In a recent blog post, we explained that there are most likely multiple points at which you can experience success or failure with a funeral home marketing effort. These “decision points” can help you evaluate your efforts and make changes to help produce better results for your firm.
To further examine potential decision points, we used the following direct mail campaign as an example:
- Mail quantity = 5,000
- Responses = 100 (2% response rate)
- Responses resulting in an appointment = 50%
- Contracts written from the appointments = 35 (The 50% used above assumes some appointments result in two contracts due to spouses both prearranging.)
In this example, what would happen if you had a strong response rate but your appointment-setting rate dropped to 20%? One possible explanation is that the mailing was not the best approach for your funeral home’s preneed program. For example, you may have used a survey piece that generated strong returns because people value sharing their opinions, not because they have a strong interest in prearranging a funeral.
Now consider the example above, but instead of 35 contracts written from appointments, your firm only wrote 10. You might view this marketing effort as a failure, but if you did you would be ignoring the successful return on mail and the strong appointment setting.
So what happened? A preneed program that generates strong leads and solid appointment setting but underperforms in actual sales may require further investment in the training of its preneed professionals. You might also review your presentations to ensure you are communicating the benefits of prearranging that matter most to your potential clients.
Direct mail is an excellent medium for tracking because it allows you to count leads, appointments and sales with relative ease. With planning and follow-through, you can apply these same measurement strategies to your firm’s public relations activities. Whether planning a senior movie night or a series of newspaper articles that explain topics related to funeral service, you can put a tracking program in place to help evaluate success.
In the case of a public relations event, you can track more than just the number of people who attend your event. It’s important to provide opportunities for people to indicate they want more information about your services. For example, you could offer a prize drawing with entry forms that include a box to check to receive a free planning guide or other incentive.
After hosting an event, you should also ask for feedback about your attendees’ experiences. Community events allow you to demonstrate your expertise in planning, organizing and running events. Success can be measured by asking attendees one question: “Based on your experience, what is the likelihood on a scale of one to 10 (10 is the most likely) that you would recommend our firm to others?” If you consistently score an average of nine or 10, you are successfully building your reputation by gaining brand advocates.
In summary, one of the most important marketing activities you can do is to measure your outcomes. Do that by developing a system you can easily maintain and that gives you basic information to help you adjust current programs and develop future efforts.
This post has been adapted from an article that originally appeared in the myHomesteaders newsletter.