How Internet Leads are Ruining Your Brand:

If you're buying Internet leads, you may be wasting money!

Many lenders acquire leads via third-party websites like LendingTree.com and LowerMyBills.com, which offer borrowers "5 free mortgage loan quotes." Yet in today’s lending market, consumers are less motivated to borrow from just any institution with a low rate and more motivated to borrow from one they recognize and trust.

This makes branding critical in lenders' marketing efforts – and integrated marketing campaigns vital to successful prospecting and lead generation, as they place you in front of the consumer numerous times through multiple channels. A quote-driven Internet lead strategy is the opposite of an integrated marketing approach and violates best practices for branding your institution.

Acquiring third-party leads is expensive and puts you in direct competition with other lenders providing quotes. Internet leads are often sold time and time again to other lenders, which does nothing to build your brand. Instead of growing your brand trust and recognition with consumers, these third-parties utilize your marketing dollars to increase their brand image – while also introducing your prospects to other lenders! They even give consumers a side-by-side comparison of you versus other lenders.

To successfully build your brand, it is necessary to differentiate yourself from the competition – not just provide base-line rate comparisons but also value-added benefits you give consumers.

According to National Mortgage Professional Magazine, borrowers "are searching for a [lender] that specializes in a type of loan program that will help them achieve their goals… an expert they can trust to help them with their unique scenario." Taking a personalized integrated marketing approach is one way to set your brand apart. This ensures your company targets only consumers who meet specific criteria and are truly in the market for your products, employing numerous channels to increase your likelihood of reaching them.

When you do this, prospects will associate your institution with professionalism and a personalized experience, and you won't waste precious time marketing to consumers who aren't in the market for what you offer. Your institution will connect with higher-caliber leads – not millions of “false” leads you buy at a premium rate through third-parties. And all this happens while preserving your brand in the consumer's eye.

Don’t dilute your brand by purchasing third-party lists. Set your institution apart as an industry leader and find a finance marketing firm who will brand you responsibly, using highly-targeted consumer data and a professional, personalized approach to reach your future customers.

Marketing Takeaways:

  1. Purchasing Internet leads is NOT smart branding: Third-party leads aren’t cheap or exclusive, pitting you against direct competitors.
  2. Lender branding is vital: Consumers are motivated to use lenders they trust, not just those with low rates. Build your brand, not a third party’s.
  3. Targeted, integrated marketing campaigns are an excellent way to build your brand and set you apart from other lenders.