ActiveCampaign Director of Education and podcast host Chris Davis interviews Jeff Irving of (MLO) Shift for insight into how he uses our Deals CRM to manage his mortgage business. Learn how Jeff uses deals and pipelines to capture and nurture leads, send internal reminders, and engage with contacts according to their preferences.
Jeff Irving can be found online at MLOshift.com.
- What’s The Deal With Deals? A Beginner’s Guide To Our CRM
- Using Deals CRM To Enhance Relationships
- Guide To Getting Started With SMS
- A Guide To Site Tracking
Chris Davis: Welcome to another edition of The ActiveCampaign Podcast. I’m so glad you tuned in and you’re listening. [00:00:30] Today I have with me one of our resellers and I wanted to highlight the process in which he’s using ActiveCampaign to help service mortgage loan officers. A lot of times when it comes to all of the features in ActiveCampaign, there are so many in the platform, they’re so flexible that it takes someone that’s doing things in a similar manner that you desire to do in your business for that light bulb to go [00:01:00] off, so I’m hoping that this is most definitely a light bulb episode for you. I have with me Jeff Irving of MLO Shift or M-L-O Shift, I should say. Jeff, how are you doing?
Jeff Irving: I’m good, man. Thank you for having me. I appreciate the opportunity.
Chris Davis: Yeah. Glad to have you on. Jeff, take a little bit, take a second and tell us a bit about your business.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, so I’m a mortgage professional. I’ve been in the mortgage industry since 2005, about [00:01:30] six months before the meltdown that everyone is familiar with here, and so I’ve been doing mortgages for a long time, but I’ve always struggled up until recently, of course, with finding a CRM system and having automation, processes, all of that stuff in place in my business. There’s solutions out there for the mortgage industry, but they never worked for me and I just didn’t … it was always missing something key or I [00:02:00] wanted to do something and I couldn’t do it because most CRMs, you know, are kind of locked down, and ActiveCampaign is so flexible. I actually tried ActiveCampaign a couple of years ago and the CRM at that point was a little bit weak for me, you know? Since then, you guys have really bolstered that up and I understand there’s more improvements coming, which I’m super excited about.
Chris Davis: Absolutely.
Jeff Irving: When I heard about that, I got an email and I said, “Great, I’m going back to check that out.” I had been using a confusion [00:02:30] type software platform you might be familiar with, which is a fine platform if you want to hire somebody who has expertise and spend a lot of money to build it out, but I wanted to do it myself, and for me that was just too much time, too much investment and I wanted something that was a little bit more user-friendly, and I really, really liked the Deals pipeline because for my business, we have specific stages. You know, from the moment [00:03:00] a lead comes in through converting that lead, and then during the loan process and even after the process, so I really needed something to track my deals in addition to all of the cool automation and the marketing and all that, and so I came back. Gave it a shot, loved it, built it out for my business.
Then I recognized that that was a major problem in our industry, that there wasn’t a solution that offered all these things, and so I went to a couple of friends. You know, I’m a couple of Facebook groups [00:03:30] of high level mortgage professionals. I showed them what I was doing and instantly people were like, “Yes. I want this. How can I get this?” So I built it out for a couple of them and went through a period of time where they tested it out. I shot some video tutorials. Actually, at the beginning, I showed them how to set up their system. We’ve since kind of transitioned into a done-for-you, but I had, I don’t know, 50-some videos, five or six hours’ worth of content and it showed them exactly how to do it. I just kept getting [00:04:00] more and more positive feedback, and I kept building on to it and eventually decided, “All right, I’m going to turn this into a business and become an ActiveCampaign reseller, and that’s how we got to where we’re at today.
Chris Davis: I love it. I love the story because we often find that some of our most successful stories come from what you would think is a more non-traditional vertical when it comes to technology marketing, right? I mean, most people just accept the reality as [00:04:30] a mortgage loan officer or even in the real estate industry or any other type of professional service, and they just kind of like, they surrender to the idea of, “You can do things better,” and they default to just doing things how they’ve always been done, just running it, running business how they know, manually reaching out, cold calling X, Y, Z, so just give me some insight here, Jeff. You weren’t intimidated by technology, so where [00:05:00] did that come from? I know you had used other platforms before ActiveCampaign, but have you always been kind of like a more tech-savvy individual or was there some point in your career where you were like, “You know what? This is something I need to learn”?
