Exclusive Mortgage Lead Generation Formula [6 Steps + Infographic]

Exclusive Mortgage Lead Generation Formula [6 Steps + Infographic]

Last month we generated 196 exclusive leads for our client using an exclusive mortgage lead generation system we created and implemented on their behalf. Our target audience consisted of homebuyers and alternative lending candidates who were unable to obtain traditional bank financing.  Please keep that in mind before you see the screenshot.

Forty-six of those leads equated to a specified buying intent between $57 million-ish and $86.3 million (see image below from the campaign)- an average of $620k to $900k per lead.   The other fifty people either opted to not share their estimated loan amount or they just left before they were asked.

Our clients generally convert 8% to 15% of the leads into application submissions.  In this case, 11 of the leads opted to fill out an app prior to having any human contact.  By combining our mortgage strategy with a real estate lead generation strategy, these campaigns can be extremely powerful, even leading to total market domination.

Many of the leads have been somewhat qualified upon hitting the inbox, but others still required a conversation to get them warmed up.  Generating high-quality mortgage leads is always easier said than done – but we have a consistent system figured out which is generating hundreds of closed deals for our clients.

With proper ongoing optimization and adjustments, the system we created for this client will continue to produce qualified client prospects for the foreseeable future.

Mortgage Lead Generation: 6 Steps to Market Domination

A sample from our recent mortgage lead generation work. Some of the lead capture systems we use to give the prospect the ability to communicate to the extent which they feel comfortable. Keep in mind, this was for a direct lender who specializes in providing financing that banks are unable to offer (People with lots of cash and credit issues are the target market).

How to Generate Exclusive Mortgage Leads Online

Success in the mortgage industry is dictated – to some degree – by to your ability to implement a consistent lead generation system online.  You have to capture the attention of your target audience where they are paying attention.  Online is where you can find it.

Lead generation isn’t everything, though.  You must also be likable, good at what you do, and have competitive loan products and services to offer.  Make yourself a resource for clients who need your services.  Make videos, blog posts, etc…

It’s almost 2018. Purchasing large ad spaces in the old school yellow pages is longer a viable method for attracting qualified borrowers.  The keys to success lie in your ability to capture the attention of qualified borrowers, in a relevant and meaningful way.  You may have the best loan programs and personality in the entire mortgage industry but if nobody knows about it, what difference does it make?

Who is this Google mortgage lead generation formula designed for? Mortgage origination professionals who are dedicated to their success.  Ask yourself the following questions:  Do you offer competitive loan products? Are you easy to work with?

If you answered yes, the rest of this should not be rocket science.  That doesn’t mean you won’t have to step outside of your comfort zone, however.

You might have the lowest rates and best client intake process in the world but if nobody knows about it, what difference does it make?

Can I Do This Work Myself?

If your objective is to generate powerful mortgage sales funnel that engages and qualifies leads on auto-pilot, it may be worth considering hiring a professional who works with mortgage and real estate companies on a daily basis.

If automation is your objective, it would be wise to consider hiring someone with mortgage origination experience who also has a strong track record generating mortgage leads (myself and my partner, for example).   If possible, stay away from hiring a digital marketing company lacking this experience to figure out how to generate exclusive mortgage leads on your dime.

That isn’t out of personal interest, but rather out of personal experience.  I have run into more than a few situations where writing ad copy would have been absolutely impossible without understanding the loan products I was making the ads about.  If you hire digital marketing companies who do not have industry experience, expect issues.  The further outside of traditional home loan products you go, the less concrete the concepts become, and the more challenged a person without actual industry experience will be.

If you’re going to do this the right way, it’s not going to be cheap or happen overnight, but it can happen quickly if you are diligent and have the right help.  Making the decision to work smarter is one of the best moves you will make in terms of your work and life.  You can use this formula to generate whatever kind of exclusive mortgage leads you desire including refinance leads, commercial mortgage leads, reverse mortgage leads, etc…

The Path to Success:  Mortgage Lead Generation for Lenders, Brokers, and Loan Officers

Step 1: Identify your value proposition.

What makes you stand out from every other mortgage broker out there?  You might be surprised as to how many mortgage brokers skip this altogether.  This step is really tied in with step 2 because, in order to determine your client’s definition of value, you must know your ideal client.  But before you define your client, you should really understand what it is that you do best.  It really doesn’t make sense to generate mortgage leads without having a clear understanding of your value proposition.

In order to set up a system that generates consistent exclusive qualified mortgage leads, you must determine what sets you apart from everyone else.  You will be lead to discover (or create) your value proposition by answering the questions below.

Questions to Define Your Value Proposition:

  1. What do you do for your clients, specifically?
  2. What’s in it for the client?
  3. How do you do it differently?
  4. How do you want to be perceived?
  5. Whats in it for you?
  6. How do you make life easier for clients?
  7. How do you make life easier for realtors?

Some Benefits of Creating a Value Proposition (Other Than Necessity) Include:

  • Increasing (or creating) an ability to attract the attention of your ideal client.
  • Having the ability to differentiate your offering.
  • Enabling a client to justify their decision now, and to work with you.
  • Shortening the sales cycle.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction.

Figure this out before you move on to the next step. Spread your value proposition throughout the media you create.

Step 2: Define your ideal client and create a buyer persona.

The next step is to identify your ideal client.  The value you have to offer should be in line with the ideal client you wish to work with. If it’s not, you may need to work with another person who has more experience in that area.  Build up your confidence and competence to accelerate your path to success.  You can generate leads all day but if you are not confident with your abilities its not going to matter.

For example, you are an FHA home loan expert and your value is being the most resourceful, johnny-on-the-spot FHA mortgage professional out there.  Your ideal clients invest in office buildings. That means now is a good time to learn as much as you can about commercial real estate investing, pro forma, and everything your ideal client is involved in on a daily basis.  You should be able to speak their language.

Some Questions to Help You Create a Buyer Persona

  1. Who is included in your target market?
  2. What is their demographics?
  3. How can your clients be identified?
  4. How can your clients be reached?
  5. How do they make decisions (as an individual, group, on a budget, with a pro forma)?
  6. How do they define value?
  7. What is their primary purchase criteria?  (Why, Who, Where, When, How)

Now put yourself in their shoes.  Make a list of where your ideal client is likely to fix their attention on a regular basis.  Some ideas may include:

  • Social media platforms:  With 80% of the world having a Facebook account, this is probably a good place to start.  Do they use Twitter, Quora, LinkedIn, etc…?  Create an account on all of the platforms you are Target client is likely to be using. Get familiar with how people make posts, the type of posts people make, and the overall etiquette for the platform.
  • Search engines: I’ll make this one easy. They probably use Google or  Bing. Most likely Google. Use Google to help you figure out the rest of these items you need help with.
  • Publications, websites, etc…:  Most areas seem to be dominated by people in certain industries.  If you originate loans for residential buyers in an area which employs mostly healthcare professionals, bookmark some websites that keep you up to date on the healthcare industry in your area or in general.  If you live in an area where people are involved in technology, get yourself into a routine of staying on top of the tech world.  People will be pleasantly surprised if you know about the things that they spend their time doing.  It won’t go unnoticed.

Additional resources for creating buyer personas:

The Complete, Actionable Guide to Marketing Personas (BufferApp)

How to Develop Your Buyer Persona and Reel in Better Customers (Forbes)

Step 3: Position yourself as the expert by giving value and establishing trust. 

The beauty of the digital evolution era is in the fact that there are now more ways to reach your target clients than ever before.  You can deliver valuable video content using only your mobile phone.  Consider your answers from the previous sections and figure out what kind of questions your target audience is likely to be asking. Match that up with the answers you are most suited to provide and generate content in a way they can understand and digest.

