It’s no secret: one of the fastest growing demographics these days is adults aged 60 and over. For marketers, the question is how to reach them effectively. Will a mix of traditional methods such as print ads or direct marketing be enough to reach them, get them to take action, and build a qualified lead base?
Surprisingly, conventional methods may only be part of the answer. Research and data show a strong Web marketing campaign to seniors online will significantly help generate qualified leads for your business.
Older adults are not apprehensive of the Internet and technology, as we may believe. In January 2006, the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 34 percent of Americans age 65 and older go online, up from 29 percent a year earlier. Compared to 18- to 24-year-olds, seniors spend, on average, 6.3 more days per month on the Internet, stay logged on 235.7 minutes longer, and view 178.7 more unique pages per month.
Another misperception of older adults is that their only methods of communication are the U.S. Post Office and talking on the phone. But the reality is that the Internet is the “long distance carrier” for more and more people 62 and older. Ninety-four percent of wired older adults have sent or received e-mail, compared to 91 percent of all Internet users.”
So it’s clear that the Internet should be a vital part of your marketing efforts. But before you build an online campaign, you need to address the following questions:
How do seniors find the site? Seniors’ online habits mirror those of the general population. Eighty-two-percent use search engines, compared to 90 percent of the general population. So why not target them there like you would anyone else? How? Through Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
There is no quicker and more cost-effective way to establish your online presence than through PPC and SEO. The average cost-per-lead is just 45 cents–versus $1.20 for a lead from a Yellow Pages directory ad. Best of all, these individuals arrive at your site as better-qualified leads. Not only are they searching for specific information–your kind of specific information–online seniors are probably exactly who you want to find you. Of the seniors who have a college degree, 60 percent of them go online. Of those with some college education, 45 percent of them are online, too. They’re also more affluent. You’ll find 65 percent of online “65-plus”-year-olds have an annual income of $50,000 or more.