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Marketing to Baby Boomers

Jupiter Research report looks at online home equity lending

January 8, 2008


A recent study highlights some unique aspects of marketing financial services to baby boomers online.

As military personnel returned from World War II, the U.S. birth rate surged. Those born between 1946 and 1964 came to be known as baby boomers.

Today, boomers represent about one-quarter of the population, Jupiter Research said in its report, Financial Services Online - Marketing to Baby Boomers.

Boomers are expected to drive the over-65 population from more than 34 million now to almost 70 million during the next 30 years, according to data provided by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

While they are slightly more likely to make online purchases than their non-boomer counterparts -- 43 percent go online at least once monthly compared to 41 percent for everyone else, this sector of the population is more established and less likely to research some new financial products because they already have existing ties with financial institutions.

Online boomers are more likely than non-boomers to have a savings account, Jupiter noted. In addition, 40 percent of boomers have excellent credit, 36 percent make over $75,000 annually and 27 percent have more than $100,000 to invest.

Boomers are more likely than their counterparts to start an application online for a home equity loan, which the report explained may be the result of a higher rate of home ownership and prior experience getting a mortgage. Still, only 3 percent of 1,510 boomers surveyed by Jupiter said they had researched HELs online -- about the same as non-boomers.

One HEL company that was found to excel at attracting and engaging boomers was LendingTree, according to the report. While boomers account for 25 percent of the overall online population, they represented 36 percent of the 1.9 million visitors to LendingTree's HEL Web pages. Nearly half of those visitors started at an online lead form.

"LendingTree's success with boomers might be attributed to the company's business model of sending consumers competing offers for loans," Jupiter stated. "Boomers who often already have experience applying for a loan are probably more comfortable filling in their details."

Following LendingTree, E-LOAN, with around 0.2 million boomer visitors, and Chase, with around 0.3 million, were noted as attracting the most boomers to their HEL sites and engaging them.

Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of MortgageDaily.com.

e-mail: [email protected]

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