Senior couple sitting on sofa reviewing a websiteon computer

Senior Living Website Design: Does Yours Build Trust?

Your senior living website is your most important marketing asset, one that must build trust with prospects no matter where they are in their journey.

What’s the number one reason most people mistrust a website? Poor site design.

Luckily, your senior living website design is something within your control. A good design does cost money, but it’s a worthy investment.

Here’s the secret sauce to a senior living website that builds trust:

  • Designed with the user in mind: Think simple navigation, highly intuitive feel, and accessible.
  • Worthwhile content: Think engaging stories through words, visuals, and overall design and layout.
  • Technically sound: Think mobile-friendly, fast, and secure.

Below, we take a deeper dive into each bullet point.

Senior living websites that build trust are designed with the user in mind.

Think accessible.

You want to create a senior living website that’s aesthetically pleasing and accessible. Making a website accessible isn’t simply the right thing to do. For some businesses, it’s also required.

Private businesses and nonprofits with 15 or more employees are subject to the website compliance guidelines defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act likely covers most—if not all—senior living communities.

At a minimum, you must consider things like . . .

  • Font size and color contrasts (e.g., can people distinguish what’s a link vs. regular text?)
  • Whether all photos have appropriate alt text
  • Whether the site is easy to navigate with adaptive technologies (like screen readers)

And that’s just the beginning.

Learn how we help our clients make accessible websites with UserWay.

Think custom.

We always urge our clients to avoid stock images. We can’t tell you how often we see the same images of older adults across different community websites.

You’ll have difficulty differentiating your site if you’re using the same canned images. Someone might even think they’re on your site because they recognize an image when, in reality, they’re on a competitor’s site that uses the same photos. Custom photography allows you to differentiate, enhance your brand, and better tell your community’s story.

You’ll also want to avoid website templates for various reasons, but the main one is it’s hard to create a custom experience from a template. (Here’s a longer list of why you should avoid templated websites.)

Think fresh.

Websites can grow stale and stagnant, especially in the senior living space. You’ll want to refresh your senior living website every two to three years (or even redesign it).

Senior living websites that build trust offer worthwhile content.

Content and design go hand-in-hand. You could have the best content in the world, but a poorly designed site will cause people to bounce before they fully experience it. On the flip side, a beautiful site will be nothing more than an empty shell if the content doesn’t pass muster.

So, let’s talk about content. The content on your senior living website should provide facts and connect with your audience’s emotions. The best way to accomplish the latter is through storytelling. Stories can attract, engage, and persuade your audience by showing them through words and visuals how your community can solve their problems and improve their lives.

To create compelling stories, you should follow some best practices. Use real photos and videos, a clear and conversational tone, emotional words and sensory details, and a simple, logical structure.

You can also use storytelling techniques to craft riveting narratives that resonate with your audience. Examples include the hero’s journey, the before-and-after, or the problem-solution.

With storytelling, you can create great content for your senior living website that sets it apart from the competition and helps convert anonymous traffic into tours.

Senior living websites that build trust are technically sound.

Your senior living website design must also consider technical aspects in addition to the overall look and feel. If you have one without the other, you won’t be able to deliver a great user experience.

Stuck on how to evaluate your site from a technical perspective? Begin by asking the following questions:

How speedy is your site?

Site speed is a crucial factor for user experience and SEO. A slow-loading site can frustrate your visitors and make them bounce. It can also affect your Google ranking, especially on mobile devices.

According to Think with Google, the probability of bounce increases by 32% as page load time goes from one second to three seconds. Get in the habit of checking your site speed and performance regularly. Optimize it by using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix.

Here are some other ways to improve site speed:

  • Compressing and resizing your images
  • Minifying and combining your CSS and JavaScript files
  • Enabling caching and GZIP compression
  • Using a content delivery network (CDN)
  • Removing unnecessary plugins or scripts

How does your site render across mobile devices?

You must optimize your senior living website for mobile devices. A mobile-friendly site is important to Google and to prospects, many of whom will be viewing your site on something other than a desktop.

Note: An independent website audit will give you and your team an overview of what’s working and what’s not, especially from a technical standpoint, including how well the site renders across mobile devices.

How’s your site’s security and privacy?

Site security and privacy are essential for building trust and credibility with visitors, residents, and their families. A secure site can protect your data and users’ data from hackers, malware, and phishing.

Some of the ways to improve your site security and privacy are:

Some items are invisible to site visitors or aren’t front and center (for example, privacy policies are usually linked in the footer). Although subtle, all are essential trust signals. Consider the privacy policy. When someone wants to read your privacy policy, your site will build trust when it’s super easy to find it.

We can help you develop a senior living website design that builds trust.

Your website is your community’s online hub. You can’t successfully compete if it’s not in top shape. Let us help. Start with our Total Online Presence Audit. Or get in touch and let’s chat about your website’s specific needs.

Image of SEO for search engine optimization

Senior Living Search Engine Optimization: What to Expect in 2024

Much has happened in the last 12 months thanks to AI and its impact on search. Below, we’re offering a reality check regarding senior living search engine optimization (SEO) for 2024, including what to expect and why you don’t need to panic.

Search Generative Experience (SGE) isn’t likely to disrupt your organic search results any time soon.

Google unveiled its Search Generative Experience (SGE) back in May to much fanfare and speculation that the end of search (as we know it) was near. But to say things have fizzled since then would be an understatement.

Search Engine Journal reports the reduced frequency of SGE components in search results. It also cites possible reasons, including the problem with accuracy. So far, AI isn’t hugely reliable and is famous for its “hallucinations.” Another reason could be the public’s hesitation to trust AI.

Marketers would be remiss, however, to dismiss SGE altogether. SGE is still in its infancy, and Google has invested significantly in its development. (In November, Google announced it would roll out SGE worldwide.) Besides, the spirit of what SGE is trying to accomplish—providing robust conversational results on the search engine results page (SERP)—is something to embrace, not shy away from.

Search Engine Land says the best way to prepare for SGE is to continue using SEO best practices. This means producing compelling, authoritative content people can trust: “Generic answers and traditional search tactics aren’t enough anymore,” Search Engine Land reports. “The focus has moved towards creating content that offers a unique experience and reflects real human perspectives. Your content should also be personality-driven and thought-provoking to set it apart from the generic content most publishers are churning out, thanks to the proliferation of AI tools.”

You should also continue to optimize your site for long-tail keywords with the goal that SGE could link to your blog post or website page about that particular long-tail topic, which would help boost your site’s visibility.

Bottom line: Stay aware, but don’t panic.

Large-language models like ChatGPT shouldn’t disrupt your SEO or replace your content marketing strategy.

In the spring of 2023, people were braced for large-language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT to take over content marketing. Many writers were worried about losing their jobs.

But the death of content writers has been greatly exaggerated.

So, what happened?

Well, people got taken in by how fast ChatGPT was. However, upon closer inspection of ChatGPT’s output, it quickly became apparent that the content was merely adequate (at best).

Remember, the most effective content is authentic, reflects the brand voice, and has personality. So far, AI tools like ChatGPT (yes, even the paid version), Bing, and Bard can’t produce brand-rich content that doesn’t sound wooden and generic. At some point, AI will improve in these areas. But we’re not there yet.

