This week we’ve launched the biggest competition in Starts at 60’s history. Our community can win a luxury trip for two to Alaska, enjoying the Azamara Quest 10-day voyage in a verandah cabin, with return flights included from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne or Perth to Anchorage in Alaska. To enter, all you need to do is complete our Reinventing Retirement survey.
As the founder of Starts at 60, this survey and the changes we’ve made this week mark a turning point for our platform. From this week some of the things you see from Starts at 60 will be different, so I figured it might be time for an update for the many of you who are passionate Starts at 60 supporters (and to whom I am very grateful).
Our stories and videos over recent months has been shifting visibly to address the areas that most affect you in retirement. We’ve brought a valued selection of experts into our Starts at 60 family to create informative, easy-to-understand money, health and travel columns for you, alongside our experienced journalists and editors. Many of our experts are the leaders in their fields across Australia and New Zealand in addressing retirement finances and property issues, ageing-related health issues and diet. We are very excited about their involvement in Starts at 60!
In addition to this, our Community section has been growing, with more than 500 over-60 bloggers contributing to our platform and 100 meet-ups held every month too. All our bloggers are tell the real-stories that life is made of, from the many angles they’ve experienced. We edit their amazing stories to media standards, and bring them to you, publishing more than 60 blogs a month. And we award prizes to the writers of the most popular blogs every week, so they see the rewards of delighting a big audience of fellow over-60s.
This week we launched our refreshed and renewed email program. Now, you can sign up for three different streams of email within Starts at 60 (or only subscribe to the ones your interested in to completely personalise your approach):
You may be aware that we run a growing, ATAS-licensed travel agency, with a national, Australia-based call-centre run by experienced travel agents, and have an in-house travel packaging team who are bundling exclusive deals on products that offer over-60s great value for money.
We sell many holidays online now too, keeping prices down for you by reducing the cost of operations and giving everyone a centralised place to book their travel. So do keep an eye out and consider us for your next travel purchases of any kind. You can call the Travel at 60 team on 1300 414 198 for a chat about a holiday you’d like to experience and they’ll help you build it exactly to your specifications.
Finally, I’m excited to say that from this week, we can use powerful technology to tailor your experiences.
How annoying is it when someone makes assumptions about you, as if all older Aussies were one homogenous group? Really annoying! So this week we changed things on Starts at 60, to start to move towards being able to personalise our sites and products to you.
With the help of new technology, we’re going to try and tailor our articles, emails and travel packages to the things you tell us about you. It’s not easy to get this personal online, and it means we are introducing tech at the forefront of artificial intelligence to help us learn about you and use the information electronically to serve you information you’re particularly interested in. And then, we need you to get in on the move! If you embrace it, and trust us, (and we are trustworthy), it could be very good for you.
We launched this technology into our platform on Wednesday, and are now collecting insights into what you read, what you don’t read, and trying to learn a little more about you through our surveys. This will help us better “fit” you and adapt as a travel and media company. These are examples of how we use data and technology to do that:
Data in media, done the right way, is meant to make your experiences better. It allows us to tailor our content, offers and advertising and make sure someone gets information that is relevant, rather than feel out of place or in the wrong place.
It’s a pity that companies such as Facebook have struck fear into all of us around personalisation, when the true intent of doing things like this is to help you belong and get more out of an online environment and help us tailor that environment to your preferences. And so, with the introduction of leading-edge technology, we vow to use your data to benefit you.
People have long asked suspiciously about data collection on Starts at 60, most often when we update you on how we’re using it in our business. We believe that every internet user has a right to know how their data is being used, which is why – unlike some companies – we’re open about it with you. We won’t sell your data – it just isn’t done like that in the media industry – well, not among the reputable players like us, nor the top companies we work with anyway.
How will it work?
Step one – sign up. You’ll notice is that on Starts at 60 we now ask you to fill out your email address when you visit on each device for the first time. This allows us to identify you. After this is done once, the only time you’ll have to do this is when you clear your cookies or change devices or email address. Other media companies do this without explaining it – we want you to be aware because, of course, we respect your intelligence and right to make your own choice about whether to participate. We operate as a free media outlet, so this is the small price we ask instead of a subscription or other paywall, so we can commercialise effectively in a way that benefits you.
Step two – take the survey
Then, we ask you to complete the Reinventing Retirement Survey, which has a great prize on it until June 15. This a crucial first step to helping us really understand what over-60s today need. There’s just too much mixed information about this community, and none of us can listen to the loud voices on Facebook alone, without real data and insights, to know what is really going on in Australia and New Zealand for older people.
Step three – tailor your experience
Once you’ve done the Reinventing Retirement Survey, we’ll be able to use our new technology to tailor your experiences on Starts at 60 and Travel at 60.
I know there will be a lot of sceptics, but all I have to point to is our six-year record of putting over-60s first. Our company is here to build products and services for you in the digital environment, and make things you’ll love. We hope you’ll be interested in coming along and benefitting from our work. Our team is all aligned on just how important you are, how much we value you and how much fun we can have together.
So let’s reinvent retirement! Together!
Many thanks for your ongoing support.
Founder & CEO
Starts at 60 and Travel at 60
Now, if I haven’t bored you to death already, please go on over to the Reinventing Retirement Survey and fill it out.