When you market to people 60 years and older, you tap into a demographic that has a higher disposable income, prioritizes their health and wellness and has a large influence on outside parties such as family and caregivers. With a demographic that is used to experiencing life offline, utilizing direct mail marketing can give you a personal touch that resonates and converts this specific and valuable group of people. This article will help you understand the senior collective and inspire you to create effective direct mail campaigns that will leave them wanting to receive more mail.
UNDERSTANDING THE SENIOR DEMOGRAPHIC
Seniors have more life experience, therefore their perspective on certain topics are unique. At this age, they are most likely focusing on their health. They are known to be loyal to certain brands, and trust products that they have used for a long time.
They also experience challenges that can be easily overlooked and ignored. They become a target to digital scams through phone calls, emails and text messages. As they get older, they lose loved ones and can become more isolated from their families. This can result in mental health issues and wellness problems. Many seniors could lose their sense of independence and have to rely on the help of other people like family or caregivers, which might not always be easily accessible. Knowing and understanding the challenges this demographic faces can help you connect to them on a more personal level.
BENEFITS OF UTILIZING DIRECT MAIL
Many businesses argue that digital marketing is the right choice as they believe it is convenient, cost effective and gives you a wider reach. While some of this may be true, it’s important to realize that the average person sees about 4,000 to 10,000 digital ads a day. That’s a lot of competition. If you’re utilizing direct mail, it’s likely that your marketing is connecting and resonating more with this majority offline group of people. In general, the tangibility of a piece of marketing also comes off as more trustworthy.
- Envelope mailers work well with seniors and receive a higher open rate. They are more personal than postcards.
- Seniors will read text heavy mailers. Unlike the younger generations, they have longer attention spans.
CRAFTING DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGNS
Now that you know the many benefits of utilizing direct mail, the next step is executing an effective design/message. Compelling mail pieces are known to be utilized as resources and gain higher response rates.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when designing a direct mail piece:
- Brand & Business Information: Make sure you include all of your company information: logo, business name, address and contact information. It’s important to give your recipients multiple ways to reach out to you.
- Messaging and Tone: Who are you speaking to and why? It’s crucial that your message speaks and resonates with your desired audience.
- Large and clear headline: This is the first thing that your recipient will likely see if you are sending a postcard or self mailer. Make sure it is large and encompasses the main point of your message.
- Offer or discount: Receiving a discount or offer on a direct mail piece can be very enticing for senior citizens. To them, it feels personalized and trustworthy.
- Clear CTA: The call to action will bring everything together. You’ll want to keep the language actionable and sometimes time sensitive so the person will feel motivated to move forward.
Knowing your target audience allows you to create highly personalized content that establishes a unique customer experience for your recipient. For seniors, it’s important to sympathize with the challenges they might be facing. No matter what you are trying to promote, identifying and understanding what they are experiencing can not only speak to them, but to a family member or caregiver with purchasing power. It’s also more effective to be emotional in your tone than transactional. This makes your business and brand approachable and allows you to build a more meaningful relationship. This type of messaging helps improve response rates and makes your brand more relevant within your industry space.
Here are some effective offers for seniors:
Educational events/workshops – lunch and learns where they can be educated in person about a product or service that they might need. Senior Days or events are also a great way for people to connect and create a sense of community.
Bundled Services: Everyone loves convenience. Giving seniors an option to get more than one product or service in a deal can be very enticing.
Travel and Leisure Deals: This demographic usually has more time on their hands. Providing them with travel deals and vacation packages are a great way to get them to take next steps. Giveaways and free merchandise are also great with this demographic.
ADDRESSING THEIR CONCERNS AND NEEDS
As people age, they become a target for marketing scams and fraud. It’s important for your brand and message to be credible and trustworthy. This applies for any audience. Annoying and overbearing sales tactics are another way to get this audience looking elsewhere. Seniors are looking to create a connection with a like minded business. If they sense a transactional approach, the buying journey will probably end there.
Here are some tips on how to avoid and marketing red flags that will have the senior demographic moving onto the next thing.
- Include testimonials: Testimonials are a great way to provide social proof and demonstrate that you have real human customers.
- Include a return address on your direct mail piece. This is just more proof that your company exists and has a physical location.
- Include multiple ways for a lead to reach out. This is a great way to squash any concerns they have about your business credibility.
Furthermore, explain how your product and service can help address problems and concerns that this group of people might be experiencing. For example, if you are selling a product that allows seniors to call for help in case of an emergency, emphasize what they could be feeling before purchasing the product. Are they feeling anxious, nervous and overwhelmed? Do they feel held back from doing everyday tasks? Your product can help fix that.
CREATING CLEAR CALLS TO ACTION
A compelling call to action will help drive home your message about your product or service and get your response rates up. It’s important for the language to be actionable and compelling and align with the overall message of your direct mail piece. Making them time sensitive and saying things like “apply today” or “take advantage of this offer now” or “limited space available, sign up today” will encourage your recipients to move on to the next stage of the buying process.
Here are some examples of strong CTAs:
- Call now for a free consultation: Give them the opportunity to speak to a real person about a personalized plan just for them.
- Join our community and make new friends with like minded people: Seniors can experience loneliness; giving them the idea that they can create relationships and friends is enticing.
- Learn new skills: join our online workshop! Many seniors are retired. Offering workshops gives them something to work towards and learning new skills!
- Get 25% OFF with our exclusive senior discount: Seniors enjoy being recognized for their age and wisdom. You’re likely to convert them into customers by giving them something not everyone can have.
Ultimately, understanding the unique characteristics of seniors, such as their age, life experience and increased disposable income, provides great insight for crafting targeted and personalized campaigns. Addressing the problems that they face and offering valuable and relevant content, your business can build a strong connection with this particular audience. Top everything off with an effective CTA and you’re ready to market to this demographic successfully. Looking to market to your senior audience, check out some of our specialty campaign pages.