5 Steps to Telling Your Funeral Home’s Story

Do me a favor and watch this video (trust me, it’s worth it):



Did you notice anything different about this ad from any other advertisement?

First off, there was no dialogue or words used throughout the entire video.

Second, you might have noticed that the ad is for Google Search, but it really isn’t about Google search… so what is it about?

This isn’t a trick question – the ad is about a story. Through a few Google searches, we learn about a man who studies abroad and meets the love of his life. The beautiful thing about this ad is that it wasn’t selling the product, it was selling the “why” – or the emotion and meaning behind the product. Not sure what it means to “sell the why” of a product? Author Simon Sinek explains it best: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

So how can you sell your client families on the “why” of what your funeral home offers? It’s easy – through the art of storytelling.

5 Steps To Telling Your Funeral Home’s Story

Everyone loves a good story – stories have been an integral part of humanity since the beginning of time. They’re captivating, memorable, relatable, and create an emotional connection with the reader.

The best marketers in the world use storytelling. In fact, marketing genius Seth Godin once said, “Marketing is storytelling.” That means that every part of your funeral business – your services, products and employees – make up a story, and it’s your job to tell it in a compelling manner.

Now, let’s think about the foundation of your funeral home’s marketing: your website.  Does your website tell a story? Or is it just an online brochure with facts and content that doesn’t do anything for anyone?

When it comes to your website, you have about 30 seconds to capture the attention of your visitors, and the best way to hook them in is by telling your funeral home’s story through content, images and videos.

If you need a little help telling a story with your funeral home’s website, follow these 5 simple steps:

1. Start with the headline

Advertising professionals estimate that 80% of people read just the headline of marketing materials, and your website is no different. Based on that math, the stronger your headline, the more likely people are to browse through your website.

It’s important to use your headline to communicate your value right off the bat. You can do this by communicating your firm’s unique selling proposition(USP), or  “what your business stands for.”

To understand this better, let’s look at these headlines. Which is more engaging to you?

 May 7 story 1



You probably thought the second headline was much more engaging, right?

What Zion Memorial Chapel’s headline does well is it communicates their USP  to families immediately— “Westchester’s only independently-owned, all-Jewish funeral home.” This leaves their website visitors with no questions about why they’re different than their competitors, making it easier for them to choose (or not choose) their funeral home.

When you’re writing your headline, remember to convey something of value to visitors, while also communicating something that makes your funeral home unique or special. Only then will your website visitors feel compelled to keep browsing your website.

2. Show, don’t tell

Above all else, the number one goal of your funeral home’s website should be educating families on the value of your services. Instead of just telling your website visitors how valuable your services are, why not show them with the power of video?

When we talked about headlines (above), you may have noticed that Zion Memorial Chapel’s website header had a video player on it. Let’s take a moment and watch the video:

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Pretty touching, right? In a matter of 30 seconds, Zion Memorial Chapel was able to explain why it’s important to remember the life lived through storytelling. And, they didn’t need pages and pages of content to do it.

The reason why video works so well because it helps to emotionally hook website visitors into the value that your funeral home can provide. In fact, according to research, visitors are FOUR times more likely to pay attention to your content when it’s presented in the form of video rather than simply reading it. Even more, adding  video to your website makes your site SIX times more likely to convert a casual “browser” into a paying client.

When creating videos for your website, think about the things you want to communicate to potential families, and ask yourself if any of those points might be more powerful in the form of a video rather than the written word. For example, you might create a video that show families the value of a ceremony(like the video above), a video that takes families on a virtual tour of your funeral home, a video about ways to celebrate life, etc. The possibilities are endless!

3. Use images that create a personal connection

Another alternative to engaging your website visitors with the written word is through images. Images help your website visitors get a peek into the services you offer, who you are, and the value you provide.

A great way to use images on your website is to include pictures of your staff members and facilities on your “About Us” page to create a personal connection with families before they walk into your doors.


O’Connor Mortuary does a great job with this – their “About Us” page includes pictures of their staff, locations, testimonials, community events and even an interactive timeline of their firm’s history. Their “About Us” page helps their visitors get to know them when they don’t otherwise have an opportunity to shake hands or see their staff’s smiling faces.

It’s important to note that while including pictures of you and your firm is important, you should keep this information on your “About Us” pages rather than the homepage. If you focus your website’s content too much on you right off the bat, your website visitors will be turned off.

4. Be personal and conversational

The next thing you’ll want to do is write your website’s content  in conversational language, which means to write like you speak. Instead of sounding like you’re writing an essay, you want your website to sound like a conversation. This puts people at ease and your firm will come off less stuffy.

5. Focus on the benefits

For every product or feature you write about on your website, pair it with a benefit. For example, if your latest webcasting software hosts an unlimited amount of viewers, explain that this allows more friends and family to take part in their loved one’s service.

In order to do this, use second person (you) much more than you use first person plural (we). When you do this, you’ll automatically be forced to write benefits for the readers instead of extolling the virtues of your firm. This is good because people respond better when you talk about them more than you talk about yourself.

Get started!

Now that you know how to tell your funeral home’s story through your website, put your knowledge to action! Start by removing all of the information about you on your homepage and replace it with content that tells families what you can do for them. Once you start focusing your website on client families and their needs, they’ll be more likely to choose your funeral home, every time.


How does your funeral home tell your story through your website? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Want to take a peek at funeralOne’s free website platform that combines the power of storytelling with value education? Click here to learn more.


Krystal Penrose is the Inbound Marketing Manager at funeralOne.  funeralOne’s solutions include:website design, aftercare, eCommerce, and personalization software. For more information about funeralOne, visit www.funeralOne.com. To connect with Krystal, visit her on Google+.

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