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a la mode news & marketing tips ó January 27, 2006

Viral marketing strategies for your business

Viral marketing refers to any strategy that encourages people to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for growth in the message's exposure and influence.  There are examples of viral marketing all over the web. If you have a Hotmail e-mail account, you unwittingly infect the recipient with the footer message included in each e-mail. Hallmark.com offers free e-cards for you to send to a friend, who will have to watch a short advertisement for Hallmark before reading your message.

One of the most popular viral marketing campaigns last summer was the Wedding Crashers website, which included a feature called "Crash the Trailer."  You could upload a photo of yourself and a friend and watch the trailer of the movie with your pictures replacing the photos of the characters in the movie.

You donít have to invest a lot of money into creating your own viral marketing campaigns; you simply need to offer something unique and valuable to your clients that will prompt them to tell their friends and family about it.  Here are a few viral marketing ideas you can implement into your mortgage business:

E-mail your clients a link to your Home Price Index.  And, of course, encourage them to forward your e-mail to a friend who may be looking to sell their home.  If you havenít activated your Home Price Index feature on your XSite yet, go to the Lead Capture section of your XSite and check ďactivate.Ē

Write your own articles on mortgage related topics that would be of interest to consumers on your XSite.  Then, allow people to reprint them on their website, in their blog, newsletter, magazine, etc.  Not only will your articles bring in additional hits, but it will also help build your credibility. Be sure to add a brief bio of yourself to the end of each article and include your guidelines on reprinting your work.

You may also try submitting your articles to a website content provider like ArticleCity.com.  Simply submit an article you've written to the site and, if it's accepted, it will be listed in their directory.  

Send your clients an e-newsletter with useful information or unique advice.  Sending your newsletter via email makes it easy for your clients to forward it to a friend. XSellerate has 10 different newsletter templates to choose from and many include pre-written articles on saving money, home improvement and more ó just add your own content and contact information and send it to your contact list.

Include a signature in every e-mail.  This may seem simple and, likely, you already include your contact information at the end of your emails.  But also try including a catchy tagline or your company slogan in your signature and add a separator like a dotted or squiggly line between the email message and your signature.  It helps set it off from the text and if your e-mail is forwarded, it will stand out.

Wowing customers now means more referrals later, study says

When shopping for a lender, 61 percent of recent borrowers asked their friends family members, their REALTORģ or other personal acquaintances for recommendations on choosing a mortgage company, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Primary Mortgage Origination Study.  Additionally, more than 40 percent of borrowers indicate they utilize the Internet as a resource for gathering information during their lender shopping process.

The study measures customer satisfaction with the mortgage borrowing process among 4,498 consumers who originated a new mortgage in the past nine months.  Three primary factors were identified that drive overall customer satisfaction: application/approval process, loan officer/representative or mortgage broker, and closing process.

"There is money to be made by really wowing a new customer," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the finance and insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates.  "During the post-sale halo period, delighted customers are out there making the most referrals.  In a marketplace crowded with lender options, personal testimonial can be the most effective form of advertising for the lender."

And while the application/approval process is a significant factor in achieving customer satisfaction, the study found that the closing process has the greatest impact on overall borrower satisfaction.  Customers value convenience when it comes to closing as well as accurate monthly payment calculations.

"Borrowers may feel somewhat deceived when their monthly payment does not match what was quoted in the Good Faith Estimate," Bowler said.  "It is vital for lenders to be up-front and as accurate as possible with details at that time, especially if assumptions are being made regarding consumer credit scores."

Of course, itís up to you to provide your customers with accurate numbers, but your XSite does help you with the convenience factor when it comes to the loan closing. Automatic status updates let your customers know whatís going on with their loan and tools like DirectFax allow them to convert all of their loan paperwork into PDFs so everything is organized in place and nothing gets lost in the shuffle. Your clients can also view their paperwork and loan status any time they need to in a password-protected area of your XSite.

Briefly Speaking

Whatís the best thing about having friends without XSites?

Ö You both save money on our products if you refer them to us.

Thatís right, each new customer you refer who purchases any of our products or services that retail for $199 (like an XSite  or XSellerate marketing system) or more will get $50 off the retail price and you'll get $50 towards your next purchase or renewal. It doesnít matter if you have one friend or 100 friends Ö youíll get a $50 credit for each one. With enough credits, you could get your XSite paid for the next 10 years!

We made it easy to rack up your referral credits too with black and white or color coupons you can print and carry with you. (Be sure to write in your name and telephone or customer number on them before you pass them out!)

All your friend has to do is call us and give the information on the coupons. They get $50 off their first purchase and your account is credited automatically.

And if your friends arenít interested in an XSite, be sure to let them know about our new FleXApp 1003, which can be used with any website and integrates with any LOS. The FleXapp 1003 has the same features as the one on your XSite ó DirectFax, automatic e-mail status updates, built-in help windows and a Spanish version included free. Itís available for the special introductory price of $99 until January 31. Send your friends here to learn more about FleXApp.

Stop by and say "Hi"
We'd love to get your thoughts on our products. Please feel free to stop by our booth at the following industry event:

Mar. 29-Apr. 1, 2006
Mortgage Banker's Association
Technology Conference
San Diego, Calif.

Newsletter Archives

January 13, 2006
Get your XSite noticed sooner with Google Sitemaps. Plus: Using your XSite to connect with Generation X

December 29, 2005
Jump start your marketing for the New Year. Plus: Using forms on your XSite without turning off your visitors.

December 15, 2005
Meet the new XSites My Office area. Plus: XSellerate 2.0 makes marketing to past clients as easy as 1,2,3.

Full archives

Contact Us

For questions about this newsletter, contact the editor: Amanda@alamode.com

For sales inquiries, contact sales@alamode.com or call

If you have an idea, tip or feedback on any of our products, we'd love to hear from you!  Please e-mail us at info@alamode.com.


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