Funeral Director Case Study

Like all funeral directors, Bob thought his business provided the best service for the client and created a memorable experience for them in such a sad time.  When he looked at other funeral companies in his area and how they portrayed their business, they all looked the same – all offering great service and a long history of care in the region. 

Bob wanted to stand out, and offer more to his clients to create an even better memory for them.  Also many of his clients, their family and friends were not always on location so needed to help them feel a part of the process and service where possible.

Here is the funeral director Internet marketing plan:

Stage 1 - Website presence

Bob wanted his website design to be simple and calming for his prospective clients to make them feel at ease when trying to choose a funeral director.  He decided on some appropriate images to include in his flash header, such as his team, a chapel and some doves, along with some words and phrases that represented what his company believed in. 

He wanted prospects to clearly see how his team would guide them through the whole process, so the images and content on the site reflect this and the layout is clean and simple.  Also, the strengths of the businesses are reinforced with client testimonials and case studies.

It was also very important for the business to offer extra services to their clients to add more value to their experience and Bob wanted to use the Internet to do this:

  • Resource area - when deciding on the funeral service process and words, the families often felt lost. Most funeral directors offered assistance in this area by providing examples. To go the next step above his competitors, Bob created a knowledge base on his website full of everything that a client might need during their time of need - checklists, sample eulogies, popular funeral song choices, sample newspaper notices etc. This allowed the client to look through all this material in the comfort of their own home and helped to minimise the confusion and stress associated with organising a funeral.
  • Online service organiser - sometimes family members are not on location or are trying to organise the funeral while traveling to the location, so sitting down with the funeral director and choosing what they want for the service can be difficult.  So for these clients, Bob created a secure area on his website where they could login and select the options for the service in a simple form. This also assisted family members that were in different locations to review the selection made by the person making the decisions before anything is confirmed. This system was also used by people wanting to pre-plan their own funeral, so Bob could offer another service to his valued clients.
  • Memorial book - many loved ones are unable to attend funeral services but want to feel a part of it.  So Bob set up an area on his site for each client where friends and family could leave their words of sympathy, as well as relive their memories of the ones who have past.  The client is given an email they can send out to with instructions for accessing the secure area and then people simple login and type their message.  After the service, Bob's team would then use all of these messages to create a beautiful memory book for the client with photos and messages from those that attended the service.  This became a treasure to the client and their family and was a simple way for Bob to add value for his clients.

Stage 2 - Driving traffic to the website

In this industry, it is important for businesses to promote themselves subtly and professionally and the Internet is the ideal medium for this.  Bob wanted to get his site appearing high in search rankings as so many people use the Internet to research funeral services because of its ease and convenience.  He chose specific keywords relating to his services and location and implemented a search engine optimisation program.

Other traffic boosting strategies include:

  • Developed alliances with some related companies and put a link to his website on their sites
  • Registered his company with Google Maps so when someone searches for funeral directors in his area, his business comes up at the top of the search results with a map
  • Added his business to directory and classifieds websites for the funeral services industry and local area (chambers of commerce etc.)

Bob also implemented some strategies with his current clients to drive more traffic to the website.  He included his website address on the newspaper death notices to make it easy for those wanting to contact the family to have access to the memorial message area.  He would also advise his client's family to check if the deceased person was an avid Facebook or Twitter user, so the message of the death could be passed on through the social networking sites - driving more people to the website, and importantly for the client, enabling the family to keep in touch with friends they were not aware of.

Stage 3 - Direct people back to the website

It is difficult to market to funeral clients in the traditional sense because of the nature of the business, so Bob needed a respectful way to get client's coming back to the website.  After the service Bob would update their online area with a short video of part of the service, eulogies etc. for the people that couldn't attend and also allow them to order additional copies of the memorial book.

Bob's business also offers a service where the client can choose an email message to be sent to family and friends that left messages on the site and attended the service on the anniversary of the person's death.  The message thanks them for their support and encourages them to continue to share in happy memories of their loved one.  The families really appreciate this extra service because it helps the memory live on.  Bob works with client to choose this message during the process of organising the service and then automates it so it goes out in a year's time automatically without any effort from his team.

Bob also uses email marketing to communicate with his alliances and suppliers, sending both groups a monthly email newsletters.  It is a cost effective and simple way for him to stay in touch with key business stakeholders and encourages them to visit his website regularly.

Tools used

Does your business need an Internet marketing plan like this?  Contact us here if you would like one of our expert consultants to evaluate your business and recommend strategies that will suit your unique business and target market.

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