It doesn’t have to be a big production and really, it shouldn’t be.  You can literally take your phone, point it at your face, and get real with people.  Don’t try to BS.  People will smell right through that. Just provide some genuine insightful content for your target audience to consume.  Give them information or insight which will make their process easier, save them money, give them resources they otherwise would not know about, etc…  Tell them about common mistakes you see buyers making.  Help them understand what they are getting into.

Easy mobile apps to use for video recording/editing:

Android: VivaVideo

Apple: Power Director

Either: Youtube Director

Step 4: Engage in strategic referral reciprocity.  If you want to receive lead referrals, give them away first.  

Although I no longer work with newbies in the mortgage industry, I was approached by many when I first started this project.  I discovered very quickly that there are many more aspects involved in establishing a successful, consistent mortgage lead funnel.  Surprisingly, many new loan officers have been trained with realtor referral solicitation as their primary strategy for success.  Many of these loan officers have not been advised regarding how or why Realtors should agree to give them business or why that might be in their best interest.  In reality, it’s probably not in most cases.

As a mortgage broker, this concept is of particular importance, especially if you have loan officers working on your team. Hopefully, you have a clever strategy of portraying how you will make a Realtor’s life better if you are going to be soliciting business without having business to give.

How can you get referrals from Realtors if you have never closed a loan and don’t have business to give?

If you’re new to the industry, good luck.  Why would a realtor put their reputation on the line to refer you business if you have never written up a single loan?  If you’re new to the industry,  you should consider working under the wing of a very successful mortgage professional you can learn from.  I encourage you to establish some experience before you spend time soliciting Realtors.  You only get one chance to make a first impression and if you have not established yourself as a resourceful expert who is going to make their life easier, give them more business, or help them close more houses, then it’s not going to happen.

If you want leads, give them away first.

The reality is you can generate referral business from Realtors all day.  You just need to have quality leads – that have not been purchased – to give them first.  If you are purchasing leads, there is a good chance those poor people are getting calls at all hours of the day by other people who have also purchased those leads, trying to do the same thing you are doing.  You don’t want to give the Realtor more work to chase, you want to give them quality business.  If you set expectations with them, in person, and have found the right Realtors to do this with, there is a good chance they will reciprocate.

Identify strategic Realtor referral prospects.

In order to do this the right way, first, you want to identify and screen the best Realtors to work with. You want to find Realtors who are diligent but not annoying, who will show properties to the clients that fall within their capacity to purchase, who understand the local market, and who basically just know what they are doing. Generally speaking, the Realtors who have the most listings and sell the most properties tend to fall within these parameters, but not always.  There’s a fine line between persistence and being annoying and you want to stay away from anybody who is going to annoy the people you send, or you will start losing deals as a result.

If you specialize in VA loans you need to identify and meet Realtors who are experts VA regulations and who can help clients find properties that fall within VA guidelines.  If you specialize in financing apartment complexes you want to find the best apartment realtors. And so on…

You also want to find Realtors who are on top of the game in areas outside of your expertise.

Turn dead mortgage leads into referral opportunities.

Many of the leads that come your way will end up making other arrangements or they might be looking for products you can’t compete with or offer.  You still want to have resources to give those people, even if they turn out to not be a good fit for you. If you can still help them by providing resources that will make their Journey easier, and create a referral relationship with a realtor in the process, you are winning.

Once your exclusive generation system is up and running, you’re going to receive leads at all different phases of the buying process. You want to be very careful giving away leads that have not made any kind of commitment to you as you don’t know what type of arrangements the realtor has previously made with other brokers.

Step 5: Put a human face on your business.

People want to work with other people who have their best interests at heart and who can relate to them.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of allowing a company logo to become the face of a company and assume that a brand will provide confidence to clients – unless you specifically take action to put a face in front of your business.  The truth is people need to see faces and know there is another human there to help them. Tell them your story in a way that shows them you understand where they’re coming from.

Establish trust with prospective clients.

This is why I previously recommended video content over everything else.  Buyers don’t know who they can or should trust.  They’re generally not too excited about dealing with the mortgage process.  There’s a lot of money on the line and most people have heard about horror predatory lending practices. Nobody wants to be the next victim or, more likely, to be pressured into anything they are not 100% comfortable with – but a lot of people have a stigma around the fact that might end up happening.

So ask yourself, why should people trust me?  And, if I was in their shoes what would it take to trust me?

Having nice pictures of you smiling preferably is a good start. Creating videos that provide value to your target audience is really where it’s at.  Additionally, if you get happy clients to film themselves sharing their testimonial about you, it will go a long way.  The next best thing will be Facebook reviews (from real people), then Google my business reviews, Yelp, and any other credible review websites.

Step 6: Implement a mortgage lead generation system. Download our Free E-Book Including 42 Mortgage and Real Estate Lead Generation Tips and Strategies! 

With the rest of these items in place, a highly effective lead generation system can be established which will produce consistent leads, belonging to you. In addition to providing an opportunity for closed loans, the leads can (and should) be used to create working referral relationships.  The process involved in creating a successful lead generation system for mortgage brokers is described below.

Attract

Capture the attention of your target audience by creating media that answers questions they are likely to have in a way that portrays your expertise and helps them understand who you are.

Produce advertising which is targeted utilizing advanced market data and search intent targeting.  Also, utilize remarketing technology to target prospects after they have left your website or social media pages.  Sometimes it will take more than one visit for visitors to convert into mortgage leads.  Keep building trust.

Convert

Once the attention has been captured, drive the prospect to a page or platform which enables you to capture their contact information to take the next step.  The threat level of your call to action here needs to match the intent that the visitor was making (or wasn’t) when their attention was grabbed.  If the visitor was simply surfing the internet or on a social media page, you don’t want to try to get their name and phone number from the first step. By offering a deliverable that requires a lower Threat Level, an attempt can be made to collect more information from the confirmation page they land on.

We tend to use a combination of a few different to give the visitor the opportunity to choose whichever they are most comfortable with.

Qualify

If the visitor was showed search intent or there’s reason to believe they would have specifically been looking for information when they found you, it’s possible you will be able to further qualify here.  The more questions you ask the lower your conversion rate will be.  The idea is to find a good balance that converts and collects enough information so you know the gist of the situation.

Nurture

Once the lead has been captured your real work begins. If the lead was gathered without additional qualification information you would likely want to start the process there. That way you can ensure the best use of your time and the client’s time.  If you work with residential buyers they are naturally going to have some questions and concerns along the way.  Communicate with them in a way that shows them you are working on their behalf but don’t annoy them. Ideally, you will use a CRM system to keep track of your conversations and follow-ups so you can be automatically reminded and maintain consistency in your communication.

Close

You made it this far, now it’s time to help the client get what they need and collect some lunch money. If you have set proper expectations from the start and have done your job in building a relationship and holding their hand, there shouldn’t be any surprises here and everything should go smoothly.

In my experience, closings that don’t go well are usually caused by a failure to set proper expectations. Nobody wants to be surprised when it comes time to sign paperwork.

Optimize

Once we have some data to work with and have generated some leads and closings it’s time to optimize our efforts. By reviewing the best leads and closed deals to determine exactly how they were generated, we can continue optimizing the systems to further expand those avenues of client acquisition.

Summary

Follow the steps detailed above to position your lead generation system in a way that allows you to generate exclusive qualified leads consistently.  It will take a while to organize your thoughts on everything but the time will be well spent.

