Dec 07, 2012
Early-bird dinner specials, burial insurance, prescription medications. Those might be a few things that come to mind when you think of selling to seniors. But if you rely solely on these outdated stereotypes about what older adults are interested in, your direct mail marketing is likely to miss the mark.
Today's seniors are different than the grandparents of yesterday. They have significant purchasing power and they often live active, on-the-go lifestyles. They're also typically more than willing to listen to your marketing pitches, provided you take the right approach. Plus, they're 40 million strong. Ignoring this huge demographic means losing out on people who could be your loyal customers for years to come.
So, what works when it comes to direct mail marketing for seniors? In many ways, the principles are the same as for any direct mail campaign, though there are a few things you need to be aware of.
Don't focus on age. Seniors may not think of themselves as old, which could mean that a mail piece with pictures of elderly-looking people may get tossed in the trash, since the recipient won't recognize him or herself as the target audience. You might even want to avoid using the word senior, since it sounds old, especially if you're targeting the perennially youthful baby boomer demographic.
Concentrate on value. Many seniors have significant discretionary income. But that doesn't mean that they aren't smart shoppers. Seniors are more likely than some other groups to shop around and ask questions about what they're really getting for their money. Build trust by clearly highlighting your unique product or offering and explaining how it will make the recipient's life better.
Know who you're contacting. Many seniors live alone. Older women are especially likely to be single, since women tend to live longer than men. Sending direct mail featuring pictures of couples could trigger a negative reaction if the recipient is unattached. Fortunately, you can use Click2Mail's mailing list services to put together a list of people based on characteristics such as marital status or number of adults living in the household, so you can design a mailing that resonates with your targets.
Finally, there's one big perk of targeting seniors: Your direct mail is more likely to get read. Older people are often more receptive to direct mail marketing than some other groups.
How have some businesses effectively used direct mail to connect with seniors? Consider these examples:
You'll find success when it comes to mailing to seniors – if you understand who you're targeting and have a strong mailing list. By taking the time to think about what messages will resonate with older adults, and then building a list of prospects who are most likely to be interested in your offer, you'll be on your way to a successful direct mail campaign.