It’s been in the steady rotation of childhood teachings since the beginning of time: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And it’s no coincidence that you most likely heard such a reproach from your grandmother. As it turns out, in terms of direct mail copy tenets that best reach the senior market, she had it right all along.
“A lot of marketers start out by telling all the negative things that can happen if you don’t use ‘my product or my service.’ With the older market, you will get much further … by being positive and expressing positive thoughts and virtues,” says Kurt Medina, president of Medina Associates, a Rose Valley, Pa.–based consultancy that specializes in marketing to the 50-plus segment.
Keeping the benefits of a product or service at the forefront of a mailing’s creative, rather than appealing to the fear factor, will better resonate with this niche. Not to mention, reports Medina, erring on the brighter side can help promote a more favorable brand image, an essential factor in today’s marketing climate.
He harkens back to a favorite example, from a cancer insurance agency, to explain further: “The headline read, ‘Your chances of getting cancer are greater than ever, but so are your chances of beating it, thanks to today’s technologies and medical advances,’” Medina recalls. The mailing further employed positive promotion with, “And the good news is, you now can afford those technologies and medical advances because we’ve got an insurance that’s going to cover you.”