Direct Mail

Why New Move Mailing Lists Work: Part 1

By David Bancroft Avrick, president of Avrick Direct, Inc. 
One of the major mailing list categories is Change-of-Address (CHADS) or 
“New Move” lists. There are currently over 900 New Move lists on the marketplace – and each one has a number of mailers using the list. In the United States, close to 25% of the households move every year. 
When we examine “why” New Move lists work – several things are obvious:
A New Location Requires New Stuff.
When I move, I am faced with new needs. My curtains and rugs no longer fit. I may need a new bank loan or even a new pool service. I need a wide variety of goods and services for my new location.
I may have left my parents’ home – and moved into the first place of my own. If that’s the case, I need just about everything (there’s even a good chance Mom and Dad have kept my bedroom furniture and converted my old bedroom into a guest room).
With 50% of Americans getting divorced, there are a plethora of people starting over. One partner usually gets to keep most of the “stuff” – the other has to start from scratch. Often the newly divided couple have to scale down economically – so the king size bed doesn’t work for either person.
If I’ve received a job promotion and I’m moving “up” – I may no longer want my chain-store living room, dining room or bedroom furniture. While I’m trading in my Honda for a Lexus, I’m also trading in my stainless steel cutlery for silver plate.
If I moved because of a marriage or new child I will certainly want all kinds of “stuff” for my new household or for the child’s nursery. And, with my new responsibilities I will probably also feel a need for insurance, and will probably want, and need, additional credit cards to handle my new expenses.
Long Distance Moves Translate To A New Persona.
When you relocate over a long distance you truly leave your old “life” behind. You leave your old friends and neighbors, your old hangouts, you leave your old lifestyle. Now that you’re in a new house, or apartment, in a different part of the country – you want to surround yourself with new “stuff” that reflects your new self-image. You’re no longer your parent’s child, your spouse’s partner, or the person who used to live on Main Street. You’re a new person and you not only want new stuff – you want different stuff.
If, all of your life you’ve lived in New York surrounded by earth tones, now that you’ve relocated to Colorado you’re throwing away your browns and ochre, and replacing them with greens and blues. If you just moved near the water you’re a prospect for swimwear and beach totes. Move to Texas, and before you know it, you’re strutting around in boots. If you move to a golfing area, your entire wardrobe changes.
You’re a new you – and you want to surround yourself with things that remind you of that and reflect your new persona. This is a time of reevaluation of your personal preferences, and the exploration of new lifestyle options. The oak table is gone – glass and chrome are in. The wall-to-wall carpet is gone -polished hard wood with area rugs is in. The suits and ties are gone – khakis are in.
Long distance moves force you to look at yourself – and your “stuff.” You look at that oak table and ask, “do I really want to move this table 1,300 miles.” There’s a good chance the answer is “no” – you’re moving on to a new life.
The long distance move also translates to a new barber, grocery store, hairdresser, dentist, optician, bank – you name it. If it’s a product or service you use – you need a new supplier.
Most People Who Profitably Mail New Move Lists Are NOT Selling New Stuff Or Selling Products Or Services That Help Reflect Your New Self-Image.
Most new moves are made within the same ZIP Code™. The people that are moving keep the same job at the same company, they continue to shop at the same stores, their kids attend the same schools, they belong to the same clubs, and they keep their same friends (although they do change neighbors).
So, why are these people responsive to direct mail offers? What makes these local New Move names “work?” In order to understand why, you must take one step backwards. It’s NOT the fact that the person has just moved – it’s the REASON BEHIND WHY THEY MOVED.
The best way to look at this is to examine who is profitably mailing 
New Move lists. The most significant user categories are magazines, music clubs and credit card or financial solicitations.
Between these three categories a BILLION New Move names are mailed annually. That’s a lot of mail. That translates to over $400,000,000 in annual direct mail expense for lists, computerization, printing, mailing and postage. That’s over a million dollars a day.
Why do New Move names respond?
The answer lies in the understanding of the reasons that precipitated the new-move in the subconscious psychological factors at work. The consumer, who receives and responds to the direct mail, is generally unaware of these factors.
The factors that create a new move are also the variables of life stress. These are the epochs of life. They include leaving home, graduation, co-habitation, marriage, divorce, having a child, empty nest, new job or promotion, loss of job, divorce, sickness or widowhood, newfound wealth or personal economic downturn, etc. These are the most stressful events of our lives.
Many of these changes symbolize increased autonomy and experimentation. Perhaps for the first time the individual can decide on his own, without the approval or influence of others. This is expressed in making decisions to subscribe to magazines of your liking, or signing up for a music club that offers your personal kind of music, or accepting a credit card solicitation for your own card. All of these actions are an expression of your freedom and independence, a confirmation of your right to make decisions for yourself, a fulfillment of your personal yearnings and desires.
These life changes often compel an individual to gain a semblance of control by deciding what to receive and what to reject.
Stay tuned for Part II–and the final four reasons why New Movers lists work–in next month’s List Advisor.

—Source: David Bancroft Avrick, president of Avrick Direct, Inc ( With contributions from Ralph M. Daniel, Ph.D., Jerry P. Martin, M.D., and Lizbeth J. Martin, Ph.D.

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