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Boomers: The Wealthy Client Group You Can't Ignore — Here's the Best Way to Market to Them. Believe it or not, direct mail aligns perfectly with the preferences of Boomers.

By Scott Keffer

Key Takeaways

  • 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.
  • 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.
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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.

Related: The 7-Step Guide To Finding the Right Clients and Avoiding the Ones Who Waste Your Time

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 catalog 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.

Related: How You Can Build Long-Lasting Customer Relationships

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.

Related: 5 Ways to Effectively Market to Baby Boomers

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.

Scott Keffer

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

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, Entreprenuer, Huffington Post, among others. Scott and his team help financial advisors DOUBLE their income with HALF the clients, staff and stress!

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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