When our kids were young, family dinners were raucous events with everyone talking over each other. There was never a question about what was happening in their lives because they shared almost everything at the dinner table.

Then, they reached puberty, and everything changed. They stopped talking, and I was guaranteed to get a one-word answer if I asked a question.

We have two boys and two girls, all pretty close in age, which means they went through the fun-filled puberty stage one after the other. Looking back on it, we had nonstop drama for about ten years. It was exhausting.

My wife and I gave up on trying to have group conversations with the kids and instead focused on one-on-one conversations. But we quickly learned that a tiny window of opportunity existed when a conversation was even remotely possible.

If you engaged them when the window of opportunity was open, they might talk with us.

If you tried to engage them at any other time, they’d slam the window shut, and you could forget about trying to have a conversation.

Talking about death with the general public works the same way.

Funeral professionals can talk about death anywhere at any time. The rest of society is not like that at all.

For the vast majority of people, there is a tiny window of opportunity when they are willing to discuss the subject of death or funerals. It will not go anywhere if you attempt to have the conversation when the window is closed.

The “window of opportunity” is a fundamental concept to remember when planning your marketing.

If you market to people when the window is open, you can start a conversation and get them to consider a subject like preplanning. But you’re wasting your marketing budget if you try to start the same conversation when the window is closed.

Which begs the question…when is the window open? When are people open to hearing from a funeral home?

Answer…when they have recently experienced a loss.

It might have been a family member, a distant cousin, a neighbor, or a coworker’s parent. Regardless of their relationship with the deceased, the key point is that death has touched their life. Suddenly, end-of-life matters are on their mind, and their window is open.

When you market to someone with an open window, you’re not annoying them; you’re helping them.
So, how do you find and market to people with an open window?

Fortunately, technology has a way to find people who have an open window. If we’re already managing your social media, these are the steps we follow.

Step #1 – install the Facebook tracking pixel on your website
Facebook provides a small piece of computer code called their tracking pixel. That code needs to be added to your website, especially the obituaries.

Step #2 – build a custom audience on Facebook

In your Facebook Ad Manager, you must create a custom audience of every person who visits any of your obituary pages. These are people who have experienced a loss in their life. They visit an obituary to leave a condolence message, order flowers, or get the service information.

Next, take the custom audience you created in the previous step and filter the audience by age and location. There’s no use marketing to a 20-year-old or someone who lives far away from your funeral home.

Step #3 – publish content that starts a relationship

Publish information that they will find helpful. For example, a link to a blog post that discusses how to explain death to a child is a great way to help a parent.

Do NOT publish preneed offers to this audience. It’s too soon!

Step #4 – publish content that nurtures a relationship

Next, roughly a week later, publish content that nurtures your relationship. This is a great time to publish examples of how you’ve personalized a celebration of life or maybe a “Meet our Celebrant” post.

Step #5 – publish content that makes an offer

About 30 days later, it’s time to make an offer inviting them to take action. A preplanning guide or a living will kit are typical things to offer someone. You might also invite them to a preplanning workshop at this point.

The key is that you can’t make this offer too soon. If you do, they’ll slam the window in your face! You also can’t wait too long, or their window will be closed, and they won’t accept your offer.

The five steps I’ve laid out above are the core steps we take in our social media management service. If you’re one of our clients, don’t worry; we already do this for you.

If you’re not one of our current clients, we should talk. If you’d like us to perform a complimentary audit of your social media program, reply to this email, and we can schedule a time to talk.

One of the keys to marketing your funeral home is to pay attention to the “window of opportunity” because there are very few times when people want to hear from a funeral home.

Whenever possible, you should market when the window is open but always start by being helpful. If their window is closed, you need a completely different approach to marketing, and I’ll discuss that in a future article.

Until next time.


PS: When preneed marketing companies mail thousands of postcards to every household in your area, they get a horrible response rate. The reason is that 99.99% of people have their windows closed, and the last thing they want to think about is planning a funeral.

PPS: If you’d like our help implementing the steps I’ve outlined above, reach out to me. It’s not rocket science, but it’s probably not something you should attempt on your own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *