Direct Mail

Why New Move Mailing Lists Work: Part 2

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:

5. There is a need to affiliate. 
Life stress drives the need for affiliation. The new move demands that a person regain familiarity or symbolic attachment by ordering something associated with another person’s interests or involvements, or even denying the other by ordering something contrary to the other person’s tastes. The just divorced person specifically subscribes to a magazine his ex-spouse would object to – or purchases music that her ex-spouse disliked.
Another social and psychological variable is preference of the familiar. Someone might not have been interested in a specific mail-order offer before he moved. However, after the move, even if it’s only a short distance, he is receptive. People prefer the familiar to the unfamiliar. If given an opportunity, people will surround themselves with “sameness.” The catalog that was previously uninteresting, now represents familiarity.
An interesting psychological test is to show an individual a group of pictures. These pictures are then mixed with another group of unseen photographs. Ask the person to view the larger set of pictures and to identify the pictures he or she “likes.” The individual will tend to pick the previously viewed pictures, even if viewed only for a few seconds. When people move, even a short distance, the things they can connect to their previous life are the things that are more familiar to them, and therefore more “liked” and valued.
Moving compels the individual to hold onto the familiar, even to the point of having control of what will be delivered to the new address, especially regularly and repetitively. Being able to determine what “arrives” enhances a sense of ownership and sense of place. When you receive mailings, magazines, catalogs and merchandise at your “new address” you establish a feeling of being connected once again.
6. There are other needs.
Obviously, motivations for moves may sometimes be associated with specific mailings. A woman getting married, and looking forward to entertaining guests, might become interested in subscribing to Gourmet Magazine. A person who just entered the job market, or who received a significant promotion, might decide to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal or Business Week.
Another factor is a sense of “newness.” You have a new home and you want to surround yourself with “new stuff.” Along with your new curtains and new carpeting you might want new magazines and new furnishings. Change begets change. You just changed your home, you’re much more open to other changes. When direct mail solicitations come to you, you’re willing to try a new product or a new supplier.

7. There Is A Clutter Factor.
As a direct marketer, there is another factor at work. Almost all direct mail is sent bulk rate, and is not forwarded. There is a short window, immediately after a new move, during which very little mail is being delivered to the consumer. When direct marketers send their mailings to new move addresses, they have the advantage of significantly less clutter. A less crowded mailbox means a higher probability of the mailing being read. When you couple this with the psychological factors, you get a consumer response of “Wow, someone knows where I am”.
Several f undraising nonprofits send out name-and-address labels to new move names. Here they are fulfilling an important “need” for the consumer; everyone loves to see their name, with their new address, in print. The new mover is significantly more thankful for these labels than a person who has been at that address for years. And that thankfulness is expressed in donations.
8. What Does This All Mean?
There are both simplistic and deep-seated factors that drive the responsiveness of “new move” mailing lists. This has been discovered by hundreds of mailers, but many thousands have not yet uncovered this potential. There are millions of names available on a 30-day hotline basis. If you have not tested change of address/new move names you are possibly missing out on a great opportunity. If you have tested them, and they didn’t work, it’s probably a good idea to take another look at your test and your offer. Possibly you need to add some other criteria, such as bankcard holder, or gender selection, to make the lists work for you.
The bottom line is that New Move names are responsive.
Didn’t see the first four reasons why New Movers lists work from our last Advisor? Click here.
—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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