It’s long been rumored that email is dead or dying, but nothing could be further from the truth. HubSpot has compiled a list of eye-popping email marketing stats that include nuggets like email “generates $42 for every $1 spent” and “74% of Baby Boomers think email is the most personal channel to communicate with brands.”
Bottom line: If you’re not including email in your senior living marketing plan, you’re missing out on an effective way to communicate with prospects.
All that said, there’s a big difference between simply doing email marketing and doing email marketing well. We’re here to provide effective email marketing tips for senior living.
Don’t buy email lists. Ever. Not even once.
Seriously, we can’t believe in 2021 that we still have to say this, yet here we are. DO NOT BUY EMAIL LISTS. The only thing we can guarantee about purchased email lists is their low quality. These folks have NOT agreed to receive emails from you. And many of the folks on the lists have NO NEED for senior living, so why on earth would you email them? Not to mention that spamming people violates state regulations and various privacy laws.
Again, we repeat: DO NOT PURCHASE LISTS. This practice never was and never will be an effective email marketing strategy. Only email people who’ve given you permission to do so.
Make sure your emails provide value.
Sure, value is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s still possible to predict. Start with the moment you captured a prospect’s email address and let that guide you. For example . . .
- If someone gave you their email address at a senior living marketing event about financing senior living, it’s safe to assume that the person would welcome receiving emails with additional info regarding relevant financial topics.
- If someone provided their email address when they requested a tour of your community, it’s safe to assume that emails filled with info about your community—amenities, floor plans, menus—would be of great value.
- If someone provided their email address because they downloaded a specific piece of content from your website, it’s safe to assume that emails filled with similar content on related topics would likely be deemed valuable by the recipient.
Good marketing automation software can simplify the process of matching valuable content to the right recipient since it will keep track of things like information people provide on website forms, site pages they visit, and content they interact with. Based on this intelligence, you can have the software enter people into appropriate email campaigns where they will receive the content they’ve been looking for.
Make ’em personal.
People respond positively to their first names—that’s a fact. So using a person’s first name in the subject line and in the body of the email is a smart strategy. But making your email communications truly personal involves more than simply calling folks by their first name.
Consider things like:
- Tone. A warm, friendly tone feels much more personal than a message filled with corporate speak.
- Sentence length. Using short and punchy sentences, like you’re having a conversation with someone, will create a more personal feel.
- The overall length of paragraphs—and the emails themselves. Short paragraphs are key. And don’t have too many. There aren’t many reasons why you’d ever need to have more than three paragraphs in a marketing email.
Be mindful of the big picture.
When it comes to effective email marketing, you need to consider the macro and the micro. The micro is what we discussed above—how to create compelling content in any given email and how to use personalization to make the email pop.
The macro is something that many marketers overlook. You need to monitor your email marketing from the infamous 30,000-foot view.
Remember, all email marketing campaigns have a common goal—to move the person reading the email to the next step in their buying journey. For some prospects, this might mean more educational content. For others, it might mean scheduling a tour.
But as a person moves through their journey, they will likely move through various email campaigns. This is precisely why you need to be aware of the big picture—the macro—as well as the content of each individual email.
Why? When you pay attention to the larger email marketing picture, you can:
- Reduce the chance of sending redundant messages.
- Improve personalization efforts.
- See content gaps within email campaigns.
- Spot neglected campaigns (or opportunities for new campaigns).
Bottom line: You need to have an overarching email marketing strategy that gives you the ability to monitor all campaigns while also being able to drill down into any one specific campaign, as needed.
We’re not going to lie: Effective email marketing does take work—and coordinated efforts. And the work is never done. There will always be a campaign to tweak, a new campaign to write, an older campaign to pause or retire. But if you put in the effort, it will pay off over time since you’ll have designed email campaigns that work in harmony with one another.
Experiment with layouts and length. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Some folks like short text-based emails. Others prefer nicely designed emails. Some respond to gifs. Others to emojis in the subject line. Don’t be scared to try different things until you land on a combination that works.
You won’t know the sweet spot for your various personas until you experiment and test different elements. Luckily, it’s much easier (and economical) to experiment with your email strategy than it is to experiment with other media, like print ads or direct mail.
Don’t allow things to grow stale.
The one caveat regarding experimentation: Once you hit on a winning combination (for example, a subject line, message, and layout that delivers fabulous conversions), it’s easy to ride that email forever. But what worked for an email two years ago might not today, which is why you must pay attention to your email marketing metrics.
Keep in mind that tech companies (like Apple) and email providers (like Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, etc.) are always changing things on their end to give their users better experiences. For marketers, this means it’s getting harder and harder to get emails into primary inboxes. Not to mention, more and more tech companies are limiting the metrics that marketers can see.
Bottom line: Effective email marketing is never static. So your strategy shouldn’t be, either.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t overthink it.
Remember, email marketing is simply an online communication between two people. You’re sending the person an email to help them with something they’ve essentially raised their hand and said they need help with.
Don’t know where to start? Or maybe you don’t have the budget for highly visual emails and tons of campaigns? Don’t overthink it.
Out of all the effective email marketing tips we can give you, here are the three most important elements you should focus on creating:
- An engaging subject line
- Compelling copy (that’s warm and conversational)
- An offer that the person will find valuable
Get those things right across three to five campaigns, and you’ll be well on your way to email marketing nirvana.
Ask for email marketing help when you need it.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your email marketing strategy is to ask for help from a senior living marketing agency like ours. We love helping our clients create winning strategies and compelling content that wows. Get in touch and let’s chat.