Several days ago, I ran across an article by Samantha Franck originally published in the March, 2005 issue of ICFM Magazine titled “Four Cornerstones You Must Have to Build Your Preneed Business.” She shares sound, indisputable advice on executing the basics in building a solid preneed program. The basics include:
1. program planning, monitoring and alignment;
2. counselor recruiting, hiring and training;
3. lead generation and management programs; and
4. incentive and recognition programs.
I can definitely affirm the wisdom and rock-solid principles she asserts in her article. But that was almost a dozen years ago, and the marketing landscape has changed, especially in terms of point number 3. In her discussion of lead generation, Samantha identifies following four sources to increase leads, build brand in the community and increase market share:
1. direct mail
4. family follow-up
While all the above are important and are, obviously, solid sources for lead generation, social media, particularly Facebook, has emerged as a powerful platform to generate preneed leads. In fact, the proper use of Facebook has the potential to amplify and even trump these other sources when considering the costs, potential proliferation, and ease of a well-executed Facebook preneed campaign.
Almost everyone these days carries a Smartphone with them at all times. More than 70% of adults who access the Internet have a Facebook account, and the fastest growing group of new Facebook users are people 50 years of age and older. Of these adults, more women than men have Facebook accounts. In addition, over two-thirds of adult Americans own smartphones, and 75% of them use their smartphones to access social media. These percentages will only increase year after year.
This means that over half of Americans carry, in their purse or pocket, the means by which you can capture their attention with the content you post!
With this in mind, here are some ideas for generating preneed leads on your Facebook page:
- Facebook ad campaigns are a proven way to generate leads. Whether the ads are for preneed, whitepapers, contests or free downloads, the ads will convert if ran correctly. Don’t believe me? Schedule a live demo and we can show how we converted $475 in Facebook ads to $10,000 in sold prearrangements in just 21 days!
- Point readers to the preneed resources on your web page – Unless you tell people that the information is there, how will they find out about it? It’s simple to create an attractive post where you simply state why it’s a good idea to plan for the inevitable. Include a link to the preneed information on your web page. Add an eye-catching photo or graphic. An alternative to the above is to simply include, in the post, the name of your preneed resource person with his/her name and email address.
- Generate leads by hosting a giveaway or contest – This is a surefire way to generate a lot of names and contact information you can use for follow-up sales calls and/or direct mail campaigns. Folks who enter the contest or giveaway are asked to complete a simple form. Some of our clients have very successfully hosted Mother’s Day and Father’s Day giveaways (nominate Mom or Dad to win a bouquet of flowers or a free round of golf), photo contests, school backpack donations, and simple essay contests. In every case, the funeral homes have generated a good number of warm leads for eventual follow-up.
- Post a video interview as to why preneed planning is wise and important – We’ve discussed before about how the Facebook algorithms give priority to embedded video in user’s news feeds. Short video interviews of “real” people get an amazing amount of attention on our client’s pages. Whereas a consumer may not want to submit herself to a conversation with a pushy salesperson, chances are better that she will watch a video in which a funeral professional discusses the hows and whys of preneed planning.
- Publicize a live event the public can attend to find out more about planning in advance for funeral arrangements – If you are already offering seminars to the public, there is no cheaper way to reach a LOT of people than through a boosted post on Facebook. An investment of even $10 or $20 in which you publicize the event can easily reach 5,000 people or more.
These are tried and true methods that are easy and very inexpensive. Perhaps you can think of other ways you can take advantage of the prolific nature of Facebook to generate leads for preneed sales. But you might find that you simply do not have the time or knowledge to make these ideas a reality. If so, you can turn to the experts at DISRUPT Media. We are the only full-service social media agency specifically catering to the funeral profession. We implement every one of the tactics above, and more, for our clients on a daily basis. Go to http://www.disruptmedia.co to find out more about the services we offer. Our clients who are a part of our FUNERAL Social Design Process are seeing an increase in post reach and engagement of over 300%.
Schedule a live demo with DISRUPT Media: http://www.funeralsocial.com/demo
Learn more about our FUNERAL Social Design Process: http://funeralsocial.com/social/
Download our social media goals worksheet: http://funeralsocial.com/social-media-goals-worksheet/
Ryan Thogmartin is a death care entrepreneur and the CEO of DISRUPT Media and creator of ConnectingDirectors.com. | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles
DISRUPT Media is a social media first marketing company that focuses on social storytelling for funeral companies. DISRUPT uses insights gained through analytics to build creative campaigns that achieve actual business goals.