Merger Targets Mailings to Movers Before They Move

Getko/Welcome Wagon, Westbury, NY, dropped more than 60,000 Pre-Move Planners this month to potential movers located in the northeast and southeast regions of the country.

The Welcome Wagon Pre-Move Planner, the first mailing to result from the recent merger between Getko and Welcome Wagon, Trumbull, CT, targets confirmed movers who are purchasing a home and will be moving within a few months to a year.

The 48-page planner contains special coupon offers from Jackson Hewitt, Ryder, Nations Bank and Avis. The planner also contains a chart to list phone numbers, interest rate charts, a closing cost worksheet, an interior and exterior check list, a list of remodeling projects and an eight-week moving organizer. Also included are articles that inform pre-movers how to choose a real estate broker, choose the right community, get the best mortgage and insurance and how to decorate their home.

Both companies specialize in contacting new movers within a few days to a week of moving into their new homes. But Joel Zychick, president of Getko/Welcome Wagon, believes the pre-mover market is just as large and can be just as valuable as the post-mover market.

“Before, we were both able to contact people after they were settled into their homes,” said Tom Vazzano, senior vice president of national sales and the pre-mover program at Getko/Welcome Wagon. “Now we actually get in touch with them before they even close on their home.”

With their post-move mailings, both companies focused on local markets. Getko has over 3,000 editions of its telephone directory, which it ships to new movers with more than 55,000 local advertisers taking part in that program. With the Pre-Move Planner, they are focusing more on national advertisers and plan to only have between four to five regional versions of the planner.

“For certain types of companies, once someone chooses to buy a house it's too late for them to offer their service or product,” Vazzano said. “There are a lot of industries such as movers, insurance agencies and mortgage companies that want to be involved in the pre-move process.”

Welcome Wagon has seven companies that are testing the Pre-Move Planner, with ten to 15 more companies showing interest. Those currently taking part include Bank of America, Avis, AON Affinity Insurance Services, Jackson Hewitt tax service and Ryder truck rental.

In April it began dropping 20,000 pieces a month to pre-movers in the northeast and the southeast.

Zychick said it is still too early to reveal any results regarding usage of the planner but said early numbers are “very good.”

Getko has always compiled its own list of new movers by collecting deeds from 900 counties across the country, totaling 4 million a year. For its new pre-mover lists, Zychick said it is compiling the lists through nontraditional sources.

Zychick would not reveal the companies he is working with but said the Getko/Welcome Wagon pre-mover and post-mover lists were two completely different lists.

By next year Zychick expects to be distributing about 1.2 million Pre-Move Planners a year to purchasers of new homes.

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