Why Mortgage Lenders Should Try This High-ROI Marketing Channel

By Tal Zilberman
Monday, July 13, 2020

Top10 Mortgage Loans is a comparison website that connects mortgage lenders with tens of thousands of mortgage-seekers ready to borrow each month. The site is a high ROI marketing channel for top-tier US mortgage lenders who rely on it for diversifying their marketing mix and reaching high-quality long-term customers. 

Natural Intelligence, the company who runs Top10 Mortgage Loans, achieves this by attracting high quality mortgage-seekers right at the moment of purchase decision, and by streamlining the decision making process for them. 

Here’s how it works:  

Dominating Search marketing to reach mortgage-seekers ready to borrow

Optimizing your strategy for potential customers in every stage of the buying cycle is crucial to maintaining a strong ROI on your marketing dollars. 

When it comes to marketing to users in the comparison stage, Search is king. In fact, according to Smart Insights, 81% of people search online for a product or service. Moreover, 92% of mortgage borrowers search online before speaking to an agent.

According to a 2018 Velocify survey borrowers are now 3.7 times more likely to find their lender through online research than 5-10 years ago. So what are potential borrowers searching for? Not for a specific brand. 90% of customers searching online before making a purchase aren’t committed to a particular brand – they are searching for “the best”.

To demonstrate, we looked at Google searches for auto insurance. The top 5 search terms for “Progressive Corp.”, the most searched car insurance provider in the US. These searches amounted to a total of 272,000 user queries. By contrast, the top 5 non-branded searches for car insurance totaled 915,000 user queries—that’s more than 3.5 times the volume.

Moreover, In the past 2 years, there has been an 80% increase in mobile searches that include the word “best,” according to Google. Google attributes this increase to consumers using their mobile devices to research products before making a purchase. This trend points towards an opportunity for mortgage lenders to be featured on comparison sites that display a list of the best brands.

Being a top-50 spender on Google AdWords worldwide and the #1 in all of Europe, Natural Intelligence is a leader in Search marketing. Campaign managers spend $200M yearly to dominate top ad positions for non-branded keywords (“the best”), thus exposing the lenders on our chart to massive volumes of mortgage-seekers ready to borrow. 

When it comes to traffic, the goal isn’t just quantity. Campaign managers strive for top quality. NI cares about the KPIs of its brand partners and optimizes Search campaigns accordingly while keeping a close eye on quality. Campaigns are tailored, tweaked, and enhanced on a daily basis to deliver an optimal price-per-funded-loan for each lender. 

Helping potential borrowers overcome the Paradox of Choice 

In a world with countless decisions to make and endless options to choose from, you’d think that consumer satisfaction would be at an all time high. Wrong. 

According to American psychologist Barry Schwartz, paradoxically, the more options that are made available to a consumer, the more anxiety-inducing and exhausting the decision-making process is. 

The constant barrage causes decision fatigue, which paralyzes consumers from reaching any decision at all. To put things into perspective, 39% of shoppers have left a website and made a purchase elsewhere because they were overwhelmed by too many options (source).

Schwartz concludes that by eliminating most options and refining the possibilities, consumers are able to reach a satisfying decision more easily. In fact, simplifying decision-making for consumers results in a 96% increase in a customer’s likelihood to purchase or recommend a particular brand (source). 

The best way to counteract choice overload is to present consumers with fewer options. Although consumers want fewer choices, they still value their autonomy in the decision-making process. As a 30-something consumer from New York said during a Natural Intelligence focus group, “Just bring the facts. I need to make my own decision.”

Customers want to dig deep and get thorough information about the product or service they’re considering. 35% more users have been searching for product reviews in the past 2 years. Millennials are the most likely to use reviews, 78% of them read online reviews, with Gen Xers not far behind, with 72% of them reading up before making a purchase. 

Natural Intelligence’s mortgage comparison site features top 10 lists, objective reviews, expert articles, third party rankings, user ratings, how-to guides, and more. One of NI’s most popular content formats are “Charticles”: a combination between an article and chart that showcases 3-5 top mortgage lenders. Out of all content formats on the site, charticles generate the highest conversion rate (48%).

This enhanced user experience helps potential borrowers overcome decision fatigue. Cutting down on noise and only displaying essential information, empowers consumers to quickly and easily pick a lender they trust. 

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Why Mortgage Lenders Should Try This High-ROI Marketing Channel
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