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Win New Customers by Targeting New Movers

July 14, 2017

Last year, 11.6% of the entire U.S. population moved. While some moved within the same community, it is far more common for people to move to new areas in a city, new cities, new states, or even overseas. For many businesses, this means losing customers as people leave the area. However, in most geographies, new prospects are arriving to replace the recently departed. For high job-growth areas such as Texas (home to 4 of the 5 fastest-growing cities in the U.S. right now), new people are moving in literally every minute. When a person moves to a new area, they typically shed products/services from their last home -- either to physically make room or because a service, such as banking, isn’t available in the new location.

Savvy businesses seize the opportunity to target new movers, both to create awareness for their brands among a new pool of prospects, and to acquire new customers.

Marketing to target new movers

Modern marketing places a significant emphasis on digital and mobile technology. And with good reason. By October 2014, there were more mobile devices in the world than people -- leading to the emergence of a host of new marketing strategies. When targeting new movers, having a strong existing local SEO strategy, for example, will serve you well.

However, direct mail should be part of your new mover targeting strategy as well. In fact, the DMA Response Rate Report 2016 found that direct mail response rates are significantly higher than response rates from digital media. Although direct mail may seem old-school to some, direct mail marketing companies track detailed information about new residents - such as moving date, cost of their house, family size, presence of pets, and presence of children - that can improve your targeting and your ability to create meaningful offers that attract new customers.

Getting started with a new mover direct mail campaign

To get started with your campaign, first consider the basics:

  • What is your goal? For example, are you trying to drive awareness of your brand, or do you want to drive purchase or signup?
  • What is your message? Be sure to consider your prospects’ needs and interests, based on what you know about your existing customers, as well as any special considerations for new movers.
  • What is your offer? If your goal is to drive purchase or sign up, what can you offer to prospects to encourage this behavior? Discounts, giveaways, and free initial classes or consultations are typical, but consider what works for your brand.
  • How will you stand out? Design should be eye-catching and help you stand out within a stack of mail

Next, determine the format of your mailer. For example, will you use a postcard, a letter (in a regular or oversized envelope) or will you send a catalog? Per the DMA Response Rate Report 2016 (linked above), dimensional format direct mail -- any piece of mail that is more than ¾ of an inch thick -- has the highest prospect response rate of 5.3%, while postcards offer the highest ROI.

Third, consider if you’ll have adequate impact with a single-mailing, or whether you’ll need to run a campaign. Campaigns would imply a focus on frequency, whereas one-off mailings usually aim for a large reach. Generally speaking, frequency makes sense with direct mail. This gives a new resident several opportunities to gain brand awareness. And more importantly, more exposure can help them remember your message.

Finally, focus on the data. Did you know that nearly 33% of those who move do not report their new address to the Postal Service. That’s 1 in every 3 families who you may miss out on effectively targeting using Postal Service data, alone. That’s why it’s helpful to partner with a direct mail company, as their resources around a mailing list for a specific target area may be more accurate. Direct mail companies also often have more information about the new residents, which allows for some degree of customization/personalized messaging within your targeting.

As with all marketing, it’s important to have a measurement plan in place so you’ll know if your direct mail program is working as planned, or if tweaks are required in order to better attract new residents. There are a variety of direct mail measurement methods that could be appropriate, depending on your goals and the nature of your product or service. Thinking ahead regarding measurement will help to ensure you’re able to collect the data you need to gauge success later.

The bottom line

While people moving out of your service area will always be a liability with which to contend, new residents moving into your service area should command your focus as they are your opportunity to replenish and grow your customer base.

In a time when consumers are bombarded by marketing messages, it’s important to consider how to effectively keep your marketing strategy dynamic and relevant. A targeted, well-designed postcard delivered directly to their home is a time-tested approach proven to deliver results.