Looking for the secret sauce to better senior living direct mail marketing? Well, the secret involves a mix of several key ingredients rather than one magical spice. Below, we share the recipe.
Make sure your branding is consistent across all media.
You don’t want someone to experience a disconnect when they go from your direct mailer to your website to your community itself. The brand you present on the direct mailer must align with the brand you’re portraying everywhere else.
Keep in mind, however, that your senior living brand is so much more than a logo and color palette. Yes, those things inform your brand identity, but so do the words you use, the messages you share, and the way you want people to feel whenever they engage with your brand.
Make it easy for someone to take the next step.
Your direct mailer should have one goal—and this goal should be clearly conveyed in the call to action (CTA).
What’s your reason for sending the direct mailer in the first place? Some examples:
- Are you driving people to a specific landing page to download a free guide on how to finance senior living?
- Maybe you’re inviting people to a “lunch & learn” event or to take a tour.
- Or maybe you want people to call a phone number to request a brochure.
The “ask” should be clear, direct, and easy for someone to do.
Connect your senior living direct mail marketing to your larger marketing plan and ongoing campaigns.
Effective marketing doesn’t happen in silos. Your various campaigns should work in harmony as part of a strategic marketing plan or initiative.
So, for example, if you’re sending a direct mailer inviting people to have “Lunch on Us,” it should be part of a larger “Lunch on Us” campaign that has a strategic plan for promoting the event (print, web, social), executing the event (swag, brochures), and following up on the event (lead nurturing, tour invites).
Be hyper-focused when developing your mailing lists.
You might think it’s always better to cast a wide net. Wouldn’t mailing 10,000 people be better than mailing 2,000? Not necessarily. There’s a reason why direct mail response rates have historically been on the low side. Direct mail companies would often cast a super huge net, knowing that the response rate might be only 1% or 2%. They’d have to cast that big net in order to have the ROI they were looking for.
But marketing has become a lot more sophisticated over the last twenty years. Even though direct mail marketing is still considered an outbound marketing method (meaning you’re sending materials to people who haven’t self-identified a need for your services), that doesn’t mean you can’t take an inbound approach to the development of your targeted mailing list.
It all starts with understanding your ideal buyers and creating a persona for each buyer that includes detailed demographic info—info that a reputable mailing house can use to create a targeted list.
This means you’ll likely be mailing a much smaller number of direct mailers (and we realize printing and postage aren’t inexpensive). But the chances of converting people will be greater, provided you have the right messaging and the right call-to-action, which brings us to our next point.
Match the message to the audience.
There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all messaging. For example, one of your personas will likely be an adult child. And if you’re really good with your persona development, you’ll break that down into adult daughter and adult son.
The messages that resonate with the adult daughter will likely be different than the messages that resonate with the adult son. That’s basic Psychology 101. While you might think you can use the daughter message for both audiences (or the other way around), resist the temptation. You WILL get better results if you customize the messaging to each audience you send direct mailers to.
And remember: Your senior living direct mail marketing isn’t happening in a vacuum, right? The messaging you develop should be used elsewhere, like website pages, blog posts, paid online ads, social media, and email marketing, for consistency’s sake.
Don’t skimp on design and layout.
If you’ve invested in custom messaging, but you turn to DIY tools when it comes to graphic design, well . . . you’ve just wasted your investment. Sure, if you have legit graphic design skills, have at it. But if you don’t, you’re better off working with someone who does. Or you can use our SMART Brand product suite where we have ready-made templates created by professional designers, including direct mailers—templates that allow you to easily add in your logo, colors, and custom messaging.
Need help rocking your senior living direct mail marketing?
That’s what we’re here for! We can help you navigate inbound and outbound marketing methods so that they’re always working in harmony. Get in touch and let’s chat.