Business Owners Frequently Asked Questions
Our Town America is a national welcoming organization with a two-fold mission: Helping families adjust after the trauma of their recent move by recommending reputable local businesses (our Sponsors) and providing other helpful community information.
Families unfamiliar to their new surroundings are the most receptive market segment available. Due to their move, they are forced to seek out new business relationships. They are searching for a new grocery store, hair salon, auto repair shop, restaurants and many other everyday necessary services and products. They need you as much as you need them!
Rather than just one source like most of our competitors use, Our Town America actually pulls new resident names from hundreds of sources to ensure a comprehensive listing. We combine names from the following sources: county courthouse warranty deeds, credit reporting agencies, magazine subscription address changes, credit cards, voter registrations, driver’s licenses, utility companies and more.
No – we mail to anybody who has moved. Most new movers have standard needs and are searching for businesses who fit those needs in their new neighborhood. Whether they are homeowners or not, they will need products and services from local businesses such as automotive, personal care, restaurants and so on. Our Town America also offers businesses that can demonstrate reliance upon families in houses, with the ability to target just those families.
Every month, we receive entirely new lists of people who have in some way indicated a change of address since the previous month. Although we readily acknowledge that no mailing list is perfect, ours included, we take great steps to clean our list and the result is a list that is 92-95% accurate and the best of its kind. We’re very proud of our list. We utilize our proprietary software to combine names from multiple sources attempting to eliminate multiple mailings to the same household, incorrect addresses and families who have not moved.
Each package is personally imprinted with the name of the new family, not just “Current Resident” or “Occupant” like other mail they may receive.
You pick exactly which zip codes are best for your business. There are no minimums. Your account executive is trained to help you make this decision based on factors such as your budget, location of competitors, demographics and distance traveled by your customers.
Our deadline for reserving zip codes is the 10th of the month prior to the desired first mailing month. We then have about one additional week to finalize the copy for your certificate.
That depends. We rely upon consumer supplied notification of the move. It can be anywhere from the day the moving truck pulls in, for those who were very efficient in communicating their move through credit cards, magazines, credit bureaus and other changes, or months later, if they moved into a place that did not require credit checks and no changes were filed until much later. As an overall average the majority of families indicate that they have been in their homes about two to three months when they receive our package. We find this to be a more “Perfect Time” than trying to add more confusion to the initial chaos of moving. Our results show it! Most of our sponsors report not only receiving a very high response, but establishing long-term relationships with these new customers. That’s what it’s all about!
We have a simple, one-page sponsor agreement, which offers two options: 6-month trial or 1-year exclusive. Annual sponsors will receive the added benefits of the optional community magnet and our category exclusivity guarantee. After this initial period, local business sponsors can continue indefinitely on a month-to-month basis and of course, our annual sponsors continue to enjoy and preserve their category exclusivity for as long as they participate in our program.
Sometimes a new local business sponsor will ask us, “what happens if I don’t get any response and what guarantees do I have?” Of course we cannot guarantee a specific redemption percentage as this depends on many factors outside of our control. However, your account executive is highly trained to explore your goals with our program and set your realistic expectations. Local business sponsors who trust our professional guidance regarding their offer, copy and market area and have realistic goals almost always yield successful results and become happy repeat sponsors.
Our Town America provides the most benefits and highest quality product in our industry, yet has the lowest cost! We have sponsors who spend as little as $40 per month! It all depends on specific choices you make in our program and how many movers are in your area. The more families that move, the more it will cost, but the more prospective customers you have!
Yes it will, since the number of families moving varies from month to month. However, it follows a predictable pattern with more movement in summer and fall and less in the winter months. For cash flow purposes, a local business sponsor should be prepared for the high summer peaks but our average count estimate is usually very close for annual budgeting purposes. All of our averages are based on annual historical numbers. So over the course of a complete year, we anticipate that your average will be what we have predicted, +/- 10%. The way that it could be different is in the event you have selected an area that is declining or growing. This is something that you should plan for. If you see lots of condominiums, apartments or houses being built, the number could be greater!
Yes, most major credit cards are accepted, as well as electronic funds transfers.
No, whatever is right for YOU. Select any zip code or zip codes that make the most sense for your business.
Yes, annual sponsors are given category exclusivity within their zip codes. Virtually every other advertising medium such as coupons, yellow pages, newspapers, television and radio refuse to offer exclusivity. Our Town America believes in building long-term relationships between our sponsors and new families as well as between Our Town America and its local business sponsors. We appreciate our sponsors and we show it.
No, our concept is based on the impact, synergy and superior shelf life of a community welcome package. Solo mail cannot convey the same community spirit and solo programs are typically more than twice our cost out of necessity. Consider it from the perspective of the family. Would you rather receive one gift from a local merchant, clearly soliciting, or a welcoming package from your own neighborhood filled with generous gifts? Also, most solo new mover programs don’t promote category exclusivity and are happy to mail your competitors to the same new movers!
Sure, you’re always in control of your offer and copy. We, however, make recommendations based on our years of experience in working with many businesses just like yours and what has proven successful in your industry. In fact, before we print anything, we confirm your approval on a proof of your certificate first.
Some of our local business sponsors have chosen the option of receiving the actual list of families who receive our package. Also, we are able to supply a 3602 Postal Certificate indicating a mail quantity, which is more than newspapers, magazines, radio, television and other mediums can provide to verify. Typically, this is not an issue. Our local businesses who follow our recommendations, see response, which validates mailing.
We really can’t predict response with any certainty. However, our years of experience allow us to make certain generalizations. Response seems to be a function of many variables such as business category, normal frequency of visit or need, gift offer, market area selected, etc. So even though we can’t promise in advance what percentage of new families will redeem your certificate, our program does offer the tremendous advantage of trackability. Within three or four months we’ll usually have a good feel for what redemption rates are characteristic for your business. The great thing about our program is that once we find the formula for your business, it usually continues to provide the same type of response month-in and month-out! And, since your Housewarming Gift goes out to a completely new audience every month, you should be able to expect a reasonably consistent response — unlike other media which sends your message to the same people each time.
We have many satisfied customers. Just check out our positive testimonials from local business owners like you.
Start by considering the long term value of one good customer to your business. Then just compare this value to your monthly marketing cost with Our Town America and your welcome gift cost. The trackability of our redeemable certificates makes this a relatively straight forward process. For example: Joe at Kwik Kar spends $250 per month with Our Town America and sees about 25 new families per month from our program. His gift of a Free Oil Change costs about $9 (his cost for 5 qts. & filter). Thus his total cost is about $500 per month. Based on his calculation, an average customer spends about $270 per year with him. Based on his profit margins, Joe figures that just 3 good customers gained from the Our Town America program each month will recover his costs. And, this doesn’t include the immeasurable benefit of word-of-mouth and multi-car families he’s sure to get. Even if Joe keeps only half of the 25 new families each month as repeat customers he will realize an excellent return!
Compared to other forms of marketing or advertising, Our Town America is unique in its positive impact on your potential customer. It focuses on the needs of the new family first. Your need to build your business is secondary, in sharp contrast to traditional solicitous advertising. Considering this, as well as our national coverage, lowest cost in our industry, highest quality and the most carefully developed change of address list in the US, we are not only unique, but the only logical choice!
That’s easy, just give us a call or e-mail us to confirm category availability and we’ll walk you through the steps to get started.