Market to seniors by e-mail

November 18, 2009

Brand marketers shifting their attention to be more inclusive of seniors are on the right path

Brand marketers shifting their attention to be more inclusive of seniors are on the right path – not only because of the vast demographic swell about to happen, but because seniors show higher purchase intent than younger consumers do for CPG, pharmaceuticals, entertainment and travel. 

Moreover, a Focalyst study reveals that consumers age 62 and up who use the Internet have nearly twice the income of those who don’t go online. With more resources to spend, and ready access to goods and services through the Web, these seniors look to be excellent sales prospects.

Brands that court seniors through e-mail marketing might find particular success, suggests an account of the study in MediaPost’s Email Insider, because older consumers could grow increasingly frail and prefer not to trek to the store or the mall.

That may be true for some, but certainly not for all, we believe at Nor do seniors want to be isolated. If they’re able to go out, they will.   Which is why we urge brands to keep in mind successful brick-and-click strategies, with retailers in the loop, along with any direct-sell e-mail communications between themselves and seniors. 

Marketers should also be alert to opportunities to sell seniors on products for their grown children and their families (See our coverage of The Grandparents Economy, May 8, 2009).

To make your e-mail marketing to seniors most productive, Email Insider offered some tips. Among them:
•    Design with larger-than-normal text size, and allow readers to enlarge the type size with a single click.
•    Keep the message content brief and the design clean.
•    Make target buttons large.
•    Links from the e-mail should go directly to the offers on your website.
•    Simplify the checkout process.
•    Expand your e-mail list by making it easy and worthwhile for Web searchers who land on your site to sign up to receive your e-mails directly.

Don’t let these opportunities age – because seniors are bounding ahead. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the nation’s population 65 and older will jump 40%, from 36.8 million currently to 51.7 million, by 2015. This figure could reach 88.5 million, or 20% of the U.S. population, by 2050.