Offers: A Key Part of Your Funeral Home Marketing Strategy

I did something this week that I rarely do. I took an afternoon off in the middle of a work week. 

My typical week involves client projects, developing campaigns, managing my team, and working on my own marketing. But this week, I took Wednesday afternoon off and had some “date time” with my wife. Our destination was the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). 

The DIA is one of the top ten art museums in the country and has an amazing art collection. While most of Detroit has gone through hard times over the years, the DIA has always been a shining beacon of light that still reflects an era when Detroit was a powerhouse city. 

The DIA had a special one-of-a-kind exhibit featuring the works of Vincent Van Gogh. The exhibit ended in a few days, and this was a “now or never” opportunity. Plus, I knew my wife would enjoy it, so off we went.

Like many painters, Van Gogh’s paintings didn’t sell very much while he was alive. However, after he died in 1890, his art’s popularity gradually increased and took off in the 1920s.

In 1922, the DIA became the first art museum in the country to purchase and display one of his pieces. The exhibit we attended marked the 100th anniversary of the event. They had 74 original Van Gogh paintings on display, many of which are privately owned and rarely seen by the public.

I’m not a huge art fan, but even to me, the exhibit was incredible. Van Gogh’s range of styles and techniques was amazing.

One of the things that stood out to me was the dates of the paintings.

Walking into one room with 20+ paintings on display, I noticed that every painting was from 1887. How did Van Gogh complete over twenty beautiful world-class paintings in one year? How is that possible?

I checked the exhibit brochure and learned that Van Gogh completed over 900 paintings in ten years. In the 70 days before his death in 1890, he produced 75 paintings and more than 30 drawings. That’s an incredible pace!!

One of the exhibit signs said, “Through over 900 paintings, Van Gogh offered more of himself to the world than any artist of his time.”

Despite being “off duty,” my marketing brain engaged.

If every painting was an offer and Van Gogh created new offers faster than other artists, then the odds of success would go up dramatically.

One of the most important skills a marketer can develop is the ability to create and present offers to the right audience. The key is that your offer should solve one of your target audience’s current problems. 

Growing a funeral home involves two very different marketing processes, one for preneed and one for at-need. The situations are different, so the offers must also be different.

For preneed marketing, the problem you need to solve is that the target audience often doesn’t understand how to make funeral arrangements or their options. That’s why educational materials or events are good preneed offers.

In an at-need situation, educational offers are less effective because there is a more urgent need for assistance. Realistically, if someone’s parent just died, they would want to talk to someone immediately, not attend a funeral planning workshop.

To win more at-need calls, you have to solve the trust problem. The family has to trust that the funeral home they call will take good care of their loved one and not take advantage of them at a vulnerable time.

With that in mind, they turn to their #1 trusted resource, Google. Like it or not, 81.8% of people trust Google search results. That means how you show up on Google can determine whether or not you win the call.

Winning on Google requires you to solve two problems. 

  1. Do they find your funeral home when they search on Google? That’s called a Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) problem. 
  2. What is your online rating? That’s called a Reputation Management problem.

Solving both problems is important, but you should prioritize the Local SEO problem because having excellent reviews will only help if families can find you online. 

That’s why I have a new offer for you today, called a Local SEO Audit. Usually, this is part of our Initial Digital Assessment service, for which we charge $875. But for the next 30 days, I’m making a complimentary Local SEO Audit available to my newsletter subscribers.

What we’re offering to do is conduct a detailed technical audit of your website and its ranking on Google. We’ll identify the problems hurting your ranking and provide you with a detailed report. Plus, we will provide recommendations for fixing the issues.

The Local SEO Audit is perfect for funeral home owners who have used other digital marketing companies without getting the desired results. They’re tired of being the best-kept secret in town and want a vendor who can finally solve the problem.

This audit is also a great first step if companies like Legacy.com and Echovita.com are showing up in your local search results and poaching traffic that should have come to your website obituaries.

The key to winning more preneed calls is to help people learn how to make arrangements. When you offer good educational material, you set yourself up for winning the preneed contract.

The key to winning more at-need calls is to ensure you outrank your competition when the family searches for someone to trust on Google. 

Until next time

John

PS: Click here to request a complimentary Local SEO Audit for your funeral home. 

PPS: Van Gogh’s legacy has lasted more than 130 years because he offered more of himself than other painters. Ranking on the top of Google is how you offer more of yourself to families in your area.

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