People Buy from People: Why Your Pre-Need Strategy isn’t Working (And How To Fix It)

In the funeral profession, it’s easy for us to understand the importance of pre-planning and making your last wishes known… before it’s too late. But most people outside of this “world” of ours have no clue about the importance of pre-planning.

The interesting part is, it’s not even that families today don’t want to make their pre-need plans. In fact, in a recent FAMIC Study, 69% of people aged 40 and above said they would prefer to plan their own funeral services.

Yet, only 17% have actually made those arrangements—but that’s not just on them.

Are the funeral directors of today reaching out to families and educating them on the importance of making your wishes known? According to a recent study, 60 million people report never having been contacted by a funeral home to make these arrangements.

So to sum it up, most people haven’t heard of pre-need, or the desire is there—people just don’t know how to get started.

Ryan Thogmartin from DISRUPT Media teamed up with Dean Lambert of Homesteaders Life Company to share the best social media marketing strategies to build pre-need awareness in the community.


1. Get on Facebook!

Thogmartin shared how valuable Facebook is, specifically for funeral homes. Did you know that 75% of your target audience is on Facebook? It’s true! Yet, where do the majority of your marketing dollars go? Are they going towards your social media strategy on Facebook? If they’re not, it’s time to course-correct. According to Thogmartin, “Facebook is the most efficient, cost-effective, practical way to build pre-need awareness.”


2. Don’t promote… instead, educate

Okay, great, so now you’re ready to jump in and market pre-need services on Facebook, right? Not so fast. Here’s the thing: the best way to build pre-need awareness is not necessarily to post constantly about how people should plan ahead for their funeral now.

In order to effectively market your business, you don’t need to always be quite so direct. Instead, focus on building an awareness of who you are as a company, and create a community around that. The best approach is create a space of engagement through discussion on your page.

Another great way is to use your online home – your website – as a place for potential families to go and educate themselves on the importance of pre-planning, like Schoedinger Funeral & Cremation does on their website.


3. Focus on relationships

According to Thogmartin, “People buy from people. Funeral directors say 80% of calls are relationship-driven. Facebook was designed to connect people. Use it to create relationships with your community.”

It has been proven that when you engage your audience online and build relationships with them PRIOR to their need for funeral services, they are 90% more likely to choose YOU when that need arises.


4. Post a healthy variety of content

So what kind of things should you be posting? Thogmartin and Lambert suggest you keep it social and give people insight into the culture of your company. Post about:

  • National holidays.
  • Your grief management blog, if you have one. (Hint: If you don’t have one, start now!)
  • Contests—they don’t even have to be related to death or funeral services. It can simply be a cause that’s close to your heart.
  • Whatever else shows your audience that you are real, genuine people.

The point is, keep the content focused on your individual firm and culture. As Lambert points out, “Websites are about the company and their services. Social media is more about the people and the culture there. That’s why it’s really important you have consistency with what’s happening on Facebook and what’s really going on in the funeral home. Be real.” Remember, Facebook is best used NOT as a sales tool, but as a means to build connections and relationships with your community.


Combining it all to create a solid pre-need social strategy

When it comes to applying all this helpful knowledge to creating your own social pre-need strategy, here are some things to remember:

  • Be sure to get on Facebook, let the world see who you are!
  • Create community on your social channels by starting engaging conversations.
  • Focus on relationships first and foremost, these are the true abundance
  • Don’t use social media as a tool to sell, instead use it as a tool to build the relationships that create sales down the line.
  • And lastly, have fun! Marketing should feel like a natural extension of what you do, so enjoy the ride.

What strategies have you been able to put in place at your funeral home to attract pre-need clients? Tell us in the comments below!


Want to increase your pre-need leads, all while helping your families plan for the expected? Find out how you can by scheduling a free, in-depth website consultation with one of funeralOne’s Website Success Specialists. To schedule your consultation, click here or give us a call at 800-798-2575, ext. 5!



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