How do you sell trust as a Mortgage Broker?

How do you sell trust as a Mortgage Broker?

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Is it reasonable to say you could line up 10 mortgage brokers and play eeny, meeny, miny, moe, to choose a winner? It’s effectively what consumers are doing to find you online…or is it? If your company was in a line-up, at a glance and without saying a word, could you convey the trust needed to win the consumer over?

We’ve investigated 5 prominent mortgage broking companies and graded their website pages based on clarity, excitedness and emotiveness to determine a winner and you’ll be surprised at the winning page.

This investigation was sparked by the research commissioned by NAB-owned UBank which concluded only 16 per cent of home owners know their mortgage rate. What surprising is it’s the biggest expense on the household budget and 84% of home owners don’t have any reference point at all for comparison! So what are consumers basing their decision on and what on-page strategies are advertisers using to convert consumers?

Discover the principles conversion specialists use to create pages which sell

We’re going to rate our advertisers in four key areas, page clarity, excitedness, emotiveness and which page elements the consumer acknowledges in the first 3 seconds. To do the latter we’ll use a powerful and very accurate eye tracking software. You can download your own free eye tracking report to see how one of your own webpages performs.

  • Clarity – A higher score indicates less visual clutter, better design aesthetics and a clearer understanding of the page message.
  • Excitedness – A higher score could drive significantly more conversions for a younger audience. If your audience is older, more conservative or the product/service you sell requires a high level of trust, a lower score and calmer design will achieve better results.
  • Emotiveness – This signifies the emotive elements which are acknowledged by the consumer in the first 3 seconds which contribute to a positive action.
  • Eye tracking – This AI calculates which page elements are seen in the first 3 seconds of a consumer hitting the page. The bigger the circle the more attention page elements receive.

Below are the 5 advertisers and their above the fold images. The results of clarity, excitedness and emotiveness will be collated in a table below while the eye tracking results can be seen by clicking each webpage below.

Loans.com.au

Loans.com.au

 

This page has high clarity with the headline ‘Home Lender of the Year 2015’. The Award from Mozo on the right of the page gets lots of attention as do the rates. The ‘Why choose us’ section at the bottom of the page is overshadowed by the dominance of the darker portion of the page. The logo is missed totally so recall may be an issue and the Apply Online button is also missed. I’ve looked at this page countless times and missed this button. The real issue on the page is there’s no compelling reason to use Loans.com.au. If they spent less page real estate telling the consumer how awesome they were they might find a compelling reason for consumers to use them. Awards have their place but consumers need to know how that’s going to benefit them.

The consumer doesn’t care about you, they only care about what’s in it for them

 

Tomorrow Finance

Tomorrow Finance

 

You’ve got to admire Tomorrow for using this strategy exclusively for the last few years: they rightly own this space. Interestingly this is the only page with no reference to rates of any kind. ‘Let the big banks fight over your home loan’ implies Tomorrow is very independent of the big banks but then they use the credibility of the big bank logos, just a touch of irony there. But the fighting references and the extreme colour palette overcome the need for rates and contribute to a high excitedness score.

But there’s so much going on the page the words ‘Big Bank and Fight’ get picked up twice and that’s not equitable when you’ve only got 3 seconds to play with. The logo gets picked up and we see it’s pitched at 20-35 year old males.

In the audiences emotional range it’s going to sit at the highly emotional end and appeal to Type A personalities. But its aggression may turn off a sector of the female audience at the other end of the spectrum. The page gets its point across, if somewhat uneconomically but we’re glad they stand for something in a category which virtues being all things to all men.

 

Mortgage Choice

Mortgage Choice

 

Mortgage Choice has used a similar approach to Tomorrow Finance (or is it the other way around) but the headline, ‘We’re going to get the lenders fighting for your home loan’ is more inclusive of the consumer. But as big as it is the headline is overpowered by the contact form. There are no big bank logos which support the message and the rates are missed as well.

They’ve stayed inside the existing colour palette but on the contact form they have used the darkest colour available to them; the dominance of this element also limits the eye’s ability to accept the softer elements on the page. The softer blue would have worked better. But the reason to convert is strong and inviting. ‘Request a call back for a chance to win 1 of 3 $20,000 home makeovers’.

The elements which consumers pick up on the page are in line with the page message and this contributed to a good level of excitedness and emotiveness. Mortgage Choice also displayed the best rates in our comparison.

 

Rams

Rams

 

This website has recently changed so Rams are starting from zero. The page is calming but its weak headline and lack of emotiveness lost it points. Rams seems to have used an entire paint tin of Ikea’s off-white which is a shame because they have a very trustworthy light blue in their logo which they could have used to great effect. Rams have chosen not to use rates but the ability to borrow up to 95%, so it’s pitched at a younger buyer.

