How the UK’s property market could spark a surge in direct mail marketing
Direct mail is proving its resilience. Despite the rise of the Internet, the cost effectiveness of digital and the popularity of social media the channel has not faded into irrelevance as many predicted. In fact quite the reverse. Latest research from JICMAIL reveals that it is now the most trusted form of advertising and that engagement levels have risen sharply during lockdowns due to digital fatigue caused by working from home and the fact that it is a tangible medium delivered to our doors. Traditionally viewed as a way to target older consumers, it is now also achieving cut through with Millennials and Generation Z who appreciate the novelty of receiving mail. This combined with the demise of third party cookies and its’ no wonder that increasing numbers of brands are adding mail back into the marketing mix.
However, happily for printers there’s another force currently at play which could also see mail volumes rise significantly – and that is the buoyant property market. It has long been known that homemovers are big business. In fact, research shows that this group of consumers contribute an additional £12bn in retail spend to the economy each year, with the average homemover outlaying around £13,000 on new furnishings and improvements alone.
Currently the number of households in the home moving journey is up by over 50 per cent year-on-year with an additional 500,000 households entering, progressing or completing the process of moving home.
Moreover, based on our direct experience of the categories closely aligned to a home move this equates to the purchase of an additional 100,000 beds, 160,000 sofas and nearly 50,000 kitchens and bathrooms. Not to mention spend on home improvements such as new windows, conseravtories, floors etc. And the fact that homemovers are proven to be more likely to change their utility providers, including power, broadband, mobile and media services. They also reassess their insurance options and are more likely to take out new credit cards and loans (and of course mortgages) to fund their move. The value of this consumer group has the potential to drive a more rapid recovery for those brands that prioritise this group through targeted marketing engagement via the mail.
Brands are being urged to strike whilst the iron is hot. Whilst the property market is currently at its most buoyant for over a decade the amount of houses for sale in the UK has reached an all time low according to our latest Property & Homemovers Report. Estate agency residential listings have dropped by 50 per cent compared to usual levels; leaving an average of just two months worth of stock on the books. The lack of properties coming to the market has the potential to jeopardise or temporarily cause a slow down. The good news, however, is that demand is still very strong. With 387,673 householders currently saying that they want to move – an increase of two per cent on last quarter and an increase of 30 per cent since Q4 2019. There are currently 360,082 households Moving Soon – a rise of six per cent since Q4 2020, whilst the number of new home owners Settling In has increased by a staggering 84 per cent since last quarter.
The number of households Moving Now (265,024) and those that have Just Moved (311,083) have dropped slightly since last quarter indicating the delays being experienced in the conveyancing process accelerated by the Stamp Duty Holiday and its subsequent extension. This is further reflected by the increase in Sales Agreed (+33 per cent) and Exchanges (+55 per cent) and the drop in prices changes (-six per cent) and the number of properties being withdrawn from the market (-five per cent) since last year. With demand exceeding supply there is less requirement for discounting, whilst less stock (new instructions are down year-on-year by two per cent) encourages buyers to remain in transaction rather than looking for an alternative.
Ultimately, the market looks set to remain healthy well into 2021 and this means that that marketers have a large and lucrative market to target. Direct mail is proven to be an effective and cost efficient way to reach this valuable audience, however the key is in understanding when best to target them. Too soon and you risk irrelevance, too late and you lose out to another brand. So in order to be able to capitalise on the opportunity that homemovers present it is critical that marketers understand when existing and potential customers are planning to move home and precisely where in the moving process they are likely to make their buying decisions. With many brands looking to reactivate their customers as we progress on the journey out of lockdown, understanding which ones are moving will provide them with a very strong reason to get in touch.
Colin Bradshaw, Chief Customer Officer, TwentyCi
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by TwentyCi .
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