Effective offers hit close to home

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Recency and dwelling type are just a few of the home-based list selections that can help marketers from several industries target the right customers, say our four experts.

Jody Pelfrey
Director of sales and marketing, Data Partners Inc.

In industries where long-term contracts are put in place right out of the gate, being the first offer in the prospect's hands is absolutely critical. In those cases, paying the premium associ­ated with daily new mover data is more than justified.

Consider alarm installation and secu­rity companies. For them, being first is everything. Once a competitor's alarm system has been installed and a monitor­ing contract put in place, any chance of acquiring that new mover has been lost.

There are, however, other industries in which timing the offer to coincide with the move-in date may not seem that critical. Don't be fooled. Experience con­tinually shows that when marketing to new movers being “first to offer” is the primary factor leading to “first to sell.”

Consider a home improvement com­pany. At first glance, it may seem that timing the offer to arrive days or even weeks after the move is the smarter decision. Give the mover a few days or weeks to settle in, and your offer will hit when he or she ready to think about remodeling instead of unloading a mov­ing truck, right? Wrong — in today's competitive marketplace, you can't afford to wait.

Moving is a disruptive event in a con­sumer's life, forcing new relationships and loyalties to be forged. Your window of opportunity to build awareness and lay the foundation for loyalty begins when the mover opens his or her new mailbox or answers the telephone for the first time.

Being first in mind – even with a new mover who may not be ready to buy – is simply too valuable to pass up. Even smarter is to send mail to them several times over the first four to six weeks to cement the top-of-mind advantage. As good direct marketers know, repeti­tion increases response.

It's always best to act quickly and supply your offer shortly after move-in

Michael Segreto
Account director, Millard Group

Among the variety of industries that benefit from marketing products and services to new movers, financial ser­vices might be overlooked.

With the downturn of the housing market and financial services sector, the outlook for new mover revenue from financial services appears challenging in the short term. However, history suggests this will again become a vital source of sales on new mover files.

Financial services offers span the cat­egories from investment instruments to credit cards. Unlike many other users, financial services offers generally require large files because they net out low. Large new mover files come from publishers and compiled lists.

These categories share some similar demographic and lifestyle selects and provide mover selects, such as in-state or out-of-state moves, but also have dis­tinctly different benefits. Both also enjoy usage from financial services.

Publishing files provide recency. Subscribers typically contact the maga­zines to which they subscribe four to eight weeks in advance of their move to ensure continuous service. Large publishing new mover files often offer weekly names. Other popular selects from these files include age and income.

Compiled files rely on public records, deed and tax records and utility connec­tions. While not as recent as magazine new movers, compiled files can offer selects not always found on publishing files. They can provide new homeown­ers — a subset of new movers — and home owner selects such as loan type, home value and home equity, along with appended demographics and lifestyles.

Financial services firms can benefit from the many names on new movers lists

Patrick Patten
VP, Statlistics

Home owner lists and residential consumer lists are derived from public records and are usually used for mail­ings to limited geographic areas, often just a few ZIP codes. The key to using these lists effectively is to understand the target market of the mailer and to best match the wide choice of segmen­tations available to meet that target.

For example, with home improve­ment offers, the lender hopes to tap into the homeowner's existing equity or to increase the equity amount, or a con­tractor/home decorating company wants to entice the homeowners to use their services for projects such as additions, remodels or significant improvements to their property. Important selections for these marketers include owner-occupied vs. investor, current home market value, length of residence and physical size of home/lot in square feet.

One of the advantages in using homeowner files derived from asses­sor records is accuracy. The infor­mation is extracted from the actual mortgage documents filed. In some cases, the numbers are updated as nec­essary using mathematical formulas to account for overall changes in market values, inflation rates, or even natural disasters. Examples of other selections available on mortgage files include single or multifamily dwelling — condos and townhouses — presence of a pool or fireplace, number of bedrooms, lot size, trust owned, and estimated available home equity.

There is some variation from one county to another, but overall cover­age of the US is more than 95%. We once encountered an interesting situa­tion for Rochester, MN, where we could locate virtually no homes with values of more than $100,000. Even though this not a major metro area, Rochester is the home of the Mayo Clinic, and it is logical to assume that the staff and doctors at Mayo could afford homes of $100,000. However, it turned out that Olmsted County in Minnesota does not release mortgage data. In that case, an alternate list had to be substituted

County-sourced homeowner files offer extremely accurate data

Patricia Leone
Senior account executive, Leon Henry Inc.

Newmover and homeowner lists and insert programs work well for a wide variety of direct mail offers because these individuals, in most cases, are making a major lifestyle change — marriage, a new family, career — that will require the expenditure of a fairly significant amount of money on a wide variety of goods and services.

When couples marry and plan to have a family in the near future, they general­ly consider a move to a larger residence. If their income permits, this is frequently a single-family home. One of the rea­sons that new homeowners work so well for children's offers is that you reach first-time parents, who are almost always more responsive to such offers that parents who have already had other children. Products are generally purchased in advance of a child's need and retained for siblings' use.

Homeowner lists, which never include co-operatives but sometimes do include condominiums, can gener­ally be segmented further by purchase price, mortgage amount, rate, loan type, square footage, length of residence, fam­ily size, age and ethnicity.

Purchase price might be a consider­ation if your product has an especially high price point, which is not the case for most children's mailers. Ethnicity, however, can be very valuable when targeting the Hispanic market, since this is where the greatest population growth is occurring in the US. Family size/age is especially useful if you wish to target existing, but not necessarily new, hom­eowners, since you can reach families with children of the desired age.

There are few audiences that offer as much versatility as movers/new homeowners. Most mailers should definitely consider adding them to their marketing plans.

Kids' marketers should note that movers are often enthusiastic new parents


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