Reaching a Grayer Market with Direct Mail

You’ve got to hand it to those in your market who’ve crossed into senior citizen territory. This demographic has the kind of prospects who like to open their mail. Yep, a Gallup survey revealed as much – reporting that 56% of Americans aged 65 and older look forward to checking their mail every day.

So, you can reasonably conclude: When your offer arrives in their mailbox, their more likely to have a positive response than if they just didn’t care about the mail at all. Further, studies also show that, while the 65+ group certainly uses online resources, they tend to respond better to print and mail communication. It’s a comfort factor, or a “less confusion” factor.

(In an unexpected twist, young professionals 18-34 also have higher response rates to Direct Mail campaigns. But that’s likely because they have inboxes filled with spam, creating resistance to annoying and impersonal online marketing, as well as a receptiveness to those pieces of paper delivered in envelopes to their front door.)

As you create messages for this market:

Don’t call them old. Most of us don’t feel as old as we actually are. Pew Social Trends put a number on that, noting that Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) feel up to nine years younger than their actual age. So while you forget any geriatric jokes you were planning for your letter, you can still…

Remind them of the good old days. Nostalgia is good – possibly for simpler times, when life wasn’t so complicated and busy. But this demographic also enjoyed groovy, fun times during the counter-cultural revolution, and they take pride in those reminders too.

Focus on quality. Baby boomers tend to be in higher income brackets, and they want good things for their homes. Instead of pushing for hard sell (which they don’t like), give them information. Educate and show value.


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