Jeff Irving: I’ve always kind of been interested in it. It’s more of a like, always been kind of a passion project for me, learning how to build websites, learning how to do SEO and that just grew as technology kept expanding, and then I saw [00:05:30] marketing automation and I’ve been basically addicted to it ever since.
Chris Davis: That’s a good word.
Jeff Irving: It’s fun. Yeah, it’s just so much fun for me. Not everybody enjoys it to the level I do, but I just find it … I can lose myself in it for hours.
Chris Davis: Yeah, yeah. Definitely. I think the same thing that makes it great is what makes it overwhelming at times because there’s this hidden pressure. I say hidden because it comes from nobody. Nobody is actually pressuring you, [00:06:00] but when you get into the application, what we found is that people start thinking they have to learn and use everything, right?
Jeff Irving: Right.
Chris Davis: I need to be using it all when in reality is, you start with your present need and you build from there, and for you, that took you down this path of really using our Deals CRM when we updated it and made it where it was more applicable to bigger teams or whatnot. That’s what I really want to talk to you about because you’ve got an interesting flow. You’ve got this loan [00:06:30] process that’s got a little bit of manual, a little bit of automation. You’ve got some lead nurturing in there, some conversion aspects, so let’s take some time and really dig in, and help us understand exactly how you’re using ActiveCampaign as a reseller for other mortgage loan officers.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, absolutely. Basically my idea was to cover three primary phases of a mortgage process, one being cold leads, so I do Facebook [00:07:00] advertising, offline direct mail marketing, all kinds of different advertising where we’re bringing in people who’ve never heard of us.
Chris Davis: Nice.
Jeff Irving: I need to treat them one way. Then we’ve got warm leads and referrals. You know, one of the major sources of business for a mortgage professional is referrals from real estate partners, financial partners, and so we needed, I specifically at the beginning, I needed a way to track those referrals.
Chris Davis: Nice.
Jeff Irving: An issue I would have is if [00:07:30] somebody would send me a referral, I might follow up with them once or twice. If they didn’t call me back, and I got busy and moved on to other things, I would tend to drop it. Obviously that’s a major … you know, losing money, hurting my reputation, big things that were a problem. Then thirdly, the actual in process loan experience, so how do I know where my loans are at today? How do I make sure that my clients are communicated with even if I’m busy [00:08:00] doing other things and I don’t have time to pick up the phone, and how do I track these things and report back to my real estate agents so they send me stuff, and where are we at in the loan there? Those were the three major phases and I’m happy to start wherever you want in those. Which of those interest you the most? Maybe we could start there.
Chris Davis: Yeah. Well, you know what I find very interesting and very powerful … I know you’re so familiar with what you’re doing that it’s just kind of like, “Yeah, this is what we do,” but there was a nugget you dropped, [00:08:30] Jeff. I want to help everybody identify this nugget that’s on the ground ready for you to pick up and use in your business, and it’s the fact that you said you’re using Facebook ads and other marketing means to bring in people who don’t know you. That was fine. I was like, “Okay, that’s good,” but right after that, you said you’re using referrals, right?
Jeff Irving: Right.
Chris Davis: That made me realize most service-based businesses start and end at referrals. Like, that is their lead [00:09:00] generation, their life line, their way of retaining and growing. It’s through referrals, and you said, “Listen, I’m going to strengthen the referral, absolutely, but I’m also going to add the element of generating strangers. You know, myself. Right?”
Jeff Irving: Yeah.
Chris Davis: Like, having that ability myself, so I just wanted to highlight that to our listeners because that is a difference. I talk to a lot of service-based businesses and they very much do rely on referrals as their primary source, so that was [00:09:30] really good. I wanted to highlight that. Please don’t leave that nugget on the floor, everybody, for someone else to pick up, but let’s start at the very, at client acquisition. Your lead generation is working. You have a new client. What’s the first step? Do they come to your website and fill out a form? What’s that first step and what happens afterwards?
Jeff Irving: Can I add one more piece to your gold nugget that you picked up?
