Implementing and managing a high performing and converting website for a successful online lending portfolioDate published: 14 May 2018
Also, it is often assumed that existing customers will never visit the website – why would they? they already know us. But, this is not a safe assumption. Simple instances like visiting the website to get the phone number or to check on offers or to login to their account, are very common. When they visit the website in such instances, if it looks the same as when they visited a first a few years ago, they could be mistaken for thinking that the lender has nothing new to offer. Customer loyalty is at stake.
The influence a successful website can have on a lending portfolio is worth looking at. For a lender, successful marketing website and landing pages are bound to build a huge customer base with organic leads generated on their own. An active lending website would also encourage existing customers to keep visiting it to check for updates, information, offers etc. It is paramount for any lender with an online presence to ensure that they have a high performing and successful website.
The performance of a lending website is determined by findability, look & feel, ease of use, product offerings, clarity of content, transparency, reviews, branding, response, turn-around time, device friendliness and personalization, compared to other competitor websites. While consumers come to a lending website to apply for a loan, the website's usability can make or break their experience. The overall aesthetic of a lending website should be comforting, yet confident -- simple, yet personal.
An ideal lending website should speak to the consumers rather than just "selling" loan products to them.
One of the key metrics that can be used to gauge the success of a lending website is conversions — quite simply, how many people fill out the loan application form. Lenders should constantly be looking for opportunities to optimize their loan application steps for a superior consumer experience.
When it comes to optimizing a lending website, it is not just a one-time task. To make it successful, it is important to continually measure, evaluate, and apply what you learn from various data collected. It is vital to keep updating the design and content on an on-going basis with a clear understanding of customers. All the steps necessary to drive more traffic to generate more leads and to convert them into loans should be taken.
Here are some recommendations to optimize and manage a lending website based on our experience working with lenders
1. Record every customer’s presence on the website
Understand the key parameters like visitor source, their navigation behaviour across the website, length of visit, their demographics, their device and communication, usage etc. Ensure to map individual visitor data to the outcome. Identify opportunities to utilize this data, to optimize the website and to offer personalized experiences to the potential customers.
2. Track all relevant data points within the loan application process
It is vital to collect all the data through each step of the loan application process. Be sure to identify each step uniquely, and all the entry and exit paths for each step be captured and reviewed on a regular basis. This data will help lenders to optimize Loan Application form and also to connect to consumers who have partially completed the forms.
3. Optimize for mobile
We believe, any lending websites today should be designed and built to be completely responsive, and compatible with smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and wide-screen monitors.
Not just the design, even the workflow of the website should be mobile contextual. Most importantly, optimize each point in the loan application process with an eye toward device type. A detailed loan application form or multi- step loan application form built for the website may be good for a visitor on a computer but too long, complex or difficult to complete on mobile. Ensure that the loan application is designed keeping mobile context in mind.
4. Ensure relevant content is driving quality traffic to the application funnel
Ensure the content of the lending website is relevant to the customer base and measure the entry points that are driving the best results. Determine which content is appropriate and performs best at each stage of navigating the lending website and loan application process. Mapping and analyzing event data of visitors are also paramount to developing a deeper understanding of the content performance and the loan application form.
5. Simple Loan Application Steps
If the loan application form is longer than a few steps, such as when regulations require many steps, review the process to see if any simplification is possible. During such reviews, ensure that the form reflects the customer needs, rather than organizational process by removing or consolidating extraneous steps built to satisfy an internal need. Consider fewer steps by using more pre-populated information (e.g. zip code entry vs. city, state, country) or combining steps into single pages when possible. Test to determine what works best.
6. Build Trust
7. Attend visitors who intend to abandon or exit loan application
Retarget visitors who abandon the loan application process using inline prompts to connect with an agent in person or prompting personalized offers. In case, if someone comes back to make a second attempt, make it easier by pre-populating the data of the loan application that they previously completed.
8. Facilitate communication between the visitors and agents for a human touch
There are many borrowers who many not want to complete the loan application for varied reasons. It always helps to provide options for the visitors to connect with the Agents or some human touch point. For example, include Quick Application option in the website that collects very basic information which is passed on to the Agents to call the visitor and complete the loan application on behalf of the customer. Features like click-to-chat, click-to- call or click-to-callback often turn visitors into conversions and also enhances the customer relationship through a personal interaction.
Once visitors complete their applications, be sure to include an optional step with a simple way to provide feedback regarding their loan application experience and satisfaction levels.
9. Blog and Knowledge base
Having a blog section in a lending website is a very effective form of driving traffic to the website and it costs nothing if content is created in-house and the website is built on the top of a content management system. Write informational content that would appeal to the borrowers. Lenders will have unique knowledge on lending industry that customers may lack. By sharing that knowledge, the lending website is bound to attract traffic from people who are seeking loan products. Every time the information in the website helps someone, it strengthens the brand of lending portfolio and establishes trust.
A well-thought-out website can easily help lender leverage aspects like Social Media integration, Customer Portal, Live Chat, ChatBots, Customer Reviews, Promotional campaigns through websites and lot other ways to operate a highly performing and converting lending website.
These recommendations work, but the rules are not set in stone. It is up to the lenders to decide what works best for their lending portfolio.
The key for all these aspects to work is to keep the lending website fresh, both from a design and content perspective. Moreover, the digital marketing space is changing with new tools and techniques being introduced all the time. All this means lenders need to invest skill, time, money and resources, if they want their lending website to continually bring in the desired results.
We are not recommending a radical re-appraisal of the lending website, but lenders just need to ensure that they don’t let the website grow stale. Even a single website with the right design and content can yield impressive results for any lender’s portfolio.
As part of development and design services for lenders in short-term lending space, SparkLMS offers marketing websites and landing pages. You can choose from any of our existing templates or SparkLMS team can create, integrate and host awesome unique websites and landing pages based on lender’s specific needs. Be it a static website or a website with an integrated CMS (Content Management System), SparkLMS Web Design service is the right choice. Click here to know more about our web design services -https://sparklms.com/webdesign
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