What’s New in Funeral Home and Preneed Marketing?

By Jeff Stewart, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Funeral Directors Life

In a word, Facebook!

In 2018, Funeral Directors Life conducted hundreds of social media campaigns for funeral homes and generated thousands of preneed leads for funeral homes. Needless to say, Facebook is our fastest-growing lead source for preneed marketing!

For example, recently, one of our funeral home customers who had a new sales professional in place ran a survey on Facebook. In one week, the Facebook survey received 169 clicks and 21 leads for $107. That means that this new sales professional is set up for success with over 20 leads to start calling!

And that is just one example of many. We have had some surveys receive 50 or more leads over a two-week period. Some have received 70 or 80+ leads!

These are some pretty amazing results, but I think the most amazing thing is that more funeral homes aren’t availing themselves of this technology to generate leads and enhance their image in the community.

Here are a few things our social media marketing team has learned as we’ve ventured into preneed marketing on Facebook:

1. Facebook lead generation is very cost effective. Over the last few years, direct mail results have been declining, which in turn, increases the cost of each lead generated by mail. So, we began looking for more cost-effective strategies to generate leads for our clients, and started running our first lead generation campaigns on Facebook in late 2016. Over the course of the last two years, Facebook has become a fantastic source for leads for many of our funeral home customers, and the best part? Leads generated on Facebook cost about 75% less than direct mail leads. Now, that’s a bargain!

2. Facebook lead generation allows you to reach younger ages. In looking at our direct mail results, it also became evident that often times, mail is much more effective with individuals ages 70 and up. For those in their 50s and 60s, direct mail just wasn’t getting the results we liked to see. So, we decided to look for other ways to attract this demographic, and the obvious choice was Facebook. A lot of our leads generated on Facebook are falling into the 50-69 age band. Today, it’s not uncommon for us to encourage our clients to reach their 70+ market with direct mail and target their 50-69 ages on Facebook.

3. You have to give away value to get value. Many of our clients ask if we can help them run “awareness” posts about the funeral home’s staff, history, or offerings. These are fine posts for general marketing purposes, but if you want to generate leads for Facebook, you have to give away value if you are going to ask for value (that is, a person’s name and contact information). Our team has developed a variety of resources for many different types of campaigns, including eBooks, planning kits and guides, and savings certificates to help our customers give away value. And we are always coming up with new ideas!

4. People love to give their opinion. The survey is a stand-by in preneed lead generation marketing, and guess what? It works on Facebook too! People love to give their opinion on a survey, which not only gives you valuable information about your market as a whole, it also gives you great information about each lead. Of all the campaigns that we have run over the last two years, the survey continues to be the most popular choice because it consistently produces a good amount of leads in a short amount of time.

5. A well-managed page will pay off in the long run. An active and well-managed page is invaluable to you as a funeral home. Not only does an active page increase your visibility in the marketplace, it also helps your lead generation campaigns run much more effectively. When you have fans who have liked, shared, or commented on your post, any dollar amount that you add to the boosted post will go that much further, reducing your overall cost per lead.

6. Follow up for Facebook leads requires quick response times. If you do choose to run a lead generation campaign on Facebook, be sure that you are prepared with a dedicated sales professional who can follow up with leads in a timely manner. When leads come in through Facebook, those leads expect rapid responses, preferably within 24 hours or less. The more quickly you are able to respond, the higher the chances of setting that appointment. But don’t give up on leads that take a while to come around. You can nurture those leads just as you would with a traditional lead. A good mix of phone calls, emails that offer valuable content, and texts is a recipe for success in lead nurturing!

This is only one of the many digital services that Funeral Directors Life offers to our preneed funeral home customers. To learn more, you can contact us at info@funeraldirectorslife.com.

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn a little more about our social media lead generation programs, you’re in luck! We will be holding a webinar on May 3, 2019, and sharing some more of our secrets to generating preneed leads on Facebook. Simply go to bit.ly/preneedleads3 to register.

Jeff Stewart is the Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for Funeral Directors Life (FD). Jeff oversees all aspects of FD's full-service marketing department and takes great pride in helping clients create and implement successful integrated marketing programs. Prior to joining FD in 2001, Jeff was active in the advertising agency and telecommunications fields.  Over the years, he has been involved in the development of award-winning marketing campaigns while accumulating over 30 years of sales and marketing experience. Jeff is a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University, with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and Marketing.

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