are not generating leads, there is probably a relevancy issue. Download a search terms report from Google Ads. This report will show exactly what users are searching to trigger your ads. If you see a lot of irrelevant search queries, add them to your negative keyword list and tighten up your match types. You can use this same process for audiences, devices, locations, and more. The key to optimizations is cutting out the fat of the account and constantly making sure your campaign is relevant.
Don’t Quit: Google Ads is a powerful marketing suite. Therefore, you can spend money fast without much success. For this reason, mortgage brokers, loan officers, and realtors are often scared to put their hard-earned marketing dollars into a PPC lead gen campaign. However, this mentality is damaging for any lead generation strategy. If you have trepidation about Google Ads, you will pause your campaign before you ever have enough data to be successful. At the end of the day, there is no magic lead generation tool for mortgage brokers. Google Ads is no different. It takes about a month of data to be successful. However, if you develop a good strategy, work with an experienced PPC manager, and have patience, Google Ads will be your sole lead gen source for years to come.
Understanding Microsoft Ads in Your Lead Gen Plan
Microsoft Ads is not a premier lead generation source for mortgage brokers, however, it can be used effectively in markets where you are tapping out on impression share. Microsoft is a complimentary PPC platform to Google Ads. Generally speaking, you can spend about 20% of what you spend on Google with similar results. If you are a high-producing mortgage broker who focuses on a few key markets, Microsoft may be a good fit.
The dashboard is similar to Google Ads, so there is a very small learning curve. If you are comfortable running lead gen campaigns in Google, you can pick up Microsft in a few days. The biggest issue is understanding how the UET tag works and setting up conversion tracking. However, if you read Microsoft UET documentation, you will be able to pixel your site quickly. My favorite feature about Microsft Ads is the account transfer tool. Microsoft Ads allows you to fully transfer Google Ads campaigns into your dashboard in minutes. This is a huge time saver that further instills Microsoft Ads as a complementary tool to Google, rather than a direct competitor.
Landing Page That Generate Leads For Mortgage Brokers
I say this all the time to Mortgage Brokers – You can have the best Google Ad campaign managed by the most experienced PPC manager, however, if your landing page is slow, non-mobile-friendly, or irrelevant, you will not generate 1 lead. This is an important lesson for anyone trying to generate high-quality mortgage leads through PPC. Google Ads helps you find your customer, while the landing page is what sells your service. When building a landing page for lead generation, it has to be relevant, value-driven, and call-to-action heavy.
Relevant: If someone is searching for the top-rated mortgage brokers in Fresno, California, your landing page needs to reflect this. For example, your hero image headline needs to say something along the lines of, ‘Top Rated Mortgage Lender in Fresno.” If you are bidding on mortgage broker terms in Fresno, this headline is highly relevant. At the end of the day, when people click on an advertisement, they want to know if it is relevant within 3 seconds of landing on the site. Therefore, you have one headline to prove to users they are in the right place. Additionally, make sure the creative messaging, images, and icons are in line with your target audience. The more you can make people feel like they belong, the lower your bounce rate will be. This is step one in building a landing page that can generate leads for mortgage brokers.
Value-Driven: When someone lands on your website, there is always an exchange of goods. People do not fill out a form for no reason. Consumers always want something in return when they hand out their personal information. As mortgage brokers, the value you bring to leads is pre-approvals, mortgage quotes, and informational products. If someone is going to fill out a form, offer one of these examples in exchange. This not only gives you leverage but creates the right expectations with your prospects that will carry all the way to the closing table.
Call to Action: When talking about lead generation for mortgage brokers, it is imperative that we discuss Calls to Action (CTA). A call to action is when you encourage action from a user through specific messaging. A common CTA is a ‘contact us’ button at the bottom of a page. With this said, there are a few best practices that separate effective CTAs from non-effective CTAs. First, a great CTA will integrate your value proposition into the messaging. For example, if you have a form built out, the button may say, ‘Get Your Home Buying Guide in Seconds!’ In this example, the user will assume that they get a home buying guide if they fill out a form. This is extremely effective in finding the hand-raisers in unique ways. With this said, if you are promising a value, always follow through. Do not offer a guide or e-book if you have no intention of sending one to a lead. This will create distrust and hurt your chances to close the deal long term. Lastly, ensure your CTA stands out on your landing page. Do not use bland colors or hide buttons in areas that are hard to find. A CTA button should be the first thing that pops off the page.
Landing page designs and CRO (conversion rate optimization) is a topic that can be discussed at length. However, if you create a landing page that is relevant, value-driven, and has strong calls to action, you will have no issue generating mortgage leads. Now that we have discussed landing pages, it is time to breakdown, conversion tracking- a topic that is often pushed aside in the mortgage lead gen world.
How Conversion Tracking Helps Lead Generation For Mortgage Brokers
Conversion tracking is the process of adding a pixel to your site to monitor lead activity. A pixel is a line of code you drop on your site to track user activity. Think about it, if you create an advertisement and send people to your landing page, how does Google know if someone filled out a form? If there is no way to track conversions, it is impossible to optimize towards your goals.
The easiest way to track conversions is through Google Tag Manager (GTM). GTM gives mortgage brokers and loan officers an easy way to deploy tags and track conversion. There are simple PPC tags that integrate directly with your Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, and even Facebook. Once you have deployed GTM on your landing page, you can track lead form submissions, page views, button clicks, and even video views. From there you can build hyper targetted audiences that can be remarketed to down the line. While this is not a necessity, it is a great lead generation tactic for mortgage brokers with a lot of content. At the end of the day, GTM gives you a lot of options, however, it is vital that you track conversions before you go live with any Google Ads campaign or you will be throwing money away.
Lead generation for mortgage brokers comes down to strategy, implementation, and scalability. Our guidelines should give any broker, loan officer, or lender a map for long-term lead gen success.
If you are interested in more marketing topics, dig into the following posts:
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- Realtor Relationships
- Zillow Mortgage Leads Review
- Digital Marketing Plan for Mortgage Companies
- Loan Officer Website Templates
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- Loan Officer Marketing Template
- Can Loan Officers Work From Home?
- Mortgage Automation: Zapier for Loan Officers
- Consumer Direct Mortgage Marketing
- How to Market to Realtors as Loan Officers
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Henry has spent the bulk of his career working for mortgage companies and marketing agencies. He uses his experience in the martech industry to guide his strategies and insights in the mortgage and real estate world. He firmly believes that marketing success in every industry boils down to a technology-centered strategy.