2011 Roundup: Funeral Firm Marketing Lessons Learned

funeral marketing new year

As the year comes to a close, we’re left to reflect on the lessons learned from our marketing initiatives in 2011. Although there have been many, I’ve selected what I believe to be the MOST important marketing lessons for your funeral firm to adopt to have a successful 2012.

How to Up the Success of Your Funeral Home Website

It’s not enough to simply have a website—at least not if you actually want your funeral website to be successful. Here are the top 6 elements of successful websites, and if any of them are not true for your website, you’ve got some work to do!

1. It’s all about your families; what they want, need and worthy of their attention

2. Service value is made very clear and compelling

3. It’s comforting and light; not dark and dreary

4. Families find it when they search

5. It drives revenues

6. Supporting the grief journey is an evident via online options

Attracting Families is the New Imperative

With 76 million baby boomers passing through the funeral profession in the next 20 years there is a huge window of opportunity for increased business. But families have changed, and in order to attract them, you need to learn how to effectively market to them. Here are 3 steps on how to attract the families of today:

1. Get Found – Your funeral home’s website is your most important marketing tool. Make sure your website is easily found by optimizing for top ranking by including relevant keywords and phrases within your content.

2. Engage – Show families how you can help them. Speed up their selection process by showing them how your services honor the life lived and help them heal.

3. Interact – You can actually build a relationship with families by interacting with them through a dynamic website. Support them with grief support resources and a permanent online memorial of their loved one.

SEO Is The Key to Getting Found

SEO, aka search engine optimization, is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via un-paid, organic, search results. Basically, relevant keywords and phrases are how your website gets found among the sea of competing websites and web pages in the World Wide Web. This is important for your funeral firm because the phrase “funeral home” is searched more than 5 million times per month on Google alone. And with 75% of Internet users never scrolling past the first page of search results…SEO is a MUST if you want to attract more families and drive traffic to your website, as opposed to the competition finding them first.

Community Thought Leadership Leads to Engagement

Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your community and with your client families is the best word-of-mouth marketing you could do for your funeral firm to gain credibility, recognition and trust. Here are 6 ways to become a community thought leader:

1. Position yourself as the grief expert in your community

2. Educate families and the community on the value of a funeral service

3. Provide the tools necessary to prearrange funeral services from your website

4. Use educational videos and tutorials to connect with the community

5. Show families how to honor and celebrate the life lived

6. Be the go-to resource for anything and everything funeral related

Your Families ARE Using Social Media

It’s been a common misperception among funeral professionals that their client families aren’t using social media, but earlier this year a Pew Research Center study found that between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among Internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88%, and grew by 100% for users ages 65 and older. So don’t be fooled into thinking it’s only the younger generations using social media.

Your Website Content Has a Job to Do

Your funeral home’s website content should differentiate your firm from the competition by providing immediate clarity and recognizable value that your prospective families seek. Here are 3 goals your content must achieve to provide a return on investment:

1. Connect immediately: From the first few seconds, the look and feel of your site should build trust and rapport, by speaking to the concerns of prospective families in need.

2. Answer questions and educate: Your site should answer questions about the value of funerals, options for services, and etiquette.

3. Provide choices: There are many decisions needed for funerals. Provide choices, but don’t confuse people in their time of grief with too much information.

Why Web 2.0 Matters

Technology has changed the way your client families select a funeral home and plan a service. The first place they go to find information is the Internet. If your website doesn’t provide them the information they’re looking for, they’ll select another firm whose website provides education, comfort and support. Essentially, if you’re still operating your firm the same way you were pre-Web 2.0, you might want to re-think your way of doing things—if you want to attract the families of today.

Kelly Murad


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  1. Charleslee08

    Keep up the good work. Thanks.