What would you say if someone told you there was a huge audience commanding more than half of U.S. annual spending that was largely being overlooked by direct mail marketers? You’d say, “That’s crazy! Show me the opportunity! I’ll take it!” Great! Here it is…

Two reports from Alive Ventures, “Growing Older Better: Insights and Opportunities” and “State of the Market 2022,” describe how the U.S. “older adult” market is a massive buyer segment that is being overlooked. Defined as those in the 50+ age bracket, Alive Ventures points out that these buyers are vastly underrepresented in marketing. For example, they represent 46% of the U.S. population, but only 15% of online marketing imagery. Only 5%–10% of marketing budgets are devoted to winning them. That’s some serious marketing shade!

This is a huge missed opportunity for mailers. Older buyers not only are the most likely to engage with direct mail formats such as postcards, sales letters, and trifold mailers, but they are also a spending powerhouse. For example, the 50+ market:

  • Totals 100 million people.
  • Holds more than half of the nation’s wealth.
  • Represents more than half of U.S. spending. This is not a market you want to overlook.

Another reason to target older adults? While those at the higher end of the spectrum, on average, have lower annual household incomes than U.S. households overall, this demographic has more disposable income. Children are out of the home, mortgages are often paid off, and they have proportionally more money to spend. In fact, Alive Ventures points out that older adults spend similar amounts (if not more) on non-essentials such as education, dining, and travel than their younger counterparts.


How Do You Reach This Lucrative Audience?


USE A MIX OF CHANNELS THAT INCLUDES PRINT – The older adult market engages in online

content, but they value the look and feel of a traditional printed piece, too. It conveys value and credibility.

BUILD TRUST – These buyers highly value trust in business relationships, so use drip marketing,

testimonials, and research-based content to build credibility.

CUSTOMIZE MAILINGS SPECIFICALLY FOR THEM – Use language and imagery that accurately reflects their interests, priorities, and lifestyles.

DITCH THE STEREOTYPES – These buyers have needs and priorities that differ from younger audiences, but they have similarities, too. These range from travel and dating to volunteering and reinventing themselves.

Older adults are a powerhouse market with tremendous spending power. Are you targeting this group with their own segmented messaging? If not, don’t miss the opportunity! Want to learn more about direct mail and audience segments? Just ask! Contact us online or give us a call directly at 800-942-1066.

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