Any data at this point is only a good thing but there’s a touch of nervousness on the part of the digital team as they’re asking way too much information from consumers with a total of 8 fields. If they listen to the consumer this will drop to around 4-5 fields in due course.

 

Aussie

Aussie

 

While it’s not a pretty page the Aussie page is very emotive and persuasive. It’s also the only company in our comparison to use a testimonial above the fold and it works well. While the headline isn’t picked up initially and could be condensed for greater effect, it’s still got punch. ‘A second opinion from Aussie doesn't cost anything and it could save you thousands’. While the competitors were busy knocking on the front door Aussie snuck around the side to tap on the window. It just wriggles itself in there. But the testimonial has to speak to the consumer in order for them to come back to the headline.

They have a testimonial from a real person saying, ‘Aussie saves us $1,100 a month, now we can save for an investment property’. An image of the family supports the testimonial. The rates are not as good as Mortgage Choice but the $1,100 savings a month and the soft sell approach work well together. The rates are picked up because they are so strong in colour and this may be why the logo gets missed altogether. The page would appeal to a wider audience and equate with both the male and female demographic.

 

Conclusion

Website Variable Rate Camparison Rate Clarity Excitedness Emotiveness
Loans.com.au 4.09% 4.11% 68 54 22
Aussie.com.au 4.08% 4.10% 38 38 60
Mortgage Choice 3.99% 4.05% 34 40 46
Tomorrow Finance NA NA 44 64 52
Rams.com.au NA NA 77 53 32

In the table above we’ve bought all the metrics together.

The goal from this research is to find out which page is more compelling for more consumers more of the time and whether the inclusion or exclusion of rates have a bearing on the consumers’ decision. While saving money on a home loan seems like a very logical and mechanical search query, consumers still need a compelling reason to choose a supplier and to feel trust with a broker. They also need to acknowledge the essential page messages in the first 3 seconds.

Many of our advertisers are household names, in some cases that name alone will win consumers but for the swinging voters here are the results.

In 3rd place is Tomorrow Finance. Compared to its larger rivals Tomorrow comes out aggressively like a Chihuahua with something to prove. In a sector where less excitedness is desirable Tomorrow come on too strong for a lot of the market. The words Big Bank and Fight are delivered twice in the first 3 seconds, add to this the visual aggressiveness of the page and you’ve got a recipe unpalatable for most.

It would be interesting to see if Tomorrow could achieve a better result by toning down the page and using greyscale on the various logos or backing off the expanse of red on the page. There could be some really interesting outcomes from testing these options. Ultimately the page experience could be better for it.

In 2nd place is Mortgage Choice. Here’s a strategy which is less aggressive than Tomorrow but feels more inclusive, maybe it’s the exclusion of the bank logos? This and the low level of excitedness mean more of the market will willingly engage with them because they feel Mortgage Choice is on their side. The contact form and the $20,000 home makeover competition gets all the attention and this is why it comes in second place. Also the competition is a valuable emotional tool to get fence sitters over the line; as consumers we fear the loss of missing out.

In 1st place and the winner of this comparison is Aussie Home Loans. There are two reasons for this. In order of appearance Aussie has future paced the consumer by giving them ownership of the $1100 a month in savings. A testimonial like this doesn’t work in isolation though, it needed a justifier and the headline is so logical you can’t argue with it? It’s a clever minimiser and a totally different tact to the competition, it’s like they planted a little voice in your head which won’t go away. The headline isn’t the first thing consumers see but it is the last point they takeaway. This strategy will work for a wider section of the audience because it’s so unobtrusive, there could be an argument for getting rid of the displayed rates altogether. This would allow the eye to enter the page at the headline rather than falling so deep into the page.

Where the page falls down is in its lack of structure, i.e. the headline could be condensed for greater impact.

Download our free eBook of how to create landing pages which convert.

What Mortgage Choice and Aussie have done is given consumers something to lose, a $20,000 home makeover and $1,100 savings a month. But Aussie went one better by giving consumers ownership in saving $1,100 a month. With this ownership comes the subconscious trust that Aussie to deliver the result.

This is how you get people to trust you without saying ‘trust me’. The key points here are they achieved this through 1/ using the voice of someone with no vested interest in Aussie’s success and 2/ getting a seat at the table. This speaks more directly to the consumer than the many ‘As seen on…’ mentions, the Awards and the affiliated logos displayed on the page.

Focus only on what’s in it for the consumer

PS. This is an independent evaluation. Showtime Digital has no affiliation with any advertiser.

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Posted: 23 Mar 16 By: Comments: Be the first to comment! Category: Landing Page Optimisation
Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer is the Joint Founder and CEO of Showtime Digital. Steve has been in B2B sales since 1997 but influencing people and behavioural science has been a long-term passion.

The magic he brings to his clients is in knowing how to engage their audience. His goal is to help businesses understand the deeper reasons of why consumers convert online with them.

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