Recently someone brought to my attention an email they received from a life plan community. They were emailed attachments for 10 floorplans, a layout of the community center, a price list of all residences, and about nine more attachments.
Our humorous response in addition to disbelief was, “What” Where’s the kitchen sink?”.
Seriously, a senior living community needs to focus on the materials they email to customers as to its content, intent, quality and consistency.
I understand that email may be often a preferred way to communicate especially when an inquiry has come via the website rather than spend money on a mailed brochure kit. Having an email strategy is important regarding what is emailed, why it’s emailed and what will the next step be for follow-up.
Here are some tips:
- If you are emailing customer/adult child information, the emailed correspondence needs to include a nice note as to why this information is being emailed and when you will follow up by a personal telephone call. This next step is critical in your email correspondence.
- You may want to email a follow up to the same person to make sure they received this email and were able to open the attachments that were included. Not everyone is tech savvy and attachments could pose problems. It’s better to ask than assume. This also gives you another reason to call. You can call to make sure they received your email.
- Don’t send the “whole kit and caboodle” (I love this expression). If someone is interested in a two-bedroom residence, email several two-bedroom plans and add a note that these offer an idea of what is available at your community. Your objective is to bring this person to your community. Typically, leases and contracts aren’t signed over the internet. You want to meet in person and show off your best feature—your community.
- If you are emailing a brochure of your community, have inserts consolidated into one attachment rather than 20 separate attachments. Based on my personal experience, opening multiple attachments is boring and it’s easy to lose interest. Floorplan inserts aren’t easy to read and it’s difficult to visualize space.
- You can let someone know a base price for a residence but there is NO reason to provide your entire price list as an emailed attachment.
- If it’s difficult to connect by phone with the inquiry, start using an inquiry’s email address for invitations, updates and information. Email them articles about your community and senior living issues. Maybe you have read a helpful article about moving, etc. By emailing them these types of articles and information, you start building a relationship. You start becoming a familiar name to them. So many emailed inquiries become quickly forgotten in the system if they are even put into the system. I can’t tell you how many information email forms I’ve filled out and never received information or received one brochure kit in the mail and never had a telephone follow up.
- There should be tenacious follow up with an inquiry. Until this person tells you to remove them from your list, follow up should be on going. We call it till “death do us part”. Our philosophy is that you don’t know if what you email today will be opened and read so it’s important to keep emailing.
- In addition to emailing, keep this inquiry in your mail database too. Multiple communication methods are useful.
If you would like to have The Ehlers Group conduct an audit of your senior living community including your communication methods, please give us a call at 954.726.9228.