New movers—those new families who have recently moved into a new home—represent a huge opportunity for your church. These new movers, also known as new residents, new neighbors or new movers, have long been sought after by churches due to their propensity to respond to outreach communications at much higher rates than established residents.
While it’s true that the housing market has been significantly affected by the current economic climate, the reasons for moving and the reasons your church is reaching out to new movers are always the same.
Families move for a variety of reasons: loss of job 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 connect with an audience that research shows is more likely to respond to your invitation.
Many churches are taking this opportunity and committing to developing a relationship during this time. Unfortunately, because church leaders may lack the time and resources to fully explore this opportunity, they are not always sure how best to leverage this essential outreach tactic.
When considering a new movers outreach program for your church, please consider these 6 reasons why such a program might be right for your church:
Reason 1: New movers actively seek out new services to help them settle into their new neighborhood
As a new family seeks to put down roots in a new community, many will be highly motivated and actively engaged in finding new service providers. Indeed, a new church house may also be on this list. This presents a unique window of opportunity that suggests your outreach message will come at the right time.
Reason 2: New Mover programs are great for churches with a limited outreach budget
Let’s face it – proximity advertising can be expensive (and time consuming). But, it is extremely important for the growth and maintenance of a healthy church. Luckily, new movers programs are really affordable – that’s because the number of new movers in a specific area is quite low. Depending on where your church is located, the number of new movers can range from 25 to 150 families per month. The average investment for a new moving program is usually less than $100 per month. Also, 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 courier company you’re considering doesn’t have a minimum send or monthly account fee).
Reason 3: New movers can see the “inside” of your church from the comfort of their own home
Some new movers courier companies offer custom design services where your sender can feature photos of your church leadership, congregation, or ministry teams in action. It’s a great way for new families to get a sense of your values and mission. they may also be more likely to imagine themselves becoming involved. Church outreach is all about making a connection – personalized mail is highly recommended against a pre-designed template.
Reason 4: positive return on investment
Direct mail is one of the few advertising tools where you can track results – down to the nearest dollar. For example, studies show that the average devotee gives about $1,000 a year. The average monthly cost for a complete turnkey program for new movers is around $50 to $150 per month. In short, to receive a positive return on your investment, only one or two families should join your church to cover your annual outreach investment.
Reason 5: The church in the neighboring town can already reach your new neighbors
Churches have been getting new movers for decades. In fact, another church in your town might already be making that connection. If you find that your church membership is stagnating or barely growing, other nearby churches can run targeted direct mail campaigns. It is important that you can deliver your welcome message as early as possible to have a lasting impact.
Reason 6: New movers are much more likely to respond to direct mail than established residents
Research shows that new movers are about 4-8 times more likely to respond to a direct mail offer or invitation. This presents a tremendous opportunity for your church to create a truly positive and meaningful outreach connection. Sending saturation coverage to thousands of homes will likely cost thousands of dollars. On the other hand, a campaign targeted at a highly responsive audience can be done inexpensively, while still having the potential to generate a meaningful and measurable response.
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