Believe it or not, direct mail aligns perfectly with the preferences of Boomers.

In the unending search for the holy grail of marketing, financial advisors are lately tempted by promises of quick and easy client acquisition through digital marketing miracles. From buying digital leads to endless social media posts, content marketing and webinars, the financial industry has embraced the allure of online strategies with hopes of waves of new affluent clients.

However, starting with a method is marketing backward. Marketing should always begin with your ideal client. Knowing their mindset is the recipe for success – embracing their desires, mastering their language, and resonating with their values.

The ideal client

The first and foremost consideration is defining the ideal client. Seeking to be everything to everybody positions you as nothing to no one.

My definition is an E.L.K. — Easy. Listen to you. Keep paying you the most — who is successful, serious and salt. Successful financially ($2 million to $25 million), serious about their money and future and salt-of-the-earth (loyal and trustworthy). Most importantly, they are in a position to become a client today and move their money to you now (ages 64-74).

That’s a Baby Boomer. Boomers own 51 percent of all wealth in the United States, have the most wealth per household, have the most money in retirement funds and have the most money in stock and mutual funds.

The normal and natural test

Prospects do what is normal and natural.

Think about this: Would an affluent Boomer normally and naturally go online to find a CPA, attorney, heart surgeon or financial advisor? The answer is no. Sure, there are always exceptions. However, in marketing, relying on exceptions is foolhardy and costly. Marketing must be sustainable and scalable to be successful.

Many mistakenly assume that the majority of retail purchases are made online. Not true. In 2023, only 15.6% of all U.S. retail sales occurred online, according to Statista. Furthermore, 84% of Boomers prefer visiting a physical store for their shopping needs.

Understanding the mindset of Boomers, who grew up in a world devoid of technology, unveils a picture of their unique set of values and preferences. Growing up with catalogue shopping, green stamps, waiting for the mailman, service stations, rotary phones, telephone operators, sending postcards while traveling, adjusting the antenna on the single black-and-white TV, vinyl records, having milk delivered to a box on the front porch and getting news from Walter Cronkite has stamped an indelible set of values and preferences on them.

Not surprisingly, Boomers align with traditional values, are most comfortable with conventional communication, and value information from trusted sources.

Typically, three kinds of people go online for financial information: 1. Hot tip investors seeking the latest stock “intel,” 2. DIYers seeking “how to” information, and 3. Price-shopping penny pinchers seeking a deal. None of these are the kind of people who make the best long-term, loyal clients.

The ideal marketing medium

Direct mail aligns perfectly with the preferences of Boomers. They trust the tangible.

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), 92% of Boomers check their mail daily, with 91% stating that sorting through mail doesn’t stress them. Furthermore, 82% express a greater likelihood of buying from a business that sends them direct mail, considering it more personal than digital communications. These statistics reinforce that Boomers trust direct mail more than any other marketing channel.

Even Google and other popular brands rely on direct mail to get businesses to advertise with them. In a 2018 Vox article, they report, “Yet over the last few years, brands — including hot, digitally savvy, direct-to-consumer ones like Casper, Harry’s, Wayfair, Rover, Quip, Away, Handy, and Modcloth — have taken to targeting customers in the mail.”

Better yet, mailboxes are less cluttered these days, which means less competition. As advertising spending overall grew 50% (2015-2021), the dollars that went into Direct Mail dropped 17%, per Statista.

Here are five keys to make for direct mail success

1. Personalize the mail: Make it unique — Craft your message as if it’s a letter written to a friend. Address the dreams, desires, and concerns of a Boomer. Make them feel seen and understood, establishing an immediate connection. Use their name, acknowledge their individuality, and tailor your communication to resonate on a personal level with authenticity and sincerity.

2. Invest in presentation: Make it hard to ignore — Design your mailing package to be visually arresting. Invest in quality paper, eye-catching graphics, and a layout that demands attention. A well-presented letter not only reflects professionalism but also intrigues prospects, urging them to want more.

3. Appeal to both the heart and the head: Mix emotion with reason – Strike a balance between emotional resonance and logical persuasion. Connect with them emotionally and support your claims with rational arguments, data, and evidence. This harmonious blend creates a persuasive narrative that speaks to both the heart and the head, leaving a lasting impact and setting you apart from the crowd.

4. Include high-value content – Provide information that adds genuine value. Offer statistics, trends, and insights that position you as a source of exclusive knowledge, elevating the perceived value of your message. By sharing relevant and intriguing content, you position yourself as an indispensable resource, fostering trust and credibility.

5. Use familiar analogies and metaphors – Communicate complex ideas using relatable analogies and metaphors. Create a bridge between unfamiliar concepts and your prospects’ existing knowledge. Analogies serve as mental shortcuts, making it easier for your reader to grasp the essence of your message. By using familiar comparisons, you enhance accessibility.

