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Should you buy leads? How to Get New People in Your Mortgage Pipeline

Mar 9, 2022

Real estate agent giving happy young customers a tour about a new spacious house

In a crowded lending market, it can seem challenging to get traction and explore loan options with new borrowers. That’s why we’re marketing. To make sure everyone who could benefit from a mortgage broker learns about the advantages of working with us.

You will likely get the best results from organic leads and referrals from your trusted partners. These people will be ready for a loan and have heard the benefits of working with you specifically.

But you can also get in front of a wider audience through purchased leads.

What are purchased leads?

These leads are gathered by data companies from various databases and grouped by multiple criteria. You can purchase access to them for one-time use for printed mailers or email campaigns. Pricing varies depending on the arrangement of the data and how much information you get with each lead.

One of the lowest cost types of leads is a drop shipment, in which a lead provider delivers your mailer to every active address in a specific area without including a name. You have probably received some of these mailers yourself. They are typically addressed to “Resident” rather than any of the names at your home or post office box.

You can also buy more specific addresses that include names targeted by demographic data or location. These are more costly per lead but may have better results because people may be more likely to look at an item addressed to them specifically.

You can also buy email-only lists for electronic marketing. These are typically available by the same demographic or location data as a physical address. The costs of email campaigns are significantly less than direct mail campaigns. Still, the delivery may be lower because many email campaigns get sent to spam folders or promotional sections of a user’s inbox.

The costs of purchasing leads are in addition to any costs associated with preparing and sending mail or email campaigns. And you don’t really buy a list you can keep for the long-term. A better way to describe it would be renting a mailing list to use one time.

How can you use purchased leads?

Buying leads is more effective when you purchase in large quantities, so this strategy is best for more extensive mailing campaigns. A good example is when you want to let people who live in a specific zip code know how you can help them with their purchase and refinance mortgage search. That is a general message designed to go to a large group of people. Because you’re sending to a large group, you can expect a lower response rate.

The goal with this type of campaign would be to get people to connect with you on your website so you can work directly with them to stay top of mind for when they are ready to get a loan. A good thing to advertise is a workshop you are offering, an email list signup, or another way to get people interested in learning more. Marketers call this the top of the funnel.

As the people who get your mailer connect with you more deeply, they move further down the funnel (in marketing parlance) and get to know you better as you provide them with useful information that makes sense for their current and future plans. It is usually less effective to immediately pitch loans, because it is unlikely that a large mailing campaign will arrive at precisely the right moment for someone looking to purchase or refinance, which would be considered an end-of-funnel message.

With careful planning and solid messaging, purchased leads can be worth the costs involved. Because of the ability to get in front of entirely new people, this type of outreach is a vital element in your overall marketing plan.