Direct mail seems like a safe bet for senior living marketing. According to USPS research, Boomers like getting direct mail more than other generations. So it makes sense to reach out to your target audience via snail mail. But then what happens? It’s tossed away and forgotten by the majority of recipients. When budgets are tight, convincing your audience to actually respond for a senior living event means your messaging needs to hit your target. When it doesn’t, check to ensure you’re avoiding these 5 reasons for campaign failures.

  1. Did you choose Every Door Direct Mail® instead of targeting the right households? If so, you’ve been penny wise and pound foolish. Choosing EDD mailings means you believe entire neighborhoods and ZIP Codes are your target audience. While that’s true for a pizza joint, it’s not going to work for an upscale senior living community. 

2. Are you wasting time and money on bad postal hygiene? It’s been estimated that undelivered as addressed mail (UAA) cost the US Postal Service about $1.3 billion in 2023 and more than $20 billion to the entire mailing industry. Unless your print partner runs a full postal hygiene sweep on your list before each mailing, your marketing message will run the risk of being undeliverable.  

3. Are you trying to save money by DIYing your design? Last year, marketers sent about 63 million pieces of direct mail. While 80% of recipients were at least scanning each piece, unless your design really catches their eye and triggers the right emotional response, your piece is going into the round bin. And let’s not forget about the rules regarding the various options for each type of direct mail. Professional graphic designers ensure they get the design right, both for the message and the post office.  

4. Were you trying to streamline the process and cut costs by relying on AI-generated text? It’s tempting to opt for a plug-and-play solution, but it’s seldom effective. Simply repeating you have chef-crafted meals, or maintenance-free living isn’t going to do the job. Your community features and amenities fall into the nice-to-know category, which doesn’t lead to conversion. A professional writer understands how to focus on the benefits a potential resident will reap by choosing you. The bottom line is that your message should be all about them instead of you.

5. Did you choose to go small instead of big? When it comes to direct mail, size does matter. Your message is competing with 63 BILLION other pieces of marketing for attention. And a small piece of mail is easily overlooked, bent or marred in some way. A professional partner can help you understand the implications of your direct mail choices and guide you to make the best choice to convert your audience.

Success or Failure

No one wants to waste even the tiniest bit of their marketing budget. And yet, USPS reported a loss of $2.2 million in 2023 for UAA marketing direct mail. We understand just how difficult it is to convert a cold prospect into a hot lead and then welcome them as a resident in your senior living community. We know the important role direct mail plays in a cohesive and effective omnichannel strategy. That’s why you should reach out to Maribeth today. Dial in your strategy with a custom MicroModel Report, and our outstanding processes to enhance and improve your next direct mail campaign. We want to help you turn failure into success.