New movers – those new families who have recently moved into a new home – represent an enormous opportunity for your church. These new movers, also known as new residents, new neighbors or new move-ins, have long been sought after by churches given their propensity to respond to outreach communications at much higher rates than established residents.
While it’s true that the housing market has been dramatically affected by the current economic climate, the reasons for moving and the reasons for your church to reach out to new movers is still the same.
Families move for a variety of reasons: lost or new job; marriage or divorce, downsizing (or upsizing); an addition to the family or the transition to an empty nest. All of these “life events” open a window of opportunity for churches looking to make a connection to an audience that research suggests are more likely to respond to your invitation.
Many churches seize on this opportunity and are committed to developing a relationship during this time. Unfortunately, since churches leadership may lack the time and resources to fully explore this opportunity, they are not always sure of the best way to leverage this critical outreach tactic.
As you investigate a new mover outreach program for your church, please consider these 6 reasons why such a program might be a good fit for your church:
Reason 1: New movers are actively looking for new services to help them settle into their new neighborhood
As a new family looks to establish roots in a new community, many will be highly motivated and actively engaged in seeking out new service providers. Indeed, a new church home may also be on this list. This presents a unique window of opportunity that suggests your outreach message will come at just the right moment.
Reason 2: New mover programs are perfect for churches with a limited outreach budget
Let’s face it – outreach advertising can be expensive (and time consuming). But, it is critically important for growing and maintaining a healthy church. Fortunately, new mover programs are truly affordable – that’s because the number of new movers in a specific area is quite small. Depending on where your church is located, the number of new movers may range from 25 – 150 families a month. Average investment for a new mover program is generally less than $100 month. What’s more, if your church is located in a rural or sparsely populated area, your monthly investment could be as low as $20 (just make sure the new mover mailing company you’re considering doesn’t have mailing minimums or monthly account fees).
Reason 3: New movers can get to see “inside” your church from the comfort of their own home
Some new mover mailing companies provide custom design services where your mailer can feature pictures of your church leadership, the congregation or ministry teams in action. This is a great way for new families to get a sense of your values and mission; they may also be more likely to picture themselves getting involved. Church outreach is about making a connection – a customized mailer is hugely recommended over a predesigned template.
Reason 4: Positive Return on Investment
Direct mail is one of the few advertising tools where you can track results – right down to the nearest dollar. For example, studies show that the average church attendee gives around $1,000 a year. The average monthly cost of a full turnkey new mover programs is around $50 – $150 a month. In short, to receive a positive return on your investment, only one or two families have to join your church to cover your annual outreach investment.
Reason 5: The church in the nearby town may already be reaching your new neighbors
Churches have been reaching new movers for decades. In fact, another church in your town might already be making this connection. If you find that your church membership is stagnant or barely growing, other neighboring churches may be conducting targeted direct mail campaigns. It is important that you are able to deliver your message of welcome as soon as possible to make a lasting impact.
Reason 6: New movers are much more likely to respond to direct mail than established residents
Research shows new movers are roughly 4 – 8 times more likely to respond to a direct mail offer or invitation. This presents a tremendous opportunity for your church to make a truly positive and meaningful outreach connection. A blanket saturation mailing to thousands of homes will likely cost thousands of dollars. On the other hand, a targeted campaign to a highly responsive audience can be done at the fraction of the cost, yet has the potential to generate a significant and measurable response.
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