Nationwide Mortgages* is in last place in The Angles Report ranking of 20 home-loan providers.
Squarely in the Losers corner, Nationwide Mortgages has a respectable paid-search program, but the subsequent three phases of its online marketing process are weak, if not missing. It does no follow-up with any leads it manages to snare.
It is one of the worst small advertisers researched. In contrast, CashCall Mortgage spends less than Nationwide Mortgages and is one of the best small advertisers.
The Nationwide Mortgages search program is below average compared with the 20 companies researched — except when it comes to cost per click. Nationwide Mortgages budgets 80 percent less for its 90 percent fewer paid keywords than the average of its competitors and gets 83 percent fewer click-throughs. For those clicks, the company is paying almost 10 percent more cost per click. Its most recent ad position was 12, a poor showing.
No Money Down Home Loans
Nationwide Bank® Can Help Find The
Right Mortgage To Fit Your Needs.
Bad Credit OK – 1st Time Buyers OK-
No Cost Mortgage Quotes – EZ-Qual
Money alone isn’t enough to turn a bad online marketing process into a good one. It would, however, help the Nationwide Mortgages search program if, in addition to addressing its landing page, confirmation page and follow-up issues, the company had more category keyword focus.
It does a good job including among its top-10 keywords both category keywords: “home loans” and “home mortgages.” It should, however, do a better job. It dilutes its effectiveness with other keywords like “mortgage rates,” “house loan” and “mortgage lending.”
The Nationwide Mortgages ad copy above should include a call to action, a special offer and some social proof to build consumer interest and confidence.
The elements missing in the copy for the Nationwide Mortgages search ad are missing on its landing page too. Also MIA: a branded favicon, trust marks (e.g., Better Business Bureau, Trust.org), and the https prefix in its URL to assure prospects that any data they share with Nationwide Mortgages is secure.
The company’s form for collecting data is another problem. (See below.) Since the purpose of a landing page is to capture data and turn unknown prospects into known leads, forms should be brief, with no more than six or seven fields, and embedded on one page. This makes it easier and less daunting for users to share their personal information. Nationwide Mortgages spreads 11 fields over four pages, creating a poor user experience and depressing conversion rates.
If the company used any technology on its page other than Google Analytics, it could run A/B and multivariate testing on different forms and headlines. Nationwide Mortgages, however, doesn’t appear to be serious about its online marketing process. It uses one app; the average number deployed by its competitors? Six.
After a lead submits a form, it is standard practice to serve up a confirmation page acknowledging receipt of the data and thanking the potential customer. Nationwide Mortgages doesn’t do that. (See below.) Instead, the poorly written page instructs the lead to go to a third-party site to request a credit score.
On its confirmation page, Nationwide Mortgages should be selling potential customers on its offerings and service by educating them about the company and the loan process. In addition to content and tools (e.g., mortgage calculator), Nationwide Mortgages should include technologies like live chat to support and woo leads — not cram them into the company’s process. (For confirmation-page best practices, see the VAMortgageCenter or AmeriSave Mortgage Corp. Scorecard & Analysis.)
Nationwide Mortgages tops off this pattern of worst practices with its email and phone follow-up. It does no follow-up. If the company gets serious about online lead gen, it must:
- Develop email campaigns with copy that builds on the company story and addresses a lead’s personal needs. (See the CitiMortgage Scorecard & Analysis).
- Use engaging subject lines that improve open rates. (See the AmeriSave Scorecard & Analysis).
- Incorporate phone calls to complement email and online activity and increase conversion. (See the Quicken Loans and Wells Fargo Scorecards & Analysis).
Online lead gen requires well-executed inbound and outbound strategies. Nationwide Mortgages has neither.
* Note: Nationwide Mortgages (NationwideMortgages.net) is not Nationwide (Nationwide.com). The latter, which has a monthly search budget of $1,400,000, would have been included in The Angles Report, but its landing page form requires a Social Security Number. For security reasons, Angles researchers do not supply them.