How much time do you spend sifting through emails? To be completely truthful, it’s probably not your favorite part of the day. Sure, you have your preferred businesses and publishers who provide information you’re actually interested in, but if you’re like me, 90 percent of what you receive goes straight to Archive before even opening the message.
According to recent reports, the average office worker receives over 120 emails in one day. That’s a lot of noise to sift through. Our consumers have a split second to determine what is junk and what is actually relevant. That’s why we as senior living marketers must stay vigilant to stand out from the rest of the email blasts and stay out of the trash folder.
With that, here are a few quick steps to setting a winning email campaign — and staying out of the SPAM folder — in the senior living industry.
1. Earn their trust and keep it
Your subject line should give readers a good taste of what’s in store for them when they open their email. If your subject line is “Move-In Specials Starting at $3,995,” you would expect to see more about move-in rates once you opened the email.
If instead, the first thing you see are bios of each of the associates, you would probably get confused and trash the email, right? Once they’ve opened the email, they’ve given you their trust. Make it worth their time in reading it by giving them what they’re expecting.
In the same vein, your “From” line should accurately and clearly say who this email is from. It’s perfectly fine for the message to come from your community. Just don’t say something cryptic like, “Senior Living”. Your readers need to know exactly who you are before opening your email.
2. Use clear, concise calls-to-action
What do you want the recipient to do when they open the email? Chances are there is something you want them to click — maybe a video that opens up in YouTube, or a review you’re asking them to leave online, or a link to your website to sign up for a tour.
Regardless, be upfront about what you’re asking for. After you’ve given them good reasons why they should perform the CTA, make that action as clear as possible.
Don’t muddle up the message by hiding your link in a long paragraph of text. Use buttons, section dividers, and even white space to set the CTA apart. And for goodness sakes, don’t ask the recipient to do too much! One CTA is enough, two is pushing it. Any more than that and you really need a separate email blast sent out to a segment of your audience.
(Note: newsletters can be the exception to this rule since you are giving your audience tiny slices of content they can read more about by clicking a link.)
3. Purchasing a list? Don’t even think about it!
It may be tempting to purchase an email list by a company promising to get you new leads for a low cost. While that sounds great, you’re really asking for trouble.
If you’re sending emails to a purchased list, you’re blasting people with information that they haven’t signed up for and probably aren’t interested in. Doing so means your chances of getting the dreaded SPAM complaints are very high. Too many SPAM complaints and your emails could get blocked by ISPs (Internet Service Providers), meaning even those that signed up for your content won’t get it. Your domain can even be blacklisted, which means your community won’t show up in search results. Bad news!
I can say from seeing this happen firsthand to a colleague of mine, it will take an act of congress to get your site off a blacklist. Long story short, don’t purchase an email list. It’s just not worth it.
4. Don’t forgo the footer
I know. It’s boring and no one looks at it. But the footer is important for compliance with CAN-SPAM, the Federal Trade Commission’s law for commercial emails.
You must include your community’s address and an opt-out link. It’s also a great idea to write a short blurb reminding recipients why they’re on your list in the first place. A simple, “You are receiving this email because you signed up for more information on our website.” Easy, right?
About the opt-out: of course, no one wants someone to unsubscribe, and since your content is highly relevant to your targeted audience, you’ll never have to worry about unsubscribes, right? Well, not exactly.
People who were once interested in your content may fall away or may just not need your services anymore, and that is OK. What’s not OK is making it difficult or impossible for your contacts to unsubscribe. Take care of opt-outs instantly and move on with the contacts who are still on your team.
Though there is so much more involved with email marketing for senior living, taking these few steps when setting up your email campaigns can go a long way in making a great first email impression.
Need some assistance in building powerful and relevant email marketing campaigns for your senior living communities? Reach out! We would love to help you get started on bringing value to your leads from the digital landscape, whether it is email, website, or social media initiatives.