April is Financial Literacy Month, dedicated to teaching the importance of healthy financial habits. Your funeral home can get involved by teaching families about the benefits of preplanning funeral services.
Preplanning is a financially sound decision that saves families the stress of making decisions in a difficult time, and it ensures a person’s final wishes are met — leading to a more meaningful funeral experiences.
Despite the benefits, many people don’t preplan their funeral. For some, it’s because of a lack of knowledge of the costs or decisions involved in planning. For others, it’s an uncomfortable topic and they just don’t want to think that far ahead.
That’s why this Financial Literacy Month, funeral homes should start the conversation and bring attention to the benefits preplanning brings.
Here are some ideas to get started:
1. Social Media or Marketing Campaign
Start with a specific marketing campaign to raise awareness. Whether it’s a social media or traditional marketing campaign (or both) is up to you. We recommend a “persuade don’t pitch” approach. Show your expertise, establish an emotional connection, and show concrete evidence about the benefits of preplanning. Check out this article to learn more about the preneed marketing approach.
Offering a free luncheon along with a seminar is another option to get people to stop by and hear your message. You can create a short PowerPoint or video about the benefits of preplanning and play it during the lunch. When the lunch is over, ask anyone interested to leave a name and number or stop by your funeral home to learn more.
3. Talk of a Lifetime
The Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC) has done great work advocating for funeral preplanning. FAMIC’s Have the Talk of a Lifetime campaign has been a successful way to get families to open up about a normally difficult topic.
The Have a Talk of a Lifetime campaign offers great resources for funeral directors to help ease into the conversation with families. One of our favorites is the Have the Talk of a Lifetime conversation cards. It’s a deck of cards that helps spark conversations about funeral plans and encourage conversation about past memories, events, people, and other important details of a person’s life.
The cards make a great gift after meeting with families about preneed arrangements, or as a community giveaway item. Click here to learn about ordering cards for your funeral home and to watch an educational webinar on how to use them.
4. Make Preplanning Simple
The final piece of advice is to make it simple for families. Keep resources available in your lobby and on your website so families can find the information they need. Make sure they also have the tools they need to start planning, such as an online planning form that can jumpstart the preneed process.