Venus is just one of the powerful and proprietary applications we utilise within the finance marketing funnel (or anywhere else on your website) to attract and convert mortgage clients. The idea is simple: an online visitor will answer a simple step-by-step multiple-choice form and a 'Mortgage Report' will be created as a branded PDF and sent directly to the client, with the report predicated upon the answers within the form. It's one of many dynamic tools we use in the marketing funnel process designed to set our broker apart from the lackluster and featureless experiences provided by their competitors.
We're seeing more and more brokers flock to Facebook in isolation at the expense of business growth. Despite Belief crafting the highest converting Facebook experience in the industry - which is the only full-integrated, future-proof, and 'self-hosted' product on the market - we're massive advocates for more 'traditional' marketing methods... and at the time of writing we've returned around 1.3 Billion in volume back into the lives of our brokers for just the month of September (none of whom published a single advert). Of course, our highly functional marketing experience provides a Facebook solution that is infinitely more powerful, extensive, and feature-rich than any of the vanilla products made available to mortgage brokers, and it routinely returns in excess of 15-thousand high-quality 'leads' per month (generating hundreds of millions in volume back to our brokers last month alone in addition to organic volume). The tool described on this page is a small part of our high-value Facebook experience.
Pictured: Digital marketing (or just "marketing") is very different to digital advertising (with Facebook marketing a very small piece in a much larger puzzle). If you ignore the former the latter is a wasted experience.
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This article introduces just one aspect of our marketing experience (funnel) that clearly qualifies our clients as the brokers of choice.
First, it's worth reinforcing that any online qualification process is designed to qualify the broker – not the client. Additionally, during any funnel flow, the idea of qualification should be avoided almost entirely. The exception is, of course, our Venus (Mortgage Report) system which is provided as a service to our online leads (not a qualification tool); the fact a broker receives a copy of the report and gains insight into the lead is somewhat secondary.
The report provides the following functions:
- Provides the client with a genuine high-value tool upon which to retrieve information that may assist in their borrowing journey.
- Qualifies the broker by providing an exceptional product (it’s not uncommon for a client to print the report or forward it on).
- Provides the broker with a copy of the report to assist with telephone discussions.
- Answering the questions contributes towards our escalation of commitment and conditional journey. Based on the information provided we can build a better profile of the client and adjust our conditional content as necessary (the answers are saved in a cookie and will provide a means to serve conditional website content).
- Provide an experience that makes you stand out in a crowd of online mediocrity.
You might argue that we chose 'Venus' as a name for this project because we ran out of planets... and you might be right. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t appropriate.
Venus, the second planet from the sun, is named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The planet Venus — the only planet named after a female — may have been named because it shone the brightest of the five planets known to ancient astronomers. So too, our Venus program will make you shine brightly among your competitors.
Venus was often thought to be two different stars, the evening star and the morning star — that is, the ones that first appeared at sunset and sunrise. Our Venus program can also be thought of as having two primary purposes; it’s both a marketing tool that provides valuable broker insight but it is primarily a genuine high-value tool for clients. It’s also the hottest of all planets... and Venus is a red hot website marketing asset.
The Marketing Experience
There's a massive difference between the sales funnel and a marketing funnel, with the former being a simple transactional experience while the latter is a journey (and we're the only company in the finance space that provides a genuine and real marketing funnel to mortgage brokers). Venus contributes towards the journey in that it always remains an optional tool, but when it is used it escalates the marketing experience and feeds our conditional logic with more information to make the remainder of the journey more relevant (as introduced shortly we use the responses to alter content on your website to return relevant information).
Venus is simple in terms of how it works.
- User completes report
- Details are submitted to our platform and a personalised PDF report is created. The report is emailed to the user via your integrated Microsoft email account (the report will optionally end up in your ‘Sent Items’ folder, depending upon your selected preference). For privacy purposes, the data is fully encrypted during transport and on our server.
- The report is sent to the broker and optionally synced to OneDrive (or a CRM).
