Here’s a question we get all the time: Do older people text? Nonprofits wanting to connect with people are understandably curious if texting is going to be an effective channel with older supporters. The answer is a resounding yes. Of course older people use the latest technology. The challenge is paying attention to audience and responding accordingly.
Because you’re likely to send a different text to an 18-year-old supporter than you would send to an 80-year-old supporter. Audience matters.
The over-65 crowd has been the fastest growing demographic on Facebook, so don't underestimate the elderly. Grandparents want to connect with family, but they also want to support causes important to them.
Examples of Senior Texting
We work with several nonprofits that serve seniors and they’ve been successful using text messaging. Here are three examples of how they use texting:
- Recipe sharing: The founder of one nonprofit is known for her banana cakes, and she shares a recipe every month. People love it and they actually text back questions.
- Event reminders: One organization hosts events in assisted living facilities around town, so they send text reminders about bingo night or whatever event they have coming up.
- Text before calling: Phone calls can be obtrusive, but texting is a great way to check in with someone before calling and see if they’re available. (You can also send folks a contact card so they’re more likely to answer your texts and calls.)
Senior Texting Tips
There are several lessons here for texting older generations:
- Opt-in: All of your marketing channels should be opt-in, which means people choose to receive it. So don’t assume older folks (or anyone) won’t text. Give them the option. If they want texts, they’ll sign up for it.
- Segment: It’s really important to segment your audience. You’ll always have messages that go to your entire list, but other messages can be much more effective when you tailor them for a specific audience.
- Offer help: If you do have a segment of seniors in your audience, be prepared to offer more technical help and how tos. That kind of support is really appreciated, and it’s not just seniors who need the help.
Don’t Underestimate the Elderly
At the end of the day, using mobile for any generation brings us to the same questions: What is your objective? Who is your audience? How well do you understand your audience? How do you create value for that audience? Then figure out how to serve that audience in a meaningful way.
Rally is a mobile platform designed to help you connect with your donors, no matter their age. We’d love to help you figure out how to segment your audience so you can better connect. Schedule a call and let’s talk about your needs.