Age-Based Marketing: Rest in Peace

After a long and fruitful life, Age-Based Marketing is dead. Cause of death? The New Economy, youthful Baby Boomers and just plain old age.

Once upon a time, Americans marched a predictable path: From high school to college to career to marriage to family to retirement and then the golf course in Florida.

That’s all changed.

Today, many 50- and 60-year-olds are launching businesses, reinventing their careers and some are even starting new families. It used to be we could market products and services based on the age of our target audience, but that strategy, like your Filofax, rotary phone and pager, is old school.

It’s time to retire Age-Based Marketing from your planned giving program and promote a savvier, much more energetic strategy. It’s called …


Segmentation and message-to-segment marketing is crucial in planned giving, the most personal type of giving. Smart segmentation involves sending a specific message to younger donors, specific messages to single donors, both young and older, a specific message to widows … You get the idea.

It might take some research and elbow grease on your part to segment your prospect list, but identifying your audience and targeting your messages appropriately is the best way to get results.

If you’re still just mailing only to your most loyal donors (premium PG prospects, by the way) over 70 … take a look at these numbers:

  • By the time a prospect is 60, the chance of them leaving you in their will is less than 15%.
  • 43% of bequests are created by those 55 and younger.
  • 34% of all CRTs are created by those 54 and younger.
  • 15% of all planned gifts are created by those 45 and younger.

The moral of this story? Make segmentation part of your planned giving action plan. Do your market (donor) research, use it to segment your marketing efforts, and then reach out to everyone, creatively!


Category: Planned Giving Marketing

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