Pictured: A website user fills out a form and a fully-customised and relevant booklet is immediately returned. The book returns text that is based on their responses to questions.
We send our client a link to the Venus form as part of the very first email in our early Sonata program for relevant email campaigns (as part of the Symphony marketing sequence)... but it is entirely optional. We introduce the 'Mortgage Report' to our client as "an entirely optional free tool that will provide significant value, but it is something that can use at any time". Once again, any request in an email sequence or elsewhere that exceeds our trust score will be met with discontent and resistance. We never mandate that a passenger in our funnel journey surrender information other than that which is entirely necessary.
General Location Usage
Usage of the 'Mortgage Report' is in three primary locations:
- On the front or any other page of your website. The tool adds value so shouldn’t be hidden.
- On a landing page. We’ll set up a specific page where the primary purpose is form completion (as part of the marketing funnel flow).
- Facebook Bot. The bot solution we’ve manufactured to accompany this tool is essentially ‘plug-and-play’. Since the report is created on the backend the bot simply returns answers to our Platform for PDF creation.
The Client Form
Completion of any form is easy. The unstyled form for question one is shown below (the form inherits the styling/fonts from your website).
Pictured: The first of 16 questions. Your form will be styled in a manner to fit your website. Clicking ‘next’ returns a new question panel. The last question includes the ‘Submit and email Mortgage PDF’ button.
As your client moves through each question the green indicator will show progress. A back and next button is shown so a user may move freely between questions. Designed around providing a pleasant customer experience, completion takes around 2-3 minutes.
All text fields are mandatory although most questions require only a multiple choice selection. The form looks nicer on a website!
Broker Responses to Questions
You have two options when creating your responses to each question:
- You may create a response to each question option individually via form textboxes
- You may optionally create a standalone PDF that addresses each answer associated with every question.
The text box option (rather than the PDF) provides more flexibility in that questions can be altered, link tracking can be integrated (so you know what leads are clicking on what links), and the entire report flows without breaks between sections. The latter (individual PDF) option is generally reserved for magazine-style setups and is usually far less appropriate.
The questions should generally be in your own voice and reflect your own experience with each area. That said, we do plan on writing our own generic responses as a placeholder until brokers find the time to build their own content. Questions should be as long or as short as you desire. Images and other objects are inserted into the report via a very a basic HTML markup (that we obviously assist with).
Plugin Question & Answer Form
Questions for the generic form can be found by navigating your way to 'Business Tools' in the 'BeliefMedia' plugin menu. Select 'Compliance QandA' from the tab options.
The dropdown menu returns each question in turn. For each option you should create a very specific response directly applicable to each answer.
Pictured: The 'general' compliance report. It’s 'general' in that it is the only report available via the Plugin (more are made available via the Platform). Others reports can be manufactured via specific shortcode usage.
For each of the 16 default questions you have the option to alter the following:
- Section title
- The question
You may optionally disable any of the questions entirely.
Under each question we present an option to upload a PDF. Where you have provided a written responses in the provided text box and a PDF, the latter takes precedent.
It's not uncommon for a few answers in the form to have nearly identical answers so don’t worry too much about information overlap - the end user won't know any different and relevance will always be maintained.
Pictured: Each question requires you to write specific responses (an extract of question 8 is shown). There are times when responses require a sub-response (usually in the case of Boolean responses).
The 'Booklet Details' includes a number of fields that requires completion before any report can be generated. While it asks for a large amount of data, only small components are necessary. The custom first page and custom last page, for example, are entirely optional, as is the CEO photo.
Promotional or other material can be added to the resulting booklet in the same way we add a custom cover and back cover.
Additional Booklets and Custom Booklets
Custom booklets require development time that should be scheduled with your RM. If you require custom booklets the creation forms will reside on the BM Platform – not in your website plugin. Based on the responses to questions there's literally no end to the kind of information that might be rendered into the booklet with a little creative coding (CoreLogic Data, for example).
