Transforming retirement living marketing with a data-driven approach for McCarthy Stone.

With a data-led marketing strategy and using direct mail, the cost of qualified leads reduced by 60% and improved ROI by driving targeted house buyers to a weekend of showroom events across the country.

McCarthy Stone continue to revolutionise the concept of retirement living with their innovative approach to property development. While the appeal of a seaside retirement home might seem self-evident, reaching the right audience is critical. Precision partnered with McCarthy Stone to develop a data-driven marketing strategy that effectively engaged potential buyers.

Precision implemented a data-driven, direct mail marketing strategy using Partially Addressed Mail. This approach leveraged unnamed data profiles at household and postcode levels, incorporating geo-demographic profiling to reach the most likely buyers. The campaign included 50,000 lines of existing CRM data and creating pen portraits and matching attributes to a UK-wide prospect list.


Attracting the ideal customer profiles

As a specialist retirement homebuilder and services provider, McCarthy Stone has a more specific customer profile than a regular House Builder. However, targeting just one segment would be too generic – the firm needed a way of drilling down to a more granular profile of the McCarthy Stone customer. After heavy market research, it was determined that the target customers were those who were looking to prolong the lifestyle that they had grown accustomed to and move towards the next exciting chapter of their lives.

50,000 lines of existing McCarthy Stone CRM data were analysed to create pen portraits from existing customers using Acorn segmentation profiles. This created an index of attributes that were most common within their existing customer database. We then matched those attributes to the whole UK data pool to create a UK-wide prospect list, which could be mapped to the location of each development taking part in the show home weekend.


Digitally activated direct mail

Precision’s Connects™ platform facilitated the efficient execution of the campaign. After segmentation work was completed, the data contact list was generated through the platform, and the artwork was sent via an automated workflow directly to the printing press and into the mailing process.

The mailer was an invitation to attend an open day over the course of one weekend. The data needed to be split between the seven regions and 67 individual developments with separate response mechanisms for named and unnamed data profiles. The promotion included a free £20 Marks & Spencer voucher, conditional upon a tour booking, to provide a value exchange for attendees.

In total, 300,000 invitations were sent to potential retirement home buyers that fit the McCarthy Stone customer profile. Each invitation pack was tailored to the nearest development to the invitee for greater relevance and likelihood of interest, and strategic A/B testing was incorporated to assess the impact of named and unnamed communication.

The Precision team delivered an opportunity to us, one of only seven businesses in the country, in a trial that not only delivered fabulous results but also at an unprecedented cost per unit price.

Mark Hart, Marketing Operations Manager, McCarthy Stone.


Saving on cost per lead

The campaign delivered outstanding results, reducing the cost of qualified leads by 60%. Out of the 300,000 invitations sent, close to 1,000 qualified leads were gained, and an impressive £105 per qualified lead saving compared to other cold campaigns. The postal costs were also discounted, enabling email and PPC to compete alongside each other whilst delivering a more impressive response rate in comparison.

Precision’s data-driven marketing approach, combined with strategic use of Partially Addressed Mail and localised communication, provides valuable insights into the clever use of direct mail marketing. The success achieved by McCarthy Stone highlights the effectiveness of targeting and automation in maximising ROI for retirement property development marketing campaigns.