Chris Davis: Yes.
Jeff Irving: Okay, so in the mortgage industry — and I have a feeling this is similar in other industries, which is why [00:10:00] I wanted to make a point of it — one of the biggest sources, like forever and ever, that relationship between the realtor and the lender has been a one-way relationship, so I rely on other professionals to feed my family, which is an uncomfortable position and it always has been for me. My idea with what you’re talking about as starting to generate my own leads, is I want to flip the script on that relationship and I want them to start to rely on me [00:10:30] for some of their meals too, you know?
I want to feed them because not only am I growing my business, I’m getting clients, I’m helping people that I care about, other real estate agents in addition to my clients, but that strengthens that referral partnership beyond what any other mortgage professional is doing for them, so the loyalty that you can create if you’re not just taking referrals and receiving referrals, but if you figure out how to generate leads and hand them out [00:11:00] to your partners, I think that’s equally as powerfully as the business that I’m generating off of those ads.
Chris Davis: Yeah. It just speaks to the power of lead generation. It has so many benefits and it’s so necessary. It is definitely a skill that every business owner is required to get. You know, you’re just required to have that and know how to do it effectively.
Jeff Irving: Exactly. Okay, so let’s skip ahead now. You were talking about how does somebody come in to my [00:11:30] system?
Chris Davis: Yeah.
Jeff Irving: Okay. We kind of covered the cold leads, so are we talking about a referral?
Chris Davis: Let’s do cold leads. I like cold leads.
Jeff Irving: Okay. Okay, so typically a lot of our cold lead gen is coming from Facebook and a lot of times we’ll leverage things that are news. I’m almost always partnering with an agent, by the way, to run these because then we can split the cost. Plus, people who are buying homes, they don’t want to deal with [00:12:00] the mortgage guy. They want the house. Like, if they could skip me, they would gladly do so, so we want to give them the nugget that they want. We want to give them the house, so we’ll run an ad. For example, when I know one of my partners has a new listing coming up, we’ll run a lead ad off of Facebook that is a sneak preview. We’ll just give a few pictures in exchange for an opt-in and that way these people who are responding can find out about homes before they even hit the market.
Chris Davis: Wow.
Jeff Irving: Which is a big advantage, [00:12:30] when homes are selling fast. In our area we have the second lowest inventory turnover in the nation behind Seattle.
Chris Davis: Wow.
Jeff Irving: So you got to find something that your ideal client is really looking for or something where it feels like, you know, “Gosh, I’m going to get an inside track on something or a tip I can’t find anywhere else.” Okay, and so we’ll generate that through a lead ad, connecting the lead ad through Zapier, which if you have [00:13:00] ActiveCampaign and you do not have Zapier, go get it today because that expands your system like nothing else.
Chris Davis: Absolutely.
Jeff Irving: They come through the lead ad. They come through Zapier. They go straight into an automation. Now depending on the type of ad, we want to make sure that initial follow up, which is usually only four to six emails, texts, maybe a Slybroadcast voice mail if you’re familiar with them, those are all very topic specific, [00:13:30] and opening up the opportunity for them to respond and start a conversation, so first-
Chris Davis: Yeah, so you’ve got multi-messaging going on. You’ve got messaging in the form of email, messaging in the form of text messaging, and messaging in the form of voice mail.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, exactly.
Chris Davis: Okay.
Jeff Irving: Depending on the campaign, we may use only one or all three of those follow up methods. Those little automations are usually very, very short and simple.
Chris Davis: It’s amazing how powerful they [00:14:00] are though, right?
Jeff Irving: Yes, exactly, and the strategy behind them is so key, right?
Chris Davis: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jeff Irving: Because if someone first comes in maybe, percentage wise, if you’re familiar with Dean Jackson … I don’t know if you are. If you’re not, brilliant marketing mind. He has done the research and statistics show about half of the people who opt-in on something are going to buy in the next 12 months.
Chris Davis: Wow.
