With the proper offer, using National Change of Address (NCOA) to optimize your housefile can be a very powerful tool.
It’s a well-known fact that recent movers spend money on fixing up or decorating their new homes and land. When running NCOA during your merge/purge, you can flag segments you wouldn’t normally mail (older, infrequent, low dollar, requestors, ship to addresses) and move them into a new “must mail” segment. You will generally find this is an easy way to reactivate buyers and other house file segments you normally wouldn’t market to.
If appropriate, you may also test mailing the old address, which will reach the new owner. If the previous owner was a buyer, the chances are that the new owner would also be appropriate for your offer. Rather than suppressing old addresses from the mail stream, consider mailing into the old household if you have an appropriate niche or offer.
If you sell a product or cater to a lifestyle interest applicable to that particular residence – pool products, for instance, or garden supplies – then mailing into that house may indeed be worthwhile. To boost response, remove the old name and replace it with a generic “new homeowner.” Provide a special ink-jet message welcoming the new residents to their home and offer an incentive. It’s worth a risk, and again, there is no name acquisition cost involved.
Travis Seaton is senior circulation and marketing manager at San Rafael, CA-based catalog consultancy Lenser.