This doesn’t mean you should ignore ChatGPT. Large-language models are suitable for many tasks, such as the following:

  • Brainstorming. Give the AI tool a headline and ask it to brainstorm five alternatives. Choose the one you like best and tweak it. Do the same for email subject lines, CTAs, and other short-form content.
  • Outlining. Need a 1,500-word blog post written on a specific topic? Share the details with the AI tool and ask it to create an outline. For some tools (like Bing), you can ask it to develop some copy points and sources. (But you must remember to triple-check any sources it provides. You’ll likely need to find your own.)
  • Reviewing. Give your blog post (or other content) to the AI tool and ask it to give you feedback. You’ll have your own on-demand editor.

Bottom line: Use AI to support your content marketing strategy, not replace it.

Local SEO will continue to play a pivotal role in 2024. (This shouldn’t be a surprise.)

Local SEO involves optimizing your website and online presence for a specific geographic area, such as a city, state, or region. Local SEO can help you improve your site’s ranking, visibility, and trustworthiness on search engines like Google, especially for users searching for senior living options near them.

Optimizing for local search is something you should already be doing, but if you haven’t focused on it, now is the time to step it up. Here’s how.

  • Create a robust Google Business Profile. Ensure you have the correct info (address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation) and use all the features (like photos).
  • Use location-based keywords on your site. Weave location-based keywords into your content and meta data, like title tags and meta descriptions.
  • Monitor and manage conversations about your brand, especially at the local level. In addition to paying attention to review sites, follow conversations in local online groups. For example, join your area’s local Facebook community group and participate in conversations around senior care, aging in place, and senior living.

Want to dive deeper into this topic? Check out our podcast where we discuss local search marketing.

What works for senior living SEO in 2024 will look a lot like what has always worked.

SEO best practices rarely change dramatically. We might need to tweak our approach whenever Google tweaks its algorithm or introduces initiatives like SGE, but the overall best practices will likely remain the same since the goal is to provide quality content that helps satisfy a person’s search query.

We’re talking about content that . . .

  • Speaks to people on a real, human level
  • Answers questions and solves problems
  • Is honest and authentic
  • Demonstrates expertise and authority
  • Uses keywords in a thoughtful way
  • Always considers humans first, search engines second

If you do the above regularly, you’re “doing” senior living SEO right.

Of course, if you need help overhauling your senior living search engine optimization, give us a shout.

We have a team of SEO specialists who can help your team navigate the ins and outs of search engine optimization for senior living. Get in touch and let’s chat.

Senior woman on couch with headphones creating a TikTok

Senior Living Social Media Marketing: Is It Time for TikTok?

Last month, we talked with Kerri-Anne Pendergast, our Director of Social Media Marketing, to discuss her approach when she works with our clients here at Senior Living SMART.

Today, we invited her back to address a burning question so many senior living communities have: Is it time to get on the TikTok bandwagon?

It’s an understandable question given how the platform exploded onto the scene in the U.S. in 2018 and rose to the be the most downloaded app in 2022, according to Statista. Further, TikTok boasted 755 million users in 2022 worldwide, 6.4% of which are 55 and older.

So, is TikTok worth all the hype? Like so many things in life, it depends. In this case, it depends on the audience you’re trying to reach. TikTok has made everything from beauty brands to authors “TikTok famous.” But what about senior living?

Let’s get Kerri-Anne’s take.

If you had to describe TikTok in a nutshell, what would you say?

TikTok is a fun social media platform that’s all about short-form videos. The audience is huge, but there are many niches, like BookTok, GamerTok, BusinessTok, etc.

What are some reasons why communities should consider TikTok?

It’s engaging, fun, and easy to go viral, thanks to TikTok’s algorithm (you don’t necessarily need to have a ton of followers or be a big brand to have a video take off).

Even better? This article from Insider discusses how participating in social media trends on TikTok might be good for seniors’ mental health. The same article points out that the reaction to TikToks featuring seniors has been overwhelmingly positive, too.

Over the last year or so, we’ve seen more senior living communities dipping their toes into TikTok. Here are some examples of popular TikToks featuring senior living residents.



Our halftime show > Rihanna’s halftime show 💃🪩🏈🤍🎶🎤 #seniorlivingcommunity #halftimeshow #SuperBowl #rihanna #fyp

♬ original sound – Brian Esperon


Pew Pew 😂😂❤️ #seniors #seniorliving #seniorcommunity #foryou #fypシ #nerf #rivergrove #nursinghome #residentsoftiktok #rehabfacility #activitiesdepartment #activitydirector #lovemyjob

♬ Mission Impossible Theme (Movie Trailer Mix) – Dominik Hauser


Our visit with @ourseniormoments was so much fun. What is your favorite age so far? | #age #aging #seniorliving #grandmasoftiktok #interview

♬ See You Again (Piano Arrangement) – Alexandre Pachabezian

Why should communities hold off on TikTok, at least for now?

The two main reasons to hold off on TikTok:

  • Your residents don’t want to participate. (Remember, you should always get explicit consent from the people appearing in your videos.)
  • You don’t have someone in the community to create the videos. (There’s not much your marketing company can do to help with this. You need boots on the ground.)

In your opinion, what needs to happen for a community to develop a successful TikTok presence?

The recipe for success isn’t much different than it is for other social media platforms, with one exception—as we mentioned, TikTok is all about video, particularly short-form video. Only recently has TikTok allowed videos up to 10 minutes in length. Before, it was all about quick, entertaining vids in under 60 seconds (and these short videos are still hugely popular).

But getting back to best practices. If you want to create a successful TikTok presence for your senior living community, you must:

  • Get consent and buy-in from residents appearing in your videos.
  • Post regularly.
  • Let the audience get to know your residents.
  • Engage with the audience, answer their questions, and respond to their comments.
  • Use trending music.
  • Keep up with other popular trends.
  • Have fun with it. (Because this WILL show in the final product.)

Do you think TikTok will become a must-have platform for senior living communities in the next five years?

In the near future, TikTok will continue to skew young. But that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain a presence for your senior living community, provided you have the interest and bandwidth.

TikTok will continue to be a great place for showing off your community’s lifestyle. But it won’t be the platform that helps you promote content or converts people into tours and move-ins. At least, not yet.

Facebook will likely remain the key social media platform for most senior living communities. Facebook is currently the number one social media platform in the U.S. and by a comfortable margin (74.2% of adults use it; the next platform after that is Instagram at 60.5%)

Of course, things will likely evolve over the next five to ten years, especially as younger Baby Boomers and Gen X near retirement age. So, like everything else, stay tuned.

If a senior living community had to focus on one or two social media platforms (TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook), which ones do you recommend?

Focus on Facebook. It’s very well-rounded and fits the demographics better.

And here’s what you need to remember: TikTok isn’t the only place to consume short-form content. When TikTok took off, the other platforms took note. So today, Facebook and Instagram have Reels, and YouTube recently launched YouTube Shorts (videos that are sixty seconds or less).

In other words, people now have more options for consuming short-form content—they don’t need to go to TikTok. If you’ve already built a strong presence on Facebook and YouTube, try adding short videos to those platforms before starting a TikTok account.

Pro tip: If you create one short video, you can republish it in multiple places for expanded reach.

Is there anything else you want to ensure we convey about TikTok for senior living?