Jeff Irving: Of those half, maybe 5, 10% of the people are going to do anything or be responsive upfront, so [00:14:30] most of them are going to do something or half of them are going to do something, but of those who are going to do it, hardly anyone is going to do it right now, so our goal is to identify, who are those prospects who are ready to go right now? We do that by sending them first just a very short text message that says, “Hey, thanks for opting in.” Then an offer. “On Fridays I hold up open office hours where I make myself available to answer questions. Would you like to chat?” [00:15:00] Or, “Hey, I have a couple of questions.” If they submit a form maybe. “I got a couple of questions about what you submitted. Are you available for five minutes this afternoon?” We’re just throwing these out there and most people will not respond, which is totally fine. The ones who do, now those are our prospects that we’re going to really take to the next levels.
The ones that don’t, they’re going to get a similar email or text the next day. It says, “Hey, I missed you yesterday. Still want to try to connect? Can you talk today?” Email, text, email, [00:15:30] text, maybe a voice mail. After two or three days they get an email that says, “Hey, no problem. We haven’t had a chance to connect, but you might not be ready yet and that’s totally fine. What I’d like to do is continue to help you and educate you about the process so when you are ready, you’ll be a savvy homebuyer, and I’ve enrolled you in my weekly free Homebuyer Education course, so you’re going to be getting weekly emails from me.” Every week I send them something, you know, to educate them about the process, keep me [00:16:00] on the top of their mind and make subtle offers. Every email has at least one, usually three subtle offers that just says, “Hey, whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you.” Then we just drip until they either give us the thumbs up or the finger up, one way or the other [crosstalk 00:16:16].
Chris Davis: One of the fingers, one you’ll get.
Jeff Irving: Exactly.
Chris Davis: You know, what I like about that is I often talk about, … we just did a webinar, actually, about automated follow up. You know, the power of follow up marketing, and if you think back to the [00:16:30] traditional days before technology, that was a human. That was a human in most businesses now, actually. Those are humans making those calls, right?
Jeff Irving: Yes.
Chris Davis: Humans sending those emails, and what do we have working against us as business owners when humans are doing it? We’re working against fatigue, emotion and just frustration, right?
Jeff Irving: Exactly.
Chris Davis: Somebody could just get tired of hearing. “No.” Like you said, most people say no, but it doesn’t necessarily hurt you because it’s automated, so the no happens, but it’s not really [00:17:00] affecting you, right?
Jeff Irving: Yeah, yeah. Well, how many nos can you take before your motivation just starts …
Chris Davis: Exactly.
Jeff Irving: “I’m not making another call.” This way, people identify themselves, and you’re only talking and engaging with people who actually are basically inviting you in.
Chris Davis: Great. I love it, man.
Jeff Irving: Which [crosstalk 00:17:18].
Chris Davis: I love it how you use a medium, a distractive medium like Facebook and then once they … You put something appealing, but you don’t stop there and try [00:17:30] to like just go gung-ho like, “Here, buy the house now. Here’s a loan.” You know? You’re doing some qualifying of the lead by using multi means of messaging.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, we don’t want to alienate them with too heavy a pressure, and in our industry, it’s often a six to 12 month process from the moment they think about buying a house till they actually do it. Now in different industries, maybe it’s something where if they’re inquiring, they’re inquiring because they’re go do something sooner, so you need to take into account the type [00:18:00] of customer and your buying cycle, right?
Chris Davis: Yes. Absolutely, Jeff. That’s a great point in understanding the buying cycle or the average time to close because those are key metrics. That’s key data that you need when you’re automating your follow up marketing.
Jeff Irving: Yep. Yep. Exactly. Your strategy will be a little different based on how long that is, so definitely something when you’re building it out, your automation is to consider [crosstalk 00:18:27].
Chris Davis: Yep. Once they’ve been qualified and [00:18:30] they’ve responded, and you’re like, “Okay, this is a good prospect,” right?
Jeff Irving: Right.
Chris Davis: Like, all the signs are green. What’s the next step?
Jeff Irving: Okay, so we actually have three pipelines. We’ve got the cold lead pipelines, which is just two stages. Either we’re reaching them or we’re not. By the way, I got that from you. Thank you. I bought your course about a year and a half ago, so either they’re opening emails and responding to things, or they’re not. Once we have a meaningful conversation [00:19:00] with them, then they move to the next pipeline, which is our warm leads and process pipeline. Basically, number one is … Well, before I get actually too far ahead, we do have a stage at the beginning of that pipeline that’s for direct referrals.
