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.

Senior Living SEO Companies

Senior Living SEO Companies: Do You Need One?

Some readers might think they need a senior living SEO company in addition to (or instead of) a marketing agency. However, other readers might think having a separate SEO company is redundant if you already work with a marketing agency.

Which is it? Who’s right?

Like so many things in life, it depends.

Below, we get into the nitty-gritty by answering the following questions:

  • What is a senior living SEO company?
  • Do senior living SEO companies typically offer marketing services?
  • Why would a community opt to work with a senior living SEO company instead of (or in addition to) a marketing agency?
  • Are there drawbacks to using two agencies—an SEO company and a marketing firm?
  • What are the hallmarks of a good senior living SEO company?
  • Do you need an SEO company if you work with Senior Living SMART?
  • Will Senior Living SMART work with your community if you already have an SEO company?

What is a senior living SEO company?

First, a refresher: SEO stands for search engine optimization. In a nutshell, SEO involves improving your website so that it has greater visibility in Google search results.

You can improve your site for search in various ways, like making sure it renders well across mobile devices and that it’s full of helpful content built around relevant keywords.

As its name suggests, an SEO company delivers services to help your website pages rank higher in Google. A senior living SEO company focuses on a specific niche: senior living.

Do senior living SEO companies typically offer marketing services?

While exceptions certainly exist, any business labeling itself as an SEO company likely focuses only on SEO-related services. Otherwise, it would describe itself as something else, like a marketing or web development agency.

Remember, SEO is a sub-set of digital marketing services. For example, one of the many services we offer at Senior Living SMART is SEO—and we cover it from every conceivable angle: keyword research, optimized content, technical SEO, and on-page/off-page SEO.

Why would a community opt to work with a senior living SEO company instead of (or in addition to) a marketing agency?

Not all marketing agencies offer SEO services. And even those that do might have different levels of expertise. For example, a marketing firm with deep content marketing expertise might be adept at optimizing content for search, but it might come up short regarding technical SEO. In this case, it might make sense for the community to contract a senior living SEO company for all things SEO.

Are there drawbacks to using two agencies—an SEO company and a marketing firm?

The most significant drawbacks of working with an SEO and marketing agency are silo mentalities and overlapping costs.

  • Silo mentalities. It’s easy for silo mentalities to set in if the two agencies don’t communicate or share insights. If you work with two firms, you’ll want to encourage collaboration.
  • Overlapping costs. When you work with one agency that handles everything in-house, you’ll get a comprehensive services package instead of paying two separate fees that are bound to have some overlap.

What are the hallmarks of a good senior living SEO company?

Anyone can hang out a shingle and call themselves an SEO company. Unfortunately, plenty of shady characters occupy the space. Always conduct due diligence before signing contracts.

Things to look for in a quality SEO company:

  • Great reviews on Google and positive testimonials from real customers
  • A professional website that highlights team members’ credentials
  • Relevant certifications (such as Google Analytics)
  • Case studies that demonstrate expertise
  • A robust client portfolio (ideally with clients in the senior living space)
  • The ability to provide a clear strategy for achieving your goals, including a local search strategy
  • A clear policy regarding AI (like ChatGPT) and SEO

PRO TIP: Avoid anyone who guarantees high rankings.

Do you need an SEO company if you work with Senior Living SMART?

For over a decade, we’ve been assembling a talented team of SEO specialists—from writers to technical gurus to everything in between. So the short answer is no—you don’t need a separate SEO company if you work with us. We’re truly a one-stop senior living marketing agency.

Will Senior Living SMART work with your community if you already have an SEO company?

Good marketing agencies are flexible. We understand that communities might contact us for marketing help after signing with an SEO company. We’re happy to collaborate with your vendors (and not just SEO specialists, either). We work hard to make sure we’re not duplicating efforts because we don’t want you to pay for things twice.

Get in touch and let’s chat about your senior living SEO and marketing needs.

8 Signs You Should Fire Your Senior Living Marketing Agency

8 Signs You Should Fire Your Senior Living Marketing Agency

Anyone can hang out a virtual shingle and call themselves a senior living marketing agency. In reality, not all agencies are created equal.