There is also a possibility we can help you, however, we are only accepting new clients under very specific circumstances.  If you feel you meet the following criteria, fill out the form below and we will evaluate your situation for suitability.  The requirements we have in place for new clients are designed to ensure success and that our time is being used effectively.  This is also due to the manner in which we are generating leads for you.  We are not fabricating a reputation or details about the situation to make this work, therefore we need a positive, established reputation to work with.

Requirements of new lead generation clients:

  • Established mortgage industry experience.
  • Positive overall reputation online.
  • Ability to effectively process an additional 50-100 leads/month.
  • The willingness to create video content and assist with media as needed to facilitate mortgage lead generation efforts.
  • The ability to invest $3,000 – $10,000 for setup and a similar amount for ongoing management.  This will vary depending on the situation and what needs to take place.

If you feel you meet these requirements and are interested in further discussion, please fill out the form below including as much relevant information as necessary to answer the questions. Learn more about our team here.

For more information and background about me, please check out the Absolute Most Effective Mortgage Lead Generation System in 2017.

The Only Brainstorming / Mind Mapping Tools You Need in 2018 (Free)

The Only Brainstorming / Mind Mapping Tools You Need in 2018 (Free)

Mind mapping is a method of brainstorming ideas using visual outlines by demonstrating the connections between thoughts or data.  Whether you are brainstorming ideas for your next game-changing marketing campaign, planning an important project, or even just trying to gather your thoughts on a subject, mind mapping can help you get it together.

A few of these free mind mapping tools allow for more than simply brainstorming your thoughts.  With some, you can actually present your ideas in a visually-appealing way that will help your audience understand where you are coming from and how the various concepts relate with one another.  This is particularly important for putting together a marketing strategy to increase sales.

I’ve assembled this list of the top free brainstorming and mind mapping tools which will be more than enough to get you through the remainder of 2017 without having to stay up all night Googling around for ‘free mind mapping tools’ or ‘free brainstorming software.’

If you know others who may need some assistance with getting their thoughts organized or for planning upcoming projects, please feel free to share.  We use several of these mind mapping tools to create strategies for generating mortgage leads, business development gameplans, and more.

 

MindMup 2 – Create and Share Amazing MindMaps

Capture ideas at the speed of thought – using a mind map maker designed to help you focus on your ideas and remove all the distractions while mind mapping.

Create unlimited mind maps for free, and store them in the cloud. Your mind maps are available everywhere, instantly, from any device.

Brainstorm, create presentations and document outlines with mind maps and publish your ideas online and to social networks.

Coggle – The Clear Way To Share Complex Information


Coggle is an online tool for creating and sharing mindmaps. It works online in your browser: there’s nothing to download or install.

Whether you’re taking notes, brainstorming, planning, or doing something awesomely creative, it is super simple to visualize your ideas with Coggle. Share with as many friends or colleagues as you like. Changes you make will show up instantly in their browser, wherever they are in the world.

FreeMind – Free MindMapping Software

FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java. The recent development has hopefully turned it into high productivity tool. We are proud that the operation and navigation of FreeMind is faster than that of MindManager because of one-click “fold / unfold” and “follow link” operations.

So you want to write a completely new metaphysics? Why don’t you use FreeMind? You have a tool at hand that remarkably resembles the tray slips of Robert Pirsig, described in his sequel to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance called Lila. Do you want to refactor your essays in a similar way you would refactor software? Or do you want to keep personal knowledge base, which is easy to manage? Why don’t you try FreeMind? Do you want to prioritize, know where you are, where you’ve been and where you are heading, as Stephen Covey would advise you? Have you tried FreeMind to keep track of all the things that are needed for that?

Canva Mind Map – Organize your thoughts and present your big idea, beautifully.

Product-Launch-Mind-Map-tb-662x0

Color code your thoughts and ideas

Mind Maps can leap from topic to topic so keep your thoughts organized by color coding your design. Change a branch or text box color according to the topic they’re assigned to so you can easily find and connect interrelated ideas. Use Canvas color palette tool to choose any color in the spectrum or type in a specific hex code.

Use images, illustrations, and icons

Adding visual elements like images and illustrations can help you concentrate more because they speak to your brain’s natural language of imagery. In fact, it’s encouraged that you use an image for your central idea. Browse through Canva’s amazing media library of icons, photos, and illustrations to use on your mind map. Search from over a million stock photos and add it to your design by dragging and dropping it into the editor.

Collaborate with partners

Brainstorm with your team anywhere in the world by getting your team’s input on your Mind Map design. It’s as easy as sharing a link to an editable version of your design. Now your team can access your Mind Map and add their own edits, thoughts and ideas any time and from any desktop, laptop, iPhone or iPad device. When you’re all done you can simply download your design as a JPEG, PNG or PDF file, share it on your social media, or email it directly to someone.

Bubbl.us – Present Your Big Idea

This is a Bubbl.us mind map. A mind map is a graphical representation of ideas and concepts. It’s a visual thinking tool for structuring information, helping you to better understand, remember and generate new ideas.

To see how easy and fun it is to edit a mind map, try one of their free examples!

The Most Effective Mortgage Lead Generation System in 2018

The Most Effective Mortgage Lead Generation System in 2018

(Updated April 2018)

Introducing… The FogPusher Home Buyer Magnet:

A clear and consistent approach to generating exclusive, high-quality mortgage leads, consistently.

As a former loan officer, I was exposed first hand to the shortcomings most loan originators face when generating mortgage leads.  Fortunately, my prior experience as a Realtor and project manager for a high-end home builder in NE Ohio, and managing lead generation/nurturing in each position gave me the experience I needed to excel in a short timeframe.

In fact, prior to leaving the position in 2013 due to a nearly fatal car accident, there was only 1 loan officer generating more business than I was.  That was out of 12 Southwest US offices with nearly 40 loan officers.  I had only held that position for about a year.

I’ve always believed in helping others to the extent that they are willing to help themselves.  At that point, however, my 70+ hour weeks prevented me from helping much.  Not outside of the normal context of my job, anyway.

Today, after nearly three years offering digital business development and lead generation services full-time, I have utilized a variety of mortgage lead generation methods.  Finally, I am able to see the entire situation from a broader perspective.

After adding Google Adwords and Analytics certifications to the experiences named above, and after generating thousands of mortgage leads using a variety of methods, clarity has come knocking on my door.

Before You Buy More Pathetic Mortgage Leads, Consider a Better Alternative.

Our system generates highly-quality, exclusive mortgage leads with the best ROI & conversion ratios you will find anywhere.  And I can prove my services produce results.  Learn how we generated over $100 Million in mortgage leads in 1 month for our direct lender client.

In 2018, generating high-quality, exclusive mortgage leads requires a variety of skillsets, most of which are not understood by most LO’s.  It’s not your fault you don’t know. I highly doubt your venture into the mortgage finance industry began with a deep desire to figure out how to find people who want to talk about that.

Some of the skills required include landing page design, sales funnel design, ability to design effective marketing campaigns, managing hosting/DNS settings, SEO, content marketing, email automation, PPC advertising, retargeted marketing strategies, Google analytics data analysis, and integration with current websites / CRM / followup-systems.

If you want to learn about how to generate mortgage leads, it’s also extremely helpful that you have obtained your mortgage licenses, or hire somebody who has, because the advertising regulations are not designed to be wiggled around via gray areas. If they are, wait until you see how the ignorance of the law excuse works when there is a problem.  Unfortunately, this is more common than you might expect.

The good news is that it’s absolutely unnecessary.

My direct mortgage and real estate experience, combined web design, advertising, and digital business development experience, have enabled me to acquire a fairly unique set of skills, through which I have created a powerful turn-key system for generating exclusive mortgage leads using PPC ads, landing pages, chatbots and remarketing technology. If you are considering the use of Facebook ads to generate mortgage leads, I have done a lot of that, also, and I’d recommend reading about how mortgage leads generated with Google ads will always be better than anything from Facebook.