If you use it, post fun videos regularly and let the audience get to know your residents. Engage with the audience. If they have questions, do a TikTok that answers those questions. Respond to comments. And most importantly, have fun with it.

Go in with reasonable expectations. Remember, you won’t use it to promote content or schedule tours. Instead, you’ll use it to capture your community’s unique vibe. Keep it fun, light, and engaging.

Need fresh eyes on your social media marketing strategy?

We can help! Get in touch, and let’s discuss social media.


Elder man speaking into cell phone

6 Fresh Senior Living Marketing Ideas to Try in 2024

When it comes to digital marketing, it’s easy to fall into a rhythm when things are working well. The key is making sure this routine doesn’t turn into complacency. Below, we share six fresh senior living marketing ideas to help you avoid this fate.

6 fresh senior living marketing ideas to try in 2024

1. Focus on voice search optimization

Voice search is exactly as it sounds. You use your voice to interact with a device (like Siri or Alexa) rather than typing your search query.

According to Semrush, in 2022, 50% of U.S. consumers reported that they use voice seach every day. Statista states, “(f)orecasts suggest that by 2024, the number of digital voice assistants will reach 8.4 billion units – a number higher than the world’s population.”

Semrush also reports that 62% of Americans use voice assistant and 36% are smart speaker owners—and that half of US consumers use voice search daily. Semrush notes: “If you don’t optimize your content for voice search devices, you could miss out on a chunk of the market.”

So, what steps should you take to optimize your digital assets (like your website) for voice search?

2. Use augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create more engagement and increase time spent on your site

AR and VR can create more engaging and memorable experiences. Exploding Topics cites research that shows 55% of consumers think AR shopping is more fun. The more immersive, engaging, and “fun” you can make your site, the more time they’ll spend on it—and the easier it will be for people to remember your brand.

You can use AR and VR to create immersive experiences for prospective residents and their families. For example, you could add a plug-in to your site that allows people to see and experience how their furniture would look in their new apartment in your community. You could use VR to create a truly immersive virtual tour experience. (That would be a big step up from the shaky video the sales rep took on their phone, right?)

3. Experiment with native advertising

Native advertising is a type of paid advertising that blends in with the surrounding content. For example, a native ad on Facebook might look like a regular post on that platform. When done right, native advertising can be extremely effective because it feels less intrusive and “ad-like.” Use native ads to promote high-quality content or special events at your community.

Need some inspiration? HubSpot has a great article with 10 native advertising examples people actually enjoyed.

4. Keep up with Google’s generative AI capabilities in Search

In May 2023, Google unveiled its Search Generative Experience (SGE), which will likely change how every marketer and business approaches SEO. While SGE hasn’t been rolled out wide just yet, it’s coming—and fast.

Don’t panic. SEO has evolved dramatically over the last couple of decades, and SGE is another evolution everyone needs to adjust to. The best way to prepare (right now) is to familiarize yourself with how SGE works. Go to Google Search Labs, request access, and turn SGE on. See how it changes and influences the way YOU search.

5. Create more videos

OK, this marketing idea isn’t as revolutionary as other items on this list. But video marketing is the #1 strategy we wish ALL of our clients did more of.

Video is HUGE. According to ahrefs, YouTube is the most visited site in the world, and for good reason: people love watching videos—to learn, to discover, to be entertained. According to Wyzowl, 88% of consumers say they were convinced to buy a product or service after watching a brand’s video, and 73% say they’d rather watch a short video when learning about a product or service.

Video is also a wise investment with excellent ROI because you can repurpose and reuse one video across multiple channels for broader reach. You can use your video on YouTube, Facebook, the community’s website, digital ad campaigns, and email marketing. And videos on YouTube also perform well in organic Google searches.

6. Wild card idea: boost brand awareness and level up your mobile marketing efforts with geofencing

Geofencing is a location-based marketing strategy that allows you to target people’s phones within a specific geographic radius. For example, you could:

  • Create a geofence around a local retirement planning center and target people with ads for your independent living community.
  • Create a geofence around the offices of local referral sources (social workers, case managers, etc.) and serve up brand awareness-type ads.
  • Create a geofence around a local park and target people with ads for your community’s upcoming outdoor concert. Additionally, you could create a geofence around a local library and target people with ads for your community’s upcoming book club meeting.

Geofencing isn’t necessarily the right fit for all senior living communities. Still, geofencing might be something to consider for forward-thinking communities looking to try out-of-the-box ideas.

Curious to know more?

Need guidance implementing any of these senior living marketing ideas?

We’ve helped communities of all sizes improve their digital marketing efforts and increase occupancy. Let’s chat about the marketing challenges facing your community—and how to overcome them.


Senior man on couch checking his phone for email

Email Marketing Strategies for Senior Living in 2024

The death of email has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, the opposite is true: email has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years thanks to the tremendous growth of smartphone and tablet ownership, as noted by this 2021 Pew Research fact sheet. Armed with a mobile device, everyone from kids to seniors can easily access their email accounts.

For marketers, email is an excellent way to reach prospects and customers. And get this: according to Constant Contact, email marketing offers the highest and most measurable return on investment (ROI) than other types of marketing.

So, as you prep for next year, don’t forget about the power of email. Below, we’re sharing seven email marketing strategies for senior living that will level up your efforts in 2024—and beyond.

Email marketing strategy #1: revisit how you personalize and segment your email campaigns

Personalized and segmented email campaigns can increase opens, click-throughs, and conversion rates.

  • Emails with personalized subject lines see an increased open rate of 26% [Source: Campaign Monitor]
  • Segmented email campaigns produce a dramatically higher click-through rate than non-segmented emails—over 100% higher, according to some studies. [Source: Kinsta]
  • Segmented campaigns have produced a 760% increase in revenue. [Source: Campaign Monitor]

Email marketing tips for 2024:

  • Segment your email list based on demographics, interests, and behavior.
  • Use personalization tokens to include the recipient’s name, location, or other relevant information in your emails.
  • Create targeted content that is relevant to each segment of your audience.

Email marketing strategy #2: include interactive content to increase engagement

Adding interactive elements to your email content, like things that invite people to swipe, click, or watch, can increase engagement and lead to more opens and click-throughs. Campaign Monitor notes interactive content in email increases the open rate by 73%.

Email marketing tips for 2024:

  • Include polls, quizzes, surveys, or other interactive elements.
  • Use video content to capture your audience’s attention. (More on this below.)
  • Create animated GIFs or other engaging visuals.

Email marketing strategy #3: send more video-based emails

Video is an interactive element worthy of its own section. Campaign Monitor shares several compelling stats about the benefits of using videos in your emails:

  • Including a video (or a link to a video) in your email can improve click through rates (CTR) by 65% (for context, the average CTR is about 2.69%).
  • Including a video in your initial email campaign can boost click rates by 96%.
  • Including a video in a welcome email can boost open rates by 96%.

You might think YouTube is the best place to house your videos, but Campaign Monitor says it’s Vimeo (average of 8.13 CTR), with YouTube coming in second (at 6.62% CTR).

We’re always encouraging our clients to do more video content. (Our social media director, Kerri-Anne Pendergast, discussed this very point in a recent article.) The beauty of shooting just one video is that you can share it across multiple channels—YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, website, paid ads, and email.

