5 Strategies for Journey Success

By Jake Pniewski, CRM Marketing Manager, Finance of America Mortgage

Winner of Total Expert’s Journey Wiz Expy award

Total Expert’s Journey Creator is an incredibly powerful tool for building personal relationships with customers. And like any powerful tool, they’re most effective when you know what you’re doing. Here are five Journey strategies that anyone can use to make life easier for loan officers and keep customers engaged.

1. Don’t Treat Journeys Like Drip Campaigns

I’ve seen a lot of Journeys essentially built as drip campaigns – very linear. But that almost never delivers what customers want, which is an experience that is affected by their input.

Total Expert’s Journeys make that kind of decision-based marketing possible. In Journeys, you can use if-then statements: if a customer clicks here, they’ll go down one path; if they click somewhere else, they’ll go down another.

Every customer’s financial journey is unique and should be treated as such. Creating Journeys that have branches lets you deliver relevant, one-to-one information, which is how you build relationships.

2. Aim for Conversational

Of course, the content of those branching emails matters a lot. I’ve had the greatest success with emails that look and sound like they’re coming from a loan officer. These plain-text, conversational messages drive much more engagement than emails filled with graphics and images that look like they come from a corporate entity. They’re also more likely to win buy-in from your organization’s loan officers, which is key to translating great content and relevant Journeys into impact.

3. Make Journeys Flexible

Another way I’ve found to win LO buy-in is to make Journeys flexible.

When I first got to Finance of America Mortgage, we were creating custom Journeys for individual LOs, which amounted to over 225 Journeys in the system. Why? Because the Journeys that had been created weren’t flexible enough for LOs to adapt to their needs. 

I’m currently working to streamline our library down to 15 Journeys with content blocks that LOs can quickly swap out and personalize.

4. Get Buy-In from LO Assistants and Branch Marketing Managers

Effective Journeys will help you get LO buy-in because great Journeys translate to great results – and that’s what LOs want.

But how do you convince a busy loan officer to learn how to run Journeys? My recommendation: focus on training and winning over LO assistants and branch marketing managers.

They’re often the ones actually managing communications, so if they understand the ins and outs of the platform and the Journeys you’re building, they’ll be able to field any questions or concerns LOs have.

5. Don’t Get Overwhelmed

With any new software – and certainly, with a system as powerful as Total Expert – it’s easy to get overwhelmed. My advice: keep exploring.

You won’t design perfect Journeys in a single day, but that’s not the goal. The most effective Journeys will be living things that you’ll modify over time as you learn what resonates with customers and as your offerings and the market change.

One of the beautiful things about Total Expert is that it makes on-the-fly changes possible in a way that other platforms simply don’t. The more you explore, the more you’ll discover.

In 2022, Journeys Will Matter More than Ever

The last two years have been good for many mortgage lenders. But interest rates are expected to go up in 2022. Your marketing messages – what you say, how you say it, when you say it, etc. – will matter even more.

Total Expert is an incredibly flexible platform. It’s exactly the right tool to help financial institutions nurture and build relationships with customers, given what we expect from the market next year.

To do that, you’ll have to spend some time getting to know the platform so you can understand when to work “in the box” and find ways to think outside the box. Taking that time will be well worth the effort. You’ll be able to move your whole organization forward, keep customers engaged, and create customers for life.