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We live in a world where it is natural to check email at least once daily. An overwhelming 72 percent of all consumers prefer communicating with companies via email, which consistently outperforms print, direct mail and TV advertising, according to data from Marketing Sherpa. And because 95 percent of baby boomers use email, email marketing is a strategic way for senior living communities to turn more leads into residents.

To do email marketing right, your senior living community should have a clear plan about what to send, to whom and when. Doing so means you’ll keep your brand top of mind and deliver the right information at the right time to help prospects make a buying decision in your favor.

Segment Your Email Campaigns.

Before you start planning your email messages, consider how a lead moves through your sales cycle. You’ll probably notice that your leads can be divided into three main stages:

Stage 1: Early Awareness

Prospects in the early awareness stage recognize that sooner or later, they will probably need your services for themselves or a loved one. For instance, a caregiving daughter who knows she will eventually have to move her mother to a senior living community may contact you for more information.

Stage 2: Narrowing Options

Once a person has a definite timeline in mind for when they will need your services, they begin narrowing their options and getting ready to make a choice. These prospects will be looking for more detailed information than stage-one prospects, and answers to more specific questions.

Stage 3: Final Decisions

Prospects who are in the final stage of decision making have already narrowed down their options to your community and perhaps one or two others. This is where you need to understand the key factors that will influence their decision, and really differentiate yourself from the competition.

By looking carefully at your sales funnel, you will be able to identify the various stages that your leads move through, understand how to segment your email lists, and determine the best types of information to provide at each stage.

Nurture with Great Content.

No matter what stage your prospects are in, it’s important to deliver content that isn’t overly promotional. The goal of your email campaign is to nurture a relationship. You want your leads to see your email in their in-box and open it, not ignore it. To do that, you must cultivate an honest and authentic voice.

You also want to make sure your content targets the specific needs of each lead as they move through your sales funnel. According to HubSpot, leads nurtured with targeted content produce an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20 percent. Organizing your email content to address common questions and concerns as your leads move from stage to stage will help you build emotional connection that will turn more of them into buyers.

Content ideas for stage-one leads:

  • Explaining value rather than cost of your community
  • Providing senior living conversation starters for adult children
  • Inviting the lead to subscribe to your blog

Content ideas for stage-two leads:

  • Telling engaging resident stories
  • Offering tips and insights about how to find the best senior community match
  • Extending offers for free guidebooks or whitepapers about senior life 

Content ideas for stage-three leads:

  • Alerting to availability of residence that matches their needs
  • Offering move-in assistance
  • Inviting to special events

As long as you take the time to organize both your list and your messaging, email can help you connect with prospects in a highly targeted way. This will help you do more marketing with relatively few resources—you can even automate much of the process once a person makes the initial contact, and still keep it feeling personalized. Done right, email marketing can be a highly effective tool for nurturing leads and increasing occupancy.


Could you use some help crafting effective email campaigns for your senior living community? Call or email CrucialContent. We can save you time and money and help you meet your marketing goals

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