The worst part? Sometimes you won’t recognize the warning signs simply because you don’t know what you don’t know.

Let’s remedy this, OK?

Below, we discuss eight signs that your senior living marketing agency isn’t passing muster. Any one issue alone is worth having a conversation with the agency. Two or more signs, and you’ll likely want to begin looking elsewhere for marketing support… Here are the eight indicators:

  • Your account team has never discussed its strategy with you.
  • You don’t have visibility into your marketing.
  • You don’t receive comprehensive reporting that you understand.
  • You’re spending money on things you don’t understand (like PPC).
  • Your agency treats marketing as a “set it and forget it” task.
  • You only occasionally hear from your account team.
  • You don’t own your marketing assets.
  • Your account team keeps changing.

1. Your account team has never discussed its strategy with you.

Not all senior living marketing agencies take a strategic approach to marketing, which is a huge red flag. A sound strategy drives successful marketing, period. Too often, agencies will apply a one-size-fits-all template to your marketing.

How can you recognize when this happens? The “plan” will often sound like a pre-set formula: four blog posts a month, three Facebook posts a week, one Google Ads campaign, and one new ebook a quarter.

On the surface, the plan might sound reasonable. And yet, it’s the equivalent of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.

Your strategy should always dictate the campaigns, tactics, and content that you create. Maybe your strategy doesn’t require four blogs per month because you already have an excellent library of blog content. But maybe you do need better landing pages for your pay-per-click ads to increase your ROI.

We’re riffing here, but you likely get the gist. Beware of an agency that slaps together a 90-day plan within hours of a kick-off call with you. This indicates a formula or templated approach rather than a thoughtful strategy.

A thoughtful marketing strategy requires a careful analysis of your online presence, goals, competitors, and many other things before the account team can devise a plan to maximize your marketing budget while achieving your objectives.

2. You don’t have visibility into your marketing.

Marketing should never feel like this loosey-goosey intangible thing that’s impossible to quantify. Effective marketing produces measurable results like marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), sales-qualified leads (SQLs), tours, and move-ins.

It’s possible your marketing team assumes you understand all the various dashboards and charts in your marketing automation and CRM platforms. That’s an unfair assumption—and laziness on the account team’s part.

Yes, it’s good for you to dig into dashboards and review analytics, but it’s the marketing agency’s job to ensure you’re interpreting data correctly and you understand the changes the agency is making based on the data. And they should be making adjustments and tweaks.

3. You don’t receive comprehensive reporting that you understand.

This point aligns with the previous one. In a nutshell, good agencies avoid “dashboard dazzle,” where they deliver impressive-looking marketing dashboards filled with charts, graphs, and senior living marketing analytics that you can’t make heads or tails of—no matter how hard you try.

Your team should deliver regular updates and reports, but they should do so in a way that’s easy for you and other key stakeholders to understand. If you can’t quickly recap what the latest reporting or dashboard is telling you, consider that a troubling sign.

Request that they deliver more user-friendly reports. If they can’t or don’t, that is a sign you should look elsewhere.

4. You’re spending money on things you don’t understand (like PPC).

A good agency will walk you through complex marketing topics and make sure you understand what’s happening—and why. A good agency can also easily justify why it’s taking specific actions (or requesting a certain budget) so that you don’t have to wonder where your marketing dollars are going.

For example, you don’t need to become a PPC expert, but you should understand the basics—particularly the expected and actual ROI. This is true for all marketing campaigns, especially ones that might be out of your wheelhouse, like Google Ad campaigns.

5. Your agency treats marketing as a “set it and forget it” task.

Marketing is dynamic. What worked last quarter might not work next quarter. The social media platform that was hot might be cooling down. Bidding costs for paid ads will fluctuate and affect your budget. Situations out of your control (like a pandemic or natural disaster) might mean you need to rethink your marketing quickly.

Our point: Your senior living marketing agency must be able to pivot, which isn’t easy if the agency is beholden to a formula or is used to setting and forgetting things (like PPC campaigns).

