Senior Living Marketing: 10 Effective Strategies for Success

text field on the left, 3 people on the right talking, 2 are sitting down, the other is standing with hand up and presenting something in a projector

As the senior population in the US continues to increase, senior living is an ever-growing target for marketing. As a senior living facility or retirement home owner, you might seek ways to increase awareness and generate leads. Or, as a healthcare provider, you could be trying to market your services to this group. 

Using the same old marketing strategies to target this unique audience won’t cut it anymore – you need to integrate digital and direct mail strategies.

As a direct mail automation platform that has helped senior living businesses reach their goals, we will share the best marketing strategies in this guide.

10 Effective Strategies for Senior Living Marketing

The senior living market is highly competitive. With so many assisted living and senior living facilities, how do you reach your target audience? More importantly, how do you portray your facility as the best in the market?

10 effective strategies for senior living marketing listicle

Here are 10 tried-and-tested strategies and marketing campaigns you can start with.

1. Understand the senior living community

Here are two trends that will help you understand the senior living community:

  • 61% of seniors now use smartphones in the US, showing a significant rise in recent years. This shows the growing confidence of seniors in using digital technology. 
  • Adult children of seniors often play a big decision-making role in deciding where their parents live.

Other than that, you should also consider the exact target market you should cater to; this helps refine your marketing strategies. Here are some questions you should answer:

  • Are you targeting working seniors or retired seniors?
  • Do you have a majority of women seniors in your facility? Should you target more females?
  • Are you looking to target single seniors?
  • Does your community cater to seniors with specific health needs?
  • Do you want to target seniors whose children don’t live with them?

2. Address specific needs and concerns

Have your customer-facing staff point out the common concerns when they talk to seniors. Do they ask for a tour of the facility? What stops them from enrolling in your community? Which factors do they prioritize?

All of this information can help you decide what you should include in your marketing material. For example, many seniors want to know the experience of residents. You can showcase pictures of current residents along with their testimonials in your brochure or email campaign.

This targeted approach will make your campaigns more personalized and increase conversion rates.

3. Integrate digital with direct mail

Many seniors now use smartphones to access social media and read email campaigns. This calls for an integrated approach to marketing.

smartphone ownership graph per year

Image source

Many of our customers who use direct marketing integrate it with their digital initiatives to bring their target audience online—for example, having a QR code on the brochure, which, upon scanning, brings the senior to a virtual tour landing page on the website.

With this integrated approach, you can even track conversions and optimize them.

4. Create educational content on topics like community events and health

After understanding your target audience, you can create content directed towards them. For example, you’re targeting seniors with certain medical conditions. You can create content on how to reduce symptoms, what activities occur in the facility that help, how to ensure mental well-being, etc.

If you hold certain community events, create content around them as well. If you have the resources, we suggest using various content formats and channels, for example, creating blogs, videos, podcasts, and ebooks and using channels like email and direct mail marketing for distribution.

5. Build a strong brand presence

benefits of a strong brand identity illustration

A strong brand identity can be a key differentiating factor in a competitive market. Here are a few ways you can build a strong brand presence.

  • Develop a compelling brand story: Highlight your facility’s history, values, and commitment to providing quality care and a fulfilling lifestyle for seniors.
  • Create a consistent visual identity: Develop a cohesive visual identity for your senior living facility, including a logo, color scheme, typography, and imagery. Ensure your branding elements are consistent across all marketing materials and digital platforms.
  • Participate in community events: Get involved in local community events, health fairs, and senior expos to promote your senior living facility and engage with potential residents and their families. You can even consider hosting informational seminars or workshops on topics of interest to seniors.
  • Build relationships with residents and their families: Foster strong relationships by prioritizing personalized care, open communication, and responsive customer service. Listen to feedback, promptly address concerns, and actively involve residents and families in decision-making.

6. Turn your current residents into brand ambassadors

Turning current residents into brand ambassadors for a senior living facility involves fostering a vibrant community environment and providing exceptional care. Encourage resident engagement through social activities and events that promote connections and belonging. After these events, actively solicit feedback from them, listening to their suggestions and addressing concerns promptly. This builds better trust and credibility in your community.

You can even empower residents to share their positive experiences and stories through social media. 

Here’s an example from Brookdale Living.

2 senior ladies standing on the left and instagram thread on the right

Image source

Many facilities even implement referral programs incentivizing residents to refer friends and family. 

7. Network with other healthcare providers

Creating a network of healthcare professionals who can refer your facility to their patients is a great way to attract potential residents. This is a great strategy for those facilities that target residents with a certain health issue or condition. You can even set up brochures in various clinics and healthcare facilities. 

But how do you reach out to these companies? One of the best ways is to attend events where people from these companies are present. You can build a network and pitch your facility to them when the time is right and build a mutually beneficial plan.

8. Share testimonials and success stories of residents

Did you know that 90% of buyers who read positive customer success content claimed it influenced their buying decisions?

People now trust branded content less. Instead, they rely on reviews and testimonials by existing customers. Many senior living facilities have realized the power of testimonials in building trust. This has led to a section on success stories on blogs, testimonials that go on their website, and direct mail advertising material.

Look at how Five Star Senior Living has created engaging resident stories and shared them on its website.

five star web page

Image source

9. Allow outsiders in seasonal and holiday campaigns

One of seniors’ main concerns when choosing a place to spend their lives is, “How are the other seniors at this place? Would I fit in amongst them?” By allowing these potential residents to be a part of your events, you can give them a chance to explore your facility and gel with your residents.

