Many funeral homes struggle gain preneed funeral leads. To have any success, you need to have a concrete marketing strategy that connects you with the right people, provides them with value, and properly educates them about the benefits of preplanning. In this blog post, we specifically examine how to approach online marketing when trying to build a successful preneed funeral program.
Saying the internet is a powerful tool would be an understatement. We live in a world where you can watch TV on your refrigerator or browse Facebook on your car’s media console. While that doesn’t have much to do with preneed sales, it does show how the internet has made us more connected than ever before. It’s something you should be leveraging to educate the community and build connections with families. After all, over 90% of consumers will conduct online research before making a decision on a purchase.
Every year we help hundreds of funeral homes execute online marketing strategies. Funeral homes can achieve a robust pipeline of preneed funeral leads when they effectively use their website, search engine marketing, and social media marketing.
You’ve probably seen plenty of local businesses online running social media contests. Like this post, follow our page, leave a comment and be entered to win. Those are great for building up followers on your Facebook or Instagram page, but not all these people are actually going to be interested in your services. And they definitely shouldn’t be considered a lead.
Instead, you should focus on offering something of value that people interested in funeral preplanning can actually use. That can come in the form of eBooks, planning tools, guides, or even savings certificates. Recently, we released our new Quote Builder tool. This powerful tool allows families to easily build a quote from the comfort of home. They can compare service packages, products, and plan the service that meets their needs. For providing this helpful tool, our funeral homes get the valuable contact info of those building the quotes.
By offering these types of resources, you can offer something of value the consumer wants (information about preplanning) and in return you get something of value (a name and contact details). Once you have these, you can focus on nurturing the preneed lead and continuing to offer them valuable information until they’re ready to schedule a meeting with you.
A great example of this is the campaign we built for Jones Family Mortuary. After we built a funeral planning checklist, we created a landing page on their website that promoted the resource and offered the checklist at no charge. To obtain the checklist from the landing page, visitors would have to input and provide their contact information through a form. To drive traffic to the landing page we used Facebook ads and Google ads. Below, the first image is an example of a Facebook ad we created, while the second image is an example of a Google search text ad we used.
There was once a time when direct mail was one of the most effective ways to create preneed funeral leads. However, direct mail is costly and hard to track. As time has gone on, many firms have found their direct mail responses declining which then means the cost to acquire leads is increasing.
Source: Lyfe Marketing
The graphic above examines the cost to reach 1000 people in various forms. As you can see, direct mail costs significantly more than social media. Targeting is another benefit of using Facebook for funeral preneed marketing. Facebook allows you to target specific audiences with your ads. Targeting based on location, age, sex, and interests means you only pay to show your ads to people who meet your ideal buyer persona rather than paying to reach whoever lives in the zip code(s) you’ve decided to mass mail.
Landing pages and gated content should play an important role in your marketing strategy. Remember at the beginning when we covered giving value to get value? Landing pages are where that content should live. The landing page can be a specific page on your website built specifically for the resource you’re offering. By including a form to gate access to it, you can capture who is actually engaging with the content and follow up with them.
To generate traffic to the landing page it is recommended you use social media ads and search engines. By optimizing the page and running ads on search engines, you can redirect people to your website who are actively looking for what you offer.
When it comes to following up with potential leads, every second matters. The longer you take to reach out to them, the lower the chances are you can schedule a consultation with them. We live in a ‘give it to me’ now society and people don’t like to wait around. As preneed funeral leads come in through Facebook or other channels, be prepared to follow up in a timely manner. Ideally this is within 24-48 hours. The follow up doesn’t have to be pushy or overly sales focused. It could be as simple as a quick phone call or email to check in and see if they need any more info on preplanning. Since they provided contact info to access your resource, they’re likely expecting to hear from you sooner or later. After the first communication, continue to nurture the lead with resources.
Of course you do, that just means more potential business for your firm. If you need some help handling the digital marketing side of your preneed funeral program, we’d be happy to help. Our marketing services division is a dedicated agency committed to helping our clients excel online. From making sure families are finding your website to nurturing and educating them, we want to get more people talking about you online and interacting with your business. Contact us today to see how our search engine or social media marketing services can help you take your preneed sales to the next level.
Check out our eBook to learn even more techniques to add into your preneed funeral program.
Tommy holds a Communications degree from Laurentian University and an Integrated Marketing Communications Graduate Certificate from St. Lawrence College. He is a Content Marketing Specialist at FrontRunner and focuses on producing engaging content that funeral homes can use to connect with families. In addition, Tommy crafts SEO content for clients and specializes in helping the general public connect with the death care industry as a whole.