6. You only occasionally hear from your account team (and never with fresh marketing strategies or ideas).

How often do you hear from your account team? Do they check in with you regularly? Or do they only respond when you email or call them?

The best senior living marketing agencies take a proactive rather than reactive approach. The agency stays on top of what’s working (and what isn’t) for your community, and they come to you with recommendations. They also regularly bring you creative marketing ideas and fresh strategies—and not simply when they’re trying to renew their contract.

7. You don’t own your marketing assets.

Your senior living marketing agency should never hold your marketing assets hostage. Your community should own its website, hosting, relevant Google accounts (like Google Business Profile, Google AdSense, Google Analytics), directory listings, collateral materials, etc.

Reputable agencies clarify in their contracts that you retain ownership of everything developed and created during your engagement.

Yes, members of your account team will need access to specific software (like Google products), but these products make it easy to add marketing partners (for this very reason—so that you don’t lose ownership of your assets).

8. Your account team keeps changing.

It’s normal for an occasional change on your account, but if your account team experiences regular turnover, consider it a warning sign.

Your marketing agency’s team is one that you can rely on. Constantly getting new team members up to speed is exhausting and disruptive. Plus, this merry-go-round behavior likely indicates a more significant problem within the agency.

Time to make a switch? Contact our senior living marketing agency.

For over a decade, we’ve helped senior living communities of all sizes rock their marketing. You won’t have to worry about any of the above issues when you choose us. Contact us today and experience the difference.

Scott McCorvie with Generational Movement

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Elevating the Senior Living Industry

Episode Summary:

In this episode, host Debbie Howard engages in a conversation with Scott McCorvie, founder of Generational Movement, about his mission to improve lives in the senior living industry. First, Scott shares his passion for providing purpose and improvement strategies for seniors and his desire to create a global impact through his company. Then, he discusses his podcast, “The Inner Circle of Senior Living,” and how it focuses on connecting with the baby boomer generation. Finally, Scott emphasizes the importance of caring, communication, and connection in the senior living industry, forming the basis for his movement to elevate and enhance the industry. 

Topics Discussed and Key Points: 

  • Scott McCorvie launched Generational Movement, a multimedia content platform, driven by his mission to elevate lives in the senior living industry.  
  • First, he shares improvement strategies and tips globally through his podcast, “The Inner Circle of Senior Living”. 
  • Scott emphasizes the importance of connection, communication, and providing purpose in senior living. 
  • Next, Scott discusses the challenges faced by the senior living industry, such as recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, occupancy challenges, and economic factors.
  • Scott remains optimistic about the industry’s future due to the need for human connection and engagement. 
  • The conversation touches on implementing smart marketing strategies to drive growth and attract residents. 
  • Then, Debbie highlights the importance of creating a sense of belonging and emotional connection through personalized marketing campaigns. 
  • Scott and Debbie discuss the balance between older and newer senior living communities and the opportunities for updating older ones to meet today’s standards. 
  • Later, they explore the similarities between senior living and the hospitality industry
  • The conversation touches on the potential benefits and challenges of establishing national senior living brands. 
  • Scott emphasizes the need for senior living providers to focus on market-specific decision-making. 
  • Finally, the episode concludes with a discussion on the prospect journey and the importance of addressing the “whether, where, and when” stages to effectively engage potential residents. 

Resources Mentioned: 


John Jantsch with Duct Tape Marketing

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: AI In Marketing

Episode Summary:  

This episode explores the current state of AI in marketing, its use cases, limitations, and the future potential of AI in shaping marketing strategies. Debbie Howard and John Jantsch discuss various aspects of AI in marketing and share their insights and excitement about its future developments.

Topics Discussed and Key Points: 

 Current State of AI in Marketing: 

  •  AI is being widely experimented with for various purposes in marketing AI, specifically chat GPT (a large language learning model), has gained significant attention and usage. 
  • AI is still in its infancy stage, and many of the current interactions are limited to computation and basic tasks. 
  • AI tools are integrated into various software, providing data, ideas, and efficiencies. 

