Barely 10% of most marketing budgets are allocated to Baby Boomers and yet they outspend other generations annually by billions of dollars. While Boomers may not be buying big ticket items like houses, they not only buy for themselves, but also for others, making them an audience worth pursuing, regardless of your industry. And if you think Boomers aren’t worth targeting on social media channels, think again. 65% of this generation is active on Facebook and almost 70% regularly use YouTube.
It is time for marketers to toss out their assumptions about Baby Boomers and go after this lucrative target audience. They tend to be loyal to brands once a relationship is established and as more of this generation retires, they’ll be looking for new things to fill their time. Read on to learn how you can tap into the Baby Boomer audience.
Email marketing continues to be an excellent means of building awareness, acquiring leads, and pushing conversions. In addition, research has found that email is the second leading online activity of Boomers falling slightly behind online search. Email is a critical marketing channel for engaging Baby Boomers throughout the buyers’ journey. It allows you to deliver the personalized messages they desire in order to make the ultimate conversion.
The following are some suggestions to include in your email marketing strategy for this generation:
Segment your Audience
A number of studies have found that list segmentation increases open rates as well as click-through rates. At the same time, segmentation decreases the rate of consumers who request to unsubscribe from your mailing list. When segmenting your target audience, separate your lists based on where the leads fall within the sales funnel.
Consumers just beginning their search process will require different information and more positively respond to different messaging than consumers making their final choice of products or services. Tailor the messages in your email marketing to provide the right information at the right time. This will help ensure you are effectively moving the consumers in each group into the next section of the sales funnel.
Write Goal Oriented Messages
Each email message should have a specific goal to make the most of your audience segmentation. Avoid sending confusing or mixed messages are you develop content geared towards each stage of the buyer’s decision-making process. Have one specific goal paired with a strong call to action. Use concise, yet persuasive language to encourage the consumers in each audience segment to convert at their level and move on.
Tell a Story
Baby Boomers have little tolerance for an in-your-face, hard sell. Tell a story that is compelling and memorable. Present your products or services in a factual and honest manner and focus on the value-added proposition of what you are offering. Communicate, in detail, how your brand will positively impact and change the Baby Boomer’s daily life.
Truly, test everything as it helps to reduce risks by eliminating assumptions. Testing can validate, or invalidate, any choices you’ve implemented. It also increases your understanding of the performance of various aspects of your email marketing.
A/B Split testing is the most common type of tests that you can conduct since it deals with a single element and you can have unlimited variations. Test everything – the subject lines, call to action buttons and text, overall email design, headlines, and so on. Sometimes all it takes is a few small tweaks to create an increase in engagement, click through rates, and conversions.
OTHER TIPS FOR CREATING MARKETING GEARED TOWARDS BABY BOOMERS
A Mobile Responsive Website is a Must
Your website is the 24/7 face of your brand. It is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your reach, increase your brand awareness, and market your business. A site with top-notch user experience is paramount to a positive and effective online presence.
A factor with a big impact on user experience is a consumer’s ability to easily access and look through a website. Over two-thirds of Baby Boomers own a smartphone meaning it is imperative that your website is mobile responsive. Responsive site design will offer a high level of consistency regardless of the device being used to view your site.
Avoid the Use of Abbreviations and Slang
Baby boomers are most likely to be using their smartphones to send texts filled with proper grammar. Abbreviations can lead to confusion and miscommunication. Keep in mind that slang, for the most part, is generational. But don’t try to fill your messages with stereotypical assumptions of slang from the Baby Boomers era. Just spell things out and communicate clearly in everyday language.
Provide Helpful, Value-Added Information
More so than the Millennial and Gen Z populations, Baby Boomers want information that will help them live life to its fullest. They want no hidden messages or other nonsense. They want facts in a straightforward manner that will help them in the decision-making process. Write your targeted content accordingly. Communicate how your products or services will improve their lives or lifestyles.
Speaking of nonsense, avoid clickbait. Baby Boomers aren’t going to fall for melodramatic, manipulative headlines and lead-ins. Tell them, in an up-front manner what you are offering and they will be more likely to click on it if they deem the topic relevant to their lives.
Social Media Marketing
Choose social platforms wisely. Statista found that 72% of Baby Boomers are using Facebook compared to 28% who stated they use Pinterest and only 18% who are active on Instagram. Remember to also keep your social content well formatted and leave the abbreviations and hashtag overload for a different crowd. For more on generationally based social media tips, see our article: Social Media Engagement Tips from Baby Boomers to Gen Z
Use Hashtags Sparingly
While some would suggest you avoid hashtags altogether when marketing to Baby Boomers, we’d simply recommend you have a very focused hashtag strategy in place. Use single word hashtags and avoid anything too cutesy or vague. Any hashtags you use should be incredibly relevant to the actual content of the post. If you consider AARP to be the gurus when communicating with those over 50, you have to know they do not use hashtags in either their Twitter posts or their Instagram posts. Just saying.
Provide Amazing Customer Service
Baby Boomers made it through their childhood without cell phones or technology that automatically interacted with them. This group favors one-on-one interactions and shows loyalty to brands that offer customer service that demonstrates their appreciation for their customers. Providing top-notch customer service throughout all portions of the buyer’s journey is essential not only to retaining and cultivating loyal customers but also in acquiring new customers. The customer service switch should not be flipped on only when a customer expresses dissatisfaction or raises a concern. Every interaction with every aspect of your brand should be a positively memorable experience for your customer base.
To effectively market to any generation, it is important to understand what makes that generation unique. That being said, each person is an individual and may or may not fit into the trends of his or her generation. The best you can do is create impactful marketing messages that speak to as much of your target audience as possible.
The team at Strategy Driven Marketing understands the importance of meeting segments of your target audience on the platforms they love, speaking directly to them, and helping them understand how your products or services will meet their challenges and fulfill their needs. Whether you want to talk social media marketing strategy, need assistance with content creation, social analytics, or whatever your needs may be, SDM can help. Contact us today to get started!