In today’s fast-paced digital world, staying connected has never been easier. While websites, social media and email marketing help form the backbone of digital marketing, there’s one communication tool that often goes overlooked and underutilized in the senior living industry — SMS (Short Message Service) texting.
This oversight isn’t keeping pace with the modern technological reality. In 2020, AARP reported that 62% of those 70 and older use smartphones. Although senior living communities have traditionally relied on more traditional marketing methods, SMS texting offers a unique opportunity to engage with potential residents and their families in a personalized and effective manner.
Why should your team embrace SMS texting as a marketing tool?
Immediate and Direct Communication
Since that first text was sent in 1992, SMS messages have been short, straightforward and immediate —ensuring that your target audience receives and reads your message promptly. Whether it’s an invitation to an open house or updates on available units, SMS texting ensures that your message reaches its intended recipients quickly and reliably.
Communities can use SMS texting to create a more personalized experience for potential residents and their families. By collecting data on individual preferences and interests, you can send tailored messages that resonate with each recipient. For example, you can send information about specific amenities, activities, or care options that align with the unique needs and desires of each prospect. Personalization not only makes your marketing more effective but also demonstrates your commitment to meeting residents’ individual needs.
Increased Response Rates
Compared to other marketing channels, SMS texting boasts impressive open and response rates, compared to emails. Some sources point to open rates hitting 98%. Additionally, SMS texting allows for two-way communication, making it easy for potential residents or their families to ask questions, seek clarification, or express interest, further enhancing the likelihood of conversion.
Marketing budgets are often a concern for senior living communities. SMS texting offers a cost-effective solution compared to traditional advertising methods. Sending SMS messages is affordable, and when executed correctly, it can yield substantial returns on investment. You can target specific demographics and segments of your audience, minimizing wasted resources and ensuring that your marketing efforts are focused on those most likely to become residents.
Compliance with Regulations
The senior living industry is heavily regulated, and compliance with healthcare privacy laws, such as HIPAA in the United States, is critical. SMS texting can be used securely and in a manner compliant with these regulations. It allows you to send sensitive information securely and maintain the confidentiality of residents’ personal and medical data.
Easy Opt-in and Opt-out
SMS marketing is a permission-based platform, meaning that recipients must opt-in to receive messages from your community. This ensures that you are targeting individuals who are genuinely interested in your services, improving the quality of your leads. Additionally, it is easy for recipients to opt-out if they no longer wish to receive messages, demonstrating respect for their preferences and privacy.
Real estate is the top industry using texting to connect with prospects (Source: Zipwhip, State of Texting). Senior living communities can capitalize on this tool as well.
By incorporating SMS texting into your marketing efforts, your community can connect with potential residents and their families in a more engaging and meaningful way. This not only enhances your chances of conversion but also demonstrates your commitment to providing top-notch service from the very first interaction.
In an era where digital communication reigns supreme, senior living communities should adapt their marketing strategies to remain competitive. Interested in adding SMS texting to your marketing mix? Request a consultation with Solutions Advisors Group today.