The most important thing to keep in mind when marketing to people over 50 years of age is readability.
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Businesses invest a lot in generating leads, but not enough in retaining them. Did you know that for every $ 92 spent getting customers, only $ 1 is paid in converting them?
That is unfortunate because conversion rate optimization (CRO) is perhaps more critical for your sales than traffic is. If traffic is your customers coming into the shop to browse through the options and inquiring about the prices, then conversions are where they hand over their cash and make a purchase.
Millennials may be leading the way in the ecommerce industry, but other age groups are not that far behind. Older generations shop online, too; in fact, they make up about 40 percent of all the ecommerce customers, according to Nielsen.
A growing part of my business is selling insurance online to customers over 50. Over the years, I have sold thousands of life insurance policies to clients over 50, and they all found me through my website. Their priorities, needs, sustenance and even the devices that they prefer to use are of a different category than the average millennial. So, to fully connect with this particular group of people, I need to employ different strategic initiatives.
The most important thing to keep in mind when converting people over 50 years of age is readability. Readability is the ease with which a reader can understand the material.
Here are the five ways to increase website conversions with people over 50 years of age.
Use bigger fonts.
Even though smaller fonts are readable on bigger screens, people still prefer larger fonts. The most acceptable size is about 16 point or above, which results in approximately seven words per line.
I don't want visitors to have to zoom in to read the content on my pages. We use an 18-point font on our website and 22-point font on pages that target older demographics. We use even bigger fonts on the headers to break up the content in to easy to scan sections.
Don't forget the text on buttons. We have run several experiments and found the more significant the button and text the higher the click-through rates.
Display phone numbers.
By the time social media came into being, 50-year-olds of today had crossed the age of 30. Their primary source of checking a business's credibility or even interacting with them is their phone number. Most adults above the age of 50 communicate with people either in person or over the telephone.
Adding phone numbers to your website humanizes your brand. It gives off an air of authenticity and builds trust between your company and the customers — your older audience cares about that feature more than anything else.
We place our phone number in at least one place on every page of our websites. I suggest putting the phone number prominently in the header and then again in the footer of your site. We make sure that our phone number is text rather than an image so visitors can click the number on their mobile devices.
Midlife minimalism is a real thing that happens when you cross the age of 45 and realize that you can do without most of the stuff you have spent the past decades gathering. Your older audience is applying this philosophy to the digital realm as well.
Make your website as distraction-free as possible.
- Remove all unnecessary images, banners and GIFs.
- Resist the urge to litter your pages with calls to actions and pop-ups.
- Open all toggled data
- Do away with features that require scrolling
The goal is to display just the material needed and make it easy navigate your sales funnel.
Insert arrows and step-by-step instructions.
One of the critical features of readability is step-by-step instructions or a guide that gently walks you through the routine. While this goes for just about everyone reading content online, it is particularly true for people over the age of 50; they will skim, not read.
In my insurance business, we often collect applications that contain up to 10 pages of questions. We include what step the customer is on at the top of every page and highlight the back and continue buttons. The older generation can quickly get stuck, and when this happens, we lose the sale.
Include arrows on where to click next to continue the process and add a few sentences on why you are asking the questions. Make it easy for visitors to ask for help via phone or live chat when they get stuck.
Let the customer see you.
The success of businesses mostly relies on a steady and healthy relationship with clients and many means are available to help you get to that goal. One such tool is ScreenLeap, which allows us to share our computer screen with customers effortlessly. The free plan is sufficient for most users, and your older customers love it. We like about ScreenLeap because there is nothing to download. The customer goes to your URL, and they can view your screen in their browser.
Instead of sending lengthy email proposals we use Loom to bring a more personal touch. Loom allows us to go over information similar to a recorded webinar. The feature that helps with the older demographic is the ability to include a video of the presenter in the lower left-hand corner of the video. It allows the customer to put a face to the information presented and builds trust that can only be obtained by visually seeing someone.
Getting traffic to your website is only half the equation in making a sale. Tools like Google Analytics can provide insight into the conversion rates of your site, though it is up to you to tailor content to the audience. People over 50 benefit from a well-defined, simple process with few distractions. With just a few modifications you will see increased sales from this growing segment.