Welcome Wagon® was founded in 1928 by an insightful marketing man in Memphis, Tennessee, Thomas Briggs. Mr. Briggs was inspired by stories of early Conestoga “welcome wagons” that would meet and greet westward travelers, providing fresh food and water for the journey. He created Welcome Wagon® to embody this same spirit of warm hospitality and welcome. He hired “hostesses”, women who were friendly and knowledgeable about their neighborhood, to personally deliver baskets of gifts supplied by local businesses to new homeowners.
Over a cup of coffee, hostesses would tell the new mover all about their community while handing out gifts and coupons from local businesses. This hostess network expanded across the country until, aside from Briggs and just a handful of males, Welcome Wagon® became one of the first all-female companies in the United States.
Welcome Wagon’s personalized greetings and community information have touched the lives of over 100 million households, including American Presidents as they moved into the White House.
The home visits stopped in 1998 as an increase in two-income families meant fewer people were home to accept visits. Welcome Wagon® began greeting new homeowners through the mail with a gift of an attractive, customized Gift Book.
In 2009, Steve Goodman, the former founder and CEO of Home Greetings, previously the second largest Welcoming Program in the USA (to none other than Welcome Wagon®), purchased the company as he knew he could build it to new heights.
As CEO, Mr. Goodman has revamped the existing touchpoints that Welcome Wagon® sends to the new movers and in 2016, Welcome Wagon® introduced a Digital Marketing Program. Evolving with the age of technology, the company is also welcoming new movers via email and giving them options to connect to the local businesses in their communities through the company’s website and mobile app.
An Exciting Present – A Limitless Future
Although the day of door-to-door neighborly visits are a thing of the past, Welcome Wagon® is still committed to connecting with new homeowners through their mailboxes and online. The mode of delivery may be different than before, but the mission is still the same today as it was in 1928:
Welcoming families to their new homes by providing them with the information of the many local businesses and services that will benefit them as they settle into their new homes and communities.