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May 23rd, 2007, 11:52 AM #1
Mortgage Lead Generation
- Join Date
- May 23rd, 2007
Ok, here is another thread about online mortgage lead generation.
We are a mid-sized mortgage company operating nationally. We operate our own sites and generate our own leads. The difference in quality between these truly exclusive leads and the ones we have purchased from lead providers in immense. The mortgage lead industry is plagued with fraud, not necessarily on the part of the affiliate sites but by the lead companies themselves who sell leads over and over again regardless of the warranties made about exclusivity.
So our problem is this. We are looking to growth rapidly, which means creating more leads. We are happy with the leads we create for ourselves but we also realize we are a mortgage company, not an expert Internet advertiser and site operator. Leads purchased from the lead providers are generally unsatisfactory.
So how can we harness the power of experienced, entrepreneurial web site operators without just trying to create another cookie cutter affiliate program?
We would like to create a program that makes the web site operator a participant in the revenue generated by each loan. There was an earlier post stating that this is illegal. Actually that is not the case. Simply offering a fee or bonus based on loan closings IS illegal. However, there are a number of ways to structure a program that would allow this type of compensation. The downside is that it requires one on one relationships with sites (or co-owned groups of sites) capable of producing a minimum number of leads per month (probably at least 50).
As we see it the advantages to the site operator would be:
1. Potential far higher revenue.
2. The ability to offer special incentives to site visitors. For example, we may agree to offer a $500 discount on closing costs to anyone closing a loan during a certain period. If the site dealt with homeshoppers we might be able to offer commission rebates through an affiliated real estate firm. This type of customized marketing is not possible in a generic lead generation affiliate program where the leads will be sold god knows how many times and places.
3. Because the site owner has a vested interest in the ultimate closing of a loan we can allow streamlined forms. If we are paying X per lead then our interest is served requiring an extensive form with many fields, to weed out people who are less interested. In truth, very little of this would be necessary. We would not want to weed anyone out - we would want a crack at anyone who would give us name and contact info. And we don't need field after field of data so we can sort the leads for resale. We want all the loans - purchase, refi, good credit and bad, etc.
4. Your site visitors will not be bombarded with dozens of calls and emails.
The advantages to us would be:
1. Reliable sources of truly exclusive leads.
2. The ability to harness the talent of experienced Internet marketers who, admittedly, are likely far better than us at generating targeted traffic and producing the sites and leads.
3. A few substantial true partnerships with site operators rather than a difficult to manage and impossible to differentiate affiliate program (it is a very very crowded space).
Anyway, the point of my long-winded post was hopefully to get some suggestions on how to structure something like this and so insight into what would make a program of this nature attractive to the site operators we would need to make it work. Obviously tracking and accountability is crucial but we would love to get some further thoughts.
May 23rd, 2007, 12:03 PM #2
It sounds like you already know how to structure it - lead payment upfront plus bonus on the following transaction with tracking transparency for credibility.
The part I don't understand is "The downside is that it requires one on one relationships with sites". Why in the world would you consider that a downside?
May 23rd, 2007, 12:14 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 23rd, 2007
That was poorly worded. Certainly NOT a downside once up and running. The downside is how to find potential site-partners essentially "one on one" versus just mass marketing an affiliate program.
"Just put this code on your site and we'll pay your $30 per lead" is a lot easier to market than coming up with customized solutions that are a good match for each site's audience.
May 23rd, 2007, 12:38 PM #4
Phew, was scared there.
Have you thought of hiring an OPM or consultant?
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