The problem with generating mortgage leads can be found by understanding how high-quality borrower prospects go about selecting a loan to facilitate the purchase of their new home.  In order for you to catch a high-quality mortgage lead at the right time, you’d better be in front of them when they are searching for it.   in their journey becomes increasingly narrow, the higher the quality of the prospect gets.

It’s important to keep the following truth in mind. Many digital marketing specialists are more than willing to offer their services to mortgage industry professionals but very few of them have the necessary track record and direct industry experience necessary to produce results.  More than likely, you have already gone there – probably more than once – and it probably hasn’t worked out so great as of yet.  (Obviously it hasn’t or you wouldn’t be reading this.)

We work with mortgage brokers/MLO’s, real estate brokers/agents across the country who meet specific criteria in line with the services we offer.  The lead generation and sales funnel strategies we use for Realtors are generally different than those which are most effective for mortgage loan originators. This is due to the window of opportunity situation I mentioned.

If you have ever purchased a home using a mortgage, or know anybody who has – how long did you/they/whoever spend looking for the home?  How long did you/they spend looking for the mortgage?  If you are anything like the 77% of home buyers who only fill out 1 mortgage app, you/they probably didn’t spend very long finding the mortgage. There was likely more time spent finding the right home.

And there is your first clue as to why high-quality mortgage leads generated through social media will never be of the same quality as those generated using (properly and competently-planned) search engine marketing strategies.

The Magic Mortgage Lead Machine Formula

Mortgage & Real Estate Experience

+

Web Design & Digital Marketing / Advertising Experience

+

Understanding & Having a Successful Track Record Utilizing the Latest in Targeted Advertising/Lead Capture Technology

=

Success

The Problems With the Old Lead Generation Models

  • In-house marketing manager provides no guarantee of ROI.  They are expensive.  You hire them and they receive the consistent job security associated with their position.  Who is offering you job security?
  • Many mortgage loan originators fail to establish themselves as the expert.  You must generate meaningful content that answers questions your target audience is asking.  Put yourself in their shoes and create media that answers the questions they have.  So many fail to do this even though its one of the most powerful strategies in the mortgage (really, any) business.
  • Live transfers are cool and all but how many people are making calls before they do research online.  Millenials are more prone to use online lead capture tools before they pick up the phone – and they may never pick up the phone. Plus, in a live transfer situation, the lead has no prior knowledge of you or your company.  Your closing rate on those is not likely to be anywhere close to what it can be with we have in place. After all, with live transfers you are receiving calls as they come in, they have not been screened.  How effectively are you using your time if you are receiving random leads on the phone who have no idea who you are?
  • Buying mortgage leads online is also a waste of time and money.  If you want to chase after leads that have been sold to literally everybody who is interested, be my guest.  The key to succeeding is creating a system that generates high-quality exclusive mortgage leads.
  • Lack of lead generation & capture system in place. Most mortgage brokers and real estate brokers simply do not have a consistent lead generation/ mortgage sales funnel in place.
  • Prowling on Realtors for referrals is another grand waste of time, unless you have a strategic plan in place, involving offering them leads. With this system, you will have plenty of leads to send their way. If you want to get something, give it away first.  Active reciprocity will change your life – not just your business.
  • Networking events can be fun but they rarely result in business.  The only consistency to come of networking events is potential friendships, which may lead to more opportunity down the road.  There is nothing wrong with attending a networking event as a mortgage professional, but it’s not the most effective way to go about acquiring new mortgage clients.
  • Many mortgage brokers spin their wheels recruiting mortgage loan officers when they really need a high-quality lead gen system in place.
  • A very common misconception is that having the best mortgage website is essential to generate mortgage leads or even for effective mortgage marketing.  It’s helpful if it’s used to show expertise, value, testimonials, and original content, but there are many other ways to optimize your online presence in 2018.  The most important of these being, a sales funnel.
    The only difference between a sales funnel and a website is the intent.  Sales funnels are designed to have visitors take very specific action – websites generally contain information – which is very ineffective when it comes to mortgage or real estate lead generation.
    From 2015-early 2017 I designed websites full time, and am more than willing to do that if it is deemed necessary.  My specialty and value are in producing the assets you need to meet your yours.  I don’t do fluff.
  • I recently found significant evidence suggesting friends and family are far less likely to borrow or invest money with friends and family as they were even 5-10 years ago.  I believe Google and consumer access to information have greatly contributed to this situation.  For this reason, the traditional financial services business model falling apart, even for some of the larger wealth management companies.  There is reason to believe a similar situation is happening in the mortgage industry.  People want to make the best financial decisions they are able to make given their particular situation.  This is much different than making a decision based on where their friend or family work.

The Most Effective Mortgage Lead Generation System in 2018

The Mortgage Marketing Solution(s).

  • Hiring a professional who understands mortgage marketing and lead generation, with a background in mortgage loan origination and real estate sales.  Have us manage your advertising and sales funnels, generating leads for you while you focus on closing loans and building strategic referral relationships.
  • Tracking code installation/utilization to re-target visitors with ads.  Sometimes the first visit isn’t enough to make a visitor comfortable enough with you to make contact. Follow them with ads after they have visited your website (if you have one).
  • Market-proven ads delivered to the highly targeted audience of potential home buyers. We utilize the latest in intent-based targeting and in-market client acquisition strategy. Ongoing A/B testing.
  • A/B tested lead capture pages that capture your lead’s information. A/B testing is an ongoing process to maximize results.
  • Hot sales-qualified mortgage lead funnel which produces qualified prospects that belong to you and only you.
  • Implementing an automated mortgage lead generation system that enables you to generate exclusive leads for whatever your niche may be.  We can generate exclusive mortgage refinance leads, commercial leads, reverse mortgage leads, etc…

 

Guaranteed Mortgage Marketing Profitability Formula

The formula below is used to ensure mortgage ads are profitable for clients.  I always recommend brokers and MLO’s to look at their current cost/loan app with their current situation (including guaranteed draws against commission/salary payments/employee benefits) and compare this to the numbers our clients are generating.  Many will find that their cost to maintain loan officers is far greater than the cost of having a dedicated lead generation agency on their team.

Ad Performance Variables  
CPC – Cost per click
CTR – Click through rate
Conversion on Landing Page
Conversion on Sales Page
CPL – Cost Per Lead (applicable without running ads)
Cost Per Loan App
————————————–

Optimization Metrics
CPA – Cost Per Action (loan closing)
AOV – Average Order Value ( $2,000 – $6,000)

If CPA < AOV, the setup is profitable.

My Areas of Expertise & Experience

  • Social Media Management, Marketing, and Lead Generation
  • Real Estate Sales
  • Custom Home Building/Project Management/Sales
  • Ad Targeting & Retargeting.  Lead Funnels. Sales Funnels
  • Mortgage Loan Origination
  • Lead Capture / Sales Funnel Creation & Implementation
  • Email Automation & Automated Prospect Engagement
  • SEO / Web Design

Why Invest in the Best Mortgage Leads?

The opportunity is here today but it won’t be around forever.  It’s 2018 and it’s time to start working smarter.  Before you purchase mortgage leads online, do yourself a favor and invest in a system which generates leads on your behalf.

The thing is, if you want to generate high-quality leads, you must consider how high-quality mortgage prospects go about buying, and you must be willing and able to invest the resources necessary to reach those people, at the exact time that they are willing to be reached.  Learn more about that situation by checking out the 5 ways Mortgage Leads from Google Ads Eat Facebook Leads for Breakfast.