Email marketing tips for 2024:

  • Create short and engaging video content that is relevant to your audience. Think “day in the life of a resident” or a “meet our chef” video.
  • Embed videos directly in your emails.
  • Use nicely designed video thumbnails to capture attention.
  • Email marketing strategy #4: improve (or develop) a mobile-optimized email design

As we mentioned earlier, more and more people are reading their emails on their mobile devices than ever. Backlinko reports that almost 42% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. (Super Office, however, reports that over 80% of all emails are opened and read on mobile devices.)

Bottom line: Ignore mobile optimization at your own peril.

Email marketing tips for 2024:

  • Make sure all email templates are responsive and mobile-friendly.
  • Use large fonts and buttons that are easy to tap on a small screen.
  • Keep your email designs simple and uncluttered.

PRO TIP: Start optimizing your emails for dark mode. Dark mode is a feature that allows users to switch the background color of their devices from light to dark, which can reduce eye strain, save battery life, and improve readability. While still somewhat new, dark mode has been expanding among users. According to Mailmodo, 34% of people used dark mode for opening their emails in August 2022. Stay ahead of the curve by optimizing emails for dark mode now: use transparent images, high-contrast colors, and dark mode-specific CSS.

You should also optimize your emails for accessibility by using clear fonts, alt text, captions, headings, lists, and buttons that make your emails easy to read and navigate for people with disabilities or impairments, like poor eyesight (a common condition found in older demographics).

Email marketing strategy #5: conduct more A/B testing

HubSpot reports that testing your emails can lead to a higher ROI. Mailmodo echoes this point by citing a study showing how businesses that A/B test every email enjoy a 37% higher ROI than those organizations that never A/B test.

Email marketing tips for 2024:

  • Test different subject lines, send times, and email designs.
  • Track your results to see what works best for your different buyer personas.
  • Make changes to your email campaigns based on your test results.

Email marketing strategy #6: increase automation with behavioral triggers and dynamic content

Automation can help you save time and resources and improve your email performance and customer experience. Benchmark Email cites research that shows automated emails enjoy 119% higher click rates than blast emails precisely because automation sends the right message to the right person at the right time. Benchmark Email cites another study from Jupiter Research where automated emails generate 18x more revenue than blast emails.

When it comes to automation, get granular. For example, use behavioral triggers to send emails based on the recipient’s action or inaction, such as opening an email, clicking a link, visiting a page, or requesting a tour.

You can also use dynamic content to customize your emails based on subscribers’ attributes or preferences, such as their location, interests, or stage in the buyer’s journey. Marketing automation software like ActiveDEMAND / Enquire MAP or HubSpot can help you create automated workflows.

Email marketing tips for 2024:

  • Use marketing automation software to automate tasks, such as sending welcome emails, lead nurturing emails, and reminder emails (for an upcoming tour or event, for example).
  • Create email workflows triggered by specific events, such as a website visit or a booked tour.
  • Use segmentation to send targeted emails to different groups of subscribers.

Email marketing strategy #7: improve deliverability and brand authority with BIMI and DMARC

Leverage industry standards BIMI and DMARC for email authentication and brand authority. BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) is a standard that allows you to display your brand logo next to the sender’s name in the inbox. BIMI can help you increase your email visibility, recognition, and trust by making your emails stand out and verifying your identity as a legitimate sender.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) is a protocol that helps you prevent email spoofing, phishing, and spam by validating your email domain and ensuring

that only authorized senders can use it.

DMARC can help you protect your email reputation, deliverability, and security by preventing your emails from being blocked, filtered, or marked as spam.

Email marketing tips for 2024:

  • Implement BIMI and DMARC correctly. This is essential for ensuring that your emails are properly authenticated and that your brand logo is displayed correctly in the inbox. Several resources are available to help you implement BIMI and DMARC, such as the BIMI Group and the DMARC Wikipedia page.
  • Promote your BIMI logo. Once you have implemented BIMI, promote your logo to your subscribers. Include it in your email signature and social media profiles. The more people are familiar with your logo, the more likely they will recognize it in their inbox.
  • Monitor your email performance. Once you’ve implemented BIMI and DMARC, monitor your email performance to see how it’s affecting your open rates, click-through rates, and deliverability.

Need help with email marketing for senior living?

We’ve helped communities of all sizes improve their email marketing. Let’s chat about the email marketing challenges facing your community.

Image of computer with icons for creating a senior living marketing strategy

How to Create an Effective Senior Living Marketing Strategy

Are you wondering how to create an effective senior living marketing strategy that’s easy to justify to the C-suite and will boost occupancy too? Step right up! We got you.

First, picture your marketing as a hub with your ideal prospect in the center. Then, around the hub, picture six spokes:

  • Website
  • Content
  • Email
  • Search
  • Social Media
  • Paid Ads

Below, we’ll discuss each component, starting with your ideal prospect. (Are you more of a visual learner? Check out this video explanation.)


Build Grow Ignite graphic chart

Understand your ideal prospect (a.k.a. develop strong buyer personas)

Personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers—in this case, your ideal residents and the adult children and loved ones involved in making decisions. Armed with a clear picture of your buyers, you can better personalize your messaging and marketing.

For example, instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database, you can segment by prospect persona and tailor the messaging accordingly.

Keep in mind that personas are internal documents. Marketing and sales teams use them to guide the development of various messaging and marketing campaigns.

How do you create effective personas?

You create buyer personas through research, surveys, and interviews with happy residents and, ideally, lost prospects. Here are some practical methods for gathering the information you need:

  • Interview happy residents. What made them move into senior living? Why your community? What problem did your community solve for them? Note: The “problem” isn’t necessarily going to be negative. It could be positive, like “I was ready to downsize and enjoy maintenance-free living and an active lifestyle.”
  • Gather demographics for each level of care. What’s the average age, the breakdown between women and men, marital status, etc.?
  • Review resident surveys. What services and amenities do your residents find most valuable?
  • Talk to lost prospects. Why did they choose a different community?
  • Gather intel from your website forms. What are the person’s hobbies? Take advantage of progressive fields in forms, which allow you to ask different questions as people download more content from your site.
  • Talk to your sales team. What generalizations can they make about the different types of residents and prospective residents you serve best? What are the most frequent questions they answer?

What should you do with the persona research?

Create a one-page narrative about each persona. Give the persona a real name. Use images to bring the persona to life even more. (In this case, stock images are acceptable.)

For example, you might craft narratives about “Widowed Wally” and “Single Sally” that explain who they are, their needs/pain points, and what they hope to find in a senior living community. The needs of widowed men between 70 and 85 (“Widowed Wally”) will be different from single women in their 60s (“Single Sally”).

Remember, even though these are fictional representations, your personas are based on genuine facts uncovered in your research. In other words, your personas will differ from another community’s, and your personas will help you identify what makes your community different. The latter is called your unique value proposition.

The other six components of your marketing strategy “hub”

1. A website that builds trust

Your senior living website is your most important marketing asset, one that must build trust with prospects no matter where they are in their journey.

So, what’s the number one reason most people mistrust a website? Poor site design. 

Luckily, your website’s design is something within your control. A good design does cost money, but it’s a worthy investment. (Remember that you’ll need to refresh—or possibly do a full-scale redesign—every three years or so.)