Chris Davis: I got you.
Jeff Irving: If a real estate agent sends us a referral, we drop them in that stage in the pipeline and then our automation is set up to make sure for the next three weeks, if we haven’t moved that person out of that stage, that the system will not [00:19:30] let us forget about them [crosstalk 00:19:31].
Chris Davis: Nice, because essentially what you’re doing is … and everybody listening, when Jeff says pipeline, he’s talking about our Deals. Our Deals CRM, it’s set up with multiple pipelines and stages reside within those pipelines. You’re using pipelines for like the different phases.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. Yep.
Chris Davis: Got you.
Jeff Irving: Exactly, so one lead received is stage one. Actually, I’m trying to remember off the top of my head here and log in at the same time. [00:20:00] That’s stage one, but when it’s a cold lead and you’ve had a conversation with them, those conversations will be different each time, so the next step is going to be dependent on that specific lead. Maybe the next step in the mortgage business, as our example, is they’re going to do an application or because you’ve had meaningful conversations with them, but they’re not actually ready to do anything, so we drop them in the contacted, not ready to apply stage. Maybe they want to do [00:20:30] an application over the phone. We’ve got a stage for that and then an automation behind. Behind each stage there’s a specific automation that addresses what you want to do every single time a client hits that stage.
Chris Davis: Nice.
Jeff Irving: Send online application is, they get an email with a link already, of course, embedded in there to our online application and then we have a reminder that goes out to either ourselves or our assistant if a loan officer has an assistant, 36 hours later to check, “Hey, did they actually do it? [00:21:00] If not, follow back up with them and let’s make sure we keep them moving along.” Okay? Then they’ve got the application completed, however they do that, and then we judge what kind of buyer they are as far as how active are they, and then we’ve got three stages, so we’ve got a highly active buyer, which is zero to three months. They’re ready to go. They’re looking at houses. They’ve got a realtor. Three to six months. Maybe they’re saving up a little bit of money. They’re kind of casually looking. Maybe they need to do a little bit of work on their credit.
Then we’ve [00:21:30] got six to 12 months, which is somebody who’s probably going to do something in the next year, but if you bug them every week right now, it wouldn’t make sense. You’d be wasting your time and annoying them, okay? Then we’ve got a little bit different follow up process and reminders, again, to stay in contact with these people manually too. Sometimes you do want to do a phone call and the duration of those reminders is different depending on how hot the buyer is.
Chris Davis: Nice.
Jeff Irving: Okay?
Chris Davis: Nice.
Jeff Irving: Then the last stage, the last stage is we’ve got credit repair, so if someone [00:22:00] just needs credit repair, we can move them in to that stage and then you can kind of choose what to do from there. We actually refer them out to a credit repair specialist who then tracks them from there and gets them back to us.
Chris Davis: Got it. Makes sense. What I love about what you’re doing is how you’re managing contacts specific to not only their own journey, but their preference in how … you’re responding to how they’re engaging, so if [00:22:30] they’re not as engaged, you’ve got a plan for that. If they’re a little more engaged, you’ve got a plan for that. If they’re extremely engaged, you have a plan for that, and it’s all a nice blend of automation and manual. You’ve got some internal notifications that are keeping your team in the know, as well as some outbound communication to keep everything aligned as well.
Jeff Irving: Right. The system is basically set up to make sure that I do the things that I can’t necessarily trust myself to do, [00:23:00] whether it’s automation doing it for me or just a reminder to do it myself.
Chris Davis: Yes. Yes. Great. That’s a great way to put it, right? Recently I tweeted this out, but I was sent an internal notification that I had set up a while back. What I like to do with my internal notifications, I like to be as specific as possible. Like, “This is what just happened. The lead did this. They didn’t do this. The next [00:23:30] steps are this.” Right?
Jeff Irving: Right, yeah.
Chris Davis: At time of setting the notification up you’re like, “Oh, I don’t need to write all that. I’ll remember it,” but no, you won’t.
Jeff Irving: No.
