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Seniors and Texting: Why It Needs to Be in Your Senior Living Sales and Marketing Strategy

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

If you think that seniors haven’t embraced texting (a.k.a. SMS messaging) as a way to communicate, you’re in for some surprises!

Aaron Hagedorn, a gerontology professor at USC, was quoted in a blog by Artera: “We think of texting as a millennial thing, but people of all ages engage in it. Every person is the same, regardless of age: We all want to engage socially.”

Read on to discover why texting should be in your senior living sales and marketing strategy!

Stats on seniors and texting

According to AARP’s “2023 Tech Trends and Adults 50+” report, for seniors aged 50 and older:

  • 86% own a smartphone.

  • 91% use smartphones to text, instant message, or email.

  • 67% text daily, and 18% text weekly.

A 2016 study published in the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine reported that, “Overall, older adults had very positive attitudes toward technology. Many noted that technology saves time, increases flexibility in communication, is easy to use, is necessary, and is readily available. Over 70% of the sample reported being open to learning new technologies. Furthermore, 95.6% of older adults reported being somewhat satisfied with the technologies they use for communication.”

A 2022 article by cites the following statistics from a variety of sources about SMS messaging:

  • SMS has a 98% open rate.

  • SMS has a 45% response rate.

  • 98% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes.

Seniors responsiveness to texting

According to a poll of 1,000 Americans aged 65 and older conducted by OnePoll, those in that demographic have not only mastered the art of texting by incorporating emojis, one in ten even send GIFs!

Many seniors who actively text are familiar with basic abbreviations like “LOL.” Some go beyond the basic abbreviations; here are a few courtesy of Caregiver Relief that will bring a smile to your face!

It’s also becoming common for seniors to create their own Memojis (on iPhones) and Bitmojis ( on Androids). Don’t believe us? Check out this AARP article, “Take Your Texts Beyond Emojis With These Tricks.

Make texting a part of your sales and marketing

If you’re not convinced already that texting should be in your sales and marketing toolbox for communicating with seniors, here are some figures from that article we mentioned earlier to keep in mind:

  • 75% of people would like offers sent to them via SMS.

  • Over 65% of marketers say that SMS marketing is “very effective” for them.

  • 55% of people prefer to receive appointment reminders via SMS. (Think of the benefits to your prospects and you of sending out a text reminder the day before a scheduled tour!)

Tips for texting seniors

Emojis are a great way to bring in some fun to SMS messaging when used in moderation and with restraint, but before diving in and adding emojis to your text messages, consider these findings from “Consumers are receptive to brands using emojis, with 39 percent saying they are fun, 13 percent relatable and 18 percent normal. On the other side, 11 percent find them inappropriate, 12 percent say they are childish, and only 2 percent find them professional.”

Seniors can be distrustful and suspicious of text messages because of the high prevalence of internet scams targeting older adults. When sending text messages to your senior living prospects, identify yourself clearly in your text just as you would in a phone call: “Hi (prospect name), this is (your name) at (community name)…”

There are a number of laws governing texting between businesses and their customers, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), CAN-SPAM Act, and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association guidelines. Be sure you’re up on these laws by obtaining express written consent and properly opting recipients in and out to avoid costly violations.

Sending texts through WelcomeHome

WelcomeHome’s integrated texting capability is just one more communication tool for connecting with senior living prospects in the way they want to be reached:

  • Communities can send personalized bulk texts to audience segments based on care type, characteristics, and traits.

  • It’s a time saver for sales directors: no need to manually log outgoing and incoming texts sent from another device.

  • Managers appreciate it because it makes all communication methods between the prospects and the sales team visible in the CRM. It provides better coaching opportunities and ensures continuity of voice in communication.

  • Plus, should the sales counselor leave, the data stays with your company, not on their device.

Are you in the market for a new CRM that lets you reach even more of your prospects with integrated texting? WelcomeHome is a game-changing CRM built specifically for the senior living industry. With its intuitive user interface, recommendation engine, and clear workflows, the WelcomeHome CRM is a powerful tool for both users in the community and owner/operators. Experience what thousands of senior living professionals rely on to make their job easier: request a free demo of WelcomeHome’s CRM today.


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