“Working MUCH harder for almost the same amount of money.”


funeral home marketing

That was the closing sentence in an email a long-term client sent me last week.

“Working MUCH harder for almost the same amount of money.”

On the surface, that may sound like bad news. I mean, who would want to work harder for the same amount of money?

Hard work isn’t something that scares off most funeral home owners. But not having enough money to make ends meet…that will keep you up at night.

In the first six months of 2020, their call volume increased 42% over the same period in 2019. To be fair, some of those were COVID-19 calls from families that would have chosen them anyway.

But the vast majority of those calls came from families who had not used them before. They were families who were “up for grabs” because their traditional funeral home only offered a deferred service.

They chose my client’s funeral home simply because they were the only funeral home in the area to offer a safe, social distancing, option for families who desperately wanted to do something.

My client has won 42% more calls so far this year for two key reasons; Innovation and Communication.

Innovation – As soon as the pandemic hit, they started asking what is possible instead of focusing on what is not possible.

I shared some suggestions with them, and they quickly innovated some very creative options for safe visitations, funeral ceremonies, and graveside services.

The net result was that the families were choosing them because they were still open for business while their competitors looked like they had shut down.

Communication – Within days of the crisis starting, we recorded a personalized video from one of the owners describing their safety protocols.

We put the video on Facebook and boosted it to the local community, letting everyone know how we were prepared to keep them safe.

Once they had their mobile live-streaming capability working consistently (one of their innovations), we changed the Communication to highlight this new capability.

Now, as the country starts to open up, we will change the message again. We will study the market, identify top concerns, and align our message accordingly.

Innovation + Communication led to a 42% increase in call volume. By the way, they also had a 10% increase in revenue with very little increase in costs.

Yes, they are working harder, but their bottom line is looking great!

It’s not always that easy, but it is during times like these.

The sad reality is that too many funeral home businesses will fail to innovate and stink at communicating with their market. Families who may have been loyal to them for generations are suddenly “up for grabs”.

When the market shifts, like it is this year, owners who respond properly can grow quickly. Owners who fail to respond, or get it wrong, will lose.

If you have ever wanted to grow your business, the time to take action is now.

Roughly 75% of my clients are good at innovation but need my help communicating with their market. They call me their “messaging guy”.

The other 25% also need some help with innovation. Fortunately, because of my work with the innovators, I have lots of ideas to share and can guide them through the innovation process.

If your calls are flat or have dropped off this year, I can guarantee that you have a problem with your Innovation or Communication or both.

Need help? Go to FuneralSuccess.com and see how I help owners grow their business.

John Callaghan

Funeral Home Marketing Consultant - Strategic Planning, Direct Response Copywriting, Digital Marketing Services

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