There Is No Crying In Direct Mail Campaigns For Loan Modification
And Other Foreclosure Prevention Related Services

You will have to forgive my reference to the quote by actor Tom Hanks in the movie A League of Their Own that read, “There Is No Crying in Baseball”.  Not only does that make me laugh, but also I find it incredibly appropriate when it comes to direct mail. Loan Modification mail in its early stages had response percentages sometimes as high as 14% and I am open to the possibility that a company that I have not worked with may have achieved higher.  That is a tough standard to live by.  Did you know that historical mail response is half of a percent?  The loan modification firms that got used to that extraordinary response
did not know that either.  So what we see over time is saturation in mail in booming industries and response coming back down to earth.  It happens is the best answer a direct response marketing company can give you and these “White Elephant” responses most definitely are not seen over the long haul so it is
important to companies using direct mail to keep things in perspective.

As Loan Modification services received tightened guidelines and regulation thru bills like SB94, the predictable happened.  The response came way down but it does not have to be the end of the world and
shouldn’t be viewed that way.  Whatever the response, remember two things:

  1. That a response greater than half of a percent is better than average and
  2. Direct Mail, when the creative is good and the data is filtered well, produces the highest quality hot inbound call on the market.

To many, this is not good enough but what I write here is truthful.  Not all direct mail campaigns for loan
modification will respond the same.  Some will produce better than average and on occasion some campaigns will produce below average and expectation.  Direct Mail is not for the faint of heart but for those who understand its effectiveness and the idea that you are building for the future.  What does that mean, you ask?  It’s simple.  When you mail on a consistent basis you will notice that your calls grow
because you have responders who wait 4 weeks to a month to respond.  Why do they do this?  When you mail for loan modifications, beyond a strong call to action and creating the sense that the offer may expire are the only things you can do to get them to respond now.  You can’t get into homeowner’s heads and
explain this or force them to pick up the phone but they do respond.  What loan modification firms discover is that previous mail campaigns help feed hot inbound calls to their sales organization
in between drops.  We call this the residual call bank and what happens is the calls that come in from late
responders help fill in gaps between direct mail campaigns hitting mail boxes and homeowners responding.  Consistent mailing delivers consistent inbound calls.

Loan Modification is a term that has become out of vogue so to speak.  Regulation of loan modification practices and its reckless and misguided abuse in the media has negatively affected direct
mail response to an extent and variations of this foreclosure prevention service have become popular and new ways to engage struggling homeowners and positively affect direct mail responses.
Mass Joinder, Document Preparation, Do It Yourself Kits and Litigation are all business models that have thrown their hats in the ring to homeowners as a service that helps Americans keep their homes.  Just like loan modifications for direct mail, early sky-high response percentages were common and they two have been a thorn in the side of direct response marketers that offer mail campaigns for
foreclosure prevention related services.  But just as was the case for loan modification direct mail, these
services have also had their direct mail responses come back to reality.

Does this mean that all foreclosure related services utilizing direct mail will get a
half percent response?  No, it does not but you have to be prepared for the inevitable fact that not all direct mail campaigns will perform the same and knowing that mail produces the highest
quality inbound call and lead on the market you must have your staff fully prepared to close sales and not squander opportunities.  Using a Kall8 number or similar service should give a manager the opportunity to review call recordings and this combined with a good CRM should give companies in foreclosure prevention the opportunity to maximize their direct mail campaigns.  When there are responses that are out of this
world, sales representatives tend to cherry pick and close the easiest deals and neglect a ton of opportunities to close more business.  This is one of the dangers for companies using direct mail for loan modification and foreclosure prevention service offers and it is a level of complacency that sales organizations can ill afford to let happen.  Sure, direct mail will produce campaigns of incredible response, but loan modification and foreclosure related service companies should learn to maximize even the lower responding campaigns.  When they do this, they cannot possibly lose with direct mail!  Some campaigns produce high responses and some don’t.  For this reason, there is no crying in loan modification or foreclosure prevention related service direct mail campaigns.


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