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The Senior Market Demographic
Let’s start with who the senior demographic is made of. It’s easy to assume they are all one population segment, but that’s inaccurate. The aging citizen population comprises over 50 million people from four distinct groups.
Pre-Retirees: While the term senior technically starts at 55, we don’t want to discount that many 50-year-olds are actively planning for retirement. Plus, some pre-retirees have younger spouses actively involved in household decision-making.
Retirees: This population segment involves older adults who have stopped working and are enjoying their leisure time. This demographic is interested in continued financial security, senior living communities, travel, and hobbies.
Active Seniors: Active seniors are just as they sound! Being physically and mentally active, these older Americans will be interested in financial security, vibrant communities, sports, travel, and social events.
Frail Seniors: This demographic is made up of older adults who have health issues or disabilities. Some may need assistance with day-to-day activities or rely on family for support. They are interested in health information, assisted living, and how to leave money to their loved ones.
How to Market to Seniors
Marketers must understand their unique needs and motivations to connect to seniors successfully. Here are our top insights into how to market to the senior demographic seamlessly.
1. Use personal examples instead of statistics.
Sure, statistics matter, but the senior market is more convinced by testimonials, referrals, and hearing from an individual they can identify with. Create an opportunity for them to hear from people like them who have had success with your product or service, and they will be more likely to convert!
2. Provide some nostalgia.
Everyone likes to reminisce from time to time. The senior market responds better to images and language from their past and avoids modern jargon and pictures. However, consider what images you use – marketing to seniors with images from the 1930s could be an immediate dismissal if the average senior was born in the 1950s.
3. Consider disabilities.
Many older generations have physical limitations, including poor eyesight and hearing. When marketing to seniors, use larger fonts and avoid crammed images. Next, use short, crisp copy. Then, make websites easy to navigate and offer audio blogs. And don’t forget, when marketing to seniors for an upcoming event, clarify that handicapped accessibility is available.
4. Value-added pieces.
Who doesn’t love a little extra something? A small gift, a discount, a free consultation, or a flyer – all these value-added items can be the difference that wins over your target audience. Seniors are particularly fond of value-added pieces, so use them when it’s reasonable.
5. Choose your graphics wisely.
Statistics and figures are great, but they can be confusing. Use charts and graphs clearly outlining your successes and leaving nothing to question. Next, find graphics that emotionally connect with mature prospects.
However, avoid the stereotypes of seniors in rocking chairs or at the golf course. A good rule is to use pictures 10-15 years younger than your target audience and vibrant images that suggest a rich, full life. Pictures of grandchildren, sporting events, and travel can work exceptionally well.
6. They use a variety of mediums.
Multichannel marketing to seniors is the way to go. Seniors use smartphones, computers, and tablets. In addition, they watch television and go through their mail. In fact, they are everywhere and anywhere. Don’t limit your contact with them to just one platform. Prospects today expect to see brands at multiple locations, and it builds trust. Don’t disappoint them!
7. Resistant to change.
But really, who isn’t? Change is hard, even for those that have experienced it for years. Use content and call-to-actions that don’t focus on change or newness. Copy should highlight how your product or service is non-disruptive, simple to use, and fits in well with their life.
8. Seniors love direct mail.
Many current marketing campaigns are online, and for good reason. But don’t discount the enormous success that direct mail marketing has, particularly on seniors. 89% of seniors expect and look for offers in the mail, and 65% report they enjoy checking their mail more than any other demographic.
Not only that, but while digital marketing prices have increased by 10.5% in 2023, a single postcard increased by just 1.57%. So direct mail marketing for seniors will not only give you a better response, but it could save you money as well.
9. Provide reasons.
Just like everyone else, your mature prospects want to be in control of their decisions. Your job is to help them make that decision. Prove your claim clearly, lay out your service’s or product’s benefits, and make their decision easy.
10. The mature audience is cautious.
And why wouldn’t they be after living through multiple economic turns? Ensure your marketing to seniors stresses the credibility and success of your services, security in their choices, and options for them to connect with you and do business with you. The more you can assuage their fears, the more likely they will trust you and become clients.
11. Offer options for connecting.
The older population wants choices. Make sure your call-to-actions provide options for them to get in touch with you. Here’s a hint – seniors are most likely to connect by 1) phone, 2) online ordering, 3) mail, or 4) text in that order. In fact, you can expect 50-60% of contact to be by phone. Make sure all the options are available for them to connect so they have the choice they want.
12. Personalization matters.
It’s been proven repeatedly, including in our own internal testing – personalization results in more responses, which means converting more clients. Or statistics show a 64% increase in response rates when marketing is personalized, which is why at LeadingResponse, this option comes standard with all campaigns. Don’t miss out on the senior market by ignoring this detail.
13. Be patient.
It’s common for seniors to take their time with major decisions and wants multiple touchpoints before purchasing. Take time to educate, understand, and reconnect with your prospects often. It will help to encourage them to trust you with their most important decisions.
Sign More Seniors to Your Business
Honing your marketing strategies, content, and campaigns to the mature demographic can help you increase your clientele and expand your company. This target audience isn’t like any other and needs to be treated as such.
When it comes to senior marketing, no one does it better than LeadingResponse. Our technology allows us to engage with over 1.9 million prospects, primarily seniors, every year. We capture the demographics of this audience, including behaviors, transactional data, and socioeconomic data to ensure they are the perfect fit for our clients.
If you’re ready to learn more about how our multichannel marketing solutions can connect you with more qualified seniors, contact us for a free consultation.