Current Use Cases of AI in Marketing: 

  • AI is used for content generation and creation, especially in producing large amounts of content quickly. 
  • AI tools can assist in writing articles, blog posts, and metadata, saving time and allowing for more creativity. 
  • Personalization is a potential use of AI, tailoring content to specific audiences and personas. 
  • AI can analyze data, extract trends, and provide insights for marketing strategies. 
  • AI is helpful in analyzing target markets, understanding customer concerns, and generating content ideas. 

Limitations and Challenges of Current AI in Marketing: 

  •  AI-generated content may not accurately represent a brand’s voice or values. 
  • AI tools require careful monitoring and editing to ensure brand consistency and accuracy.  
  • Privacy concerns exist when using AI tools that make uploaded content public. 

Future State of AI in Marketing: 

  • Future AI applications may involve personalized customer journeys and interactive websites. 
  • AI could assist in reverse engineering data to identify top prospects and shorten sales cycles. 
  • AI may help analyze customer behavior, predict trends, and suggest marketing strategies. 
  • Improved AI image and video generation could facilitate easier content creation. 
  • Concerns arise about the impact of AI on future generations and the need for responsible usage. 

Exciting Developments in AI: 

  • Advancements in AI image and video generation, allowing for easier and customizable content creation. 
  • Potential for AI to produce videos based on scripts and various styles, simplifying video production. 
  • AI’s role in marketing extends beyond content creation to data analysis, personalization, and customer insights. 


AI in Marketing Transcript.docx 

Duct Tape Marketing Website 

Follow John and DTM on LinkedIn 

Chris Zook with Senior Living SMART podcast cover image.

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Utilizing Google Ads in the Senior Living Space

Episode Summary:

In this episode of “Senior Living Marketing Perspectives,” host Debbie Howard and guest Chris Zook delve into the topic of using Google Ads for senior living communities. They discuss the importance of differentiation, targeting the right audience, and optimizing strategies to maximize conversions.

Chris provides insights on creating effective landing pages and emphasizes the significance of marketing automation in nurturing leads throughout the sales cycle. Overall, Google Ads prove to be a must-have tool for senior living communities to reach their target audience and increase conversions.

Topics Discussed and Key Points:

 Differentiating Senior Living Communities: Debbie and Chris highlight the importance of creating a unique strategy for each senior living community, even if they offer similar services and amenities. Each community has its personality, presentation style, and target audience.

Financial Qualification Concerns: Debbie raises the concern that it’s challenging to financially qualify potential residents. Chris explains that although it’s not possible to target income levels explicitly, senior living communities can mention their pricing in ads to attract individuals who can afford their services. He also discusses the use of negative keywords on Google Ads to refine lead quality.

Designing a Strategy: Debbie and Chris discuss the nuances of designing a marketing strategy based on the desired types of leads. They explore the importance of understanding the different stages of the sales funnel and tailoring the approach accordingly. They mention offering options like downloading a brochure, speaking to an advisor, or scheduling a visit in ads to accommodate different preferences.

Power of Marketing Automation: Chris emphasizes the value of marketing automation in senior living marketing due to the longer sales cycle and the need for multiple touchpoints. He explains how offering a brochure as a low-commitment lead generation opportunity can help capture leads who are researching senior living options. Marketing automation, combined with regular email touchpoints, keeps potential residents engaged and increases the chances of conversion.

Landing Page Design: Chris discusses the importance of well-designed landing pages focusing on one specific purpose. He emphasizes the need for mobile-friendly designs, clear calls to action, and an intuitive layout. The goal is to make it easy for prospects to understand what they need to do next and maximize conversions.

Effective Conversion Rates: Debbie asks about the ideal conversion rate for senior living campaigns. Chris explains that the conversion rate can vary depending on geography and budget. Generally, a conversion rate of 8-15% is considered strong. Chris emphasizes that effective advertising is as much about allowing prospects to self-qualify out of the sales funnel as it is about bringing them in.

Understanding the Value of Conversions: Debbie and Chris address the question of how much to pay for a conversion. Chris highlights that conversions are a valuable digital currency, as they provide contact information and indicate genuine interest. He explains that finding the right balance between attracting prospects and filtering out unqualified leads is crucial for both the community and the prospects.


