How to Make the Most of Your Senior Living Email Marketing Campaign
While Millennials recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the United States, Baby Boomers are still making big waves in the senior living industry as the largest generation to hit retirement thus far. Senior living communities across the U.S. are thriving as over 10,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age (65 years young) every day, according to a report by AARP; that’s nearly seven people per minute.
With newfound independence and more time to explore and enjoy life, many men and women are looking towards luxury retirement communities to offer the social and care-free retirement they’ve always wanted. Other retirees, including their family members or loved ones, look for an extra level care they need or want to live their best lives.
This influx of men and women exiting the work force is increasing the need for senior living communities to stand out and build a strong online presence. Living through the development of technology during their adult lives, tech-savvy Baby Boomers can browse a digital pamphlet of over 19,000 senior living campuses across the United States with the click of a button.
That’s why, as a people-focused industry, senior living communities have shifted their marketing to focus on relationship building – and the best way to nurture relationships is through email.
6 Tactics to Bring Your Senior Living Email Marketing to the Next Level
Welcomed presence in an individual’s inbox is valuable real estate. The person on the other end of the interaction is inviting you into a space where they receive messages from family members, co-workers and their favorite companies. So, once you receive the coveted email address for your campaign database, don’t squander it by sending impersonal or irrelevant content. That is a fast track to an unsubscribe.
First impressions matter. Utilize these six tactics to grab your lead’s attention and build an emotional relationship on behalf of your senior living community.
Know your contact
Note that I did not say “know your audience.” In a human-focused industry such as senior living, it’s no longer good enough to know your audience in general. You must be able to customize content based on the person who showed interest in your community. Do you know if they are looking at your senior living community for themselves, a parent or someone else? What type of care are they looking for?
You can gather most of this information on your website’s contact form. Include questions that ask for more information that is relevant to why they might be contacting you and use that information to segment them in your automation. When the user feels these questions are beneficial to their search process, they are more willing to enter it.
Wording is essential in email marketing. To peak someone’s interest enough for them to open an email, you need to talk to them, not at them. Start with the subject line and work your way through the body of the email making it as personal as possible.
First, as a rule of thumb always start a conversation with “Hi FIRSTNAME.” If you can naturally fit their name into the subject line or body of the email, that’s a plus; however, do not confuse personalization with overloading an email with the person’s first name. Use the data you collected from the contact form to send content you know they’re interested in. You can include information about their location or interests. Use these small details to deliver relevant and useful information to your contact.
Free tip: Occasionally, check your contact list to see if people entered their contact information with ALL CAPS or no caps. This can lead to a bad user experience and red flag for the person on the other side of the email.
Build brand trust
If you’re looking for somewhere to move during your retirement years, you want to find a senior living community you trust. Their logo should evoke a positive emotional response, but how do companies achieve this?
The answer is simple, but the path to get there is not: build positive relationships. Developing a friendly and open line of communication between your contact and your company is a top priority. You want to sell yourself, but not over do it. Today, contacts have the information and resources they need to decide where to retire, and anything you send should supplement what they’ve already seen and know.
Free tip: One of the best tactics to use when sending emails is to send on behalf of a person, not just the company. For example, send your email from Brian at Walt Disney World Resorts.
Do not send an email unless it provides value for the person on the other end of the conversation. With each email you must consider, what is the purpose? It may be informational or a call to action, but the idea that quantity over quality does not apply in senior living email marketing. The last thing you want to do is harm the reputation you’ve built by sending excessive or unnecessary emails.
Speak their language
First, you should know the relative age of the person you are speaking to, and an easy way to do this is to ask who is looking for senior living care – themselves, a parent or someone else. By knowing who is on the other end of the email, you can better convert your leads into senior living residents.
Certain generational differences exist that can affect how you want to convert your lead. For example, Baby Boomers typically enjoy having in-person or over-the-phone conversations, because they did not grow up with the technology available today. If you’re talking to someone who is of retirement age, you may want to encourage your lead to call instead of text or email to convert. The opposite goes for younger Gen X’s or Millennials who may prefer the latter.
Wording should also be taken into consideration. The use of informal subject lines, emojis or modern lingo may be preferred for some people, but not others. Get to know your audience then market to them accordingly to receive the best open or click rates possible.
Understand your audience
As mentioned above, there are some key generational differences that can help elevate your email campaign. Do you know your audience’s values, communication preferences, motivations and views on retirement? While each person is different, you may be able to leverage this information to deliver a more personal experience. For example, since Baby Boomers are less formal than the generation before them, most people are okay communicating using their first name when establishing a friendly rapport.
Use this tactic in moderation, and you can design helpful content that acknowledges potential concerns or highlights unique benefits of retirement without isolating people who do not feel the same way.
Know when to communicate
Test, analyze and then test again. Research shows that 10:00 a.m. is generally the best time to send an email for working individuals; however, people are constantly checking their inbox throughout the day. Use your email platform’s data to determine the best time to market to your audience.
Free tip: If you send an email during work hours when a sales team member can answer the phone, prompt an immediate conversation for increased conversion. For example, you can ask “Is now a good time to talk?” This tactic is proven to deliver.
How Epic Notion Can Help Your Senior Living Email Marketing Strategy
Epic Notion is an award-winning digital marketing agency with vast experience in the senior living sector. We are based in Charlotte, NC, but we are lucky enough to represent some of the best continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and luxury retirement communities across the nation.
We have the experience and knowledge to understand that senior living communities require more than a “one-size-fits-all” marketing approach. Each community has different advantages and obstacles that deserve a unique digital and email marketing strategy.
Give us a call, or contact us online to see how we can elevate your senior living community’s email marketing strategy today!