Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels with your marketing? Working hard but not getting anywhere? While there’s no perfect marketing formula for funeral homes (or anyone else), there are proven ways to attract families, drive interaction with your firm, and track what’s working.
For a marketing plan to work, you first need to identify goals, set a strategy, and know what data markers to track along the way so you know what to do more of.
Sound like a lot of work? Can be. The good news is there are a lot of marketing tools and software that can help make your marketing easier and more efficient. More on that at the end of this post. First, let’s get a handle on goals and strategy.
Marketing without set goals is like driving somewhere new without directions. You might get there in the end but there’s a good chance you’re not going to take the best route, it’s going to take you longer, and you probably won’t know how to repeat the trip. Setting clear goals for each marketing decision makes it easier to evaluate what’s working.
Some common marketing goals are:
- Get your name out: Let new families in the community know who you are.
- Increase engagement: Nurture relationships with your current families and social media followers by interacting with them.
- Make something happen: Determine what action you want people to take. Some examples are getting them to call you, subscribe to a newsletter, or click on your website.
- Find new families: Track and evaluate the interactions of a person with your brand to determine whether they’re likely to be interested in your services
Once you’ve got a goal set, create a strategy to support it. One marketing strategy, that works well in the funeral profession, centers around content. This is sometimes called content marketing. With this strategy, you provide useful information to your community, and that information helps builds a relationship with individuals who see it, read it, and interact with it.
It’s important to write content that interests your community and aligns with your goal. A “Get your name out” pieces of content might focus on donations you’ve made, service opportunities your firm participates in or something relatable celebrating your staff. Whereas “Make something happen” content might focus on the importance of preplanning and how to get started.
Try to think of topics that would be useful, relatable, or thought provoking to them. Here’s a few topic ideas to help you out.
- Honoring veterans and first responders
- Grief and healing
- End-of-life planning
- Cremation services
- Staff tributes
- Updates to your facility
- Steps to take after a death
Pro tip: Include a picture or video along with your writing. Imagery and video improve engagement. Being Photos and videos relevant to your community, your funeral home, and your staff tend to get the most clicks.
Make friends with your data
It begs to be repeated; data should inform your marketing decisions. Data can tell you whether or not you are reaching your families, what needs improvement, and how to reach people better in the future. Here’s 3 examples of marketing data that you can use for your funeral home’s marketing.
Social media engagement
Most funeral homes have a Facebook account. Facebook includes a wealth of data about post and ad campaign performance.
Some key data points to track include:
- Social reach – The number of people who saw your post or ad. Watch this over time and see what type of posts get the best reaction.
- Social engagement – How many people interacted with your post, page, or ad. Interactions will vary based on the size of your community, the age of your community, etc. But compare engagement among your posts and ads and stick with what gets the best engagement.
- Contacts collected – If you run Facebook ads (and you should!), contacts collected are the number of people who gave you their contact information. Track which posts or ad campaigns collected the most contacts.
- Cost per lead – How much each new contact costs you. At Funeral innovations we’ve seen leads cost between $4-13. If you are over that number (or even running on the high side) turn your ad off and try a different topic, audience, or fresh content.
Email open rate
Writing takes time. And you want to be sure people are reading what you send out. That’s why you need to track email open rates. At Funeral Innovations, we regularly see open rates around 25% among all our clients for newsletters. Nurturing emails on specific topics people requested rank higher, closer to 50%. Strive for this. If you’re not hitting the mark, try new content and a new subject line.
Often a catchy subject line is the biggest driver to a good open rate. Some useful tricks include starting with an action verb, personalizing the subject line with the name of who you’re emailing, and keeping it short and concise. This will help increase the number of families who actively open and read your emails.
All roads lead to Rome, or in your case, to your website. It’s more than likely that your families will visit your website – not just once – but multiple times before they decide on your funeral home. That means each of these visits gives you data on their interactions with your content there. Use this data to improve your website.
Here are some to watch below:
- Organic Traffic – The number of visitors to your website from unpaid sources, like a Google search. These people have shown intent to find your business without clicking on an ad.
- Bounce rate – This means how many people are clicking on your website and leaving immediately. If your bounce rate is high, consider taking a look at your design, loading speed and whether your content matches what families are looking for.
- Conversion rate – This Is the percentage of visitors that complete a desired action. Common activities to track are newsletter signups, forms filled out, and product purchases.
- Contacts collected – Just like on Facebook, you can also measure the number people who gave you their contact information through your website. Track what pages and forms are collecting the most.
What is marketing automation and what does it do
The funeral industry is a busy one and most funeral directors don’t have spare time to mess around with their marketing. Tools like marketing automation software can save you a whole lot of time.
As the name suggests, marketing automation software sends and tracks your marketing content for you. That way you have one place to log into and check on your email campaigns, social media posts, newsletters etc. Plus, marketing automation software can show you data across social, email, and even your website so you get all the data you need in one place.
There are many other handy tools marketing automation software offers including pre-made content galleries, content calendars with prescheduled posts, automatic text or email responses, and marketing data analytics.
These tools can be used to:
- Schedule content like social media posts to automatically run on a set date and time
- Track families and their interactions with your social media, website and ads to determine their interest in your funeral home.
- View data on your current marketing to see how it is performing
In the end…
Make sure you’re reaching your families and that you’re doing it right. Having clear, concise goals will help you develop a strategy and content that is both useful and relatable to your audience. Remember that you don’t have to do it all by yourself and that getting the right tools, like marketing automation, will make your marketing stress-free.
Growth Engine by Funeral Innovations is a marketing automation software made specifically for the funeral industry to assist funeral directors in growing their marketing and therefore growing their business.
Talk content here: creating content, where to get ideas [GU1]