March 4

What We Learned in Lead Generation Last Month – February, 2021

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What We Learned in Lead Generation Last Month – February, 2021

Welcome to the second edition of “What We Learned in Lead Generation Last Month”!


February was an eventful month where FinanceVine set records for new signups, new revenue and total monthly revenue. But enough about us, here are all the happenings that could be of interest to you and your brokerage.


Facebook Data Deep-Dive


As a Facebook Agency Marketing Partner, we have been working with our Facebook Ads Representative to audit our ads accounts and find patterns to help us improve lead generation results. The first fruits of that labor are beginning to emerge...


A New Approach to Equity & Refinance Campaigns


Up until now, we’ve approached our campaigns primarily by “product type” but we’re currently experimenting with approaching the campaign by “customer segment” instead. Our hypothesis is this. 

Take a homeowner who wants to consolidate some debt. They might know a bit about mortgage refinancing, they might even google for a “home equity loan” or a “home equity line of credit” but they probably don’t know which solution is best for them, they just know the problem they have which is consolidating their debt, and the opportunity they can explore by using their home equity. 

As such, we’re currently experimenting with targeting the following 4 segments by calling out the customer need, and then introducing them to a brokerage who can present 1 of multiple options that could possibly address that need: 

  1. Rate & Term Refinance
    • Refinance
  2.  Equity Cash-Out Refinance 
    • Cash-Out Refinance
    • Home Equity Line of Credit
    • Home Equity Loan
  3.  Debt Consolidation Refinance 
    • Cash-Out Refinance
    • Home Equity Line of Credit
    • Home Equity Loan
  4. Payment Arrears Refinance
    • Private 1st Mortgage
    • Private 2nd Mortgage

We’ll post an update about this in the next edition. 


Finding The “Qualification Filter Sweet Spot” 


Lead qualification is a never-ending project here at FinanceVine. We are constantly tinkering with our lead capture forms to find the right combination of filters to generate only the highest quality leads, however, this process is a balancing act because inevitably, increased lead qualification is accompanied by an increased cost to acquire a lead, a cost that is ultimately passed on from us to you, the broker. 

Although not a perfect metaphor, the process reminds me somewhat of an inverse version of the “price elasticity of demand” curve in economics:


You see, the graph above shows the sweet spot between lower prices & increased quantity of sales. The intersection point between the red & blue lines is where maximum sales are made at maximum price and so that’s generally where the ideal pricing lies. 

With the lead qualification, the graph looks more like this:


The intersection point between “lost sales” and “lead price/qualification” is most desirable. 

You see, with very low lead costs/qualification, you have very high “lost sales” meaning leads that had no chance of making a sale due to low contact rates, poor fit, poor eligibility, lack of interest, etc. 

So as we move the qualification standards higher, the % of lost sales start to decrease, because more and more “good leads” are being received in the batch. 

But because qualification is joined to lead price, we can’t shoot for 100%, we need to find the intersection point where we get the best value. 

To put in more specific terms; we want to qualify out of all of the extremely poor quality leads without stepping over the line of qualifying out borderline leads that could have become deals. 

Because when we step over that line, we are throwing away leads that could have been deals - that we paid for, and those costs now have to be absorbed into the leads that did make it through qualification. 

We want to get rid of the majority of the junk leads, without accidentally disqualifying a significant percentage of good leads, regularly. 

At the moment, we’re experimenting with our refinance and equity qualification criteria which include current rate, date to mortgage renewal, employment, income, the reason for the inquiry, and more. We will hopefully be able to post an update on this in next month’s edition! 


Technological Growing Pains 


Of course, part of the fun of digital marketing is, sometimes when you set out to run a marketing experiment, you need to figure out how to put the technology in place to facilitate that experiment. Well, in the case of our qualification filter experiments, because we needed to perform specific math operations which our current tech didn’t support, we needed to switch from a pre-built form from a software vendor to a custom-built form in-house, for lead capture. 

