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Offline vs. Online Marketing

Offline vs. Online Marketing

Internet leads compared to postcard marketing

June 20, 2006


photo of Paula Parisot
Paula Parisot
The virtues of Internet mortgage leads were touted in a recent webinar backed by a major lead aggregator. But plenty of opportunities still exist in offline advertising and marketing.

The benefit of Web-generated leads over traditional print-generated leads was the topic of discussion last week in a webinar hosted by Kirkland, Wash.-based HouseValues and its mortgage lead subsidiary, The Loan Page.

Of the 361 participants who participated in Close More Deals With Customized Internet Leads, a majority of them polled said they typically spend most of their marketing dollars on direct mail and postcards.

webinar moderator and HouseValues senior business consultant Michele Abrams told the audience research has shown more than 73 percent of adults are online and more than 73 percent of those adults begin their mortgage search online.

“Prospects like to browse and enjoy the anonymity,” Abrams said of online searching. “They are looking for information and lots of it.”

Abrams indicated prospects seek out seasoned professionals to provide insight and information.

“The mortgage professional that educates the best is the one who will win the business when they are ready to buy,” Abrams continued. “You can’t reach out and educate with traditional marketing.”

But in an interview with, Joy Gendusa, CEO of PostcardMania, a full-service direct mail marketing company, disagreed.

Gendusa said PostcardMania does a majority of its business through direct mail postcards, though it also offers Internet leads generated through its own marketing campaigns.

Using filters and direct mail postcards to target renters or homeowners that might not be aware of new loan program options or that their loan-to-value would allow them equity cash out is an excellent way to begin the educational process, according to Gendusa.

“There are a lot of people who don’t use the Internet except for e-mail,” Gendusa said.

Gendusa pointed to Trish Wilson, president of Calif.-based Diamond Financial Services, who reported a 5 to 1 return-on-investment over a sixteen-week period of direct mailing to people whose homes were in foreclosure in California.

PostcardMania executive Jaimie Sene told he would guess that direct mail would lead to a higher closing ratio because when the prospect calls from the mail piece “you have his undivided attention, he’s reaching out.”

“And the location will be somewhere near to where he (the prospect) is located,” Sene said. “On the Internet you are inundated with competition from everywhere.”

But HouseValues notes Internet leads provide prospects that are actively searching for a mortgage. In addition, those prospects have more money to spend — reportedly earning 23 percent more income than those who respond to traditional marketing campaigns.

Paula Parisot is a feature reporter and a blogger at who has also worked in the mortgage industry.

e-mail Paula at:

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