The secret sauce to a website that builds trust:

  • Aesthetically pleasing: A modern and clean design with custom photography and video (no stock images)
  • Technically sound: Mobile-friendly, fast, and accessible to all
  • Designed with the user in mind: Think simple navigation and a highly intuitive feel
  • Worthwhile content: Everything is written with the prospect in mind while still being optimized for improved search ranking
  • Thoughtful conversion strategy: Smartly designed calls-to-action (CTAs), landing pages, chat, surveys, and pop-ups help convert anonymous site visitors into leads

Successful senior living websites should have roughly 75 percent new visitors (and 25 percent returning visitors).

2. Content that your buyer personas crave

Compelling content will attract your ideal prospect and entice them back repeatedly. This is important considering how long the senior living sales cycle is—and how many “touchpoints” prospects require before they decide on a community.

Some estimates indicate it now takes over 100 days for memory care prospects and a whopping 400 days for people considering life plan communities (with assisted living and independent living falling in the middle).

The best content for senior living websites:

  • Educational: blogs, guides, e-books, FAQs
  • Emotional/Empathetic: storytelling, testimonials, reviews
  • Visual: custom photography, videos, virtual tours, image galleries, infographics

3. Engaging emails sent to the right prospect at the right time

Email marketing is an essential component of effective marketing strategies. Why? Well, most first-time visitors to your site are not sales-qualified—at least, not yet. Instead, most folks fall into the marketing-qualified bucket: They’re interested in your brand, but they’re in the top or middle of the sales funnel.

Your job is to keep your community on their radar. You can easily accomplish this through automated email nurturing.

This component ties in directly with the first one. When prospects trust your site, they’ll willingly give their name and email address in exchange for the information they seek. Armed with their email address, you can continue engaging with them by sending relevant follow-up emails.

Types of automated email content:

  • Educational content delivery: links to relevant blog posts, surveys, and other helpful downloads
  • Visual content delivery: links to videos, photo collages
  • Electronic newsletters: the latest with the community
  • Event invitations: informational events, social events, tours

By the way, email marketing offers the highest and most measurable return on investment (ROI) than other types of marketing.

4. Local search-optimized website and other online channels

When people search for a business with a physical presence—a coffee shop, a restaurant, or a senior living community—they’ve grown accustomed to adding the phrase “near me” to their search query or adding the town/city name.

Google, of course, understands the person’s intent and serves up LOCAL businesses in the search engine results.

Bottom line: Your marketing team must optimize your website and other online assets, like your Google Business Profile, for local search.

How to optimize for local search:

  • Google Business Profile: This is your most crucial marketing asset after your website.
  • Reviews & Reputation: Don’t strive for perfection (people won’t trust it anyway). The sweet spot is between 4.2 and 4.6 stars. You also need plenty of current reviews (within the last three months).
  • Directory & Citation Management: You must keep everything updated across all listings.
  • Local SEO on your site: Optimize your site for local search phrases by creating local guides and pillar pages.

5. Authentic content shared via social media

Social media allows you to show the human side of your brand, which is incredibly important for senior living communities.

Effective social media will . . .

  • Help prospects see themselves in your community
  • Reassure family members that their loved one is in a happy and safe environment
  • Highlight your community’s vibe
  • Share real stories of actual residents for added authenticity
  • Help dismantle common stereotypes about senior living

6. A strategy to capture prospects before your competitors do

Most consumers use search engines like Google to conduct their initial research into services and products (like senior living). And some of those searchers are farther down the sales funnel than others, ready to buy sooner rather than later.

Running advertisements (pay-per-click or PPC) on search engine result pages (SERPs) can effectively capture prospects ready to buy. According to a 2019 survey by Clutch, 33% of people click on a paid search ad because it directly answers their search query, and 75% say they click on a paid ad because it makes finding the info they’re looking for easier.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Paid ads don’t come into play until you’ve solidified the other five items outlined above. For example, there’s no sense in driving prospects to your website from PPC ads if your site is poorly designed and doesn’t immediately build trust.

Remember, all good marketing begins with a sound strategy

Too often, people think good marketing is about the tools you use (like your automation software) or the campaigns you develop. But good marketing isn’t about tools and campaigns. It’s about the strategy for getting the most out of the tools and campaigns.

Need guidance in fine-tuning your community’s marketing strategy?

We’ve helped communities of all sizes improve their digital marketing efforts and increase occupancy. Let’s chat about the marketing challenges facing your community.

How to Manage Senior Living Occupancy Challenges in Q4

How to Manage Senior Living Occupancy Challenges in Q4

Historically, the fourth quarter has been the most challenging time of year for growing senior living occupancy. Not only are move-ins down, but overall leads are often down as well.

Understandably, many families want to cherish one more holiday season with Mom or Dad (or other older loved ones) in the comfort of their own homes before considering a move. Unless the senior is in some sort of crisis mode—for example, maybe the person fell, and the doctor has indicated it’s unsafe for them to return home—you’ll have difficulty convincing folks to move this time of year.

All that said, there are strategic approaches that your marketing and sales teams can implement now to squeeze out some sales and make sure everyone is ready to hit the ground running on January 1.

5 tips to increase your Q4 occupancy

Tap into “solo agers”

A growing demographic in the senior living landscape is the “solo ager.” Solo agers are single older adults who may not be in crisis mode (yet) but find themselves alone because they don’t have children and are not married (either by choice or because they’re divorced or widowed). According to AARP, 12 percent of the population age 50 and older are solo agers.

Even though solo agers don’t have a medical need for senior living, many have a social need and could benefit from the right independent living community. And the holidays are an excellent time to show them what’s possible if they move into a community like yours.

Continue leveraging your existing leads database

Your senior living CRM is often an untapped gold mine. Now is an excellent time to re-engage with once-hot leads that have since cooled down (for whatever reason). Focus on those who completed tours but haven’t yet committed to a community. These individuals could benefit from a gentle nudge. And, at the very least, you’ll remain prominent on their internal radars.

Invite pre-tour leads to holiday events

The holiday season provides an excellent backdrop for showcasing the warmth and camaraderie within your community. Organize fun events and extend invitations to pre-tour marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

Focus on the MQLs in the middle of the sales funnel (and the ones your sales team expected to book tours but haven’t yet—likely because of the holiday chaos).

Most senior living communities shine during this time of year with gorgeous decorations and a festive atmosphere, making it a great time to extend invitations to these MQLs and their families. While most won’t commit to moving right now, this positive engagement can progress them along the marketing and sales funnel, positioning them as prime prospects for Q1.

  • What to do: Make sure you have plenty of sales reps available during these events to conduct casual, last-minute tours for anyone interested. Send your guests home with something special, like homemade holiday cookies that your pastry chef made and a calendar of upcoming events (including ones that extend into January). Then, follow up with these prospects during the first week of January.

Continue networking with professional referral sources (especially those in urgent care settings)

Forge partnerships with professional referral sources dealing with urgent cases. Hospitals, rehab facilities, and home care agencies often encounter individuals with immediate senior living needs, especially during the holidays and winter months. By establishing solid relationships with these sources, you can position your community as a reliable solution for those facing pressing decisions.

  • What to do: Your urgent-care referral sources often work thankless jobs. Make it your job to thank them. Drop off cookies and cocoa to show your gratitude for the long hours they put in protecting vulnerable older adults. These professionals will appreciate your kindness—and they will remember your name (and your community’s) when they need to make a referral.

