Marketing to New Residents Can Pay Off Big-Time

As a jewelry retailer, nurturing your existing clientele is crucial—but netting new customers is equally important. One way to market to locals who’ve never set foot in your shop is through “mover” marketing.

The concept: Connect with residents that recently moved to your town and establish yourself as their personal jeweler from the get-go.

Michael Plummer, owner of Our Town America, a Tampa, Fla.–based marketing firm that’s been specializing in mover marketing since the 1970s, says marketing to recent transplants has a phenomenal response rate—from 10 percent to 30 percent on any given campaign, in his experience.

After all, “17 to 20 percent of the population moves every year,” he says. “And those people are looking for a whole new set of things: a new grocer, a new auto mechanic, a new seafood place. They’re in that searching mode.”

How to capitalize on that brief moment of flux? Get your brand name in front of their face with a discount card or gift certificate. Our Town America culls data on relocaters from various sources to find out who’s new in town, says Plummer, adding, “The data is out there—it’s been out there for years. Utility hookups, phone hookups…everything you do transmits a move. You have to change credit card billing, your USPS changes, magazine subscriptions change….”

But he insists his agency does more than buy a list and do direct mailings. “It’s not that simple,” he says. “There’s a science to it. If a college-age child moves home again, she or he is not really a mover. And a retailer doesn’t want to reach out to her with a gift certificate. There’s a lot of quality in what we do, sifting through the data we receive.”

His firm creates oversize envelopes that are mailed to new residents; they’re chock-full of offers and discounts from local businesses. But Our Town sends only offers and gift certificates from a single vendor in any given category. So you would never be competing with another jewelry store.

“We want to give away something meaningful,” says Plummer, “so every envelope is personalized for the Jones Family or the Smith Family. It’s never ‘to current resident.’ ”

The initiatives get strong responses, he says, because, “every single month you have a brand-new audience to reach out to. And people are looking—they’re saying ‘I’m new in town, and man, I have to get my watch fixed.’ ”

Our Town America is certainly a great source for retailers looking to market to movers in their city. But if there’s zilch in the company coffers for marketing initiatives, don’t hesitate to research ways to get addresses lists for new residents in your town.

Diligent Google searches can often yield wonders.

JCK Magazine Editor