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Email Marketing Strategies for Active Adults and Seniors

A recent report from Experian found that email volume rose 5.4% in the last year.  What does this mean for marketers?  For one- it just got harder to stand out in the inbox.  We constantly are working with our clients who are messaging to active adult and senior living communities to help determine what moves the needle for their respective email subscribers.  Is it the headline on an email, time of day or subject line?  A few times this has begged the question…just what is the magic number for email subject lines to help you get noticed (in a good way)?

According to research released in December from Adestra, subject lines that were either less than 30 characters or longer than 90 were most effective, meaning that length does make a difference.

While the statistics from Adestra are intriguing, smart marketers realize that it’s not the world’s list that dictates the email best practices, but your own. Creating Results has reviewed the messaging we’ve created for and with senior living clients to come up with some industry-specific insights as to just what is the magic number of characters within a subject line.

We found:
•    The average subject line for all messages sent was 43 characters
•    The longest subject line had 72 characters and had an open rate of 37% and a click through rate of 4%
•    The shortest subject line had just 16 characters and an open rate of 34%  and a click through rate of 17%

So what does this mean for active adult and  senior living marketers? Subject lines aren’t the only ingredient required for creating an email that gets noticed. In the case of our Senior Living emails, open rates were more based on how something is said, not how many characters it takes to say it.

Email is the nNorth Hill Website Announce Emailumber one activity of older adults online. It’s a great marketing tool. In order to have the perfect storm for great email open rates you need the following:
1.    Strong subject line thdoesn’t stop at the subject line but continues throughout using dynamic content based on individual interactions.
3.    Clear calls to action for next steps- what do you want the recipient to do?  Don’t leave them wondering, be sure to call it out.
4.    Links to convert to website visitation for further awareness.  North Hill, a CCRC in Boston, leveraged their email list to introduce a new website. Vibrant images of the new site along with links for learning more lead to a click through rate of 30%
5.    Test, test, test- every list (and every subscriber ) is different.  The best way to determine what moves the needle is to go outside of the norm and test new things.

How do you approach the creation of your email subject lines?  Share your thoughts here.

About The Author

Beth Mickey

With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Beth serves as Client Services Director for Creating Results. As an expert in e-engagement, Beth applies her experience in strategic planning and execution of email and online marketing efforts for her clients to identify opportunities to leverage online and offline marketing avenues as part of an integrated marketing approach. Her experience serving both in a client and agency capacity helps her gain an understanding for her client’s needs and goals to maximize program performance and return on investment.

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