How COVID-19 Changed What Jane Needs to Hear


Baby Boomer Woman

I look at her picture and wonder, “how has COVID-19 changed what she needs to hear from me?”.

The picture on my bulletin board is of a woman who is roughly 65 years old. She looks confident, happy, relaxed, and successful by her own measure. At the bottom of the picture is her name, Jane Smith.

There’s an old saying in the marketing, “if you want to understand why John Smith buys what John Smith buys, you have to see the world through John Smith’s eyes.”

But when you are marketing for a funeral home, it is important to change John Smith to Jane Smith.

Why? Because today the person who is making funeral decisions is a baby boomer woman. If there is going to be any form of funeral gathering, she is making the decisions.

If you are a married man reading this and disagree with me, ask your wife if I’m right.

When writing website content, it’s critical to keep Jane Smith in mind. But you actually need two pictures of Jane; one for her everyday life and one in which she is anxious and highly stressed.

She’s just found out that a loved one has passed away or is about to. She’s at your website looking for answers. Now, add a global pandemic to her stress level. Ouch.

Her need for clear and concise answers is EXTREMELY high right now.

That’s where generic website content often gets a failing grade.

The third step in my Funeral Business Builder Master Plan is to create unique content. If you do this correctly, you can do a better job of connecting with Jane Smith than your competitors do (in other words, you’ll win the call).

I like to use an MS Word tool that shows the reading grade level of the content I’m writing. Best practices in web writing these days is to aim for grade 8 or 9 because it’s easy for people to scan.

One of the trending search terms on Google right now is “funeral restrictions in my state.” Anyone faced with having to plan a funeral will search on something like that so that they know what’s possible in their state.

I did a quick test on the generic COVID-19 message put out by one of the industry’s top website vendors. It is a good message, but it is written at a college level.

Jane searched on something like “funeral restrictions in Ohio”, found your website in the search results, clicked on the link, and started to read.

But she left right away because you asked her to think too hard. She’s exhausted, stressed, and wants a quick answer. Instead, the writer wanted to show off their literary talents.

Writing for a funeral home is always a challenge because the topic is so emotionally charged. But when you add COVID to the situation, you’ve got to be extra careful because everyone’s stress level is so high.

The rule is simple. If your reader is stressed, write for grade 8 or 9. Your college professor wouldn’t be impressed, but Jane will appreciate it.

Until next time

John

John Callaghan

Fractional Chief Marketing Officer for Funeral Business Builders

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