Chris Davis: A month or so down the line, you totally forgot what’s going on, and when I got this internal notification and I read it, it gave me the summary of what was happening, which let me understand and clearly identify what next action I wanted to take, all from my email.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, and you merged in their name, their email, their phone number. All of the [00:24:00] stuff you need is right there.
Chris Davis: Yes. Yes, so everybody, if you’re not using internal notification, that’s often overlooked, but one of the most powerful features, especially when you’re automating more than just outbound, you’re doing some backend process automation in there, you can set to notify somebody and it could be yourself, but in the message field you can merge any data on that contact record, so any custom field data that you have, you can merge right in there and it serves as an amazing, not [00:24:30] only a reminder, but it keeps everybody up to date right in and aligned with what’s going on.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, yeah. Can I share one other way, kind of a ninja trick I use with those email notifications?
Chris Davis: Yeah. Sure.
Jeff Irving: One of the things about the CRM that I’m hoping we’ll see improved upon in the next release is the way that the tasks work and assigning them to specific people. You know, the deal owner gets the task in this case, the assistant gets in [00:25:00] this case. That’s one thing I’ve heard people mention too.
Chris Davis: Yeah, right.
Jeff Irving: Well, one way to deal with that is if you use an outside task system … one that I use is called Nozbe. Works fantastic. There’s a free version. Most of those task systems allow you to email in tasks.
Chris Davis: Oh, wow.
Jeff Irving: So I can email in the list of the 10 things I want to do every single time a loan is approved and I can have [00:25:30] just one email notification from ActiveCampaign, have it all listed out. It sends it all to Nozbe and it creates individual tasks. I use the merge field to put the client’s name to it and now I’ve got my really powerful task manager. You could have it assign it to whoever you want in that email notification. You can choose which projects to attach to. It’s really a way to use ActiveCampaign to still manage your tasks, but if you need more from your task feature set, that’s a really cool [00:26:00] way to use those notifications.
Chris Davis: Yes, that is. That is a great work around, and you know what else that highlights? You mentioned it earlier, but it highlights the ability to extend the functionality of ActiveCampaign with other applications. You know, starting out, you may not have a whole slew of applications that you need to tie in, but as your marketing matures and grows, you definitely will have that need and thankfully it’s easy to tie in those third party [00:26:30] tools into ActiveCampaign.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. Absolutely. That is my number one thing about ActiveCampaign, is how flexible it is and how it allows me to expand. If I get an idea, I want to send somebody a thank you card at the end of the loan with an Amazon gift card in it, I can expand it through Zapier, connect it to handwrytten.com with a Y.
Chris Davis: Oh, man.
Jeff Irving: I should be getting little commissions on some of these.
Chris Davis: Yeah, right?
Jeff Irving: Yeah. You can triggers these things automatically. Drops the message that you want automatically [00:27:00] because you could put it in a custom field, right? It goes right through Zapier or so. There’s no other system I know of that allows you to get that creative and expand your system to do basically whatever … If you can get a system that’s attached to Zapier, you can pretty much … it’s just is limited by your imagination, I mean. Other systems just don’t work like that, you know? It’s just-
Chris Davis: Yeah. You’re right. That was a powerful example you showed, is to be able to at any point [00:27:30] in an automation fire off an action that initiates the sending of a personalized card.
Jeff Irving: It’s awesome.
Chris Davis: I mean, that is huge. Every business can benefit from that. I don’t care if you’re online. Can you imagine, Jeff, if you’re in a e-commerce store, like maybe you have a Shopify store and you sell all of your products online, and when someone buys like the day after they get the product, they get a handwritten thank you note or [00:28:00] with the product they get a handwritten thank you note?
Jeff Irving: Yeah, and it’s handwritten. I mean, it’s not like a handwriting font.
Chris Davis: Yes.
Jeff Irving: Have you ever seen this website? It’s a robot that holds a pen.
Chris Davis: Oh, wow. No, I haven’t.
Jeff Irving: Check it out. You cannot tell that it’s not actually a human writing. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful thing. Yeah, that’s great.
Chris Davis: You know what, Jeff? I think what you epitomize, which I was hoping that we would be able to communicate across and I’m glad that we have, at least I hope we have, [00:28:30] is the power of the hybrid approach.
Jeff Irving: Yeah.
