Astute mail marketers keep close track of seasonal response-rate patterns. Yet even they often ignore events that trigger purchasing —residence changes, for instance. About 43 million Americans a year — in around 25% of U.S. households — move from one address to another. That counts for advertisers, writes veteran Santa Barbara consultant David B. Avrick, because people are much more likely than usual to act on advertising just after they move.
A new residence triggers new purchases.
“When I move, I am faced with new needs,” Avrick writes. The new mover’s old curtains and rugs probably do not fit in the new home. He or she may be in the market for new financial services. And new products.
Divorce creates demand
You know how it goes: “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine, too.”
Today, around 50% of U.S. marriages end in divorce. Often, one divorcing party keeps most of the products the couple once shared. The other person must furnish a new home from scratch.
Moving on up changes purchasing Patterns
Many families move when their breadwinners receive a business or professional promotion. All of a sudden, Avrick notes, the products that once suited them just fine begin to look not good enough. So they trade in their old car and buy a more expensive set of wheels — maybe two.
Fresh starts = new acquisitions
Especially when people move a long distance, Avrick says, they tend to leave their old selves behind and make a fresh start in life. They meet new friends, discover new self-images and adjust to the norms of a new social set. All of which translates to discovering new suppliers for a host of new purchases.
Clutter-free mailing universe
Immediately after a person moves, Avrick notes, he or she is more likely than earlier to read — hence respond to — mail advertising. Reason: For a brief time, the consumer receives very little advertising mail (most of which is not forwarded from the former to the move-in address). Less clutter! Magazines hunting for subscriptions, music clubs seeking members, and credit-card companies trolling for new accounts invest more than $1 million a day in new-mover mailings. They mail a billion new-mover mailings a year. Because they work. They could work for you.
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