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One of the largest mortgage providers in the United States faced a significant challenge. For cost reasons, it needed to convince customers to opt into receiving paperless statements instead of printed (and mailed) documents. Founded in the early 1990s, and licensed to operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, this mortgage company offers a broad range of mortgage options, including conventional loans, refinancing, and programs for first-time homebuyers such as Federal Housing Association (FHA) loans.

Despite a difficult financial lending climate in 2023, the company had a solid fiscal year, helping almost 80,000 borrowers secure financing for their most important assets—their homes. The firm also raised more than a billion dollars to fund its own corporate growth objectives.

But when trying to convince customers to drop conventional U.S. mail correspondence in favor of paperless notices, the firm struggled. Traditional email marketing campaigns that encouraged customers to call its contact center or log onto its online portal and set up paperless mailings failed to motivate customers to act. 

The financial implications were serious: Each statement mailed to each customer cost the mortgage business $14, once the cost of ink, printing, stuffing envelopes—a big personnel administrative expense right there—and postage were taken into account. Yet customer response rates were dismal. The mortgage company had to assume that most of these solicitations went straight into the trash, unread. 

Ushur leads the way to personalized, mobile communications that had an immediate impact

To address this challenge, the company asked Ushur for help. 

The Ushur team suggested a much more proactive engagement strategy using mobile communications. By leveraging SMS because of the ubiquitous use of mobile devices throughout its customer base, the mortgage provider was able to speed immediate, personalized SMS messages to customers that showcased the benefits of paperless statements, including the tremendous efficiencies gained and—especially—the positive environmental impact. 

The Ushur technology made switching from paper statements a breeze. Mortgage customers could click directly on the SMS to sign up instantly for paperless statements via email. To ensure accuracy, they were simultaneously prompted to verify that their email addresses were correct.

Because Ushur is so easy to learn, the mortgage firm’s business users—so-called “citizen developers”—were able to create this automated workflow without any help from IT in just a matter of weeks.  

Among other successful results reaped from this particular Ushur initiative:

Building on other Ushur successes

Ushur’s Invisible App was a cornerstone for the paperless statement initiative as well as other Ushur workflow automation projects at the mortgage firm. 

Until collaborating with Ushur, the mortgage provider did all customer outreach manually. This caused delays, increased operational costs, and limited its ability to provide timely and personalized responses to customer inquiries. 

By automating other customer engagement processes, the firm’s team could handle a larger volume of inquiries while providing timely and accurate responses.

For example, with Ushur’s automation platform, the mortgage lender got a response rate that was up to 30 times higher than it could achieve through traditional email. It also saved significant amounts of money that allowed it to use its operational budget and resources more wisely. 

Ushur also helped the company eliminate operational delays due to “trailing documents”—necessary customer paperwork that had to be collected and processed in a timely manner. 

Take homeowners’ insurance. The firm’s challenge in this area was twofold: ensuring homeowners maintained continuous insurance coverage, and communicating with them if such policies lapsed. The traditional methods of snail mail, email, and phone calls just didn’t hack it. This raised financial risks for both the mortgage provider and its customers. 

The mortgage company’s ability to work seamlessly across multiple customer communications channels—including email, SMS, and secure messaging—enabled it to deliver tailored messages, updates, and offers to individual customers based on their individual preferences. Finally, the agility of Ushur’s easy-to-use solutions allowed citizen developers to test and iterate their customer engagement strategies much more swiftly. This allowed them to continuously improve results of ongoing campaigns.

Ushur leads the way in multichannel customer engagement

By embracing a proactive SMS engagement strategy in its paperless statement process—and taking advantage of Ushur’s multichannel automation capabilities—the mortgage company successfully overcame the potential downsides associated with sticking to traditional channels.  As the company and Ushur continue to move forward together, the success of all these initiatives testifies to the effectiveness of proactive and multichannel variety in customer engagement. The financial institution is now well-positioned to continue fostering positive customer relationships and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of customer communication.