Use an incentive like a “rate lock” promotion

Remember, it’s not always about the physical move-in when it comes to senior living occupancy. It’s about a financial move-in, meaning you have a signed lease agreement and you’ve collected some revenue on the unit. The person doesn’t need to be physically in the community to count as occupancy.

Also, keep in mind that many communities are making up for lost revenue from COVID. Yearly rental increases that used to be 2% to 4% are now 5% to 8%.

Capitalize on this by using a rate-lock incentive with prospects who want to move into your community—but who want to push it off until after the holidays.

This initiative allows prospective residents to secure current rates by signing a lease agreement now, even if their physical move-in occurs in Q1. Individuals can shield themselves from potential rate hikes, making acting faster—even during the holiday chaos—much more financially appealing.

  • What to do: Make it feel less like a promotion and more like an exclusive offer you’re extending to them: “Mary, I know you love our community, but you also want one more holiday season in your home. Here’s the thing: I just found out our rents are going up in January by X%. However, if you sign the lease agreement now, I can get you in at this year’s rate—even if you don’t move in until next year. You could save upwards of [THIS MUCH]. Would you like to review the lease agreement?”

Bottom line: When it comes to growing senior living occupancy, don’t let up on the gas just because it’s Q4.

While Q4 often presents challenges for growing senior living occupancy, there are strategies you can take now to possibly encourage move-ins—or, at the very least, to make sure the pipeline is primed for Q1.

Need help implementing any of the above? Get in touch. We’re a senior living marketing agency that knows how to turbocharge a community’s lead gen engine.

Senior Living Social Media Marketing - Our Approach

Senior Living Social Media Marketing – Our Approach

We asked Kerri-Anne Pendergast, our Director of Social Media Marketing, to pull back the curtain and discuss how she approaches senior living social media marketing for our clients.

Below, we talk about the following:

    • The platforms all communities must maintain a presence on
    • Content types that always work
    • Types of content Kerri-Anne wishes more clients tried
    • The difference between organic social and paid social
    • How to measure social media marketing ROI

Tell readers a little bit about your background.

I started with Senior Living SMART in July 2020 as an intern during the thick of the pandemic. I came on as a general intern and found my niche within social media. Once I graduated college, SLS hired me as an associate. Then, at the beginning of 2021, my direct supervisor left the company. So, I took over his role. And now, three years later, I’m the Director of Social Media Marketing.

Discuss how you work with new clients.

We start by auditing their Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Business Profile, provided they have those assets. From there, we identify strengths, weaknesses, goals, and benchmarks. I like collaborating with our content team about the premium content pieces they have planned. I make sure our social efforts align with what they’re developing.

We also make sure we understand all the different levels of care our clients offer. The content team does an excellent job developing personas for our clients. Personas are essential for understanding which messages and social media platforms will resonate best with prospects. For example, the message for a single man seeking an active adult community will look different than our message to an adult daughter looking for memory care for her mother.

How does your approach change when working with a community with multiple locations? For example, do you develop a Facebook page for each location, or is it just one overarching brand Facebook page?

For Facebook, we encourage clients to have a general corporate page and a page for each community. So, if a client has eight communities, we should see nine Facebook pages in total: one for corporate and a page per community. The reasoning behind that is to share the lifestyle and culture of each community.

LinkedIn is a different story since it’s more about connecting potential employees with jobs and sharing industry-related news. One corporate page is usually enough.

With YouTube, the client could have one main YouTube account and use playlists for each community. Or the client can create separate YouTube channels for each community. It depends on the client’s internal marketing teams and their available bandwidth for managing these platforms. We can help, but having that inside person is critical to creating authentic content.

And each community must claim its Google Business Profile since this profile serves as a mini website.

What social media platforms are the most effective for senior living communities? Is there one “must-have” platform that you typically recommend to all clients? Or does it depend?

Right now, senior living communities should be on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn (for a corporate account). Each community should have its own Google Business Profile as well.

We consider Instagram second tier. This is because there’s not much we can do for the client from our end on Instagram. The client must keep their Instagram account engaging and active since it should be all about an inside look at the community, with resident images and videos that tell a story about the lifestyle. It requires more upkeep. The demographic is definitely there, so if the client’s internal team has the bandwidth to take it on, they should. (Need help? Download our free guide to success on Instagram.)

What type of content always works well on senior living social media channels?

Photos and videos always work well, especially short-form videos. Video is the most engaging type of content, even if it’s just taking a blog and turning it into a 30-second video that the audience can consume in a different form.

For Facebook and YouTube, we recommend showing life inside the community. For LinkedIn, we recommend creating posts that demonstrate industry expertise and thought leadership. Check out our free guide on how to effectively use LinkedIn for your senior living community.

What type of content do you wish more clients would do?

Video, especially short-form videos under a minute, are exploding. For example, watching a video recapping an event will be much more engaging than a stock image from the event promotion or a line or two of text about the event. But it’s a challenge getting clients to shoot these quick-hitting videos simply because their teams are already spread thin.

Let’s talk about organic social media vs. paid social media. What’s the difference, and what must communities keep in mind?

Anything that’s organic means that it doesn’t have money behind it. Anything called advertising or “paid” has money behind it. Organic social means people are interacting with your content naturally through search, shared posts, and/or because they’re following your account. With paid social, you’re actively running ads promoting your community or content.

We don’t typically recommend long-term paid social campaigns. Our clients see much better ROI running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on Google.

All that said, if a client does want to advertise on Facebook (or wherever), we’ll support those efforts. “Boosting” posts can be an effective short-term strategy, especially if you’re promoting an event. Boosting means putting money behind an existing post to gain a more extensive reach. You can boost videos, images, texts, really anything. But videos and images are the sweet spot for paid social.

When it comes to deciding if you should try paid social, it all comes down to your goals. If the goal is to spread your message to a bigger audience and build awareness about your brand, then Facebook ads can work. But the traffic you create will likely be top-of-the-funnel; the leads won’t be converting into tours or move-ins any time soon.

Bottom line: Consider your main goal. You might not convert a lead to a move-in with a Facebook advertisement, but you might get them to download a brochure, which will nudge them farther down the sales funnel.

Note: LinkedIn ads are expensive, so we don’t recommend advertising on LinkedIn, but you could use it for recruitment. And we don’t usually recommend advertising on Instagram since Facebook is more of that sweet spot—plus, Meta owns both Facebook and Instagram. We won’t refuse a client’s request if they want to experiment with ads on Instagram. We’ll guide them with best practices.

Again, it’s all about working through the process, understanding objectives, and creating a strategy that maximizes the budget.

Who on the client side should be involved with contributing social media content? Is it just marketing and sales teams—or should others be tasked with developing content?

Anyone who has the time and interest to get involved should be involved: the activities director, receptionist, really anyone can help contribute content. Most of the time, it’s the activity coordinators, but anyone who is in the community and can snap some photos or video, we want to encourage that.

How do you quantify social media “success” and ROI? What does “successful” social media even look like for organic social? For paid?

We quantify success based on benchmarking. We like to look at where the client is when we first onboard them. Then, quarter to quarter, we report our findings on clicks, impressions, engagements, and the number of posts.