This is a great way to start spreading the word about the different events at your facility. 

Here’s how The Woodlands organized a “Lunch & Learn” event, where potential residents had lunch with seniors, followed by a tour of the facility.

the woodlands web page - showing happy seniors

Image source

10. Offer tours of your senior living facility

Physical tours of your senior living community allow potential clients to experience the environment firsthand. This is something many seniors and their families need. It’s an opportunity to showcase the quality of your facilities and services.

You can even personalize each tour to cater to the needs and preferences of the individual or family, addressing any specific concerns or questions they may have about senior living. While setting up a tour, ensure knowledgeable staff members are available to guide the tours. Also, provide detailed information about the facilities, activities, and care options.

Step-by-Step Campaign Implementation for Senior Living Marketing

For effective marketing outcomes, you need a step-by-step guide that can help you carry out everything from planning to analysis. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need.

step by step campaign implementation illustration

Define objectives

Ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve with your campaign. Are you looking to increase occupancy rates, enhance brand awareness, or promote specific amenities? Also, consider factors such as market trends, competitive analysis, and demographic insights to inform your objectives. Additionally, ensure alignment with overall business goals and budget constraints. 

Pro-tip: Make your objectives specific, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This ensures your team is working to achieve the right goals. 

Audience targeting

Audience targeting for senior living involves identifying and segmenting potential residents based on demographic, psychographic, and behavioral factors. Start by analyzing demographic data such as age, income, and location to understand the primary audience. Then, utilize psychographic insights to understand lifestyle preferences, values, and interests.

You can even consider behavioral targeting based on online activity, such as searches for senior living options or engagement with related content. Additionally, leverage data from existing residents and referrals to refine targeting efforts. 

Campaign design

Your campaign’s design should align with brand standards and campaign objectives. You also need to focus on incorporating design elements that align with seniors, like:

  • Use clear, legible fonts with a larger size
  • Ensure high contrast between text and background colors to aid readability
  • Keep the design clean and uncluttered to avoid overwhelming seniors. 
  • Use ample white space and organize content logically for easy navigation.
  • Incorporate images that are relevant, relatable, and evoke positive emotions. 
  • Use familiar symbols and labels to guide users through the content

Content creation

The next step is creating content that resonates with your audience, provides value, and addresses the needs and concerns of your seniors. You should also incorporate relatable stories, testimonials, and imagery featuring seniors.

Our clients have seen the best results with personalized content. You can create messaging based on different factors, such as age, gender, marital status, etc. With platforms such as Postalytics, personalized direct mail at scale becomes easy.

Automation setup

You can use direct mail automation tools like Postalytics to streamline campaign execution and personalization. For example, you can set a triggered direct mail workflow on Postalytics. Whenever a senior registers for an event, you can send an invitation to them with information about your facility. This ensures your automated direct mail campaigns reach the right people at the right time.

You can even integrate your direct mail automation platform with CRM systems for seamless data flow and easy personalization in your automated direct mail campaign.

Print and distribution

High-quality printing is essential for direct mail campaigns to make a strong visual impact. Instead of wasting money on going through all the steps individually, you can subscribe to Postalytics. It handles everything from creation to printing and distribution.

If you deal in bulk mail, you can even get cost-effective rates. To ensure your distribution planning is efficient, take into consideration timing and logistics. For example, if you are sending a time-sensitive direct mail, plan everything in advance and rely on a trusted distribution partner who can deliver the mail on time.

Integration with other channels

A multi-channel approach can help you reach a wider audience. You can combine direct marketing with digital marketing initiatives like email marketing and social media marketing. For example, you can target email non-responders with direct marketing to see if you get an uptick in response rates.

Similarly, you can use QR codes and pURLs on direct mail to bring customers online and track conversions. You can experiment with multiple such campaigns and see which works best for your facility.

Monitoring and adjusting

Real-time monitoring lets you track campaign performance against objectives. You can utilize analytics tools to track conversion rates, engagement levels, and return on investment (ROI). You can then adjust strategies and tactics based on insights gained from this analysis, such as refining audience targeting, optimizing messaging, or reallocating budget to high-performing channels.

You can even implement A/B testing to experiment with different approaches and measure their impact. 

Post-campaign analysis

Post-campaign analysis involves evaluating the effectiveness of marketing efforts to inform future strategies. Start by reviewing key metrics like conversion rates, ROI, and engagement levels against predefined KPIs. Next, identify successful strategies and areas for improvement, considering factors such as messaging, targeting, and channel performance. 

Document these findings and insights in a comprehensive report, highlighting successes, challenges, and actionable recommendations for future campaigns. Use this analysis to refine strategies, optimize resource allocation, and drive better results in subsequent marketing initiatives.

Elevate With Postalytics

Marketing to the senior living audiences comes with its unique challenges and opportunities. With these marketing strategies, you’re all set to create and execute campaigns that increase awareness of your senior living facility and bring a lot of potential residents.

When it comes to direct marketing for senior living, you cannot afford to spend money and time on the wrong initiatives. With ready-made templates, personalization features, triggered mail, and end-to-end service functionality, Postalytics direct mail automation software should be in your tech stack.

To know more about Postalytics, get in touch with our team.