We do plan on building a larger number of 'generic' question sequences for inclusion on your website and for use with Facebook bots.
Fact Finding QandA
The very basic 'Fact Finding' form is a sequence of just five step-by-step questions for an early fact find. It's rarely used and goes against our mantra of not asking anything from a client unless we deliver something in return. For this reason it's rarely used (it was requested... so we added it).
The fact find responses are sent to you only and returns no information back to the client.
Inclusion into Your Website
To return the form into your website you simply have to add the shortcode of
[venus] into a WordPress post or page. To return forms other than the default form created within your WordPress website, simply add the form ID as a shortcode attribute. For example, the form we use for our own (basic) client websites SEO audits we use the shortcode of
A form other than the generic form will reside on the Platform and will be assigned to you directly when required.
Conditional Website Content
Part of a real marketing funnel experience - as opposed to the generic one-dimensional landing page transactional experience provided to brokers – requires that we escalate the commitment of a user by way of conditional website content (and further segregate by geography). This process starts when a user first visits your website and we identify browsing behaviour by way of their page visits. We then escalate our own understanding when a user downloads a product or subscribes to a service (such as a webinar), and further edge them into our experience as we learn more about them. We use this interaction to serve more relevant and unseen content to your website in a way that encourages more on-page activity, and ultimately results in a conversion far higher than the typical and rather pedestrian 'static' experience (this is just part of how a real marketing funnel works).
Our 'Mortgage Report' provides us with an exceptional understanding of our client and subsequently feeds our Skynet system with enormous amounts of information necessary to provide website relevance for a specific user. Knowing our client’s exact credit purpose, history, intent and objectives provides a very clear path in automatically returning relevance back to them by way of well-crafted website material.
Of course, conditional content works is just one small part of our 'escalation of commitment' strategy, and it is well outside the scope of this document.
A future feature expected to be included by November 2019 will apply a course correction to our email strategy. If the client completing our questions identifies themselves as somebody that is more suited to another campaign – usually by way of Question 5, ‘Credit Purchase’ – we'll subscribe them to a new list and provide a new education program.
Other features will be included, such as the ability to schedule certain information on the basis of certain answers. First Home Buyers, for example, will be sent our FHB booklet in addition to being subscribed to the FHB email program.
Venus is provided to all businesses that have less than 5 employees with lifetime access. As with many Platform features, some services require a small access fee once your business grows in volume.
An enormous amount of what we do tends to change the behaviour of our 'competitors'. Certainly, since we made our basic 'Marketing Manual' available we've watched as others have tried to play catch-up; in some cases we've watched as they've dropped aspects of their 'qualification' hurdles, and in one case we we've even seen them take the nutty approach by sending funnel traffic to third-party FileInvite services. The reality is that if you're going to ask anything of anybody the value of the transaction belongs to the consumer - not the broker. So, Venus is a high-value customer tool that just happens to serve other business-side functions.
As previously mentioned, the Venus questions should be answered by you in your own voice, and the answers should reflect your own unique positioning in the market. Again, we will assist with creation of the form but we do prefer that brokers make an attempt to provide a unique experience. The fact there's 92 time-consuming individual questions to answer was the reason we decided upon generic responses... although, as you might be aware, we vigorously oppose generic or templated material in any marketing campaign.
As mentioned earlier, more advanced reporting strategies might be applied in the property and real-estate markets where large amounts of information might be returned (sourcing information from third party APIs and our extensive internal data). If you’re a property client we’ll introduce these tools to you and work alongside your team to ensure you have an amazing 'Property Report' experience integrated into your website.
Mortgage brokers should keep the generated PDF report on record as part of a client’s compliance documentation.
The underlying tech that builds the report is designed wholly in-house by Belief. As such, we're able to react to requests for changes and additions rather quickly.
Note: If you're familiar with our extremely high-volume Saturn ("Geo") program it's worth noting that booklets are created in a similar manner using the same creation engine.