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Part II: NEW 100 Best Senior Living Marketing Tips

Last Wednesday, we started off our list of the New 100 Best Senior Living Marketing Tips with numbers 100-81.

Today it’s 80-61.

Enjoy! And let us know what you think.

80. Consider everyone a qualified lead. Just because a prospect pulls up in an old car or their ZIP code isn’t in a high-home-value area doesn’t mean they can’t afford to move in. Begin by establishing interest in making a move, and then pursue their ability to afford it.

79. Understand that one senior doesn’t speak for all seniors. Don’t get too worried about one or two complaints…but don’t ignore complaints, either.

78. Sometimes “The way we’ve always done it” just doesn’t work anymore. Regularly evaluate your marketing/sales and operational strategy. Get in the habit of asking “Why?”

77. Be sure every direct mail piece has an offer. “Call today” is not an offer. Seminars, luncheons, open houses, even free gifts and other incentives are offers. And make sure your offer is relevant and appropriate. A $25 gift card may not mean much to higher-net-worth prospects. Know your community audience.

76. Your conduct during a prospect’s community visit speaks volumes. When touring a prospect, speak to every employee or resident you meet.

75. Don’t always follow the competition. Senior sections, for example. Be unique. Stand out on your own. And don’t forget direct mail is the most effective way to get your message to the right audience.

74. Follow up an appointment with a thank-you call in a timely manner. They may never be more interested in moving ahead than right after an appointment. Don’t assume they need time to consider their situation. Follow up and let them tell you how they would like to proceed.

73. Get to know your local media. Build a relationship with key editors and reporters, be a resource and understand what’s really relevant. Solid relationships get your news releases read and could be helpful in a crisis situation.

72. Try devoting at least 10%-15% of your media budget to trying something new. Options are endless: You can try different sections of the paper, different ad sizes, running different days of the week, try a new publication or station. Even if it doesn’t work, you’ll have learned something and can dedicate your budget to things that do work.

71. When asking your media partner for added value, consider having them add on something you haven’t tried before, instead of just getting a lower rate. It’s a low-risk way to see if you could test something that might be a strong performer for you.

70. Use call-outs to support events. Try calling leads in addition to mailing invitations. It costs less per attendee. It’s a reason to call. You’ll see strong acceptance rates.

69. Use email marketing to help develop relationships with leads. Provide an opportunity on your website to opt-in to receive email communications. Send simple group newsletters regularly, event invitations, etc. Send personal email with links to topics of interest or other relevant information. Utilize an inexpensive, Web-based email tool for email marketing.

68. Send leads a cost comparison analysis of their financial situation. Then invite them to a personal appointment to help them take the next step.

67. Be sensitive when working with adult children. They’re in the midst of one of the hardest decisions they’ll ever have to make, and they’re balancing it with the struggles of their daily work and family life. Be a resource for them.

66. Create co-op events with business partners. Share the costs and enhance the content. Good partners might include home health agencies, your food service provider, banks or senior organizations.

65. Have some sales-focused fun. Hold contests for sales team members to generate appointments: Every six weeks, designate a two-hour window at the end of a work day to make phone-outs. Give away prizes for most connected calls, most appointments set, etc.

64. Extend your community’s culture and personality out into the public. You can do this through your brand, the types of events you hold, your staff, outreach to community, news releases, social media, etc. Give people a reason to think you’re unique, interesting and worth checking out.

63. Build a community channel on YouTube. It’s free and you never know when a new Internet star will be born. Do this even if you post video on your website, as the two venues serve different audiences.

62. Mail to individuals 75 years of age or older for independent living direct mail. There are a few exceptions to this advice, but for most communities and most types of residences, very few individuals move in before they’re 75 years old. Mail to those with the greatest likelihood to be interested.

61. Be responsive to your leads. Be timely in fulfilling requests for information. The experience a prospect has with the sales team sets their expectation for the service level of the entire community.

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