Thinking Inside the Box

Long before dots, coms, tweets and pins, marketers relied on printed, postman-delivered, good ol’ direct mail to get their message in the hands of prospects. While the general perception is that ROI on direct mail has weakened over the years, a quick look inside your own home mailbox tells you direct mail still works quite well for some types of businesses.

Fortunately, Senior Living is one of those types of businesses.

Why? First, the audience likes to read. Generally speaking, the adult child population you’re targeting lands squarely in the baby boomer generation. The move-in prospect is typically on the older end of the boom or born before the boom. Both sets grew up well before MTV and the internet introduced rapid-fire media consumption, so they actually have attention spans that exceed 30-seconds.

Next, your audience trusts printed material more than other mediums. That’s not to say your piece won’t be met with some cynicism, but compared to television, radio and specifically online marketing, printed materials are embraced as truthful.

Printed materials are easy to share. Granted, not as easy as online sharing, but you can be guaranteed your piece will be handed from wives to husbands, brothers to sisters, moms to adult children and so on. Prospects are known to compile well-organized binders filled with direct mail from an assortment of communities, along with hand-written notes from several decision-making parties.

Finally, nothing approaches the shelf life of printed materials. That informative email is gone the second “delete” is pressed; TV spots garner a mere 30-seconds of our time; billboards are a momentary blur. On the other hand, postcards and other direct mail pieces are hung on refrigerators; filed away in folders; shoved in the ubiquitous junk drawer.

The best part – online and digital printing have driven down the cost of printing and bulk postage can be a bargain. A balanced senior living marketing program will certainly include a robust website, frequent email blasts, social media, blog posts and more, but don’t rule out the original inbox just yet.