4 Must-Have Marketing Automation Workflows for Senior Living
Are you utilizing automation in your senior living marketing strategy? Marketing automation is the process of streamlining, scheduling, and measuring specific marketing activities, like email messages, in a sequence (or workflow).
And there are many benefits to integrating it into your existing strategy — especially in senior living.
According to Imagewerks Marketing, in the senior living industry, it takes, on average 25 touches to convert senior living customers. The average sales cycle for assisted living is 70 days while the sales cycle for independent living lasts 120 days on average.
With marketing automation, your digital workflows work in alignment with your existing sales strategies to nurture prospects and turn them into customers with ease.
In addition to email workflows, marketing automation can help with:
- Website tracking
- Sales CRM integration
- Call tracking
- Custom reporting
- And more!
If you’re not already, it’s high time to get familiar with marketing automation. Use the tips below to get some inspiration and start building and optimizing your email marketing workflows.
Table of Contents
4 Must-Have Marketing Automation Workflows for Senior Living
In a previous blog, we outlined how a smart sales funnel can move website visitors into prospects, and prospects into customers through strategic follow-up.
That follow-up, on or offline, is the essence of marketing automation.
Marketing Automation in Action
In marketing automation, emails are sent automatically to prospects based on a specific behavior. It sounds a little complicated, we know, but it’s really quite simple when you break it down.
Have you ever signed up to snag a company’s monthly newsletter? Do you remember the “Thank You” email sent to your inbox directly after signing up? That is an automated email.
In this example, the specific behavior (commonly called a trigger) to get the email was opting into the newsletter. And the “Thank You” email was likely the first step in an automated follow-up workflow.
There should always be an end goal for your workflows. They can be as big or small as needed but they always need to inspire action.
Trigger → Follow-Up → Action
That’s it. That’s the secret sauce. The number of emails, the copy, knowing when and where to sell all come later. The three steps above, that’s where you start.
If you’re trying (and failing) to think of a workflow that will work for your community, don’t worry. Sometimes, the easiest way to sort out your sequence is to reverse engineer it, working backward to determine exactly what your emails will entail.
Ask yourself, what action do you want to be taken at the end of your workflow?
For many senior living communities, the obvious answer would be “take a tour” of course. So how do we get there?
There are several marketing automation workflows that can get you from A to B and below are a few that we recommend.
Smart Automation Workflows for Senior Living
Did you know that 83% of people seeking senior care don’t have a community in mind when they begin their search? …83%!!
What this means is that in the eyes of a potential resident, you are on a level playing field with your competitors. And the best way to stand out is with a strategic campaign.
A welcome campaign is a great way to introduce yourself to a potential customer. This campaign sets the stage for who you are, what you offer, and why they should take the next step in the customer journey. A good welcome campaign should include:
- Your core values & what sets you apart from other communities
- Common pain points and how you specifically can fix them
- The very next step you want prospects to take (i.e. tour your community)
Ideally, once they finish the sequence they’ll be ready to tour your community and your on-site sales team can handle the rest.
This is also why sales and marketing alignment is so important. Your sales team needs to be up-to-date on the lead before they get there via a CRM. And a good marketing automation tool will be able to help accomplish that.
Newsletters are a great way to stay top-of-mind for potential residents and their families as they start looking for communities.
As noted above, it takes, on average, 25 touches before a decision is made regarding senior care. Strategic newsletters allow you to make those touches without being too sales-y.
They can be weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. But they should always include the latest happenings in your community and provide a way for prospective residents to reach out and learn more.
Whatever the contents of your newsletter, make sure it has clear CTAs to your end goal throughout!
Authentic automation is easy with our FREE workshop. In it, you’ll learn how to create meaningful conversations in the inbox that turn cold leads into converted customers. Sign-up today!
Ongoing Email Nurturing
At its core, email nurturing is about building a relationship, little by little, with a prospect through email marketing. And because there are so many ways to build relationships, there are also a number of ways to nurture a lead. To do so, consider the following questions:
- How engaged is this prospect? To understand how to approach a potential customer you first need to understand their level of interest. Gauging a prospect’s level of interest can be tricky. But with the right marketing automation software, lead scoring can help.
- Where does their interest lie? What trigger caused this prospect to sign up? And when you send emails to them, what CTAs are they clicking on? With each new subscriber, you want to track their interest to determine your next course of action. For example, if a subscriber initially signed up for a monthly newsletter and they open it faithfully but don’t interact with your content, it could be that you’re not sending them anything of value.
- How can you deliver value? So how can you change this? You can, through a nurturing campaign, deliver content that may be of interest to them. Think back on the above question, what trigger caused this prospect to sign up? If they signup via a blog post on how seniors can stay active, send them more content related to that. This may look like an email featuring a blog post on nutrition followed by an email highlighting active spaces in your community. Ultimately, it’s about driving them to engage and take action.
BONUS: Post-Purchase Campaign
Your workflows don’t have to end with a move-in. In a post-purchase sequence, you can use marketing automation to deepen your relationship with residents and their families by utilizing post-purchase campaigns. Some options are:
- Onboarding: A campaign that reiterates your values and provides important community information for the reference of residents and their families.
- Survey: Surveys are great for gathering information. In practice, it can be as simple as asking residents or their families what they’d like to see in your newsletters. A survey campaign can actually be sent pre-purchase as well!
- Review: Designed to turn customers into raving fans, a survey campaign helps you highlight residents who are happy to share their experiences in your community
These are just a few options outlining the structure of specific workflows. What comes next is deciding which of them could be beneficial for your community, then creating and testing your newly developed strategy.
Tools of the Trade
If you’re interested in marketing automation, one important thing to note before you get started is that not all automation tools are created equal. As outlined by our lead Smart Girl, Katie Childers, our recommendation for automation is incredibly robust.
Ultimately, Marketing automation platforms (MAP) should go beyond email marketing. True MAPs include social media and sales CRM automation features that create a cohesive connection across all digital touchpoints of your customer’s journey.
To learn more about what to consider when researching automation platforms, take a look at our blog, Marketing Automation: Making the Decision from A to Z.
Get Smart MAP Solutions with Smart Girl Digital
Are you ready to get started with a smart marketing automation strategy? At Smart Girl Digital we can help! Our smart MAP system is designed to take companies from automation newcomers to certified gurus by providing long-term solutions to nurture leads. If you’re itching to take the next step in your automation journey, contact us today!