Only 54% of those surveyed in 2023 said they trusted those in the funeral and cemetery industry—just barely above TV and internet service providers. Many of the concerns relate to honesty, respect for cultural traditions, and responsiveness to problems.
While the funeral home industry needs to improve how it is perceived, this represents a significant opportunity to leverage funeral home marketing trends based on changing how people feel about the industry.
How to Sell Funeral Services
Funeral home directors trying to figure out how to sell funeral services can carve out a niche and take advantage of trends by increasing transparency.
People have heard about predatory practices by funeral homes and may have the wrong impression about how you operate.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule has been in place for 40 years now, and it is up for review. The FTC is currently considering adding additional regulations, such as:
- Mandating general price rules
- Disclosures of third-party fees
- New forms of disposition of remains
- Whether pricing needs to be required in languages other than English
Whether these rules come to pass or not, they represent a growing consumer demand for straightforward pricing. With inflation continuing into 2024, consumers are more price-conscious than ever, and they want to know their all-in costs.
Some funeral homes are now providing transparent pricing on their websites or allowing families to choose bundled pricing.
Providing education for consumers about products and services is another strategy. There is a disconnect between what those in the funeral industry believe consumers know and actual consumer awareness, as this 2023 study from the Foresight Companies details.
|INDUSTRY BELIEVES CONSUMER AWARENESS LEVELS ARE
|ACTUAL CONSUMER AWARENESS LEVELS
|Online cremation arrangement
With consumer awareness so low, funeral homes can set themselves apart from competitors by providing educational information about various services and options for funerals and burials. This can create market niches that may attract different types of clients.
For example, green funerals that do not use embalming chemicals and use biodegradable containers for burial are increasingly popular, but less than a quarter of consumers are aware of this option.
Another option is whole body donation, which can provide comfort to families knowing that their loved one’s passing can benefit medical science while lowering their costs. Working with a non-profit like United Tissue Network, funeral homes can be reimbursed for the cost of storage and transportation and avoid the cost of cremation and returning remains to families.
If you are focusing on selling pre-need arrangements, you must explain the benefits to families beyond the services you provide. With inflation and rising costs top-of-mind, you may want to position this as making arrangements more affordable or paying in installments rather than a lump sum.
Baby boomers and their families are increasingly seeking out personalized services. Celebrations of life and nontraditional options can capitalize on such funeral home marketing trends to expand service offerings.
Going into a funeral home and browsing caskets or urns and discussing funeral arrangements can be extremely difficult for many family members. The process can add to stress and make grieving even more challenging.
Funeral homes may want to consider simplified planning processes, such as online forms, checklists, and automation tools to streamline the process. Offering families a way to choose their preferred arrangements online without having to be physically present can streamline the process and may be a selling point for many consumers.
Today’s consumer is shopping for just about everything online. They expect you to have a robust website that can answer their questions and explain your services. Make sure your website has a modern appearance and contains the type of content people search for.
You will want to employ search engine optimization (SEO) strategies on your site to generate traffic and should consider the viability of paid search ads to capture people who are not familiar with your funeral home. Up to a million people search for “Funeral home near me” every month. If your website does not show up in that list, you may be missing out on a large number of opportunities.
Leveraging Funeral Home Marketing Trends
The funeral home industry is forecast to grow by 14.6% annually from 2024 to 2030. Taking advantage of these funeral home marketing trends can help position your funeral home as a caring member of the community, providing honest and affordable service tailored to the family’s needs.
If you would like more information about whole body donations, view How Body Donation Programs Support Funeral Homes and Families or contact United Tissue Network today at 877-738-6111.