Connect with Chris Zook on LinkedIn

Episode Transcript

Blog: Googe Ads for Senior Living: How to Find the Prospects who need you

Headshot of Erez Cohen.

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Automate the Move-In Process by Digitizing your Move-In Packet

Topics Discussed and Key Points:

  • Why your senior living community needs to be using modern care software
  • Simplifying the move-in process by digitizing the move-in packet and going paperless
  • The importance of record keeping in a digitized system
  • How digitized processes can result in improved resident care

Episode Summary:

Deb speaks with Erez Cohen, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of August Health, a modern care platform and EHR purpose-built for senior living communities. Firstly, Deb and Erez discuss how using technology in senior living communities can make the move-in process go from zero to hero. Next, they discuss the process of the design. Designed with senior living experts and built by world-class engineers, the software platform is loved by communities for its easy-to-use design. Finally, they talk about the impact that the platform has. It simplifies everyday senior living workflows from paperless move-ins to assessments to compliance, while providing valuable business analytics to C-Suite leadership. Hundreds of leading communities, including Koelsch Communities, Westmont Living, and Seasons Living, rely on August Health to upgrade their operations and deliver exceptional care.

More about Erez:

Erez was selected for Aging Media Network’s Future Leaders Class of 2022. Prior to founding August Health, Erez was an executive at Apple, where he led a group of engineering teams. In addition, Erez was also the co-founder of Mapsense, a geospatial mapping startup that was acquired by Apple. Erez holds degrees in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley.


Episode Transcript

[email protected]

how to generate leads for senior living facilities

How to Generate Leads for Senior Living Facilities

If you’ve been wondering how to generate leads for senior living facilities, keep reading. In this article, we talk about different channels for driving traffic to your website, tips for converting early-stage leads so you can nurture them, and strategies for generating high-quality leads that are ready for sales.  

Download a version of this article in one handy illustrated PDF that you can share with your senior living marketing and sales teams. 

Drive more traffic to your senior living website.  

Looking to increase traffic to your website? Developing a sound inbound marketing strategy is the first step. With inbound marketing, you’re going after folks who are already searching for information on senior living. So you’ll want to optimize your website for organic search, have keyword-rich pages, write helpful blog posts that answer specific questions, and offer premium content that people can download via forms.  

But what about some of the “old school” tactics that many communities still use, like . . . 

  • Local newspapers  
  • Billboards  
  • Television  
  • Radio  

These are great examples of outbound marketing. The people you reach via these channels might not have a need for senior living right now, but you’re planting the seed and building brand awareness. And yes, you will reach some folks who might be thinking about senior living—so if you grab their attention, you might luck out and direct them to your site. 

Use these channels for creating local brand awareness and/or if you have a very specific call to action (CTA), such as . . . 

  • New openings/ pre-leasing 
  • Repositioning – new ownership/management/refurb 
  • Events – open houses and social and educational events 

Remember to use a dedicated call tracking number to measure how many calls you generated. You can also use a QR code to drive conversions on a landing page. 

Convert more marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). 

Here are some effective ways to capture early-stage leads to fill your prospect pipeline: 

  • Generic direct mail campaigns. Create mailing lists based on age, income, and zip code. Use call tracking and QR codes to measure results. 
  • Website content offers. Think downloadable brochures, guides, and e-books. Include CTAs for downloading offers in every blog. 
  • Facebook paid campaigns. You can use the same segmenting options that you used for direct mail. Then, create look-alike audiences.  
  • Live chat. Always ask for people’s names and emails so you can continue conversations via email if they leave the chat. 
  • Off-site events. Think restaurant events with speakers and virtual online events. Bring a tablet and have people sign up for email updates (this way, you get their opted-in email address). 
  •  These marketing channels will convert more anonymous traffic into MQLs. The downside is that these leads require nurturing. They are not ready to buy now, so do not give them to the sales team until the lead indicates that they want a sales interaction. This is where marketing automation is most effective because it sends the right message to the right prospect at the right time. 
  • PRO TIP: On your website forms for top-of-the-funnel content, make sure the field for a phone number is optional. If you require a phone number, your conversions will decrease, possibly by as much as 25%. 