If our optimizations are working—and the client is following our recommendations—we should see a steady increase quarter-to-quarter. For paid social, we look at impressions, clicks, click-through rate, and conversion rate, but goals should be set beforehand so that you have something to measure against.

If there’s ONE thing you wish all communities understood about social media, what would it be?

Social media is so saturated nowadays, which is why quality matters more than quantity. If you’re posting just to post something and it doesn’t make sense to your goals or what your audience is expecting, don’t post it. It’s as simple as that.

Is there anything else you want to make sure we communicate about senior living social media marketing?

You get what you give! If you promote engaging content, you’ll get good engagement. It’s pretty simple.

Have a goal.

Post quality content over quantity.

Also, make sure you respond to comments, messages, and reviews. It’s not just about posting. It’s about being SOCIAL and engaging with people.

Need fresh eyes on your social media marketing strategy?

We can help! Download our free guide to social media best practices for senior living. Or if you want more hands-on help, get in touch, and let’s discuss social media.

Senior Living Leads-5 of the Biggest Lead Scoring Mistakes

Senior Living Leads: 5 of the Biggest Lead Scoring Mistakes to Avoid

Some visitors to your senior living community website will be in the early stages of their buying journey. Others will be much farther down the sales funnel, giving indications of being “sales qualified,” even though they haven’t reached out to schedule a tour yet.

So, how can you tell the difference? How can you know who’s a marketing-qualified lead vs. a sales-qualified lead? That’s precisely where lead scoring comes into play.

We asked Paul Trusik, our Director of Operational Technology, to share his insights about lead scoring, including how to avoid five of the biggest mistakes he consistently sees communities making.

What is lead scoring, and why should senior living communities implement it?

The goal of lead scoring is simple: to help marketing and sales teams prioritize their website leads by creating a straightforward way to identify which leads are “high intent” and ready for a sales follow-up and which ones need more nurturing.

Even if a site visitor hasn’t directly requested a tour or a sales interaction, their actions might suggest they are sales-ready. For example, maybe the lead is opening every email you send them. Maybe they’re consuming multiple blog posts at once. Maybe they’re interacting with social media posts or clicking on paid ad campaigns. Maybe they indicated on a form that they want to move into senior living within 90 days.

Unlike the websites of two decades ago, we now have tools that provide this level of intelligence on the people who visit your site. With platforms like HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND, we can see exactly where a site visitor is in their journey. We can follow a person as they navigate through your site. We know which calls-to-action they click on. We can see which blog posts they’re reading. We can ask them specific questions on the forms they fill out.

Armed with this intel, we can apply points to different actions and answers. Over time, the numbers accumulate into a score. Once the score passes a specific threshold indicating sales readiness, we can send that lead to the sales team for follow-up.

And by “we,” we mean the marketing automation that is seamlessly doing the work in the background.

If you want to dive deeper, HubSpot has this tutorial on lead scoring. Plus, check out this explainer video, which also provides an excellent visual explanation of how lead scoring works—and how it keeps improving thanks to AI and machine learning.



How does Senior Living SMART develop lead-scoring parameters for its clients?

Our tech team has developed baseline lead-scoring parameters to use as a starting point. From there, we review the parameters with the client so they can provide feedback. We then customize the lead scoring parameters based on this feedback.

For example, the client might say, “You know what? It’s great that people are opening our newsletters, but let’s not put that high on the priority list. Let’s score that a little bit lower, because, from our experience, these people are still at the top of the sales funnel. They won’t decide any time soon, but it’s good that they’re engaged. Over time, we can nurture them.”

Or, they might point out to us a piece of content that tends to result in people booking tours—so we’d score that higher.

What are some of the biggest mistakes that communities make with their senior living lead scoring?

We regularly encounter the following mistakes:

Mistake #1: Not having enough good content and lead magnets.

You need great content on your website for people to interact with—and a variety of content that satisfies people at every stage of their journey. You must put out fresh content regularly as well. The more content you offer, the more reasons people have to return to your website.

You also need good third-party lead magnets, like live chat, surveys, call tracking, or other interactive elements that help engage people and create a “sticky” site. We can grade those pieces as part of the lead-scoring attributes we compile.

So, the more content and lead magnets you have, the more powerful your lead scoring will be.

Mistake #2: Not having enough referral sources contributing traffic to your site.

People land on websites via multiple ways, such as organic search and referral traffic from third parties, like social media sites or directory listings. All of those pieces are trackable. For example, if someone clicks on a pay-per-click (PPC) ad, we can include the action in lead scoring.

Here’s where the magic comes into play.

Let’s say you’re running a PPC campaign. People click the ad, but when they visit your site, they’re not converting into tour requests as you had hoped. This is often the biggest gripe from marketing and sales teams about PPC campaigns: “We’re running PPC, but we’re not getting any leads! What gives?”

Here’s the thing: Some people who click on the PPC ad might still be at the top of the funnel. But others might indeed be “high intent,” even though they haven’t requested a tour yet. Through lead scoring, we can identify the high-intent leads and serve them to the sales team for follow-up.

Bottom line: If your site doesn’t receive enough organic traffic, running paid campaigns can be a great way to get people to your site so that we can learn about them, score them, and send the high-intent leads to sales while we continue nurturing the ones that aren’t quite ready yet.

We can even score people who come in from more traditional marketing campaigns like direct mailers or print ads, thanks to QR codes which is a trackable element.

Mistake #3: Setting it and forgetting it.

We all love it when something is “set it and forget it.” But lead scoring isn’t one of those things. You must regularly revisit your lead scoring and refine it as needed.

This isn’t just a problem plaguing senior living marketing and sales teams, either. Some agencies can fall victim to the “set it and forget it” mentality. (We know because we’ve inherited some big messes over the years!)

Pro tip: Revisit your lead scoring quarterly, because here’s the thing: Campaigns change. Or new paid ads come into play. Or fresh content is published on the site. It makes sense to revisit your lead scoring and say, “Okay, we set this up three months ago. What’s changed? Maybe there are additions to the website we didn’t consider the first time around.”

You should also seek feedback from your sales team—they’re the boots on the ground and can provide valuable insights on lead quality.

Mistake #4: Yielding to sales pressure.

Sales teams are famous for complaining that they don’t have enough leads, but marketing teams should resist lowering lead scoring thresholds simply to shut them up.

Lowering the lead scoring threshold means you’ll be serving up more leads, not better leads. Many of the leads won’t be ready for a sales call. The sales team will end up spinning its wheels (and possibly alienating prospects turned off by the intrusion).

You must strive to maintain a balance between quantity and quality. While it’s important to keep the sales team happy and well-fed with leads, it’s equally crucial to ensure that the leads you do serve up have indicated their sales readiness based on their actions.

We spend a lot of time educating clients about this—and empowering marketing teams to withstand pressures from sales.

Mistake #5: Ignoring “negative” actions that can influence lead scores.

Just as there can be positive lead scoring, you can also include negative scores. For example, a salesperson could say, “Hey, we’ve talked to this lead before. They are financially or medically unqualified.” We can use that information as negative scoring and include that in the algorithm so the sales team doesn’t see that lead come through again.

The same goes for other actions on the website. Not everyone visiting your site is looking for a senior living community. Vendors and prospective employees will be looking as well. We can include these “negatives” in the lead scoring.