In a world barraged with online noise, the key to success with affluent Boomers lies in delivering messages that are normal, natural, and, above all, trusted by them. Financial advisors can unlock a deep gold mine of affluent Boomers with little competition by embracing direct mail and crafting personalized, engaging marketing.



CEO, Scott Keffer International. Scott Keffer is an Advisor Growth Coach, Best Selling Author and Keynote Speaker, who you may have seen in or on NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, CNBC, Worth, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, among others. Scott and his team help financial advisors DOUBLE their income with HALF the clients, staff and stress!

Sourced from Entrepreneur

By Brian Neese.

For marketers, age is a straightforward way to gain insight into your audience. It’s a cornerstone of segmenting, or categorizing, customers into different groups. But some companies aren’t effective at targeting different audience age groups. When they make sweeping generalizations about age groups in their advertising, they get hit with a consumer backlash that can be damaging to their brand.

Context for generational marketing

You can have marketing strategies for different generations, but there are two significant caveats to keep in mind: Generational marketing should be done in alignment with other marketing aspects, and you need to avoid clichés and stereotypes about age groups.

The first step is to understand the role of generational marketing. Unfortunately, there’s often no easy way to define how age pertains to your industry and business. You need to take the time to learn more about your audience and shopper preferences. It’s critical to gather the right data to determine how age is relevant to your brand.

The other thing to remember is how easy it can be to generalize. For instance, millennials are often thought of as selfish, while seniors are portrayed as frail and unaware. It’s also a bad idea to engage in inauthentic attempts at fitting in. According to Generation Z marketer Gisella Tan in Medium, trying out social humor or using generational terms such as “lit” to describe a product to the youngest generation will fail unless the brand already has that type of identity.

Generational marketing has to be relevant and authentic to be effective. If both conditions aren’t met, marketing time and money are wasted and, in some cases, the brand could suffer.

Marketing to different generations

Here’s a quick look at major attributes for each generation based on industry research.

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

Boomers may not be the largest generation anymore, but they’re not far behind millennials. And baby boomers are perhaps the most valuable generation given their wealth. According to a report from marketing research publisher Packaged Facts, boomers possess 54 percent of all U.S. household wealth.

Boomers didn’t grow up with the internet, but it’s a common misconception to assume they’re not tech savvy. Overlooking this generation with digital marketing is a somewhat common mistake that exemplifies stereotypes in generational marketing. According to marketing data and technology company V12, boomers are comfortable shopping online and 85 percent research products online. In terms of social media, they stick to traditional platforms, with Facebook leading the pack.

Generation X (1965-1976)

Often forgotten in favor of boomers and millennials due to size, Generation Xers make up 25 percent of the U.S. population but have 31 percent of its total income dollars, according to V12. What’s most notable about this generation is their brand loyalty.

Gen Xers have the highest brand loyalty among all generations, based on a study by eMarketer. Their extreme brand loyalty beats out boomers and millennials, and most Gen Xers are less interested in trying new brands than younger consumers, according to marketing publication Retail Dive. More than 40 percent of Gen Xers stick to brands they like. In terms of technology, this generation is comfortable in digital channels, with email being the most important channel. Facebook and Twitter are the most notable social networks.

Millennials or Generation Y (1977-1995)

Millennials are digital natives. They consume a great deal of online content and are content producers themselves. A wide range of social media networks, digital video and mobile are all relevant for millennials.

This generation is swayed more by influencers than other generations, opening up opportunities for brands to locate niche platforms and communities that cater to certain audience segments. Another important attribute of millennials is their value for advocacy and referrals. According to technology company Medallia Institute, three out of four millennials perform extensive research before deciding on a purchase, and 50 percent say that online reviews were a major factor for a recent purchase.

Generation Z (1996-early 2000s)

Generation Zers were brought up with smartphones. As you can imagine, they’re incredibly tech-savvy. According to a study from customer management firm Epsilon, Gen Zers are two times more likely to use online-only stores than any other generation. They thrive on self-serve options where they retain control.

Gen Zers prefer Snapchat and Instagram for social networks. When it comes to media, they “have all but abandoned traditional television viewing, opting to watch shows, movies and other digital content on their phones, tablets and laptops,” according to CNBC. “This shift has led content producers to go where Gen Z lives—YouTube.” They spend more than three hours a day watching videos online.

Integrating generational marketing

Marketing to different generations requires thoughtful implementation. You’ll need to avoid stereotyping the tendencies and habits of certain ages. Instead, look at who your customers are (or should be), and then develop campaigns and messaging strategies that are more likely to reach and resonate with your audience. Insights about age should combine with other demographics and data that you have to create buyer personas and to test what works with your customers.

