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Print and direct mail2 min read How to use direct mail to connect with seniors

The digital space is crowded. But with some populations, print can be more impactful than ever.

March 22, 2021The Coffey Team

Older adults are a valuable audience for any healthcare provider. Reaching this key demographic can be challenging. But marketers often overlook a tried-and-true option: direct mail.

Why direct mail is an effective way to reach seniors

While seniors are becoming more comfortable with digital content, their relationships with technology vary. Many older adults use it begrudgingly and don’t have a lot of confidence in their interactions, so they don’t get online often. This can make consistent online communication tricky.

Seniors are accustomed to print and used to finding calls to action in their mailboxes. A recent study showed that seniors prefer print communications.

How to create direct mail that connects with seniors

People aged 65 and up are a diverse group. They have various education levels, literacy skills and income levels—not to mention cultural and language differences. Plus the visual and cognitive abilities needed to comprehend written materials can vary.

But even with all these differences, some general guidelines apply for older readers. They’re also good ideas for engaging readers of all ages. Here’s how you can make direct mail more appealing for seniors:

  • Choose friendly fonts. Serif fonts like Times New Roman, Georgia and Minion Pro can be easier on older eyes. Use a dark type on a light background, so there’s plenty of contrast. And choose a type size of at least 12 points. Depending on your font, you might need to bump this up even more.
  • Tell stories that seniors relate to. Patient stories are particularly engaging for older adults. These tales can feel relevant to current or past medical experiences. And they can create a sense of hope and empowerment.
  • Keep messages clear. You may want to share everything you can. But limiting the number of key points can make your direct mail more effective. Keep your message to three to five main points. Steer clear of jargon. And keep your reading level below eighth grade.
  • Remember visuals. Simple charts and graphs are easy ways to convey important information and cut down on text. Beware of complex charts, though, as they can turn off readers. And make sure your design has plenty of white space. It gives the eyes a chance to relax.
  • Use a clear call to action. What should readers do? Make sure you plainly state what action readers should take.

Get help reaching seniors with direct mail

Effective direct mail is more than writing a letter and hoping for the best. It’s got to be part of a cohesive plan with consistent, targeted messaging. Writing content, creating landing pages and printing mailers can be daunting, but Coffey Communications can help. Our print and digital specialists can design and implement a plan that meets your needs and your budget. Email us or call 888.805.9101 to learn more.