Who We’re Looking For

Our objective is to create successful partnerships with mortgage professionals.  We work with banks, lenders, mortgage brokers, and LO’s who meet as many of the circumstances as possible, listed below:  and brokers who have as many of the following characteristics as possible:

  • Industry Experience
  • Money to Invest in the Generation of Exclusive Mortgage Leads – the Right Way ($10k-20k investment to set everything up – turn-key – and test it properly.  If you are an individual LO who is unable to afford this – I’d recommend showing the powers-that-be this, this, and this.  We are starting to take on more and more work for brokers that generate leads on behalf of their loan originators, and those links explain why.  If they are unwilling to discuss that, consider finding somewhere else to work that will.  Ideally, these ads will be run on behalf of the company, not on behalf of an individual person.  Pictures of people are great but in order to compete here, you must have some solidity to show. )
  • Positive Online and Offline Reputation (I will not fake testimonials but they are absolutely necessary.  Bonus points for video testimonials.)
  • Ability to Handle and Effectively Manage the New Business Generated
  • Willingness to Step Outside of Comfort Zone to Establish Oneself as an Industry Expert
  • Original Content Creators (Videos, Blog Posts, Etc…)

If you feel you meet these requirements, please visit our landing page about mortgage marketing funnels, where you will receive additional details.

Also, check here to learn more about Mitch and why/how things have evolved in recent weeks to lead up to where things are at today.

If you are looking for a solution to generate high-quality mortgage leads (reverse mortgages, residential, commercial, refinance, purchase, etc…)  The pricing will vary depending on the scope of the work, but if you are going to do this right, there will need to be a budget to implement all of the necessary components required to do so.

This is not the ideal place to cut corners as it can transform your business fairly quickly.  It can also be a gigantic waste of a budget if you put a person behind the wheel who should not be there.

Have questions?  Feel free to reach out.

TTFN.

!

Mortgage Lead Generation Services From FogPusher Are Now at ifunnel

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Top 8 Podcasts for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs in 2016

Top 8 Podcasts for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs in 2016

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
— Plutarch, On Listening to Lectures

 

For the longest time, I listened strictly to music and/or sat in silence while I worked.  In my free time I produce music, so saying I am a music lover would be somewhat of an understatement.

Two months ago, a life-changing transformation took place.   I became the father of a beautiful 6 week old fur-baby, Lilly.

Recently Lilly decided to snack on my speaker cables (sweet angel) and before I took the time to replace them, I decided to try listening to entrepreneurial focused, small business podcasts from my computer speakers, as it had been a couple years since I made a habit of listening to The Art of Charm during my morning commute.  I haven’t looked back.

The cables have since been replaced and I have (somewhat) puppy-proofed my speaker arrangement, but I have not switched back to music. Once again, I’ve found myself entranced in the ocean of amazing podcasts available at our modern-day fingertips.

As a small business owner & entrepreneur myself, I have re-discovered the value to be found in listening to great podcasts including motivation, inspiration, productivity tips, organization, communication, health & science breakthroughs, and much more.   Plus, sometimes it’s nice to switch things up from strictly discussing small business web design & digital business development.

Some of my favorite business (& other) podcasts are linked below. (Say, ‘thank you, Lilly!’)

If you have other small business podcasts you enjoy listening to, please feel free to share in the comments below.

Most of these are all safe for work, except for the Joe Rogan Experience.  This is likely the least ‘business focused’ of all of the podcasts below, but there are also some very entertaining episodes to be explored.  If it’s not your cup of tea, skip it and check out the rest.

Tony Robbins Podcast

  • It’s hard to listen to Tony Robbins and not be inspired.
  • One of my personal life influences / motivators.
  • One of my favorite authors.
  • Language is safe for work.
  • Topics include – Motivation, Inspiration, Business, Confidence, Organization, Goals, etc…

Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, philanthropist and the nation’s #1 Life and Business Strategist. A recognized authority on the psychology of leadership, negotiations and organizational turnaround, he has served as an advisor to leaders around the world for more than 38 years. Author of five internationally bestselling books, including the recent New York Times #1 best-seller MONEY: MASTER THE GAME, Mr. Robbins has empowered more than 50 million people from 100 countries through his audio, video and life training programs. He created the #1 personal and professional development program of all time, and more than 4 million people have attended his live seminars.

The James Altucher Show

  • Very Informative & Entertaining.
  • One of my personal-favorite authors.
  • Occasional strong language but not overbearing.
  • Topics  – Wide range including: Business, Writing, Marketing, Sales, Entrepreneurship, Misc. Other Topics
  • About: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/about/  (Full description is an entire interview)

James Altucher hosts various guests on each episode of his podcasts.  Most of them have at least one book published and interestingly, James has without failure, read their books before on the show.  This is very impressive considering there are around 175 episodes to-date.

I first discovered James on Quora (one of my favorite apps / websites) and naturally gravitated toward his writing style and some of his life experiences he writes about regarding his past business experience, making and losing money, etc…

Since he has read the books written by his guests on the show and remembers amazing details about them, he is able to get into their minds and effectively portray a fresh perspective during his podcast.  I have picked up something from every episode I have listened to.

Tim Ferriss Show

  • Informative, Entertaining, Motivational, and the topics are generally applicable to real-world situations.
  • Another one of my favorite authors (The Four Hour Work Week is a must-read)
  • Occasional Strong Language
  • Topics – Wide Range including: Business, Making Money, Life Optimization, Time Optimization, Efficiency, etc…

The Tim Ferriss Show is generally the #1 business podcast on all of iTunes, and it’s been ranked #1 (of all podcasts) on many occasions.  It was also selected as iTunes’ “Best of 2014” and “Best of 2015.”  In recent months, downloads have shot past 70,000,000 downloads.

Each episode, Tim deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use.  This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.

The Joe Rogan Experience (Podcast)

  • Very entertaining but if you work in retail or have customers walking in, this is likely not a good ‘at-work’ choice.
  • Entertaining real-world information and opinions.
  • Nice break from inspiration & business discussion.
  • Very strong language.
  • Topics include – nearly everything in life.  Funny stuff, serious stuff, and everything in-between.

The Joe Rogan Experience podcast is a long form conversation hosted by comedian, UFC color commentator, and actor Joe Rogan with friends and guests that have included comedians, actors, musicians, MMA instructors and commentators, authors, artists, and porn stars. The Joe Rogan Experience was voted the Best Comedy Podcast of 2012 on iTunes. In addition online listening, fans can watch a videocast of the show live on Ustream or tune in on Sirius XM’s “The Virus” channel on Saturdays at Noon ET and Sundays at 5:00 AM and 6:00 PM ET.

TED Radio Hour

  • Thought-provoking topics.
  • Shows tend to make good conversation topics.
  • Every episode contains language which is safe for a workplace environment.

From NPR, the Ted Radio Hour brings you fascinating and insightful speakers on a broad range of topics from global issues such as fighting hunger to individual journeys into the source of happiness. Based on the phenomenal TED Talks series, the show is hosted by Guy Raz and available on demand in weekly episodes.

The Art of Charm

  • Great, useful topics which are mostly all applicable to real life.
  • This is one of the first podcasts I ever followed and I still keep up with it from time-to-time.
  • Each episode has a ‘cheat sheet’ which comes along with it, on the website.  This is beneficial to review and see if the episode is something of interest prior to listening.
  • Topics include – business, personal development, confidence, style, entrepreneurship, productivity, etc…

You’ll learn top strategies to improve your career, confidence, lifestyle and love-life from top experts like life and business-hackers Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi and Noah Kagan to Seth Godin, Simon Sinek, Olivia Fox, The Art of Charm team and more.

Profit. Power. Pursuit. 

