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Are You Designing Emails for Seniors – Part 3: Educational and Cultural ‘Limitations’

By March 16, 2009 No Comments

Previous posts: Are You Designing Emails for Seniors – Part 1 A Few Numbers
Are You Designing Emails for Seniors – Part 2: Visual and Physical Disabilities

Anyone born after the popularization of the Internet, or not long before, understands the language, culture and navigation of this media quite easily. It has always been a part of their lives. But what about people who learned about the Internet at an older age? Some of them have embraced it even more than younger users, but for many others the Internet is often a place where they need to be reassured and feel a connection to ‘real life’.

Help these people understand your content by letting them use their intuition, and make associations with vocabulary they already use. Send them emails with clear titles and simple language and, if possible, relate what is going on in the ‘virtual world’ to real life practices and experiences. For example, if you have a transactional email, use familiar vocabulary and follow a process that reflects brick-and-mortar experience. Make your buttons look like buttons. And you don’t need to reinvent the word ‘shopping cart’!

Try to be ‘as real as possible’ to gain the trust of your audience. Include your physical address and have your email sent by a real person with an actual email address that people can personally contact. Have a clear policy about privacy, an easy unsubscription process and simple contact features. Do everything possible to make your subscribers feel confident about your brand in order to foster a long-lasting relationship.

By the way, all this advice also applies to good email practices in general…

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Author Isabel Lapointe

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