Does Direct Mail Still Have a Place in Senior Living Marketing?

When it comes to senior living marketing in the 21st century, everyone talks about digital marketing, and rightfully so. Today’s buyers begin their searches online. And this most definitely includes the senior living audience.

So if things like websites, pay-per-click ads, and social media are where the marketing magic takes place, doesn’t that answer our question regarding direct mail?

Not so fast!

We believe there is indeed a place for direct mail when done right. (That last bit is important.) Allow us to explain . . .

People do read or at least scan snail mail, including direct mail pieces. (And yes, they convert on the offers, too.)

According to Small Biz Genius, 42.2% of direct mail recipients either read or scan the mail they get, and most households keep advertising mail for 17 days on average. This is important to know, especially in senior living marketing.

Small Biz Genius goes on to say that direct mail offers a not-too-shabby 29% return on investment. And Lob, a business that uses automation to help companies send smarter snail mail, notes that 66% of people have bought something because of direct mail.

Direct mail can be a great way to get your brand on people’s radar.

Piggy-backing on the above stats, if you want to start planting the seed about your senior living community, direct mail pieces can be a great way to do exactly that.

Imagine sending a series of over-sized postcards over 12 months — bright, cheerful, glossy cards with one focused message and your logo front and center. You’ve probably heard the adage that it takes 7-10 touches before a brand begins to resonate with a consumer. A direct mail strategy can be a good way to prime the pump.

Direct mail could be an excellent way to reach adult children.

One stat from Small Biz Genius stood out to us in particular: “Consumers aged 45-54 are the demographic group most likely to respond to direct mail pieces.” That demographic is a sweet spot for adult children who might be helping their older loved ones find appropriate senior living. (By the way: We’ve designed a turnkey marketing campaign specifically for adult children — get in touch if you’d like to know more.)

Direct mail can supplement and reinforce your digital marketing efforts.

Just as we always preach that you need to make sure your marketing and sales efforts are in alignment, the same is true for inbound marketing and outbound marketing methods. Don’t think of it as an either/or scenario, but rather one more tool you can include in your trusty senior living marketing toolbox.

We can help direct your inbound and outbound marketing efforts, including direct mail.

We know the ins and outs of digital marketing, and we regularly create turnkey marketing packages through our SMARTbrand program that include elements from both, including direct mail pieces that you can easily customize. Learn more about SMARTbrand. Or get in touch and we can show you some great senior living marketing ideas that’ll work for your community!

Clicking a mouse with a hundred dollar bill graphic, representing pay per click advertising in Senior Living

Senior Living Advertising: The Formula for Pay-Per-Click Success

Senior living advertising, particularly pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, can be a great strategy to generate leads. Or it can be a complete waste of money.

The success of your PPC senior living advertising hinges on three things:

1. Developing a sound strategy

You need to target the right audience with a compelling message and/or offer. This involves understanding your ideal prospect. It also involves developing engaging content that appeals to your ideal prospect. Finally, it involves knowing the keywords your prospect is searching on.

Bottom line: Don’t bother with any sort of paid advertising until you’ve done your persona work. You need to know your ideal prospects inside and out before you can advertise to them online.

2. Having a senior living website optimized for conversions

You can spend a lot of money driving traffic to your website. But if your site isn’t built to convert visitors into leads, what’s the point?

An optimized senior living website will have the following:

Bottom line: Don’t bother with pay-per-click advertising of any kind until you’ve done all of the above. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting money.

3. Being realistic about your online advertising budget

Effective online advertising is marathon, not a sprint. Unlike a print ad that you run once a week or once a quarter, your online ads are something that will likely run daily for the long haul with a specific daily spend limit.

The dollars can add up quickly, too. For more competitive regions in the country, you’ll spend more. This is why it’s critical to have a sound strategy and a senior living website that’s poised to convert the leads that come in from paid ads. As noted earlier, this often involves creating special landing pages and content specifically for the prospects who come in from the pay-per-click advertising. (And this additional work will increase your advertising budget even more.)

Bottom line: When figuring out your budget, consider the lifetime value of a resident and work backwards on what you should target for a daily spend that will deliver the best ROI.

Should you work with a PPC firm on your senior living advertising?

It does make sense to work with a firm that has experience in developing, setting up, and monitoring online advertising for senior living communities. Pay attention to that last part. Having a firm with PPC expertise isn’t enough these days. Choose a firm that also understands senior living.