How to Grow Your Customer Base by Marketing to New Movers
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 40 million people move each year, meaning the average business needs to replace about 20% of its customer base that move away in any given year. Targeting new movers who are looking to establish a new relationship with local businesses should be an important strategy for industries and businesses of any type.
According to a survey by Epsilon, most new movers are between the ages of 18–34 and typically relocate in response to a significant life event, such as a marriage, divorce, new job, or new addition to the family. As a result, they are often looking for new upgraded products and services and will spend, on average, $9,000 on goods and services during a move. They rely on word of mouth and direct mail to find new businesses – and those that reach them first are more likely to make a lasting impression that keeps new movers to the area coming back.
Marketers across industries understand the importance of targeting movers during these important periods of elevated spending and increased brand engagement. However, effective new mover marketing strategies require more than just purchasing a New Mover list from a third-party vendor. A data-driven approach, utilizing different types of mover data, analytics, and segmentation will drive much higher engagement versus a traditional “spray and pray” mass mailing.
Target Movers at the RIGHT Time
Many companies make the mistake of only targeting a household after the move is complete. Although New Mover targeting is a valued asset, recent studies indicate that up to 90% of homeowners make their major purchase decisions for their new home before leaving their current one. This means missed opportunities for companies only using standard new mover data.
There are three phases of moving of which marketers need to be aware:
- When the home is placed on the market for sale
- When the home has a pending sale, typically 1 – 6 weeks before the actual move
- When a consumer has actually moved into their new residence
During each phase, consumers are more open to certain messaging than at other times during the moving process. For example, common pre-mover purchases include cable services, home warranties, home insurance, home improvement items, moving products, moving services, and more. And 85% of pre-movers will use the first vendor that contacts them for home communications services, regardless of their satisfaction with their current provider. Additionally, 70%-90% of spending decisions are made before the mover has left their current residence.
Once a mover has moved, their needs will change as they seek out other types of services and products. For example, according to a Zillow survey, new movers are 90% more likely than established residents to purchase a car within the first year of their move. Consider these additional stats regarding movers and automotive businesses:
- Auto dealers and repair shops rank among the top five most-sought-after gift certificates included within new mover marketing welcoming packages.
- Hundreds of auto retailers and repair shops nationwide generate an average monthly response rate of 12% using new mover marketing programs.
- Auto-focused new mover offers like “one free oil change” and “one free car wash” rank among the top 10 best-performing offers.
Other new mover needs from purchase to about 6 month after include the following:
- 95% – grocery
- 83% – appliances
- 78% – department store
- 78% – pet supplies
- 70% – dentist
- 59% – family doctor
- 55% – vet
- 53% – insurance
- 55% – hair and beauty
- 32% – pet grooming
Engage New Movers Across Multiple Channels
Consumers shop and engage with brands across multiple channels and your marketing messages should do the same. Direct mail is still a great choice for reaching new movers, especially new homeowners whose mailboxes are still relatively empty. 80% of new movers will also redeem coupons from merchants before, during, and after the move so use direct mail to your advantage and send enticing offers, discounts, freebies, and other valuable rewards to encourage consumers to try out your services and products. Consumers also seek the convenience of using mobile coupons, making email and other digital channels an invaluable channel to reach movers with the right message and at the right time.
Use High Quality Data to Fine-Tune Your Messaging
As with any marketing message, simply blasting a list of new movers with your message will be highly ineffective unless you have the right data insights to refine your segmentation strategies. New Movers are 4 to 8 times as likely to respond to relevant offers because of their situation. Customer engagement and purchase behaviors are influenced by a variety of factors, such as household income, credit history, home value, marriage status, presence of children, and other demographic attributes. So for example, if you own a pet store, you can choose only those movers who are pet owners. Or if you run a childcare center, choose to target only new movers with children within a certain age.
Be sure to also spend the time securing a high quality data list of new movers that is updated frequently from multiple sources. For example, data may be sourced from providers including utility connects, deed records, publisher’s change of address, financial change of address, and telco new connects and disconnects. It is also critical for marketers to understand that with so many people moving on a yearly basis, mailing lists quickly become stale. Nearly 33% of the people who move do not report their new address to the U.S. Postal Service. Because of these unreported moves and other restrictions, processing a mailing list through the National Change of Address catches only about 50% of new moves. It is extremely important to use a data provider who not only sources from multiple files, but who uses extensive data append and hygiene processes, including standardization and DPV validation for the most accurate data available.
Key Facts to Consider
Are you ready to fine-tune your new mover marketing strategies? Here are some additional key facts to consider, compiled by Focus USA:
- 37 million people (over 12% of the total population) moved within the U.S. in 2014.
- 55% stayed in the same county
- 19% more remained in the state
- 10% moved to a different state
- 54% relocated for better housing
- 1 in 3 renters move at least once annually.
- An additional 2 million people legally move into the U.S. each year.
- 37% are first time buyers
- Average Length of Residence = 6.5 years
- Spending typically exceeds that of non-moving home owners and continues for two years after moving
- 77% are aged 24 – 65
- Avg. age of 39
- 63% have a college degree
- $65,000 avg. household income
- 64% own at least 2 vehicles
- 1 in 11 homeowners move yearly
- 70% purchase by mail
- 28% are for investments or vacation properties