What Data Should You Ask For on a Landing Page Designed for Seniors

Senior Citizen working on the internet
Photo courtesy Elvis Pelt

We are planning an upcoming CPG promotion and determining what data is need to move forward with inbound marketing as one component of an integrated strategy. Success means motivating parents and grand parents to buy a retail item, especially online; an item designed to help children grow.

A segment of our target audience contains senior citizens, who are not as well represented online. We’re buying lists for direct marketing. Those are easy to use and packed with data. However, our desire to have clients purchase online is dynamically opposed to their desire to be there.

As of 2013 The Pew Research Internet Project states that even though Seniors continue to deepen their use of the internet, nearly a third do not use it at all.

We’re aware that this group will require alternative means of order placement, and those channels exist. This discussion is in regard to optimization the conversion rate for seniors that do visit the site.

How much do I need to know about my customers?

“Everything” is a cumbersome, clunky response that’s ill conceived especially with this demographic. Many media articles would have you believe that big data is the only way to unlock success. Consider these four points:

  1. Mental Models and age groups
  2. Protection of consumer data
  3. Friction to completion
  4. Testing means change

Make it familiar

User experience (UX) engineers rely on what are called mental models or intuition of how something works based on previous experiences. Hypothetically this is why your grandparents can use a complex object like a car or a microwave but have a lower representation on the internet. Their mental model of a remote control is extensive and familiar whereas their comprehension of the internet is less robust.

Consumers have their guard up for good reason.

The same media outlets telling you that data is useful are the same media outlets warning consumers about the nefarious reasons data is collected and evil corporate intentions. With good reason. Spam and exploitation are two of the biggest consumer fears coming from black hat marketing. These are people who either believe their tactics are perfectly ethical, even though they’re not; or worse, they know they are horrible and do it on purpose.

Keep it simple

There’s also a school of thought among marketers about friction. Basically, that adding questions or complexity to a workflow also ads friction toward completion. More questions therefore equals fewer respondents.

Narrow it down

There are a million data points you could request: name, email, address, children’s names, etc. Narrow it down to optimize the response rate. Segregate your data into groups; required, useful, and extra. The only required field to communicate for inbound portion of this campaign was the purchasers email address. Personalization of the message could come from first and last name, so they were useful. Everything else, like physical location and other demographic data could come later so it’s extra.

Always Be Testing

There is middle ground. By clearly defining the data needed versus the data that’s wanted you’ll quickly identify the items To test on the form. For our example we’ll start with Email address required and the first and last names will be available to fill out but not required. The form gathers the necessary information but is simple enough to remove friction. From there we’ll begin split A/B testing to produce the highest conversion rate.

Marketers are testing and pushing against the hypothesis that seniors prefer not to go online. Our team believes that there are tools we can use to overcome the obstacles. Moving mature clientele online is just the first hurdle. Once there, It’s our responsibility to bolster response by; making the workflow familiar to other situations where they have ordered products, protecting their data and demonstrating that trust both visually and in our actions, keeping the workflow simple, asking for little more than what’s required, and continuously testing.

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