Empower sales-qualified leads (SQLs) to ask for a sales interaction when they’re ready. 

If you’re looking to drive high-intent leads that are ready for a sales interaction, consider using some of these popular channels: 

  • Google AdWords 
  • Targeted direct mail with look-alike demographics 
  • Smart website CTAs, banners, and pop-ups leading to a relevant landing page 
  • Retargeting ads 
  • Interactive surveys and quizzes (Roobrik/ Aging Choices) 

These leads have indicated a high intent and need for senior living and have greater urgency than MQLs. The strategy here is to get them to commit to a face-to-face or voice-to-voice interaction with the sales team.  

CTAs should be something like . . . 

  • Click to call now 
  • Schedule a tour 
  • RSVP today 
  • Learn more about (insert special offer) 

Keep in mind that these channels tend to generate the highest quality leads. But they are much more expensive because there’s a ton of competition for them. Each SQL may cost over $750 per conversion (MQLs convert for around $135). 

Need help generating leads for senior living? Work with us. 

Another effective strategy for generating better leads? Work with Senior Living SMART. We understand lead gen, and we thoroughly understand the various buyer personas you’re targeting. Get in touch and let’s chat about your lead gen efforts. 


Senior Living Tips: How to Create a New Resident Welcome Program

When I moved my mom into an assisted living community in 2021, I was disappointed with the experience. This was a big life change for her, and yet the community failed in those early days at making her feel truly welcome.

Some things that jumped out at me . . .

  • On the day of her move-in, no one from the community had been assigned to help us unload the car (we’d moved in all the large furniture in advance).
  • Her name hadn’t been logged into the resident portal, so she could not “sign in.” This impacted her sense of belonging.
  • No one had put a sign on her door or anything else, like a wreath or balloons, which would have helped create a sense of excitement.

Sadly, my experience isn’t uncommon. Too often, there’s a big gap when senior living sales reps “hand off” the family to operations.

And this gap isn’t going to magically fill itself.

Make move-in day special, like the first day of college.

I always use the analogy of first-year students moving into college. During move-in day and the early days after move-in, resident assistants and resident directors are likely popping in to say hello. Plenty of orientation and welcome events are planned in those first few weeks, including family weekend. Welcome packets with helpful info are left on students’ beds (or, in today’s age, sent as a digital packet on people’s phones).

Colleges are invested in keeping students engaged, safe, and happy because it’s not only in students’ best interest—it’s in the school’s best interest as well.

Your community has to make the same effort. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

Remember, every move-in is a win. But a move-out can be a bigger loss.

I remember hearing a stat from the Massachusetts Assisted Living Association, and it has always stuck with me: Approximately 17% of move-outs happen within the first 30 days.

Think about that. Think of all the effort and money that goes into turning prospects into residents. And poof! Just like that, 17% move out within a month. (I wouldn’t be surprised if that number increases over the next decade as more Boomers enter the fray. Boomers will have even less patience for lackluster experiences!)

So what’s a senior living community to do? I bet a lot of those move-outs could have been avoided if the community took the time to extend a sincere, warm welcome to each new resident (along with a little extra TLC).

Here are some strategies for creating a true “red carpet” welcome for new residents.

Have move-in day checklists.

Give each department in your senior living community an internal checklist for making sure they are ready for the new resident. For example, apartment readiness checklist, dining/meal plan checklist, activities checklist.

Prior to move-in, provide the family/ future resident a list of helpful resources to reduce stress.

Consider things like a list of local movers, a packing list, downsizing tips, downsizing resources (e.g., junk removal and donation pick-up services), and a paperwork checklist (e.g., what to bring to the lease signing).

Develop move-in day protocols, such as . . .

  • Leaving a welcome basket on the kitchen counter
  • Providing a welcome packet in people’s apartments with helpful info
  • Issuing a senior living resident handbook
  • Assigning a staff member to greet the new resident and their family—and to check on them a few times throughout move-in day
  • Assigning a resident from the Welcome Committee (more on this below) to be the new resident’s go-to person during the first few weeks

Create a formal Welcome Committee.

