The Marketing Smoothie Recipe for Older Adult Services

The Marketing Smoothie Recipe for Older Adult Services

Take your direct mail, your advertising, your website, Facebook page, special events and put them all in a blender.  Combine, mix on high and serve immediately.  The rich flavors will create a marketing masterpiece worthy of your finest efforts.  Yields:  New customers.  Will keep for at least one year.

It’s true, every ingredient you add to your marketing mix is going to enhance the effectiveness of your campaign especially when you combine them and let them work together to support each other.  This is especially true when appealing to older adults.  Seniors usually read direct mail and watch or listen to commercials, hence the expiration date for these mediums is further out than say, print advertising.  That .5% response rate you get with direct mail may bring people to your community, your store or your website.  Use it wisely because it is quite expensive; however, it can boost interest and awareness about your organization when you promote your website, blog, Facebook, etc., in the mailed piece (email or snail mail).

Special events are a great place to have people sign up with their email addresses.  Offer something for free, or an opportunity to win cash or a give-away and you’ll get more email addresses.  Take your online magazine or website on the road — to senior fairs, to trade events, anywhere you can.  Then let people see what they can learn, enjoy and gain value from by participating in your online activities.

Of course there’s a menu of options for those folks who like to consume the latest communications trends of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs,  too.  First, connect your Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts via any one of a number of new social media management services that are often free.  Then link all of that to your website.  Connect the paths among all these accounts to your blog or online magazine, to reputable referral sites and of course, your RSS Feed.  Promote your events on your site, within these accounts, offer special discounts, etc. via these mediums.  You can even try pay-per-click advertising on search engines and referral sites.

In your monthly statements or newsletters, provide links and special advantages to using your organization’s online tools.  Use signage throughout your venue to promote your online and make it worth a prospect’s while to seek out your business on the Internet.

Online strategies are far less expensive overall and are proving to be about 60% less per lead than traditional tactics.  However, a slow but steady shift of funds and efforts away from the traditional methods into the online is a far more successful way to reach the older adult market.  Use the next year or two to change your lead-generating diet to mostly online.

How To Create Your Online Newsroom

How To Create Your Online Newsroom

Sample online newsroom courtesy of Press-Feed.

Nearly 80% of people access an organization’s website before engaging further with a company.  The numbers are even higher for media journalists and producers.

In a Norman/Nielson Study, over 99% of journalists and producers search your website first, before calling you, asking for quotes to include in their aritcles or publishing your press releases.  Not only are journalists seriously time crunched, they have been very direct and specific about the way they want to be able to gain initial access and information about your organizaiton — through your website, according to Sally Falkow, president of Press-Feed.

From your home or landing page,media and other people wanting to know about your organization, its leadership, mission, position, etc. should be able to access your online newsroom.  Press-Feed has designed a news room that looks and feels like your website but allows the media,customers and prospects to access the background, facts, news and philosophical informaiton about our organization from a single page.

Your news room should have these individual sections accessible from the news page in an easily readable format:

Media Contact Information with the name, all phone numbers and email addresss with the best times to readh the contact, if needed.

Current Articles prominently displayed with complete facts in bullet points:

  • Quotes from outside the organization pertaining to the article subject (including contact information so comments can be verified)
  • Photos pertaining to the aritcle subject
  • Video (if possible and appropriate) pertai8ning to the aritcle subject

 

A full background of your organization in bullet points:

  • Date established
  • Address of the main headquarters and business extensions
  • Comapny affiliations
  • Governing structure
  • Organizational management (at least names, photos and contact information for the Executive Committee)
  • Board of Directors (names, company names, email addresses)

 

Photos that define your services and graphics that can be downloaded, such as your logo

 

Who You Serve

  • By industry
  • By geography
  • By demographics
  • Any other relevant identifier

 

A list of your articles and White Papers

  • Possible video of the CEO talking about the industry and hos his-her organization is making a difference

 

 

Online Fundraising The Good, the Bad and the Basics

Online Fundraising The Good, the Bad and the Basics

Haiti after the earthquake. Photo by News Hawker.

The recent disaster in Haiti caused an out-pouring of philanthropy.  According to Philanthropy.com, American groups have raised more than $644-million—marking the first big fund-raising test for collecting charitable gifts via text messaging. More than $37 million so far has been contributed, usually in increments of $5 or $10, using a cellphone.

Does this mark the beginning of fundraising via technology?  We heard from the experts… (Click here to read more)
According to a discussion with Scott Henderson (RallytheCause.com) and hosted by philanthropy.com, social media is a good source of fundraising for a timely project.  It allows donors to see that the organization is providing good stewardship of their contributions and that the donors themselves are appreciated.  Henderson cautions though that social media is a long-term strategy amidst the tried and true personal contact with donors.

There are many instances of fundraising successes in the digital world such as Obama’s campaign, Lance Armstrong, the Humane Society and “Twestival” a campaign to raise money to drill water wells in Africa.  But the actual results of lining the coffers with online donations is yet to show overall success and commonly results in 2 to 3% of the annual giving.  Still, online fundraising has yet to hit its maturity.

How can your organization use online donation and social media?

1)  First, make certain that your website can take donations on a one-time or planned giving basis.  If you don’t accept credit cards, consider other service providers who will likely accept the donations for you at a rate of 5 to 7% and send a check to you when your collected funds meet $25.
2)  Use many photos on your site and Facebook to show that people are benefitting by the donations being made.  Use this venue to thank the donors as well.
3)  Make certain the message for your appeal is timely and has a strategy that combines your website, donor pages, Facebook and Twitter messages.
4)  It’s important to get as many people involved in the campaign as possible:  management, employees, volunteers, board members and special donors.  Ask them to create challenge donations with their “friends.”  Involve your vendors as well.
5)  Remember you cannot control the message.  Word is being spread by your supporters.  While this is unsettling to some organizations, the only way to grow is to let go.  Allowing the message to come from the community’s voice of supporters is by far stronger and ultimately more effective.
6) Use video when you are able.  Or direct people to someone else’s video that is your story, too.  Consider how this video could help raise funds for your art therapy program (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW-a3SLnj_w)
Small not-for-profits may want to check out the services of Grassroots.org.  This organization donates free technology related to web development to other not-for-profits.  The services are donated by 2,000 volunteers and 10 companies.

Currently, Grassroots has 1,900 not-for-profit clients who are using programs from their menu of 13 services that are valued at the for-profit price of $26,000.

Like all digital communications, the techniques for success fundraising are evolving.  Now is the time to consider if your organization can benefit by exploring the options.