  • Excellent podcast, particularly for creatives but not exclusively, which hosts a different person on each show, most of whom have started very successful endeavors.
  • The description of the show gears itself towards primarily ‘creatives’ but I would consider any business / entrepreneurial endeavor to have a creative aspect / necessity to it.
  • Topics vary but area generally centered around the requirements, lessons, and implications of building a business and life around a creative drive.

Profit. Power. Pursuit. explores what it means to build a business and life on your creative drive. We uncover both the strategic and the tactical components of how creative people make money, take control of their businesses, and pursue what’s most important to them so that you can too.

Bulletproof Radio

  • Topics include – lifestyle optimization, time optimization / productivity, becoming the best version of yourself, ground-breaking scientific and nutritional breakthroughs, and more.

Tech entrepreneur Dave Asprey is the man behind Bulletproof Radio, a podcast all about streamlining your life and becoming the best version of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Each week he brings you the knowledge of doctors, biochemists, nutritionists and meditation experts to help you find this “bulletproof” state within yourself.

 

TTFN

 

The Only Brainstorming / Mind Mapping Tools You Need in 2018 (Free)

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Guerrilla Marketing Ideas & Creative Marketing Tactics to Boost Your Business

Guerrilla Marketing Ideas & Creative Marketing Tactics to Boost Your Business

Chances are, when you first hear the words guerrilla marketing ,one of two things come to mind:

– A large King Kongish primate who has made himself available to hire for promotional purposes (nope, not gorilla marketing) or…
 – A communist military activist armed with automated weapons and camouflage bandannas, but only on the weekends.  During the week maybe he too, offers marketing services.

Fortunately, however, guerrilla marketing is far more likely than either of those things to bring a great benefit to your life and business.  It’s also possibly less dangerous (particularly if your objective is mortgage lead generation).

What is guerrilla marketing?

The concept of guerrilla marketing is interesting because its definition and context seems to change dramatically from one resource to another.  For example, Entrepreneur.com’s definition focuses on the low cost, practical sense of the term and further explains that telephone and email marketing are the most effective forms.  In looking deeper into the subject, I discovered that these are examples but they are not comprehensive in the sense of maximizing brand exposure.

You will find in the ideas shown below that maximum exposure is more likely to be obtained with a little creativity and thinking outside of the box.  This is not to say that email marketing, digital marketing and good old fashioned phone calls are not effective and necessary, because they definitely are – likely more-so than some of the examples shown below.  The most comprehensive definition I have found actually comes from Google:

guer·ril·la mar·ket·ing
noun
innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing techniques aimed at obtaining maximum exposure for a product.

How are the most effective guerrilla marketing ideas created?

 In order to create the most effective guerrilla marketing ideas, pay close attention to your immediate resources  as well as the various objectives of the products or services you are promoting.  There is no ‘set in stone’ method of creating highly effective guerrilla marketing ideas, and that is what makes the concept special.  

Whether you are a business owner or a marketing professional, take some time to evaluate each of the concepts presented.  From vape shop marketing concepts to bar marketing ideas, the guerrilla marketing ideas mentioned here can definitely be useful as a guide to creating your own.  Pay attention to the actual thought process which took place in the creation of the ideas – from the standpoint of the person who created the campaign.   You will begin to recognize the overall thought process involved in creating these campaigns has some consistency in each different application.   Once you have become familiar with that thought process, it will be easier for you to identify real world opportunities in which these concepts can help you grow your business.

As you will see below, there are many ways of going about maximizing a brand’s exposure.  The common theme among most of them however, is that of staying outside of the box (literally, in many cases) to provide a new perspective on something which is found in every day life.   The most effective guerrilla marketing techniques are those which blur the lines between advertising and reality for the audience and transform advertising efforts which are typically seen as an annoyance to the public, into humorous, enjoyable experiences .  

In making your target market feel as if they have entered an alternate dimension, you are creating an unforgettable experience which will naturally be shared across social media outlets and with the friends and family of those who get to experience the advertising first hand.  For marketing professionals, this viral effect is the goal of all marketing efforts and guerrilla marketing can be the answer. I have compiled the examples below as a means of giving you some idea and inspiration in creating your next big guerrilla marketing campaign.   Be sure to pay close attention to the thought processes behind these ideas as they may help you formulate concepts for your business. 

Flyers

The flyers below are awesome examples of low cost (relatively speaking), highly effective guerilla marketing.  It is nice to get some inspiration from these examples which remind us that standard flyers do not have to annoy people in the process of seeing or finding them. Creating humor and originality are essential aspects of the guerilla’s flyer creation strategy.

guerilla-marketing-flyer-car

Awesome example of taking the annoying ‘flyer in the windshield’ concept to an entirely new level.

guerilla-marketing-ballet-flyer

Ballet classes, anybody?


Sticker Bombs

Sticker bombs are likely one of the most common, cost effective guerrilla marketing ideas out there but as Golden Ale and Lay’s show us below, sticker bombing does not always have to come across as trashy or annoying.  The humor and surprise factor bring a new dimension to sticker bombing which is much more effective than putting a logo on sticky paper and littering the city.

golden-ale-sticker-marketing

I had personally never heard of Golden Ale before but now I have. That is how you know this broken urinal campaign worked exceptionally well. If you are looking into doing your own sticker bomb campaign, be sure to comply with your local laws and/or establishment rules and be mindful of the environment in the process. Failure to do this will make your brand look highly unfavorable.

guerilla-marketing-with-stickers-lays

This concept for Lay’s potato chips was definitely ‘outside of the box.’ This is a very clever example of surrealism mixed with absolute awesome creativity.

Street & Sidewalk Brilliance

Finding ways to create new meanings and purpose to every day fixtures on the sidewalk or even in the road can be an excellent place to start in creating a guerrilla marketing campaign.  Some of these concepts are still even a little easier on the budget than some of the ideas included further below.

folgers-coffee-guerilla-marketing

How could you possibly not want a cup of Folgers after you see a city full of steaming Folgers manhole covers around the city?Another awesome example of creating a new perspective around an every day item in the name of highly effective branding.

street-ads-durex-knobs

Street Knobs… Durex Knobs.

amnesty-international-guerilla-marketing

“Let me out of here!”
Amnesty International did a great job of getting their point across by re-creating the purpose of this street drain.  Is that a real person in there?!

Jeep Parking Spot


It’s true though! Jeeps can park anywhere. Might as well show people a few examples around the city.

Surrealism

As you can see, a guerrilla’s primary objective in creating a highly effective guerrilla marketing tactic should be to blur the lines of reality for the targeted audience.  Any time you can alter the audience’s life experience or give them a new perspective as a result of them seeing your campaign, you know you are on the right track and have created something which has potential to be highly effective.  The campaigns are not only effective because of the people who will directly see them but also because of how many people will voluntarily share the images on their social media pages, Reddit, etc…

Billboard Designs

Somebody at Coops Paints deserves two thumbs up for this spilled paint bucket with paint coming out of the 2D image. This is particularly effective due to how it created a 3D effect coming from the 2D image. Covering the vehicles was also a nice touch.

Honda Cereal Box Campaign

The Honda Cereal Box Campaign… How much better would a Cracker Jack’s surprise be if a Honda came out?

False Imprisonment

You can never go wrong having an amazing artist on hand to make it look like there is a person stuck somewhere in the ground, especially if you are promoting a product or service which gets people ‘un-stuck’ our ‘out of a hole’ literally or metaphorically.

Lait Carton Surrealism

Lait… It does a body good. As long as it’s giant sized carton doesn’t spill on your head while you’re waiting at the bus stop.