An online innovation MBA can help you develop the marketing skills needed to identify your audience and develop effective business plans. The innovation and real-world skills-focused program means you’ll be prepared for roles like marketing manager, CEO or COO, management consultant, financial analyst and strategy operations manager once you graduate.

By Brian Neese.

Brian Neese is a senior copywriter for Wiley Education Services. His experience spans world-renowned higher education institutions, Fortune 500 companies, and local organizations.

Sourced from AdAge

If you think sex sells, you’d be wrong. You now need to associate your product with compelling dialogue to make it appear attractive.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

So maybe a world saturated in free porn and technology has had a rather unpredictable outcome. People are craving conversation and connection in person, and not nameless faceless sex, helped along by tech. Who knew?

Plenty of Fish (POF), a dating website and app, has just released the findings of Conversation Nation, the largest survey on the topic. According to this survey, 90 percent of singles crave great conversation – not sex.

65% of both men and women of all generations believe conversation is a lost art, yet see a great conversation as the top indicator of a successful match.

Conversations should be a primary driver in how singles connect, according to the study. However, 61 percent of singles believe the rise in technology usage has impacted our ability to have meaningful, face-to-face conversations. Nine of 10 respondents identified a great conversation as the gold standard for a great date, bumping out sex by a longshot with only one in 10 opting for it. Compelling dialogue can also make someone appear more attractive, according to nearly 90 percent of respondents.

“The internet is making it difficult for people to have meaningful conversations, so technology companies need to do their part to solve that,” said Celeste Headlee, conversation expert and author. “Learning to have conversations that inspire and enlighten you is achievable.”

POF have decided to concentrate on conversation as the true measure of dating success. The company has just launched “Spark”, a new in-app feature that enables a user to easily initiate a conversation. By picking up and dragging a new conversation icon over any aspect of a potential date’s profile, users can quote and comment on any content – from photos, to anything a user has written about themselves.

“With more conversations than any other dating app, Plenty of Fish is focused on bringing conversation back to singles,” said Hesam Hosseini, CEO, Plenty of Fish. “In the short time we’ve been testing Spark, we’ve seen a 15 percent increase in conversations. Given our scale, this can result in an increase of hundreds of thousands of conversations happening every day on the app, leading to more dates and more relationships – and it is just our first step to bring the art of conversation back to dating.”

Conversation Nation Insights

The Emotion of a Great Conversation

  • Nerves run high with Gen Z. While 87 percent said they prefer face-to-face conversations with someone they’re interested in dating, a full 62 percent said they get too nervous for face-to-face. Only 32 percent of Gen X and 26 percent of Boomers felt the same way.
  • Fear of rejection (48 percent) and not knowing what to say (43 percent) are the leading reasons why singles are hesitant to start a conversation with a potential date. Of all the generations, Gen Z is least likely to start a conversation because 60 percent have a fear of rejection.

The (Lost) Art of Conversation

  • Face-to-face conversation isn’t the only lost art. Letter writing (78 percent), common courtesy (66 percent) and cursive (63 percent) are also on their way out.
  • With age comes confidence: Forty-five percent of Gen Z think they need tips or techniques to keep a conversation going, while only 35 percent of Millennials, 25 percent of Gen X and 18 percent of Boomers felt the same way.
  • Sixty-one percent believe that technology has impacted our ability to have a meaningful, face-to-face conversation, because it’s distracting (72 percent), people are heads down in their phones (65 percent), and it has just made people worse at speaking face-to-face (61 percent).

Smart + Funny = Key to Attraction

  • Nearly nine in 10 respondents have found someone more attractive after having a conversation with them, proving beauty is a lot more than skin deep. Intelligence (42 percent), having a sexy voice (40 percent), and a sense of humour (34 percent) ranked at the top of reasons people got better looking with dialogue. Gen Z and Millennials both selected sexy voice as their top pick, while Gen X and Boomers chose intelligence.
  • It does work both ways: Someone can also appear less attractive after a conversation. Having nothing in common (61 percent), coming across as insensitive or mean (58 percent), and having misaligned values (57 percent) dominated an appearance downgrade.

Tech Talk: What Constitutes a Conversation?

  • More than 80 percent of respondents agreed that a phone/voice call is a conversation, but division ensues from there.
    • Fifty-four percent said texting constitutes a conversation, particularly among Millennials (67 percent) and Gen Z (76 percent). Only one in four Boomers think texting qualifies as a conversation.
    • 87 percent of Boomers don’t consider chat apps as a conversation. A majority of Gen Z (54 percent) and 47 percent of Millennials disagree with the Boomer mindset.
    • Boomers are significantly more likely than other generations to communicate by email, while Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z prefer texting.

So if you are about to launch that sexy ad campaign, maybe you need to have a rethink. Witty and smart is the new sex, and if any of us want to sell anything, we have to take this on board.