Remember the first day of school or camp when you walked in feeling scared and overwhelmed because you didn’t know anyone? But once you made that “first friend,” you knew everything would be OK? The same feelings happen whether you’re eight or eighty.

Remember, new residents have to navigate a new physical space, figure out meal times, make friends/ find someone to have meals with, know where all the activities are taking place, know how to sign up for transportation or salon services, and so forth. It’s a lot of change and a lot to keep track of and remember. Other residents are often the best source to help a new resident fit in and to create a real sense of belonging.

Having an active Welcome Committee in your community is an excellent way to connect warm, friendly residents with the newbies. My mother joined her community’s Welcome Committee so that others would have a better experience than she had. (She said that she wanted to show new residents how things really worked around here.)

Be intentional about creating a positive sentiment in the first 30 days.

  • Week 1: Deliver a gift card for salon services.
  • Week 2: Deliver guest passes for meals to invite family & friends.
  • Week 3: Provide a voucher for something special (for example, offer free private transportation to go shopping or pet service for Fido).
  • Week 4: Host a housewarming event for the new resident’s friends and family. Give the resident a choice of a nice private lunch, cocktails and appetizers, or coffee and donuts. Let them know this won’t cost them a dime.
  • Week 5: Send flowers to mark the first month with a heartfelt note that expresses how happy you are that they’re part of your community.

Keep in mind that there is a compelling business value to creating a positive move-in experience.

When you foster a wonderful, welcoming environment where people can easily become raving fans, well guess what? Raving fans will more likely . . .

  • Write a positive review.
  • Refer their friends and neighbors and/or participate in your referral program (you’ll enjoy very high conversion rates on those referrals!).
  • Not move out! Don’t forget that stat I quoted earlier about 17% of all move-outs happen in the first 30 days.

Getting all of these different moving parts and programs to work in harmony takes work, but I’ve seen it done successfully before.

Need help? Guess what? We’ve got a special program.

I believe so strongly in creating a warm welcome for new residents that my team and I have created a turnkey “red carpet welcome program” that’s waiting for your branding and customization. Get in touch today and we’ll show you how it works!

Park Howell Headshot Podcast Cover

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Marketing Through Storytelling

Topics Discussed and Key Points:

  • Storytelling versus pitching
  • Using the and/but/therefore framework to level up all of your communications
  • Creating your ABT story
  • Whether to have two separate messages—one for the adult child, one for the parent—when using the ABT framework
  • Three rules of storytelling
  • Addressing the COVID elephant in the room

Episode Summary:

In today’s episode, Debbie speaks with Park Howell, a storytelling strategist who helps marketers and content specialists grow their business using the power of the story. He is the host of the Business of Story podcast and the author of the 2020 book Brand Bewitchery: How to Wield the Story Cycle System to Craft Spellbinding Stories for Your Brand.
Today’s conversation explores how to sell more by saying less, and how to incorporate storytelling in your branding and marketing efforts in a way that is compelling to the audience you are speaking to. Stories allow us to experience what it is like to use a product or benefit from a service in a way that we would never be able to if we were simply “pitched” that product or service.

When communicating as a brand, instead of leading with logic, reason, data, and numbers, lead with a story. After all, every person, whether or not they want to admit it, buys with their heart and not their head. We only justify our purchases with our logical brain once the transaction has been made.

Park does a deep dive into the concept of and/but/therefore to maximize rapport and agreeableness between you (the salesperson) and the other person (your prospect or potential customer). and/but/therefore uses the three forces of story: agreement (Act 1), conflict (Act 2), solution (Act 3), respectively. This structure takes you out of the center of the story and in your place, the customer.

To use this effectively, you must understand what they want, what’s at stake for them in getting it, empathize with them in that they currently do not have it, and, finally, propose the solution to their problem.

“Your stories are not about what you make, but what you make happen in people’s lives.” Park goes on to explain how to become a compelling communicator using the power of repetition, addressing the elephant in the room, and crafting your ABT story today.

Resources Mentioned:
Business of Story
Brand Bewitchery