MiniUSA Airport Surrealism

Nice work, Mini-Coop. Not everybody will have the resources to convert the airports conveyor belt into an advertisement but when you make a large investment in the banner space above, I am sure the airport becomes negotiable.

Neglected Children

“Somebody get that neglected child out from behind that…. Oh wait, nevermind.  Dangit.” Above is another great example of creating the illusion that a person in in a very inconvenient situation, to effectively get a point across. People always tend to recognize humans in situations so any time you can create concepts which involve a human figure or realistic artist replica, you may be on to something special.

Display and Billboard Advertising

Some of the ideas below overlap with the surrealism category but continue to provide more examples of highly effective guerrilla marketing strategies which surely achieved the goals they were created to achieve.  The key again here is changing the audience’s reality or their perspective on an item in order to create something amazing (and in many cases hilarious, like the free air guitars).

Free Air Guitars

I find 96.3 Rock Radio’s Free Air Guitar advertisement to still be one of the most clever guerilla marketing ideas I have seen. This is not only because the concept works well with the rock radio station but also because the low cost involved. This advertisement also reminds us that the more clever the guerilla marketing idea, the less likely you will have resistance in anybody insisting that it gets taken down.

Mondo Pasta

The marketing brain behind Mondo Pasta’s rope to noodle perspective transformation was on his or her A-Game when this idea came about. Creating these face displays for the sides of the boats was likely not cheap but you can be sure that everybody who sees these boats will not forget about Mondo Pasta’s awesome guerrilla tactics. I am sure Mondo Pasta found the investment to create an extraordinary ROI.

The Economist BillBoard Ad

The Economist’s motion sensor activated light-bulb is an excellent example of a very simple, yet highly effective guerrilla marketing concept. The lit bulb indirectly portrays the notion that people who read the Economist have their light bulb turned on, but they did it in a way that did not require any words other than The Economist.

NYC Taxi - Raise Your Hand - FogPusher

Creating a new perspective for everyday objects is one thing but this bus stop ad for NYC Taxi goes to show how creating a new meaning to an every day gesture such as raising a hand can also be effective. This is another great example of a very clever, cost effective guerrilla marketing idea.

‘Mapvertisements’ and Wide Area Ground Displays

This is where the expense and resource availability may start to become a hurdle for many guerrillas looking to create new ideas for their businesses or their client’s.  Creating advertisements which can only be seen from airplanes are cool to look at pictures of and possible for the rare occasion you catch a glimpse of one from an airplane or on Google earth, but other than that, I assume there is not a significant amount of visibility compared to the other forms of guerrilla marketing mentioned.  Not to say that you shouldn’t pursue this type of advertising, but I can only imagine that they are actually viewed by significantly less people and require a fairly significant marketing budget.

On the other hand, the  Frontline display shown below, which makes people seem to be the fleas on the dog, is purely genius.

CocaCola Ad Only Seen From Air

This coca cola ad was carved into the side of this dirt hill and will likely be seen by far less people than many of the other ads discussed so far. This does not mean this type of advertising is ineffective for Coca-Cola, however. The objective of guerrilla marketing is to keep the brand on your audience’s mind and by doing indiscreet things like this they are actually doing this very effectively, but almost in a more subliminal manner which the intended audience will likely not consciously even think about.

Frontline Arial Mall Advertisement - Guerilla Marketing - FogPusher

Frontline did an excellent job in implementing this highly effective creative marketing tactic in what appears to be a shopping mall. Creating the appearance that humans are fleas is a funny and also effective strategy which has been properly executed here.

 

 

 

Papa Johns Arial Advertisement Crop Circle

Papa John’s went all-out with this mapvertisement display which can only be seen from an airplane or satellite. It is pretty awesome to think about the planning which this type of project involved however, it must also be difficult to measure the effectiveness of the advertisement. I honestly think somebody just did it for fun however, I am sharing it so it is definitely serving its purpose.

 

 

KFC Google Maps - FogPusher Guerilla Marketing

The mapvertisement above, from KFC and shown on a Google Earth image, is another example of a method which a food company has used to reach out to the public. Again, I don’t know that these are the most effective ideas for making the best use of a creative marketing budget however, when you have the resources that Coca-Cola, Papa John’s and KFC have – you might as well!

 

 

SwissAir Crop Circle Ad

Food services are somewhat questionable in terms of their potential to benefit from mapvertisements however, airlines are a different store. In the mapvertisement image shown above a SwissAir advertisement is available in plain sight. I can see this being tremendously effective if it were placed in an area with high air traffic (such as close to an international airport). I can imagine that keeping up with this mapvertisement is a full time job but I am sure they know what they are doing or possibly this was just a temporary setup for photographs.

When in Doubt, Prank Somebody and Make a Commercial Out of It

Not everybody will have the resources to create a retractable floor or a faux news station to broadcast in the airport but these ideas are still valid for entertainment’s sake, if nothing else. In diving into the hilarious world of practical joke guerrilla marketing campaigns, you will notice a non-US trend involved, especially in the more effective campaigns such as the examples shown below.   One can assume this is likely because of the tendency for everybody in the US to feel the need to immediately file lawsuits because of the permanent emotional distress which was violently inflicted upon them as a result of the practical jokes involved.  Then again, I’m sure the examples shown below are easier to watch than they would be as the target.

North Face Korea – ‘Never Stop Exploring’ Campaign

In this guerilla marketing campaign, a retractable floor was built into the new North Face building and set up to retract into the walls as customers were shopping.  The results are hilarious and the budget was obviously not much of an issue for this.  Then again, it does help when you just happen to be building a rock climbing facility inside of your newly constructed building.

Nivea Airport Prank – Stress Test Commercial

For the new Nivea Stress Protect Deodorant brand, the company went through some pretty amazing hoops to take over the airport news broadcast and to produce fake newspaper articles in an effort to stress out the victims of  the prank.

LG TV 84 – Asteroid Prank

This one is pretty awesome and definitely clarifies the concept of why these companies go through the great lengths that they do in executing these guerilla marketing tactics on non-US soil.  “LOL.”


Hopefully these ideas have given you some inspiration to create guerrilla marketing tactics which can be used to grow your own business, or at least gave you some laughter.   If you are looking for marketing ideas for your own business be sure to contact me, request a free digital marketing report and/or learn more about me.  The digital marketing report provides me with the opportunity to evaluate your business and situation, allowing me to create and ultimately propose solutions to maximize your business exposure, streamline your workflow and/or simplify your life.  Whether you are looking for a web designer, digital marketing solutions specialist or email marketing services, I can help create powerful campaigns to grow your business and online visibility.  

TTFN

Vapor / eCig Industry:  Converting High Performance Mod Window Shoppers

Vapor / eCig Industry: Converting High Performance Mod Window Shoppers

Everybody wants to get the best deal.

In recent weeks I have had several discussions with my clients who own ecig retail and wholesale businesses regarding a particular challenge. Their vapor customers have begun to use their establishments as a ‘window shopping’ resource where they identify the devices they would like to have, then ultimately end up purchasing from somewhere else (usually online).  Their high performance mod sales are down and uncertainty has begun to set in. Fortunately there are specific things which can be done to address this issue which can be effective for retailers as well as wholesalers.

Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to work with many vapor industry business owners across the country, some of which have created tremendously successful businesses and others which have struggled to keep their doors open.  As the business development manager for a vapor hardware distribution company, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the owners of these businesses on a daily basis.  In that role I began to notice some commonalities among the most successful of the bunch and now that I work with many of these same companies in a somewhat different capacity, the traits which the most successful owners have in common have begun to stand out.

