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New-Movers Marketing Guide for Financial Institutions

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When it comes to highly sought-after prospect lists, new movers are the cream of the crop. While many U.S. adults prefer to stick with the same financial institution, moving across the country (or even across town) can spur a switch, thanks to a lack of convenient ATM locations or local branches they’re familiar with.

New Zillow research released in April showed that more than 1 in 10 Americans (11%) have moved in the past year — and millions of additional households could do so because of COVID-19-related issues. This means a strategic focus on new movers could pay big dividends for your bank or credit union.

Unfortunately, many new mover marketing programs don’t live up to the hype according to an ABA Marketing Journal post. Here are two reasons why:

  • If you wait until new movers are settled to start preparing to market to them, the odds are good they’ve already found a new place to bank.
  • Data is expensive, and (depending on the size of your community) the amount of new mover info you can access every week — the timeframe in which you’ll need to work — might seem to be more expensive than it’s worth.

Here’s the key to success — your bank or credit union must be able to get solid, reliable new mover data and act on it quickly. That can only happen if you first know who comprises your target market.

moving truck and movers

Who are new movers?

New movers can be defined as households in the moving, homebuying, or selling processes. They can be further subdivided into three groups:

  • Pre-move: Sellers who have simply listed their current homes for sale, with intent to move
  • Under Contract: Those who are under contract for a new home or are waiting to close on the sale of their current home
  • After-move: New homebuyers who have recently moved into your community or have just sold their residence.

Why target new movers?

Three reasons: New movers have money, they spend money, and they’re open to change.

“Even when a household moves a short distance, marketers can’t assume purchasing patterns will remain the same,” said fintech expert and influencer Jim Marous. “Brand loyalty is tested during a move, with the frequency of changing providers/brands being twice as likely for a new mover compared to a non-mover (some categories of services have a much higher propensity of change).”

In fact, FocusUSA research shows that new movers spend more in the first six months following a move than the average consumer shells out in multiple years. According to their data, annual new mover expenditures exceed $150B each year, with the average new mover spending a whopping $9,000 per move. That’s a lot of cash, and each mover is going to need somewhere to keep it.

How can I market to new movers?

Moving is a great time to build relationships with prospective customers or members, but don’t limit yourself to one vehicle. From direct mail “welcome” campaigns featuring local branch and ATM promotions to friends-and-family referral programs (many people already know others in their new community when moving there) to geotargeted, locally-focused digital content based solely on new mover demographics, diversify your approach for the highest level of success.

Direct mail is extremely popular (and productive) — especially with new movers. The traditional approach, as always, involves strategy, design, and delivery, which boils down to making sure you craft the right message and send it to people who are already interested. That being said, direct mail can make the magic happen, according to research by small business financial services provider Fundera:

  • 70% of consumers say direct mail is more personal than online interactions.
  • Direct mail open rates can reach up to 90%.
  • 54% of consumers say they want direct mail from brands that interest them.
  • 42% of recipients read or scan the direct mail they receive.

Although direct mail enjoys high open rates, without QR code-based calls to action (or similar coded approaches), there’s not much you can do to gain insight on the analytics side of things. That’s one area in which digital marketing can really help your new mover program shine.

mailbox with letter

Digital programs require a good amount of setup on the front end to ensure successful deployment and execution but with the help of an experienced digital strategist, digital can offer significant advantages:

  • By identifying your niche audience of new movers upfront, you can position your ads/advertorial content on the websites on which they’re spending their time.
  • Unlike direct mail, digital allows you to view real-time data related to the success of your marketing approach (such as ad impressions and ad clicks) and make any necessary adjustments on the fly. Going poorly? Launch an updated/different ad or piece of content. Is it going well? Expand your reach in an instant!
  • Your CFO will thank you for this one — a digital new mover program costs much less than a direct mail-led program, thanks to a lack of printing and postage expenses.
  • Google Search and Display ads can be targeted to people based on “life events” searches that include users identified as “moving soon”, “recently moved” and “purchasing a new home” among others.
  • Digital ad campaigns can also support your direct mail campaigns by scheduling ads to be served to customers before the mail hits their mailbox or right after the mail has been delivered.

Finally, make it easy to transfer funds and establish accounts at your bank or credit union. This is low-hanging fruit based on consumer perception alone. After all, research from Kasasa indicates that 61% of those surveyed believed switching accounts would be “somewhat difficult.”

Simply providing the information they need (like new account, direct deposit/automatic withdrawal, and account closing authorization forms) in a digital format will go a long way to welcoming new movers into your financial family.

digital mail

We’re here to help

These days, with more and more people preferring to search online for move-related information, an omnichannel approach to reaching and acquiring new movers is critical.

Talk to a BankBound strategist to see how we can help you target new movers today.