Chris Davis: Right? We’ve never, I’ve personally never, ActiveCampaign has never advocated that you automate every single thing. Don’t touch anything. Wake up in the morning. Check your bank account and watch the money flow in automatically.
Jeff Irving: Right.
Chris Davis: That’s [crosstalk 00:28:48].
Jeff Irving: You have to be active in the system.
Chris Davis: Yes. Right?
Jeff Irving: Absolutely. We’re in there at least once a day.
Chris Davis: Beautiful.
Jeff Irving: Me, way more because I’m a reseller, but as a mortgage professional, you got to get in there once [00:29:00] a day. You got to move your people, review your leads. One other thing kind of regarding expanding your system, if there’s one thing that I would tell all ActiveCampaign users to get to know how to use is a webhook sent to a Zap. That is the simplest thing, and webhooks inside an ActiveCampaign automation, it’s one of the actions. You just drag it over and then you create a Zap with that, with a webhook as the trigger. It’s very, very simple, and with that webhook it gives you all the information you [00:29:30] need from ActiveCampaign to drop into any other software to do whatever you need to do.
Chris Davis: Yeah. Everybody who’s thinking about a webhook, think of accessing like a locker. You as the contact, all of your information, who you are, all of your attributes, and you’re going to the locker and you just need the combination, right? As you put in the combination, you’re now able to unlock the locker and transfer your information into it. That’s what a webhook [00:30:00] does. When you fire a webhook out of ActiveCampaign, it holds all of that contact information and it’s sending it to wherever you would like to. Zapier acts as if it’s the lock number, the lock translator, so it takes all of your information, and formats it easy and nicely to send it to the whatever destination, whatever locker you would like to put your information in. It could be handwritten, a handwritten thank you card. It could be maybe a webinar [00:30:30] platform. It could be perhaps a additional CRM, but it’s a way to securely send information out of ActiveCampaign to other applications that may not tie directly into ActiveCampaign. Like you mentioned, Jeff, it’s one of the most powerful actions that we have once you grasp your mind around exactly how it’s functioning.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. Absolutely. All right, so where do you want to go from here? We’re through the one leads referral pipeline.
Chris Davis: [00:31:00] Yeah. Well, you know what? This was good because we kind of touched on everything. We mentioned how you have your nurture to set up for if it takes 12 months. You know what? I don’t even think people tend to think that far out, right? Most of the time people are like, immediately when they do this, “I need to send them an email and I need this to happen and this to happen.” If they do anything after this one or two week window, they’re like, done. Like, they don’t hear any communication from them or whatnot, [00:31:30] but it’s extremely valuable to have a long-term plan in place. As you mentioned, it could take 12 months for [crosstalk 00:31:38] deal.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, the fortune is in the follow up, right?
Chris Davis: The fortune is in the follow up.
Jeff Irving: You don’t have to do it all at once. I mean, I’ve got an automation right now. It’s got 12 weeks of emails and over time, I go, I’ll write a couple of emails and add it to the bottom. Write a couple of emails, and you can build up to a 52 week campaign. You don’t have to do it all at once. Make it easy on yourself.
Chris Davis: [00:32:00] Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Jeff, answer me this. As a reseller … and for everybody, if you don’t know, a reseller, it allows Jeff to sell ActiveCampaign as his own, so when people log in, do they see the logo? Do they see your logo when they log in?
Jeff Irving: Yeah. You can do it either way as a reseller. You can just leave it as the stock ActiveCampaign, or I tweaked it with some code. [00:32:30] I’m definitely not proficient at that. I have just enough to get myself in trouble, but I got my logo, my colors. I wanted the buttons to be a little bit different color, and so yeah, you can brand it to your own thing.
Chris Davis: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. The power is this. This is what I really want to equip you all with outside of just this hybrid approach to man your automated marketing, is the fact that Jeff is using a feature in ActiveCampaign, which is the ability [00:33:00] to resell accounts and he’s coupling it with what he already has to offer of value in his business to add value to it, so now he’s eliminated just one more step in his leads or his clients needing to set up their own CRM, needing to go find their own platform. He’s taken that under the umbrella of his business and now that enables him to be of more service, greater service to his audience, so [00:33:30] hats off to you, Jeff. This was really good, man. Like I said, I wanted to expose people to a way that people are using ActiveCampaign that may not just be on the top of your mind like, “Oh, yeah. I could understand how a mortgage loan officer is using ActiveCampaign.”
