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How UNO uses email marketing from the data warehouse to deliver personalized mortgage broking

By using Vero to connect directly to their data warehouse, UNO is able to reduce the steps to build personalised, email-based features that form part of their core product offering. Less data handling means greater data accuracy and a better experience for UNO's customers: something they pride themselves on.

  • Industry Finance
  • Business model Services
  • Headquarters Sydney, Australia
  • Use cases Product marketing, email-based product features
  • Data sources
    • PostgreSQL
    • Redshift
Rapid growth

40% quarter on quarter growth for the last three quarters.

NPS increase

NPS has gone from 23 to 80 in late 2021-22.

500% increase

5 fold increase in dedicated brokers.

The UNO stack

“As the broker, we don't control the rate, the lender controls the rate. Our role is really to ensure that customers get the best possible outcomes. This comes down to nurturing relationships and communication.”

Vincent Turner

CEO UNO Home Loans

Vincent Turner

Founded in 2016 by serial technology entrepreneur Vincent Turner, UNO Home Loans combines unparalleled service with technology to streamline the end-to-end process of getting and maintaining the best value home loan.

Built on the premise of better outcomes through stronger relationships, UNO's core innovation is ensuring people get a good deal and stay on a good deal. This hinges on communication. Their award-winning loan scoring tool—loanScore™—and genuine broker-client relationships have seen online mortgage broker experience 40 percent quarter-on-quarter growth.

The online mortgage disruptor relies on customer messaging to drive relationships. “A mortgage is a high value, highly emotional, infrequent transaction that we're asking someone to do differently, with a brand they haven't worked with before. There's a lot of challenges in bringing customers through that funnel” says Vincent Turner, CEO of UNO.

The Problem: A traditional, bloated approach is stifled by siloed data

Legacy marketing platforms like Mailchimp, Braze, Active Campaign and beyond require users to store their data in multiple places: both in your own database and their database. Syncing live data between your system and theirs takes time, costs money, compromises data integrity and adds unnecessary friction to the marketing process. This is the scenario UNO found itself in.

Inaccurate data leads to sub-par customer experiences

To deliver on their promise of excellent customer service, Vincent, his team and their brokers need to know exactly where customers are on their customer journey at all times. From consideration through to settlement and beyond, the process is a series of strategically orchestrated moments. Without access to accurate, real-time data there's a lot of room for error. “When a customer is in the consideration phase, we have to be very careful of which messages we're sending them, and the types of actions we're asking them to take to get them to the transacting stage. Once a customer has been connected with their broker, we need to remove them from the email funnel,” says Vincent. In this context, nurturing is a long game and the accuracy of data is paramount.

Traditional email marketing diagram

Traditional email marketing

Double the data, half the efficiency

Before implementing Vero, UNO's data was stored in multiple places: a problematic setup typical of most old school marketing platforms. To act on user data, the data needs to be copied from one database and shipped to another cloud database where it's then segmented. “The stuff that helps us to be super relevant to a customer is predominantly in our own customer database. Whilst we've built in sending a bunch of this data to Segment and that's how we trigger some things today, for the stuff we build next I wouldn't rely on Segment: I would just look at our customer database because I could confidently say this customer's in the nurture stage.” For complex queries, the traditional approach often needs an engineer: this siloed approach needs a lot more maintenance. “It comes down to control,” says Vincent, “having control of your data ultimately means you're in control of your messaging.”

Complex and costly

Before switching to Vero, UNO was using an enterprise cloud-based, multi-channel customer engagement platform. While the platform had a tonne of features, it came at a price and a complexity unnecessary for UNO's use case.UNO sees value in Vero's “modular” approach and the unique per-message-sent pricing that Vero is able to offer by virtue of not storing user data. “It didn't make sense to be paying for everything when we don't need all that stuff. For our purposes, we're sending tens of thousands of personalized emails every 90 days, we need a solution that can facilitate that really well,” says Vincent.

Solution: Why UNO chose Vero

Message personalisation in sync with the in-product experience

Faster access to more accurate data has opened a world of opportunities for UNO. Since partnering with Vero, the team has scaled its email marketing strategy around the delivery of highly customized, micro-targeted messages.

loanScore

As an example, when a pre-transaction customer is considering a mortgage they receive a highly personalized email with a specific call to action. That could be a calendly link to book a time with their broker, a secure “magic link” dropping them back into the web application or an update on their loanScore™. Accuracy is paramount here because if a customer has already been introduced to a broker, they instantly need to be taken out of the funnel. This level of insight isn't possible without access to real-time actionable data.

“Vero Newsletters is fundamental to being able to build and scale our personalized emails on behalf of our brokers. Data accuracy is critical for us.” says Vincent. “being able to leverage our customer database directly means it's far easier and more accessible than trying to do things through event-driven systems: there is nothing more accurate than our customer database.” Having ownership over their customer data also means UNO can lock down access while still giving users the autonomy to build campaigns on top of their production database.

“Being able to use our data to better reflect where customers are in their intent has made it possible to better track NPS through key moments of the process and resolve any issues swiftly” says Vincent. As a result, their NPS has gone from 23 to 80 in less than twelve months.

Email marketing for the modern data stack diagram

Email marketing for the modern data stack

Greater ROI and moving faster

Layering your messaging software on top of your data warehouse eliminates the need for duplicative data stores. The more places your data is copied, the more it costs. As Vero doesn't store customer data, we only charge for messages sent: not subscribers stored. Reading data directly from its source eliminates unnecessary copying or syncing between vendors, platforms and warehouses: reducing maintenance and requiring fewer engineering resources. All in all, it's been a massive reduction in overheads and a huge efficiency gain for UNO.

When UNO switched to Vero, they were able to get up and running in record time, “we were able to transition from our old vendor into Newsletters and be up and running within a week or so.”

Cutting out data processing and using Vero's inbuilt SQL editor to run queries makes audience segmentation simple; you're not in there adding lines of code to get the results you need. “With Vero, we can just run a query and use Liquid to build a personalized email – this saves us a heap of time and we don't need an engineer to do it,” says Vincent. “Getting engineers to build stuff: that's kind of a pain. If I've got to put something through a development cycle, that's challenging. If I can get it to someone who's got a reporting set of skills—someone who can query a report—that's far more accessible.”

Adoption at scale

With their focus on growing broker-customer relationships UNO needed to create a standardized messaging framework that allows brokers the freedom to send relevant emails on a local level. Vero makes it possible to clone a project and point the API key at a different project.

With their framework in place, UNO spun up a version and simply subbed in another data source. As they were able to essentially copy all their emails over, all they had to do was update the branding and links. “Out of the box, it basically meant we had a white-labeled version of our platform even down to the emails running natively on our code using another data source, for another user.”

UNO email newsletter

Vero was built to be modular and integrate more tightly with the product. It's this flexibility that sets us apart. “When it comes to messaging my view is that email is an extension of the UI. We haven't been able to do this elsewhere. Vero solves this for us”