Know Your Audience - SMS Marketing to Baby Boomers

Rethink SMS marketing: It's not just for the young. A versatile tool for all, with Baby Boomers leading in branded text interactions.

Mathew Gorka

By Mathew Gorka

December 5, 2022

7 min read

Know Your Audience - SMS Marketing to Baby Boomers

You may think that SMS marketing is tailored for the youngins but you’d be wrong. SMS marketing, also known as text message marketing, is a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, data shows that Baby Boomers engage in more branded text message interactions than any other group. Boomers are far more tech-savvy then they are given credit for as they lead all generations for mobile adoption.

Despite recent booms in the fitness industry (up 10% in the last three years), only roughly 15% of the US population belongs to a fitness club. If you’re a fitness club owner, that’s good news. Think about how much opportunity there is to grow your studios! We recently wrote about addressing millennials in your marketing efforts. Today we’d like to shift to the “Baby Boomer” generation, made up of individuals who were born between 1946-1964. The “Boomers” got their name based on the extremely high spike in births during the years following World War II. Okay, history lesson over, let's dive in.

To start with the obvious, Boomers are an older segment of our population, also referred to as “seniors.” It’s easy to get caught up with Tik-Tok, the latest marketing trends, and the allure of Millennials and Gen Z. When we look at lifetime value, it is true that Boomers are further along their life journey than their younger counterparts. Nonetheless, Boomers are the wealthiest generation on the planet, living longer, and are woefully under addressed by most studios on the market. Your fitness studio will drastically benefit from appealing to and marketing to Boomers.

Boomers have a lot to offer aside from their deep pockets. For starters, Boomers are loyal, with an average membership length of just over 7 years. That stacks up pretty well when you consider Gen Xers have an average membership length of 5 years and Millennials have an average tenure of 4 years. It’s no surprise that an extra 2.5+ years of membership will do wonders for your studios revenue. The icing on the cake: Boomers are the most likely generation to stay members for 10+ years. So while older, lifetime value for this generation is actually the highest.

The revenue Boomers offer goes beyond membership fees. The average member frequents their respective studio roughly 100 times a year. Boomers visit their studio over 10% more frequently. That attendance means more spending on club goods and services like drinks/shakes, apparel, and workout gear. Additionally, Boomers have shown a propensity to use trainers and sign up for class activities for the guidance and social aspects they offer.

Wondering which offerings will appeal most to this cohort? IHRSA’s Health Club Consumer Report states the top Baby Boomer fitness activities are aquatic exercise, stair/climbing workouts, and brisk walking followed by flexibility/stretch training. The most important takeaway is what Boomers and Millennials share, the desire to socialize with their fellow studio mates.

Baby Boomers are also well aware of their age. They understand that they are past their athletic prime and are looking to increase their longevity and quality of life in their senior years. Appeal to them by identifying and addressing these needs. Have you ever tried chasing after a child all day? Baby Boomers are in their grandparenting years, many of whom are playing a substantial role in helping to raise their grandchildren. This drives Baby Boomers to seek endurance and flexibility training.

Further, when addressing the needs of the Baby Boomer, look to the number one leading cause of injury for seniors – falls. One third of seniors fall. Many seniors fall because of weakened lower body strength. Educating seniors about this, and addressing their atrophied muscles with lower body and core exercises, speaks directly to this consumer segment.

And for those who have fallen, or had excessive wear and tear on their joints, they will be looking to rehab and strengthen from hip and knee replacements. By centering classes around flexibility, mobility, and strength your studio will appeal to this awesome segment of customers.

SMS marketing tips and techniques to engage with this audience are straightforward. How about sending a QR code that explains the benefits of exercise for aging joints? Also, consider a questionnaire that asks about their daily activity levels. Did you know that exercise, specifically getting the heart rate and blood flow up, benefits overall health and prevents blood clots? As a person ages and develops ailments, doctors will often suggest exercise in addition to any medications or other lifestyle changes.

Inform your audience of Boomers. SMS marketing is different from other digital marketing forms because it drives the most impactful engagement. Share how your studio is addressing their needs. Invite them to tour the facility and meet with trainers. Let them try a class. Let them see the demographic makeup of your studio.

This is often powerful because, as we age, our friends and family members begin passing away. Yes, sad, but it's a fact of life. Many Boomers are excited to meet people their own age that share some of the memories and life experiences they have. Seeing a group of people their age is a key driver to fostering a sense of community.

Also, on the contrary, don’t be afraid to show off the diversity and youth at your facility. As much as they seek to be around their peers, some Boomers also wish they had more youth in their lives. For those who don’t have younger family members, they are often surrounded by people their own age at many of the events they already attend. Some Boomers love to interact with younger people as they feel it keeps them young too. Your fitness studio can address both of these needs by proudly displaying its diverse members.

SMS marketing exclusively to a younger audience is a mistake. Baby Boomers provide tremendous value to your studio. Make sure you segment your audience accordingly, something that can easily be done with Helios. Also, make sure your language and tone are appropriate for an older crowd. We have several features that can help your targeted messages drive revenue for your business. Craft the perfect template for this audience and reach them all instantly.

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