3 Secrets Senior Living Operators Follow for Marketing Automation Success
3 Secrets Senior Living Operators Follow for Marketing Automation Success
With 2023 now in full swing, many of the senior living operators we work with are gearing up to launch their next round of automated email marketing campaigns. And they’re reaching out to us for guidance in crafting emails that stand out from all the other traffic in their prospect’s inbox.
Their goal is simple: to keep new prospects and inquiries engaged through the sales process.
We’ve been helping them achieve increased opens and clicks by sharing our three surefire secrets to automated email marketing success.
Fortunately for you, we’re not stingy. We want to see your community thrive too, so we’re outlining our secrets in this simple quick-read guide.
Create a Campaign Roadmap
All of our high-converting email campaigns start with a roadmap. Our roadmap outlines how we plan to get to the desired destination of high open and clickthrough rates. Your email campaign should have a similarly well-thought-out plan. Here’s how to map it out.
- Know Your Audience: It’s important to identify who you are targeting before you write the first email. But, don’t stop there. To ensure your email really hits the mark, you need to know where your target audience is in the sales process.
Why is that so important? It’s simple: your email content and call to action (CTA) should be dramatically different for someone who recently made their first visit to your website versus someone who recently toured your community.
- Segment Your Email Lists: Once you set the target audience, make sure your distribution list only includes email addresses for the prospects that fall in that group. You will only set yourself up for low engagement and unsubscribes if you send targeted emails meant for a particular group to your entire list.
- Think S.M.A.R.T: Outline upfront how you will measure the success of your email campaign. The two most common success metrics for email marketing are:
- open rate (the number of people who open your emails)
- click rate (the number of people who click on a link in your emails).
In 2022, the average open rate was 33.86% for all industries according to Constant Contact, one of the largest email marketing platforms. The average click rate for all industries was 1.33%. Metrics for senior living marketing specifically can trend lower, so don’t be discouraged if your campaigns perform 10% below the all-industry averages.
Using an platform partner like ActiveDEMAND that specializes in senior living marketing automation plans can help you track the success of your senior living campaigns and see how your metrics compare to others in the industry.
Align With Sales
The second secret to automated email marketing success is to align your campaign with your sales process. Marketing and sales always go hand in hand because ultimately you want your marketing efforts to drive sales.
But, did you know that working with sales can actually improve your marketing activities? In 2018, LinkedIn surveyed 7,140 sales and marketing professionals and discovered that 71% said they more effectively addressed customer needs because of their collaboration.
Here are some smart ways to collaborate with your colleagues in sales:
- Ask Sales for Input: Your sales team talks to prospects all day everyday. They know firsthand what your potential customers’ pain points and concerns are, and they can offer valuable insight about the type of content you need to include in your emails to inspire customers to take the next step.
- Share Email Launch Dates: Make sure your sales team knows in advance about upcoming email campaigns so they can prepare for increased call traffic or plan to make follow-up calls.
The heads up gives them time to create talking points so they can respond to any questions or comments that arise from your emails, especially with regard to any special offerings you might be dangling in your email’s call to action.
- Tightly Integrate Sales & Marketing Automation: Both sales and marketing benefit greatly from automation. So, if you are not using a sales CRM that has marketing automation capabilities, be sure you choose a senior living marketing automation platform that can seamlessly share data back and forth between the sales journey and your marketing campaigns.
We dive into even more ways you can collaborate with sales in our blog 5 Steps to Align Your Sales & Marketing Strategies. Check it out to help you build upon these initial collaboration suggestions.
Test & Optimize Every Email
Our final secret to automated email marketing success is to test, test and test again.
What exactly should you be testing? Here are four critical email tests and tweaks we recommend you do for every email.
1. Pre-Launch Test
There’s nothing more embarrassing than broadcasting an email that is chock full of typos, errors or broken links. A timely pre-assessment will help you catch any glitches before they are delivered to hundreds or even thousands of inboxes.
To be thorough, send a test email to two different detail-oriented people on your team, and if possible, to one objective person that is not on your team. Arm each reviewer with a pre-launch email checklist so they know exactly which elements of the email need to be reviewed with an eagle eye.
2. A/B Test
This valuable tool lets you send two different emails to a portion of your mailing list to determine which version has better open and click rates. The winning email will be sent to the remaining contacts on your list.
You can vary things like subject line, plain text design versus HTML design, and even the body copy. Testing different styles of design and content will help you figure out what connects best with your audience.
3. Post-Launch Analysis
Although metrics start rolling in immediately after you hit send, wait 24-48 hours to get a full picture of how well your email performed.
As mentioned earlier, your open rate and click rate are the key performance indicators, but also pay attention to your bounce rate, spam rate and unsubscribe rate.
- Bounce rate
A bounce rate higher than 2% is a red flag that signals to email providers your contact list is composed of low-quality leads that don’t want to hear from you. This could get you flagged as a spammer. So, if this metric is high in your report, it’s time to clean up your mailing list.
- Spam rate
A spam rate higher than 0.2% could get you a warning from your email provider that recipients are flagging your email as spam. Again, cleaning up your email list so it only includes people who want to hear from you will help you avoid this issue. Also, check your content to make sure it’s not filled with spam trigger words. That will go a long way in keeping your emails out of spam boxes.
- Unsubscribe rate
Some unsubscribes are normal and help keep your list populated with only the folks that want to hear from you. But, too many can be a signal that your email content is missing the mark and needs to be retooled. Your unsubscribe rate should be between 0.2% and 0.5% or lower.
4. Optimize & Improve
- Using the post-send metrics in your dashboard, you can begin to tweak your email content and make it better. In our experience, low open rates are a signal that your subject lines need to be improved to make them more engaging. If your click rate is low however that means you need to re-work the copy in your email or make the call to action clearer and more enticing.
Smart Girl Digital Can Help
Now that we’ve spilled our email marketing secrets, we’re confident you have the tools to make your next email campaign your best. That means you’re also boosting your senior living marketing automation success. You simply can’t go wrong when you:
- Start with a S.M.A.R.T. plan
- Loop in your sales team
- Test and optimize along the way
Keep in mind, if you’re starting the year short on time or staff, you don’t have to launch your next email campaign alone. Smart Girl Digital has helped numerous senior living marketers transform their email campaigns to get more opens and clicks.
We’re happy to do the same for you. Book a free Digital Discovery Call with us today to discuss your campaign goals and discover how we can help you achieve greater email marketing success.