Moving to a new home is an expensive venture, but according to the United States Postal Service, the spending goes on long after the trucks pull away. According to the USPS, the average consumer spends $7,100 on relocation-related goods in the weeks following a move to a new residence, a time it dubs the "hyperspend period." For weeks and months, new residents' dollars flow to local retailers, and to be certain, cashing in on those micro-booms is good business.
 
But even better is making that new resident a lifelong customer with an enticing pizza pitch, such as a free pizza offer. Giving a little up front could yield a lot in the future, said Scott Anthony, a single-unit Fox's Pizza Den franchisee in Punxsutawney, Pa. Anthony uses a new-resident marketing tool called Moving Targets. The service finds folks relocating to his area and then sends them a personalized offer to come to Fox's for free pizza.
 
"It allows us to make the offer, tell them the highlights of our business and welcome them to the community," Anthony said. "It's not addressed to 'Current Resident' or 'New Resident,' it comes to a specific name. It gives a hometown, hospitable feel to someone who's in a new, strange place."
 
Research shows that despite the uncertainty of moving to a new place, a clean break from the way things once were motivates people to try new products.
 
"Many movers are rebuilding their lives, reestablishing identities and dealing with a major life transition," said Jay Siff, co-founder of Moving Targets, which is in Perkasie, Pa. "Research has shown that this transformation continues for at least two years, until the new resident feels at home. Pizza operators have a great opportunity to win them as customers by building a relationship with them."
 
Pinpoint targeting
 
To ensure new movers are qualified customers, operators like Anthony work with Moving Targets to define exactly who they want to reach based on demographics and their proximity to his store. Each month Anthony gets a list of qualified new movers to his town, and then he decides who gets his offer.
 
The offer is always for free food, he said, because customers don't want to feel there are strings attached to trial patronage. If they like Fox's, they'll feel good about coming back, but if they don't, then they've lost nothing and there are no bad feelings.
 
At 10,000 people, Punxsutawney provides Anthony with just fewer than 50 new movers each month, but he believes the small town boosts his redemption rate.
 
"I've gotten 100 percent on some mailings, though we average about 80 percent," he said. "Out of that, I think about 20 percent become regular customers. So if you figure out the lifetime value of those customers, it more than pays for the free pizza in the beginning."
 
Siff gave this example: "If a family orders $25 worth of pizza and soda most weekends while living in the same home for four years, the pizzeria who captures those orders from that new mover gains gross revenue of about $4,500. Reaching out to them with a personalized offer for free food is a low-risk gamble."

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