Last week, Equifax was slammed with a court-ordered settlement for their 2017 data breach that could seriously impact consumers – and this time, in a good way. One of the Big Three credit bureaus, Equifax was ordered to shell out about $700 million to those affected by the breach that saw sensitive financial information hacked, stolen, or compromised. In total, that adds up to about 147 million Americans!
While you may be tempted to run and file your own claim right now, you can also seize this opportunity to grow your business, using the Equifax payout news as a valuable marketing tool.
I suggest that you offer sound information and guidance regarding the Equifax settlement, positioning yourself as the go-to resource to help others access their settlement funds.
Basically, you’ll be marketing by helping people get “found” money. How cool is that?
First, I’ll talk about the settlement itself in this blog. Then, how you can use that as a marketing tool in the second half of this post (so scroll down if you’re already well-versed on the Equifax settlement news).
How the Equifax settlement payout works for consumers:
The first step is finding out if you’re eligible for a payout. To do that, you just need to go to the Equifax website: https://eligibility.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/en/eligibility
Enter your name and the last six digits of your social security, and you'll find out instantly if you're part of the class-action suit against Equifax.
If they confirm that you were affected by the data breach and included in the settlement, go here: https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com
They’ll ask you a few questions about what compensation you’re claiming, where you want it sent, etc.
I just went through the process there and within five minutes, found out that I was a victim of the Experian data breach (which I already knew), filed my claim, and confirmed that I’ll receive a check for $125 within 90 days.
There are options for how much you’ll recover. The standard is about $125 just for being included in the data breach, although you can file a custom claim to recoup time, money, or other financial detriment (like if your identity was stolen, cards used fraudulently, etc.)
But those claims can go as high as $400. Equifax is also offering compensation aside from cash, like ten years of free credit monitoring for all three credit bureaus.
It's pretty simple, but there are a few finer points to understand, especially if you want to apply for a payout larger than $125. Those include what documentation you need to provide, the evidence you need to show to demonstrate a greater financial loss, and more.
Who wants and needs info about the settlement:
Who wouldn’t want to know if they were eligible for “free” money? (I put free in quotes because it’s not really free if you were a victim of the data breach, but it’s money due to you.)
You'd be crazy NOT to go through the process at some point to see if you're due $125 or more! So, we're talking about countless millions of people – no small opportunity.
Remember that even if people weren’t affected by the Experian breach or aren’t due any settlement money, they could still use your help/this guide just to find out if that’s the case or not.
You should reach out to your entire database of past clients, contacts, social media followers, and the general public in the city, region, or state where you do business.
Using the Experian settlement as a marketing tool:
There are plenty of ways you can create and share content around the Equifax breach, getting your name (and company name) out there at the same time.
Some marketing ideas include:
• Write up a blog with the high points and facts of the Experian data breach and the big payout news.
• This can be as basic as “Claim your Equifax settlement in these three easy steps,” or “10 Tips for getting every dollar you deserve from the Equifax settlement,” or something similar.
• In it, instruct your clients how to check to see if they are due settlement money and how to make a claim.
• Share this blog on your social media pages.
• Also, send out an email newsletter (or just an email to your database) alerting them of the Equifax news and giving a link back to your blog.
• Create a visual graphic on social media giving basic information. You could create a whole series of graphics, each offering a single fact or tip.
• Film a short video talking about the Equifax settlement and offering more help.
• No matter what form of content you create and how you get this information out there, offer to help anyone who needs it and list your email, phone number, and social media accounts, of course.
The best part is that you’re basically just using the same information in different forms (email, graphics, video) and sharing it across multiple channels.
If you really want to use this Equifax news to 2X your database, do this:
Set up a simple landing page on your website that offers a free guide they could download if they input their email address and name.
Run a Facebook and Instagram ad that offers this helpful free guide to people in your local area (or wherever you want clients to come from) once they enter their email and name and watch your email and phone start jumping like popcorn on a hot stove.
The benefits to you and your business:
Use the Equifax news as a great talking point or item of value. This will be warmly received ($125!) and a great excuse to reconnect with your database, gain an exponential number of new followers, and stir up conversations with past clients.
• Grow your database
• Establish authority
• Create significant public interest in you and your brand
• Generate local press or media interest
• Add value to your clients and audience
• Show that you really care and are looking out for them!
• A chance to get people calling, emailing, and messaging YOU instead of the other way around.
Engage in a natural conversation that touches on their credit, their home, the market, and if it’s a good time to buy or sell – or just refinance (because it is!).
Remember that as a Realtor or mortgage lender, credit scores and reporting are part of the range of topics you should be well-versed in (no credit = no loan = no house!), so this news is a perfect opportunity.
You don’t have time to set this all up?
Of course, I know you’re busy selling houses and helping people refinance their mortgages, so I’m not assuming you have time for all this.
Don’t worry about doing this all yourself – I can do it for you. Need help writing that quick guide, writing the blog, email newsletter, graphics for social media, and running an ad?
Just contact me and I'd be happy to help. We could get it up and running this week because people are looking for this information!
-Norm Schriever :-)