Using Advertising Premiums Successfully in Your Mortgage Business


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If you're giving away advertising premiums or specialties such as business card magnets, calendars, pens, notepads, jar openers, chip clips, or whatever with your contact information on it. . . two things can happen.

It will either be a huge success or, in most cases a total failure. I'm always amused at Loan Officers that buy large quantities of calendars and sports team schedules and then rush around delivering them to people before they become out-dated and stale.

Over the years, I have also heard the comment. . . A friend of mine is passing out “these things" and doing a ton of business. So, I bought 2000 of “these things, " passed them out. Unfortunately, it didn't generate any business for me:(

If you follow a few simple guidelines you can make advertising premiums a success. Otherwise, you're just rolling the dice and hoping for a winner.

One thing you need to remember is that advertising premiums were originally used as a thank you gift for existing clients.

Many of us benefit from this concept. Every year we receive a calendar from our insurance agent or doctor. Companies do this as a reward for good clients and many times good employees.

The whole purpose of this gift is to make you feel important and wanted. And most times, it works doesn't it? It is meant to create loyalty and further cement a close relationship. And on a personal level, a very attractive engagement ring accomplishes a similar feeling.

Then, something happen along the way. . . some creative marketing guru. . . thinking outside the box. . . said, why don't I send my “stuff" to not only my existing customers. . . but prospects that I want to work with as well.

The logic being, if they see my name over and over again, they'll call me when they're ready to do business. In all honesty, our marketing guru probably owned a factory that made the “stuff. " None the less, many of us bought that whole concept and then found out that it just doesn't work that way.

Here's why: When you send people who don't know you. . . your “stuff, " just doesn't build the same fuzzy feeling of “good will. " In fact, in many cases it comes off as just a cheap and corny sales ploy to get business. Many times, it will even work against you.

In spite of this, countless mortgage people will buy a ton of advertising premiums and distribute them to their prospects with that well worn logic, that only one closing is needed to cover the investment.

I'm sure some of you swear by the results of using premiums. I'm also sure many more of you are actually swearing at the company that sold them to you in the first place. You're probably also calling the whole thing a total waste of time and money.

Let's look at how we can make this whole idea a success. First. . . you need to ask yourself this question: How well do your prospects know you? If you have known them for years, or you have a well recognized name or niche specialty (like The FSBO Person), or you have also enclosed a letter with a thank you for their continued support, you'll get great results.

If you send that same premium out to people that have a problem remembering who exactly you are, you'll probably get no results. It's that simple.

Second, does your advertising premium enhance your position in the mortgage marketplace? Does a pen worth 19 cents help you or hinder you? You need to ask yourself both of those questions and then act accordingly.

The key to success is to give your customers and prospects something that they not only value, but also enhances your position as a mortgage professional.

I must admit I'm not an advocate of using premiums in my marketing. However, if you're convinced this is an approach you would like to try, choose a premium such as a calendar or notepads and then enhance the value to your clients.

If your contacts have children (and most of them will). . . enclose a letter with that premium that includes an outline of the school schedule in their district as well as important school phone numbers.

Families plan their entire lives around school schedules to include various events, long weekends, and vacations. Your purpose is to enhance your position as The Family Mortgage Person. Add value and turn that inexpensive premium into something that is truly appreciated.

Tom Domin is the author of “101 Ways to Originate Mortgages" and publisher of “Tom's Mortgage Tips" a twice monthly Mortgage Newsletter geared for Mortgage Professionals. Put your mortgage career on the fast track and sign-up for FREE at


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