Move over millennials, there’s a new demographic in town. When we think of typical marketing groups, the most talked about and researched are millennials. Almost every marketing article or research piece aims to decode the secret of how to reach, inspire, engage, and connect with this younger group (ages 18-34 years old). Although millennials are the largest population group (75.3 million), companies that only concern themselves with reaching one specific audience miss out on another equally important demographic.
Why you shouldn’t forget the senior class
Baby boomers (born between 1946-1965) and senior citizens (65 years or older) are some of the most untapped and often forgotten demographics. This is a big mistake.
According to AARP, nearly 10,000 adults turn 65 every day. This age group has roughly 47x the net worth of their younger counterparts and an eagerness to participate with technologies. The Pew Research Center’s most recent Social Media Fact Sheet shows, “Young adults were among the earliest social media adopters and continue to use these sites at high levels, but usage by older adults has increased in recent years.”
How to market to seniors
When it comes to marketing to the senior class, one of the best channels is mobile. It’s easy to assume that mobile is for the tech-obsessed millennials, but Pew Research Center data shows 92% or people aged 65+ say they own a cell phone and 61% own a smartphone.
One channel that resonates particularly well with senior citizens is mobile messaging or texting – and it’s no surprise why. Mobile messaging is simple, versatile, and effective. It’s one of the only marketing channels that has become second nature to us.
Senior citizens understand texting. It’s easy to use and makes sense. Here are a few important tips to keep in mind to ensure that you get your message heard – loud and clear.
1. Keep it relevant
All marketing communication should be relevant to the person receiving it, but even more so when marketing to seniors. People over 65 are more likely to be influenced by straightforward messages that get to the point rather than obscure ads and games.
Keep your text clear and use relevant, plain language. Stay away from using trendy words or references that younger people propagate. Instead of creating an elaborate collage, use a single image on a contrasting background that clearly demonstrates what you’re trying to say.
2. Keep it simple
Think through every step of your marketing program and evaluable how simple it is. The more complex something is to understand, or let alone purchase, the bigger the conversion barrier becomes.
This means that everything from onboarding to check out must be incredibly simple, straightforward, and easy to use. Many processes that make sense to younger audiences are challenging for an older audience. Make sure you simplify the onboarding process by asking the bare minimum for them to get signed up.
3. Make them feel special
Create special offers such as buy one get one free deals, special gifts on their birthday, senior citizen sale days, free deliveries, etc. These campaigns don’t have to be specific for your senior audience – everyone loves getting a coupon or special deal!
The point is you should create campaigns that make your audience – in this case your senior audience – feel special and remind them they are a valued member of your program. Help your senior customers share discounts with their friends and family by making sharing capabilities seamless and simple.
4. Establish trust – early and often
When connecting with any new customers, it’s important to establish trust from the beginning. While asking for any personal information, explain why you need that piece of information and how it’s going to improve their overall experience.
Many untrustworthy brands prey on seniors with fraudulent messages seeking their personal information. Throughout the buying process, use every opportunity to strengthen their trust in your brand. Ensure that you’ll never spam them and that their private information is safe and secure.
Provide testimonials from other customers when possible and offer money-back guarantees as part of the buying process. Don’t surprise your customer with atypical communication. Consistent behavior is key to establishing trust with not only your senior customers but all of your customers.
5. Personalize your messages
Don’t assume all of your customers are similar because they’re part of the same demographic. Not everyone aged 55 or 65+ likes and cares about the same things. Just like not everyone aged 18-34 likes and cares about the same things.
Define and segment your audience to create a communication strategy based on specific interests, location, and need. Avoid stereotyping, and don’t assume one message will work for all. Try out a myriad of messages, A/B test specific copy, and see which resonates best with your audience.
6. Be supportive throughout every step
Stay in touch with your customer even after they’ve made a purchase. The majority of subscribers want to feel connected and supported by you. Acting as a trusted brand, you’re showing them you value them and their loyalty. Be responsive and helpful regarding support issues and ensure their issue won’t sidetrack them again in the future.
The senior audience should not be overlooked. By following these six tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting in touch with this very special and promising group of potential customers. To learn more about creating mobile messaging your customers love, let’s chat.