And of course, that’s where the problems began with different bugs and other unknown errors, which resulted in a huge cash burn and several deliveries being pushed off the ideal pace. 

Not to worry, we’re used to it, and working away at getting the tech right, but it was a bit of a letdown as this issue put a temporary pause on our project to fully integrate our SMS phone number and identity verification system into all of our lead funnels. We hope to have this resolved by the end of March, so look out for that update. 


Ramifications of The Techno-Political Landscape


I’m not one to bring politics into business - unless there’s a direct impact. Well, earlier this month, there was an incident in Australia where Facebook blocked all news - and some government services - from being accessible on their platform. 

This was in response to the Australian government’s legislation to try to force Facebook to pay news publishers for their news. 

And when this event unfolded, the Federal Government of Canada chimed in, saying they would draft similar legislation as in Australia. We’ll see if anything comes of that, but in the meantime, it looks like some type of deal is being worked out on the Australian side. 

Now, this is nothing new under the sun, as governments continue to intervene more and more online and specifically with the big tech platforms. Just in the past year or so, we’ve had privacy laws like GDPR come into place in Europe, “Special Ad Categories” which limit our targeting abilities on both Facebook and now Google, to avoid “discrimination” and more recently, the Apple iOS update coming into effect which is going to throw a wrench in our ability as advertisers to track conversions and remarket to certain web visitors. 

But, it's another wake-up call of why it’s so important to not have your business overly leveraged on one source of leads. 

In the stock market, you want to diversify your portfolio, and the same principle rings true in the world of lead generation. The more reliant you are on one ad network, one source of leads, the more vulnerable you are to these types of shake-ups. 

And the bigger your business, the bigger the impact if and when something goes wrong. So make sure you are diversifying your lead sources! 


Why Client Data is So Important


Finally, a quick anecdote of a client exchange during one of February’s “Monday check-ins” to illustrate the importance of clients relaying their results and data back to us. 

Before the Monday check-in in question, we had made some updates to a particular ad campaign. Well, this client provided extremely detailed information about his results from the week we made those changes, and through that communication, we were able to identify some problem areas, and quickly make the required adjustments to eliminate the aspects that were causing poor performance. The following week, the issue was resolved. 

Now contrast that with clients whom we barely hear from, whatever issue they may be having when they finally get around to measuring results and providing us with an update, the window of opportunity is missed, the money is spent, the leads have been purchased, and perhaps something we could have known about several months earlier could have resulted in a simple adjustment that would have generated tens of thousands - or more - in additional revenue and return on investment for that client. 

I know everyone is busy, believe me, there are not enough hours in the day. In fact, I am writing this monthly update about a week past its due date - so I totally get it. But if you’re an active client of ours, please take the time to give us a weekly accounting of what’s happening on your end. I promise you, the 15 minutes a week will be well worth your time. 


What’s On The Horizon in March 


Next month, we will hopefully be able to provide some progress updates on our lead segmentation, qualification and verification projects that I wrote about above. 

In the meantime, if you are not an active client yet, and you’d like to be then here are some steps you can take:

Schedule an intro call here to learn more about how we can help. 

Or, if you’ve already had an intro call & a product demo, but just haven’t pulled the trigger yet, you can sign-up directly from our website using this link. 

And just for fun, If you sign up within 48 hours of opening this email (yes, we can track that), we’ll give you 5 bonus leads in your first month. 


We currently have the following openings for new accounts:

Ontario

Mortgage - Buyers 
Insurance - Life (all types)
Real Estate - Sellers


British Columbia

Mortgage - Buyers 
Real Estate - Sellers

Quebec

Mortgage - Buyers, Refinance/Equity 
Insurance - Senior Life

The Prairies

All 


Atlantic Canada

All except Insurance in Nova Scotia


To Your Success, 

James Vannelli

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About the Author

I started out as the Internet marketing director for an Automotive Group. I learned about Facebook & Google advertising running campaigns for auto loans. I transitioned to full-time entrepreneurship in 2014, and have been at it ever since.

James Vannelli

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