For example, we could assign negative point values if the person inquires about careers or is already in the senior living CRM and has been marked as unqualified. (Note: The latter requires bilateral integration between your marketing automation and CRM. We’re big fans of WelcomeHome CRM because of its ability to do this.)

Including negatives in the overall lead score is a powerful way to ensure that your sales team isn’t wasting valuable time on leads that aren’t going to convert. You create a more nuanced and accurate lead-scoring process by factoring in positive and negative indicators.

How do you know if your senior living lead scoring is effective?

Remember, the key to knowing if your lead scoring is hitting the mark lies in feedback from your sales team. They can share insights regarding lead quality. We can also set up reports to track leads from scoring to contact, pre-tour to post-tour, and deposit to move-in. This can provide tangible evidence of lead-scoring success.

Need help with your lead scoring?

Our marketing agency focuses only on senior living. We know how to help communities attract and convert better senior living leads. Get in touch with our teams, and let’s talk.

Marketing Automation for Senior Living HubSpot vs ActiveDEMAND

Marketing Automation for Senior Living: HubSpot vs. ActiveDEMAND / Enquire MAP

To remain competitive in an increasingly crowded senior living landscape, you must rely on marketing automation platforms to handle numerous repetitive tasks and report reliable results. Many options exist, but two of the most popular are HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND / Enquire MAP.

At Senior Living SMART, we work with both, so we thought sharing our insights would be a good idea.

Below, we discuss the following:

  • What is marketing automation for senior living?
  • What is HubSpot? What is ActiveDEMAND / Enquire MAP?
  • How are HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND / Enquire MAP similar? How are they different?
  • Does the CRM you use matter?
  • What should you keep in mind when choosing between HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND / Enquire MAP?
  • What if you need help selecting and setting up marketing automation for senior living?

What is marketing automation for senior living?

Simply put, marketing automation delivers the right message to the right prospect at the right time. As its name suggests, marketing automation does everything automatically in the background, eliminating the need for someone on your marketing or sales staff to perform repetitive tasks, like segmenting leads and sending emails.

For example, suppose an adult daughter visits your website, downloads a free guide on financing senior living, and indicates she has a parent who must move within 90 days. In that case, the marketing automation can automatically enter her into an appropriate workflow of follow-up emails. On the other hand, an adult son who downloads the same guide but whose parents don’t have a timeline in mind will enter a different lead nurturing workflow—all thanks to marketing automation.

Again, the emails are automatically delivered. There’s no need for a marketing person to manually send them (or to remember who should get which emails).

Good marketing automation software will allow you to:

  • Score and segment leads according to the parameters you set.
  • Manage your marketing leads database.
  • Build personal email campaigns to support your lead nurturing efforts.
  • See easy-to-interpret analytics on all related activities.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

What is HubSpot? What is ActiveDEMAND / Enquire MAP?

HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND are both marketing automation platforms.

  • HubSpot is “a CRM platform with all the software, integrations, and resources you need to connect marketing, sales, content management, and customer service.”
  • ActiveDEMAND / Enquire MAP “enables marketers, agencies and businesses to supercharge their marketing efforts through streamlined campaign management, campaign recipes and attribution reporting while integrating with many other business, sales and marketing applications.”

How are HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND / Enquire MAP similar? How are they different?

When it comes to global functionality, both products are similar.

Jeremiah Rankin, our director of client technology at Senior Living SMART, uses the analogy of car shopping when comparing HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND/Enquire MAP. All cars will get you from point A to point B. All cars can be driven on the highway. And all cars go through rigorous safety testing. But cars will have different features—maybe one has a sunroof while another boasts a roomy interior. As the consumer, you have to decide which features matter to you. Armed with this knowledge, you can test-drive different options.

Rankin says you can apply this analogy to marketing automation platforms. The core functionality of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time is consistent across ActiveDEMAND/Enquire MAP. Even their price points are comparable, according to Rankin.

To determine which marketing automation platform to choose, senior living marketers must dig deep and consider their pain points and what they’re trying to accomplish with marketing automation. Another item to consider is your senior living CRM (more on this in a moment) and how (and if) it will integrate with HubSpot or ActiveDEMAND/Enquire MAP.

From there, it’s a matter of test-driving the two systems and seeing how different features solve your pain points and help you achieve your goals. Rankin says this is where collaborating with Senior Living SMART can help because he and his team can demo the products with you, show you how things work, and ask you questions you might not have thought of—but that will help guide your decision.

He says, “This involves taking that step back and just looking at things holistically in terms of creating that priority list and having that conversation: What are the tools you’re looking to use? What’s most important to you? Is it email development? Is it list segmentation? Is it workflows and lead nurturing? What integrations do you need? Once we understand their priorities, we can walk them through the platforms and see which one makes the most sense.”

Rankin points out that Senior Living SMART remains agnostic regarding the platforms. HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND/Enquire MAP are excellent choices, and the SLS team has experience in both.

Does the senior living CRM you use matter?

The short answer is yes. Rankin says both HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND/Enquire MAP. integrate with popular senior living CRMs.

“We love the WelcomeHome CRM integration as it’s a bilateral integration, and that can happen whether it’s with ActiveDEMAND/Enquire MAP or whether it’s with HubSpot,” Rankin says. “Some clients only need integrations to go one way, but usually, that bilateral integration is important for data to feed between your marketing automation system and your CRM system.”

Rankin notes that Senior Living SMART has a highly collaborative relationship with WelcomeHome and that the two have worked closely on the HubSpot integration in particular. “We’ve had a lot of success with this bilateral integration—it’s seamless at this point.”

HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND/Enquire MAP also integrate well with Yardi, a popular property management software in the senior living space. However, Rankin offers this caveat: “Although the Yardi integration with HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND can be bilateral (with move-in data flowing back into your marketing automation software), it often depends on what version of Yardi you’re on. You’ll want to inquire about this with your Yardi customer success manager.”

ActiveDEMAND also has a solid relationship with Aline (formerly Enquire, Glennis, and Sherpa CRM). Rankin explains, “If Aline is your CRM, that strong relationship it has with ActiveDEMAND/Enquire MAP is something to consider when looking at marketing automation.”

What should you keep in mind when choosing between HubSpot and ActiveDEMAND/Enquire MAP?

Remember, global functionality is similar across both products. The differences are in certain features and customizations. As you test-drive both, review your specific needs in each area below and whether you feel the product meets those needs:

    • Automation
    • Email marketing
    • Forms
    • Landing pages
    • Social media
    • Appointment scheduling
    • Integrations
    • Reporting
    • Support
    • User-friendly layouts

When reviewing the above, ask about any limits related to the product tier you’re considering. (For example, differences exist between HubSpot Pro and HubSpot Enterprise.)

Both marketing automation solutions are solid options, so your decision will come down to personal preference and which one you feel best meets your needs.

What if you need help selecting and deploying marketing automation for senior living?

Marketing automation for senior living has gone from “nice to have” to “must have.” You can no longer put your head in the sand and hope the marketing automation problem will disappear.

Instead, reach out to us. We’ve held many marketers’ hands as they’ve gotten their communities up and running on marketing automation. (Check out one customer’s story.) We’ll also train you and your staff. Once you’re acclimated, you can manage things or have us continue managing and overseeing things—it’s up to you and your budget.

But the first step is getting in touch. Let’s have a conversation about marketing automation for your community.