How Senior Living Marketers Embraced Email Marketing Platforms During Covid-19

Covid-19 created a need to quickly share updates with multiple stakeholders. To overcome this challenge, providers increased their investments in marketing technology, also known as MarTech. Email is one of the oldest tools in the MarTech stack but is still the most effective and scalable way to share important information. Sending one off emails from your inbox won’t cut it in today’s competitive, automated landscape.

Moving from your own email account into a shared platform benefits sales and marketing teams. Email platforms drive efficiencies, improves communication and increases collaboration between sales and marketing teams.

Additionally, email platforms allow providers the ability to send targeted messages to different groups of recipients through segmentation. When a segmented email lead completes enough actions (whether on your website or based on email behavior like opens/clicks), marketing can then pass this warm lead to sales. Email platforms give your marketing team specific acquisition campaigns to track and monitor, while sales focuses on the warmer email leads that are the likeliest to become a resident.

To say that email is a potent MarTech solution is an understatement. Continue reading to obtain additional insight into an email marketing platform, to better communicate with stakeholders and keep prospective residents informed and progressing toward your sales and marketing teams’ shared goal: a net-new resident. Continue reading to learn:

  • A definition of an email marketing platform
  • Important email marketing metrics and measurement

What is an Email Marketing Platform?

Email marketing platforms integrate with your website and customer relationship management (CRM) tools to send automated nurturing campaigns aligned to your sales team outreach. An email marketing platform is one of many Martech solutions that comprise the Martech stack. With email in place, senior living providers gain the following:

  • Trackable campaign data/metrics
  • Integrated analytics and reporting that ties back to your website and CRM
  • An efficient means to send targeted messages to a defined audience at scale

Better yet, when this data is integrated with your website and CRM and is activated by marketing automation, providers can proactively adjust campaigns to capture additional leads based on the behavioral signals that are tracked along the resident journey.

While email is an indispensable tool for industries like retail that rely on speedy transactions, given the lengthy senior living sales cycle and Covid-19, providers will need to make a couple tweaks to its approach to ensure its messaging resonates with prospective residents and ACIs.

Below, we provide two email marketing tips to help providers engage with its segmented email lists.

Regularly Update and Manage Automated and Segmented Email Campaigns

It’s standard practice for senior living marketing teams to write and plan email campaigns months in advance. Due to Covid-19, your team will have to assess everything from its subject lines to its messaging within its emails to ensure that it is still relevant to the questions and concerns of your audience.

For example, if your community is still inviting prospective residents to an open house or a community event/gathering, it will need to make some adjustments. Namely, if the event is still happening, but in an online format, your team can amend its email copy to reflect this change.

One potential solution is to create a dedicated resource center for Covid-19 updates in the form of a newsletter, or a regularly scheduled email cadence with updates to your community’s response efforts. That way, your community is keeping its audience’s need for information a priority without sacrificing emails that could help your sales and marketing teams acquire a new resident.

By assessing messaging and content for each segmented email list/campaign, your community can automate these campaigns to nurture leads, with the confidence that your messaging and tone won’t come across as overly promotional or disingenuous to your leads.

Two Important KPIs are Open Rates and Unsubscribes

Your senior living marketing team is accustomed to tracking email marketing KPIs along the resident journey. As your community amends its messaging, two specific KPIs will help your team steer your email campaigns in the right direction. Let’s quickly go over each term and what each behavior could mean if your team tracks abnormally low open rates or a large percentage of unsubscribes.

Open Rates: The number of people who opened the emails your community sends. Your senior living marketing team can enable notifications to be sent when someone opens an email.

What this behavior indicates: If your team sees that your email campaigns have lower open rates than usual, it could indicate that your email subscribers aren’t finding the subject line or messaging relevant. Lower open rates can also point to an email falling on deaf ears.

What your team can do about it: To make a favorable first impression, your team could try A/B testing its Email 1 messaging with the same segmented list. Maybe your senior living marketing team needs to provide a more compelling reason for an individual to open their email. Avoid tactics like creating ‘clickbait’ emails, which tend to hook an individual initially, but is ultimately perceived as spammy and unhelpful. Instead, your team could experiment with different offers, or even a ‘welcome’ email for new subscribers that provides resources that could be useful, such as your response to Covid-19 or premium pieces of content like a ‘Moving in Guide During Covid-19’.

If an individual didn’t open an email, it doesn’t always indicate that the prospect isn’t interested. Your team could also reengage that user with the same campaign after a break to see if they are more receptive to your messaging.

Unsubscribes: This occurs any time an email recipient decides to unfollow your senior living community and unsubscribe from receiving future emails.

What this behavior indicates: Understanding why a user unsubscribed from your emails is imperative to providing a positive experience for current and future subscribers. Typically, there are two reasons why an individual unsubscribes:

  • They are receiving either too many emails, or the content within the emails is annoying/bothersome
  • The emails in your campaign aren’t relevant to your audience

Again, taking email fatigue into account is important. Even if the content and messaging within your emails are helpful and relevant, it may be a turnoff if subscribers are receiving too many alerts a week. Additionally, if the bulk of your email content is related to Covid-19, your audience may prefer content that speaks to their current concerns.

What your team can do about it: While your senior living marketing team can’t force a disgruntled recipient to stay subscribed, you can learn the underlying reason why they left. Your community can potentially save a lead by allowing email recipients more control over their emails with customized subscription preferences. That recipient could have been segmented into a list that isn’t relevant to them. By offering several lists of topics they could opt-in to subscribe to during their process of unsubscribing, your community could still salvage that lead.

Finally, have your community take a closer look at its segmented lists. Depending on the stage in the email campaign that a recipient unsubscribed, your community could tweak the messaging in that specific email to see if it prevents friction in the future. Use all of this data to optimize your email campaigns, so it creates the most rewarding experience for them.

Contact Senior Living Email Marketing Experts to Improve Your Campaign

Email is one of the most cost-effective tools in the MarTech stack and email marketing generates an ROI of $38-$42 dollars for every $1 spent. This makes an email marketing platform a juggernaut in terms of driving ROI and engaging with prospective residents and ACIs. That said, if your senior living marketing team feels that its email marketing is performing under expectations, contact us. Our team will learn everything it can about your current approach to email and will provide customized recommendations to help your community drive more qualified leads that ladder up to move-in ready residents.

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