Making it easier for local small businesses to lay out the Welcomemat
New company coming to the Madison market aims to connect local small businesses directly with people who have recently moved to the area.
One of the hardest parts about moving to a new city is leaving all the old familiar places behind. A new service making its way to Madison aims to make it easier for transplants to get to know local small businesses and create a relationship with them.
Welcomemat Services was founded in 2003 by husband and wife Brian and Michelle Mattingly with the goal of helping small business owners. Based in Atlanta, Ga., Welcomemat has more than 60 locations in over 25 states, accounting for more than 44 cities.
While Brian Mattingly was traveling the country working for a large software company, he noticed that many of the big-box retailers and large retail organizations were using very sophisticated technology and software to help identify where to build stores. Because of this, these larger organizations were able to leverage information and technology in their customer acquisition efforts.
Mattingly recognized the need for small businesses to gain access to technology and compete with these big-box retailers. Through focus groups and studies, the couple identified that “regular” customers were the lifeblood of all small businesses. They also identified a very interesting niche in the U.S. population, a group of consumers that had a very high propensity to become regulars to businesses — people who are moving.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, over 43 million address changes are processed in a year. All these stats add up to a major opportunity for local businesses looking to build new, loyal clientele.
Welcomemat uses its unique technology to target new residents in a local area and provide them with a welcome package filled with gift cards, promotional items, and other perks from local shops in town. The goal is to establish a connection between the newcomers in town and the local shops rather than have them turn to a bigger name they might be more familiar with.
Mattingly says Welcomemat noticed the strong locally owned business community in Madison and has targeted the city as one of its top locations to grow into in 2018. The brand has seen tremendous success in similar cities like Milwaukee and believes Madison residents would benefit greatly from its services.
“The core Welcomemat platform connects new families moving into an area with great local businesses and organizations,” notes Mattingly. “The concept is extremely powerful in that people moving into a community typically haven’t formed patterns or habits in their lives. When a business successfully connects with someone who is in the habit-forming stage, the business has a chance to gain a new loyal client.
The concept of connecting new families with businesses and organizations is nothing new. Welcomemat has just taken this time-honored concept and injected a little 21st century technology into the mix.
Welcomemat allows business to track the new movers who have engaged with the local brands and provides tools for measurement, remarketing, and big data reporting, Mattingly explains. Additional offerings such as targeted and segmented postcards, social media, and other digital tools allow business to derive more revenue from their new clients.
“The initial Welcomemat package that is delivered shortly after a move has a series of gifts from local businesses and organizations for the new families to try,” says Mattingly. “Once the new families transact, then the tracking kicks in.”
Welcomemat’s technology enables new resident information to be bar-coded into every Welcomemat Gift Check. Barcodes are uniquely imprinted on each gift check, allowing Welcomemat clients to find out which new residents have responded to their gift-check offers. Clients need only to send all of their redeemed gift checks back to Welcomemat Services in the provided pre-printed envelopes to receive free tracking and information reports.
As part of Welcomemat premiere program, automated thank you notes are also generated and sent out to those who recently visited through the initial Welcomemat mailing. This second touch is designed to help lock in loyalty and confirm a long-term successful relationship with those moving to the area.
Additionally, as a Welcomemat client, participating businesses maintain category exclusivity in their target mailing area. This means that if a business signs up with category exclusivity in a mailing area, then no other “like” business (based on Welcomemat’s exclusivity chart) in that category can join the Welcomemat package in that area. This allows small business owners to reduce the competition for welcoming these new customers to the area and boost their chances of new customer acquisition and customer loyalty.
Among the industries and consumers that Welcomemat specializes in working with are:
- Car washes
- Auto repair shops
- Health professionals
- Home services
- Toy stores
- Mailing centers
- Pet stores
Participating businesses choose their desired target area, and Welcomemat creates the branding and marketing, finds the customers the companies are looking for, and tracks the campaign.
“Welcomemat’s 15 years of experience coupled with years of tracking data allows us to guide and consult with local businesses to help them set up their campaigns for the greatest success,” adds Mattingly.
While Mattingly notes Welcomemat does not currently work with any Madison businesses, the company is excited to break ground in the city and start facilitating partnerships.
“We are currently in Milwaukee, and Madison, Waunukee, and the surrounding areas [look like] strong areas for Welcomemat. Madison attracts strong movement and has a very local vibe, making it a wonderful market for the Welcomemat business.”
Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.