Management Practices

Putting Out the Welcomemat for New Clients

Stacey Soble | August 31, 2016 | 7:41 AM
At Bliss Salon and Spa in Boca Raton, Florida, owner Sharon Overton uses the direct mail service Welcomemat to target new residents in her community.

When it comes to attracting new clients, Sharon Overton, owner of Bliss Salon in Boca Raton, Florida, leverages Welcomemat, a direct mail service that helps small business owners target potential clients who have just moved into the neighborhood, before they have the ability to develop loyalties elsewhere.

“I love the ability to pick and choose demographics. For example I target areas where small families live--people who have children and are more likely to live here all year long,” Overton says. “That helps ease my summertime pain, when snow birds migrate up north.”

Welcomemat targets new residents of a certain zip code with a packet of menus, certificates, coupons and gifts, which also helps the new neighbor easily develop relationships with local vendors. “We average seven to 10 new clients a month through the service, and we tend to keep them over time,” Overton says, who pays Welcomemat a monthly fee. “I could put out an ad for $1,500 and no one would show up, and we’ve tried Groupon, but tend to get bargain shoppers. Welcomemat targets a totally different clientele, one that is looking for a new home.”

Sharon Overton, owner of Bliss Salon and Spa.

Welcomemat was founded by Brian and Michelle Mattingly, who studied the way big box retailers used sophisticated technology to reach new customers. The company offers proprietary new mover data collection and tracking, allowing the business owner to clearly see and measure their results. The service has witnessed response rates of 2 to 40 percent depending on the business and the offer.

“Putting a gift in the hand of someone who moves into the neighborhood is the beginning of a sincere relationship for the business,” Brian Mattingly says. “A one-time gift creates a loyal customer who will pay full rate for the next 5.6 years on average.”

The program allows clients category exclusivity in their target market, meaning if a salon signs up for a specific area, no other salon will be featured in those Welcomemat packages. Each of the offers are individually barcoded, which allows salons like Bliss, the opportunity to get data reports on their new customers when they send in redeemed coupons. In addition, the program helps businesses lock in loyalty through an automated thank you note that is generated and sent to those who visited a business through the mailing.

In her Welcomemat offer, Overton offers new residents the gift of a complimentary haircut. “We know if we do our job well, we’ll be able to retain that guest,” she says. “I’ve used the service for four years and it really delivers the kind of client who fits our culture.”

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