6 Lessons About Your Funeral Home Website From The World’s Most Influential Leaders

April 17

Leadership – there are many ways to define it, but one of my favorite quotes about leadership is John Maxwell’s: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

Great leadership is the hallmark of a successful business.

And like a great leader, your funeral home’s website is the foundation on which you build your business.

Just like your funeral home’s leader, your website should embody your vision and influence others to pick your firm out from the crowd.

How can you make sure that your website does that? Here are some lessons from great leaders to help you:


1. Understanding Your Vision and Mission

“The greatest leaders mobilize others by coalescing people around a shared vision.” —Ken Blanchard

Let’s start right at the beginning. Good leaders know their business and its purpose inside and out. This vision is something clear and achievable. You probably have clear vision and mission for your funeral home, and can articulate that to all of your funeral home’s employees, but what about on your funeral home website?

To be successful, your funeral home’s website must highlight those same principles for your website visitors so that you stand out when people are considering which funeral home to choose.

When potential families visit your funeral home website, they should be able to easily understand your vision, mission and values so they KNOW you are the right funeral home for them.

Sytsema Funeral Homes uses an engaging headline to communicate their vision and mission right out of the gates so their website visitors KNOW they’ve chosen the right funeral home.



2. Setting SMART Goals – and Measuring Them

“If your output and results can’t be readily measured, then it will be difficult to know if you have achieved your purpose. ”

– Russell Kommer

Great leaders have SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. These goals help guide the day-to-day activities of the business they lead. As a funeral home owner or manager, you know what you want to achieve and you know how you are going to measure your progress.

How does goal-setting apply to your funeral home’s website? Your funeral home website has a purpose. In order to assess the success of your website, you’ll need to set up a few key performance indicators (KPIs), or the most important metrics for your website.

Start by thinking about what specific actions you’d like your website visitors to take, like signing up for a newsletter, filling out a preneed form, or viewing an important page on your site (ie. “Contact Us” or “Pricing”).

Once you have a few KPI’s picked out, set goals as to how many people you want to sign up for your newsletter, fill out a preneed form or contact you through your website. Once you have goals, you’ll know how well your website is working for you. It’s the only way to know whether or not your website is fulfilling its purpose.


3. Inspiring Pride and Action

“The words influence and influenza come from the same root word. Real leaders are contagious. People “catch” what they have. People are drawn to their vision and their values. They are able to gather a following and move people to action.”

– Michael Hyatt

We’ve all known them – those inspirational leaders who motivate and guide us to be better than we are and achieve greatness. Leaders show a great example and motivate others to be the best they can be, influencing others to follow them.

The good news is, guidance and inspiration are not limited to actual people – your website can do the same for potential client families.

You can leverage your website to:

  • Tell an inspiring story about your funeral home (it could be how the business started, or a wonderful experience with a client family)

  • Show your pride in your business

  • Inspire people to take the next step and get in touch with you

  • Provide information that people want to share via email and social media

4. Showing Undeniable Passion

“When leaders are truly passionate, people feel included in the leader’s commitment, part of making important things happen. That’s satisfying on a very deep level, and it lasts.”

– Erika Andersen

Following on from that, great leaders are so passionate about their cause that they make others want to take action. In fact, they often end up with a cadre of followers who share their passion (think about the Apple cult Steve Jobs built). What if you could do the same with your funeral home’s website?

To show passion, your funeral home website must have an emotional appeal that gets people in the gut. It will show client families that you can answer their questions, allay their fears and appeal to their aspirations.

A great example of this is O.R. Woodyard Funeral & Cremation Services website. Within seconds of clicking on their site, you’re greeted with the stories of families who they provided a top-notch level of service to. In this example, we learn about a woman who loses her Mother, but was happy to see that O.R. Woodyard created a funeral service as unique as she was.


When writing the content for your funeral home’s website, don’t just list features and benefits – it’s about people, not directly about sales. When your website shows your passion, just as followers flock to great leaders, client families will come to your site, and be inspired visit your funeral home.


5. Listening Attentively

“In our hyper-competitive world, the person who speaks first–and loudest–is most often heard. But soliciting feedback and internalizing what you hear will always make you a better leader.”

– Brendan Mangus

Listening is an important business skill. Some of the best leaders have an open door policy where employees can come to them and share their concerns. That’s how they know what’s going on.

So how do you translate that into a website? That’s what feedback forms, contact forms and live chat windows are for. Anything that encourages client families to talk to you gets them more involved and helps you to understand what their main concerns are. And if your website shows that you can solve their problems, then they are more likely to come to you when they need to arrange a funeral service.


6. Showing Clarity, Consistency and Authenticity

“It’s really complex to make something simple.”

– Jack Dorsey

If you think of the leaders you have found most inspiring, they probably have a few things in common. First off, an inspirational leader is authentic, so that you know they truly believe and live the values they are showing. A great leader is also clear and consistent – you always get the same, clear message about the same topic every time. It’s easy to see how these lessons can apply to your funeral home’s website.

Your website can inspire trust and comfort by:

  • Keeping the design and navigation clear and simple, making it easy for client families to find the information they need

  • Explaining all aspects of the services you offer clearly and transparently

  • Being honest

  • Using quotes, testimonials and reviews to show that others know your value

Now that you have these leadership lessons under your belt, take a look at your website and see if it reflects your leadership. If it doesn’t, consider making some changes so your website truly embodies the leadership you show in your community.


Here’s one final quote to inspire you:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

Does your funeral home website represent the leadership your firm has? Share your thoughts in the comments below!



Joe Joachim is the CEO and Founder of funeralOne, the first global solutions firm leading a movement of change for the funeral profession. For the past 11 years, he’s developed game-changing solutions that help funeral professionals increase the value of their service offerings, connect with the families of today, and become more profitable. funeralOne’s solutions include: website design, aftercare, funeral eCommerce, and personalization software. Connect with Joe on Google+.

Joe Joachim


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  1. Lee Barringer

    Well done Joe, great article and to the services that you provide.

  2. Krystal

    Thank you, Lee, for this wonderful comment 🙂

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