One of these traits which relates particularly to declining high performance mod / hardware sales, is having the ability to identify market trends and adapt accordingly.  In fact, I have found the most successful tend to be the ones who identify market trends which most vapor industry business owners would see as negative and are able to reframe these ideas in ways which are beneficial to their business.   In recent weeks I have had several discussions with my vapor industry clients regarding decreases in high performance mod sales and felt this would be a good opportunity to offer some suggestions to those having the same experience. Before I get into that, it is important to consider the bigger picture of what is actually taking place.

High Performance Device Trends

I departed from the vapor hardware distribution business to develop FogPusher nearly one year ago.  At that time the 70w iSticks were just coming to market and that was the most powerful device of its size available at that time.  The industry has obviously been moving towards smaller, more powerful devices however, I’m not certain that even five years ago anybody could have predicted that 200w devices of that same size or that single 18650 devices which output over 100 watts would be available now.  Improvements in battery and circuit technology have enabled the development of some of these tiny, powerful devices which are available today yet would have been considered hocus pocus only a few years ago. Since the technology required to develop these devices is still fairly new and the manufacturers who have access to it are still somewhat limited, the devices cost more.  They are more expensive to manufacture.

Why is this important?  Because every vapor customer, whether they are a seasoned vaping professionals or just getting started, want the best value they can afford when purchasing a new mod and the most valuable devices are expensive. Your customers, whether retailers or end-users, know there are online resources where they can find these products for less than what you can sell them for and likely close to what you can buy them for. In making a strictly dollar-for-dollar comparison it is impossible for you to compete.  So is it time to pack up shop and find a new business?  Not for most.  Regardless of whether you are a retailer or wholesaler, you are not going to be the cheapest in the entire world.  You CAN however, identify means of providing value in ways which justify your customer’s decision to purchase from you.

Additionally, consider what has happened in the computer business over the past 50 years.  Computers which used to take up entire rooms have now been far surpassed in power, memory and everything else, by mobile phones and these devices cost a very small fraction of what they previously did.  In

The Vapor Industry is Changing and You Must Adapt: Survival of the Fittest

For many of my clients in the vapor industry, mod sales seem to have taken a sudden dip – more so in recent months than ever before.   Some of them own vape shops, wholesale operations and others have tobacco, cigar shops and even convenience stores which also carry hardware. Luckily, there are things you can do about the situation. First it is important to realize – and get very clear about – the fact that the industry is changing and now may be the right time to reconsider your business model and overall strategy, particularly in regard to high end mod sales.

Anatolian Mods SP DNA40 - FogPusher

Converting High Performance Mod Window Shoppers

Identify and clarify your value proposition.

What value can you offer to the customer that online vendors are unable to offer or that will be more convenient for the customer?  Make sure this is clear when customers come in to look at higher end mods.

Do you offer in-store exchanges?  Returns?  Additional services outside of strictly selling them the hardware product?  Assume that the customer is going to look up online prices immediately after leaving your store.  If they are genuinely interested and do not buy it then, you can pretty much guarantee that they will anyway. Can you blame them though?  If a retail customer is shopping a $100+ device and they can save $50 buying online and cannot justify the additional expense with anything they are aware you are offering, it probably doesn’t make sense for them NOT to take the time to find the better deal.  Make sure your added-value is very clear when customers are shopping.

For wholesalers, the idea is basically the same.   Shortly after I started working in the vapor hardware wholesale business I realized that my literal objective was to increase revenue but the most effective way to do that was to help my retail business customers grow their business.   This was one of the strategies which I learned as a sales manager in the high end building material manufacturing industry which translated very nicely into the vapor industry.  Once I made it a point to go out of my way to help my customers grow their business, the entire game changed.   If you are in the vapor wholesale business, pay attention to the strategies your most successful customers are using and use your observation to help the retailers who need it.  Your product might be hardware or juice but your real value is found in the resources you have available to you which you can use to help your customers grow their businesses.

If the situation is severe, make your profit on eLiquid instead.

This one might suck to think about but if your higher end mod sales have suddenly taken a 50% or more plunge, it may be time to start thinking about including eliquid with a full price purchase of your higher end mods.  Make the same amount of profit but include something additional with the purchase.

Let’s say, if you are a retailer and have purchased devices which cost $65 each with shipping and you have them for sale for $110.   $55 profit per device.  You sell 30ml eLiquid bottles with a $15 profit per bottle.   Maybe include 3-4 30ml bottles with the full price purchase.   You’re likely saying to yourself, “I would rather not give away my mods at cost” and I certainly concur.  However, if you are one of the businesses which is seeing their customers window shop then buy online, what is the alternative?

If your retail business has seen a tremendous drop in mod sales and you do not make a change to adapt to your customer’s online buying habits, you are going to get stuck with soon to be outdated devices and may not even get the eLiquid sale.   This way you get   both sales, make some profit and retain a customer who will likely recommend your business and keep coming back.

If you are in this situation and feel this might be the right solution for you, try it for a day and see what happens. Better yet, try it with a single customer.  The great thing about all of this is that none of it has to be set in stone.  See how it works and go from there.  Chances are, as technology continues to improve and devices become more readily available manufacturer-direct, you will soon make the majority of your profit on eliquid sales anyway, if you are not already.  It may be time to start preparing.

Find ways to get rid of any high performance mods which are even slightly outdated, ideally in ways that will help you sell more eliquid.

This is particularly important but if you have been fortunate enough to not get stuck with outdated devices then this article is likely not of much use to you anyway.  Most retailers and wholesalers seem to have an inventory of mechanical mods they wish they could give away to make more room.   If you have an abundance of devices which were big in 2014, it may be time to start looking at ways to use them to bring more traffic to your shop via social media contests, giveaways, etc…

I have seen the consequences of having an enormous inventory of outdated product in stock and it gave me a new perspective on ‘breaking even’ or taking a slight loss on these products (If you still have an abundance of Kanger Protank II’s and III’s or first generation mechanical mods in stock, you likely know exactly what I mean).   There IS something worse than breaking even or taking a slight loss and it’s called never being able to sell your inventory, even if you started donating it.

If you can find ways to stimulate traffic or sell more juice using your outdated inventory, do it while you still can.  If you don’t you may find yourself calling Salvation Army to inquire on vape hardware donation tax write-offs.  I have actually never personally tried this but if you have, let me know how that worked out.  I have literally researched everything from scrapping the materials used to make outdated products to offering them to customers for free.  There are some things in this world which people do not want even if you give it to them for free.  I advise against letting outdated inventory reach that point if you can avoid it.

Set up a game plan to check and re-check your eliquid and hardware suppliers.  Make sure you are selling product that people want or even better, product they don’t know they want yet.

It might seem like a no brainer but you might also be surprised.   The industry is full of innovation these days and whether you manufacture your own eliquid or resell other brands, you want to make sure you are going about it in the most effective manner possible, while providing your customers with the best value for their money.

Vapers are typically technologically inclined individuals and many of them spend their free time on forums or blogs discussing the latest in eliquid and mod technology.  You definitely want to make sure you are offering the latest and greatest (within reasonable limits).  It can be expensive and difficult to keep up with the latest mods but as long as you have a few really awesome products to choose from, this may not even be as important as the juice is.  Make sure your juice is on point.

Overview

This article is not intended to present a doom and gloom situation but rather to offer means of going about solving issues which several of my customers seem to be experiencing.  I have worked in the vapor industry for the last few years and many of my SEO / online marketing / web design clients consist of vape shop and wholesale owners.   Since I work with businesses in the vapor industry from across the country, I also have many valuable contacts which may be of value to your business as well.

To learn more about what I can do for your business, please request a free digital marketing report or contact me and I am more than happy to talk with you about specific things we can do to increase traffic to your business and/or help it run more efficiently.

TTFN.