Brokers' best asset is their client database

Make better use of email marketing, expert urges

Brokers' best asset is their client database



Brokers could maximise the investment they have made to acquire new customers with better email marketing strategies, according to ActivePipe’s general manager of mortgage channel, Paul Smith.

With interest rates rising and fierce competition for customers among lenders, Smith (pictured above left) said “home loans have potentially never been more a part of the conversation than they are right now”.

“This means it is not a difficult period to have a conversation with people,” Smith said. “This plays into the hands of brokers, as the broker proposition is about offering choice and making the process easy.”

However he said brokers needed to be on the front foot as there was a risk borrowers might choose to do it themselves by going direct or online amid a slew of cashback offers and competition.

“If you have an established business you really need to consider your database as your biggest asset,” Smith said. “It is so much work and cost to acquire a customer – you might have needed to pay for that referral or lead. The thing you want to avoid is having to pay to acquire again.”

ActivePipe helps brokers and other intermediaries like real estate agents market to existing clients with targeted, professional email marketing that supports engagement and repeat business.

“Most good brokers want to reach out to their clients and have those one-on-one conversations, but when you have a big business with thousands of customers that is really hard to scale,” Smith said.

“We aim to provide the systems and processes to build scalable email marketing activities that speak to databases in a smarter way to generate repeat business and leads from existing clients.”

Smith said email marketing best practice involved using content that targeted borrowers’ behaviours and actions – for  example around upcoming events such as their cheap fixed rate expiring.

“It’s about looking at having a data strategy to communicate them in the right way,” he said. “What customers care about is how you can improve their situation, how you can save them time, or educating them about what is happening in the market that is going to affect them.”

Smith said brokers should consider using data to get out in front of events with education material, or use systems like ActivePipe to identify when a customer appears interested in an action.

“Brokers have done all that hard work to acquire a name and a phone number and a deal, so whenever that customer is even thinking about taking out another loan, our dashboard highlights when a customer is engaging with the content and behaving like they may do something.”

Equilibria Finance managing director, Anthony Landahl (pictured above right), said email marketing had been helping his business keep customers up to date with the market and his business top of mind in 2023.

“There’s a lot of noise in the media about the offers out there from providers, so in the current market it is helping us keeping clients informed in a balanced way around that,” Landahl said.

“It’s also about letting them know we are available and how we are assisting our clients.”Equilibria was an early adopter of ActivePipe four years ago, particularly because content could be flexibly tailored around demographics or customer status and used to create targeted campaigns.

“Just as an example, for first homebuyers we could do more of an educative campaign, or for existing clients we could do something that was more about keeping them up to date with topical information in the market with a newsletter-type briefing,” Landahl said.

“For clients who had settled [their loans], we could send information around interest rates, fixed and variable rates, and run stay in touch programs around the other services we offer.”

Landahl said email marketing was an important part of its marketing to its database this year.

“If a client is a lead we are able to nurture that lead through ongoing communications so when they are ready to go because we have been communicating with them our name is front of mind,” he said.

“If a client is in the middle of a transaction or has settled their loan, it is definitely a part of our retention strategy to keep them informed with relevant information as well as about the other services we offer. So it helps both with leads and our existing clients.”

Smith warned brokers to avoid content that was overly promotional, such as draws and giveaways, or tacky material such as “pie recipes” or news on your “mullet growing competition”.

“People will unsubscribe from your emails,” Smith said. “You only need one bad email or tacky thing and you could have a long-term client and really good referral partner unsubscribe and blacklist you.”

Brokers are advised to only use content people expect to hear from a broker about. ActivePipe’s content is run through focus groups of everyday Australians to ensure it is what they want to hear.

Smith said the best email marketing today acknowledged “people are usually too busy to read anything more than 200 to 300 words”, and were both highly visual and non-promotional in nature.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!