Actually, you couldn’t until you listen to a podcast like this and start hearing all of the processes that you needed, right? The different types of leads and the amount of time and the [00:34:00] different steps. You are very much integrated and very familiar with the process yourself, which helped you unlock ActiveCampaign at a higher magnitude because you were very familiar with the processes.
Jeff Irving: Yeah, absolutely. Yep, and that’s one of the biggest things I can bring to my members of my company, because I’ve been doing the mortgage side for 12 years and I’m proficient in the technology side, and there’s just not a lot of mortgage people who are doing both.
Chris Davis: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, hats off to you. I know you told [00:34:30] everybody webhooks are your favorite feature. If you could give any current or new users some advice, the best advice you could give them to help achieve the level of success you have with ActiveCampaign, what would you say to them?
Jeff Irving: That’s a good question. I would say, definitely don’t let yourself get overwhelmed because the limits, there’s really no limit to what you can build out, so start with your primary need first. My primary need was making sure I never lost track of a referral, so I’ve built [00:35:00] that pipeline and those simple automations first. Once those worked, then I thought, “Okay, what’s my next biggest need?” It’s been over a year now that I’ve been building it out and I’m still building stuff, and so yes, it can do a ton of things, but don’t let that intimidate you. Just start small. Start with the things that can have the most impact or give you the most stress relief, you know? Find something that’s stressing you out and figure out how to create a process or a system, and automate as much of it as you can [00:35:30] and then just go from there.
Write down a plan too maybe. You know, sit down and outline, these are my four or five biggest things I need to do. Prioritize them and then just take them in baby chunks. You don’t want to try to do it all at once or you’ll just get frustrated or overwhelmed to start neglecting your business, that you’ll be in there too much, so just build it out a little bit at a time over time and eventually you’ll have a beast.
Chris Davis: Ye. That’s great. That’s great feedback. I mean, great information [00:36:00] and advice because you absolutely want to start small. Humble beginnings, everybody. Don’t try to jump in there and master everything. Humble beginnings are everything. Start small and if you’re in tune with your needs and your processes, you’d be amazed at how much you can build out from that small beginning and how efficient it will be.
Jeff Irving: Absolutely.
Chris Davis: Jeff, thank you, man. How can people stay in contact with you, learn more about you and just connect with you overall?
Jeff Irving: Yeah, the website [00:36:30] is mloshift.com. You can find me on there. I do have a company Facebook page, which I need to be more active on, but if you search, “Jeff Irving, MLO Shift” in Google, there’s only one of me. I’ll pop up.
Chris Davis: Yep, and I must say your website is very clean and very easy to navigate and find exactly what you want, so good job on that one as well, Jeff.
Jeff Irving: I appreciate that. Thank you.
Chris Davis: Yes. Well, Jeff thank you so much for taking the time and being on. I greatly appreciate [00:37:00] it. I’m sure our listeners do as well. Yeah. Have a good one, man. Thank you.
Jeff Irving: Yeah. You bet. All right, will see you online, I’m sure.
Chris Davis: All right.
Jeff Irving: Thanks, Chris.
Chris Davis: Thank you for listening, and I hope today opened your eyes to the possibilities of how you can leverage the platform perhaps in a way you hadn’t originally anticipated, by seeing a business model that [00:37:30] is not commonly talked about, so I’m so appreciative of Jeff and all that he shared. This is just one podcast of many, so if you’re not subscribed to The ActiveCampaign Podcast, please do so right now. We’re in Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher Radio. Make sure you download those apps, access them and subscribe to this podcast so you can be notified immediately when a new episode launches. Those of you who are subscribed and have been listening for a while, [00:38:00] please leave a five star rating or review. It helps keep things moving, flowing and going, all right? Additional resources can be found at activecampaign.com/learn and all of these podcasts can be found at activecampaign.com/podcast. This is The ActiveCampaign Podcast, the small business podcast to help you scale and propel your business with marketing automation. I’ll see you the next [00:38:30] episode.