How To Target Baby Boomers: A Direct Mail Strategy
According to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), the number of baby boomers currently in the U.S. numbers around 76 million. That is almost one-quarter of the entire U.S. population, making them a prime target for marketers. One of the best ways to reach the baby boomer generation is through direct mail. However, it is critical that you don’t approach this like your other direct mail marketing campaigns. Here are some things to keep in mind as well as some useful tips when developing your direct mail marketing campaign targeting baby boomers.
Besides Their Population Size, Why To Target Them
The baby boomer generation controls approximately 70% of all disposable income in the U.S. This generation is quite affluent and empowers them to make buying decisions. But this does not explain why direct mail would be a good marketing channel to use. According to Neil Patel in his article, “How to Reach Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials with Your Online Marketing,” the baby boomer generation “are more likely to respond to direct mail campaigns than any other generation.” Another factor to consider is how many of them are reaching retirement age, and have more free time to engage with content. According to a Marketing Chart Study that surveyed purchase influence among baby boomers between the ages of 50-68, they found that “more than 3 in 10 survey respondents reporting that direct mail had influenced them to purchase a product or service during the prior 6 months. Interestingly, that was the most commonly-cited purchase influencer of 16 identified, ahead of word-of-mouth and online consumer reviews.” With these things in mind, you can see why direct mail is a prime marketing option. To make sure that your campaign reaches them effectively, keep these things at the forefront when crafting your message.
Be Straightforward Rather Than Creative
When you are drafting your copy, make sure that your message hits home on everything and does not come off vague. According to the Entrepreneur in “5 Ways to Effectively Market to Baby Boomers,” they say, “seniors want to see everything spelled out in print. It’s far more important to use the right language than catchy copy.” Any sort of ambiguity or lack of information can cause them to not trust your offer or leave with them unanswered questions. This is why the article goes on to say, “Address every potential question a user may have. Include the answers in printed brochures, direct mail materials, and make the information easily available on the website.” Brainstorm all of the questions that someone may have after your reading your copy, and find a way to work the answers into the final marketing piece.
Dump Conventional Wisdom
Many of us have a certain predisposition to retirees, which misleads marketers into thinking falsely about baby boomers. In Eric Cosway’s article, “Send baby boomers direct mail and let the magic unfold,” he states that, “conventional wisdom has long been that retirees value comfort, stability and the relaxation of a quiet life. Just as they defied the conventional wisdom of their era as teens, baby boomers are defying today’s stereotypes of retirees.” It is important not to cater your message with this in mind, for it will most likely fall flat on its face. Cosway makes a good point that the baby boomer generation actually shares more things in common with their children than they did with their parents, such as, “adventure, change, achievement, and happiness.” He boils it down to one basic principle, “don’t make them feel old.”
Shoot Straight and Focus The Message
Considering how the baby boomers are quite receptive to direct mail and are in a position with greater spending power that other generations, you want to make sure that you nail your message. Your call-to-action should be very clear and simple. When composing your copy, don’t leave anything out. Any question unanswered is just one more reason why they should throw your copy in the trash rather than following through with the action you want them to take. And lastly, keep their personal values in mind, and flush the retiree stereotypes down the toilet.