Patience is the key to funeral and cemetery advertising

After spending almost 30 years in the radio sales industry, I have discovered that one of the key components to advertising success is patience. Over the years, many prospects have said to me ” let’s try it for a couple of weeks and see what happens “. At that point, it is important to have a discussion with the prospect about how advertising works. The perfect analogy would be trying to get into shape. You can’t join a gym, start working out and expect to be in great physical condition in a few short weeks. You have to make a long term commitment and continue to do the work necessary to achieve your objective. The same principles applies to advertising; it takes time to build a brand in a society which is bombarded with advertising at every turn. And in the funeral and cemetery profession, decisions are not made quickly due to the fact that there are many considerations which impact family and friends. So when planning your advertising strategy, make a long term plan which would be a 52 week radio schedule, a weekly newspaper insertion. If your budget is limited, run at least 26 weeks or 13 weeks in the spring and 13 weeks in he fall. Also, make certain that your frequency is solid. For example, I would rather have 25 commercials weekly on 3 radio stations that 10 – 15 weekly on 6 radio stations. Short term advertising is risky, long term advertising builds a brand. For more information, contact me via email at tim@

Radio creative for funeral and cemetery advertising

So you booked a radio campaign and now it’s time to create a commercial.

Following is the top ten tips for a good radio commercial . . .

1. Make sure that your commercial promotes the benefits to consumers as opposed to the features of your product
2. The first seven seconds is critical to capture the attention of the listener. Start by asking a question to the listener that will compel them to continue listening. Or make a statement that solves are problem that they are experiencing
3. Provide information that will help the listener, in other words, straight answers to real questions
4. Ask the listener to do something, for example, call this number today for our free information kit or visit our website for more information
5. Make the point of contact with your funeral home or cemetery as seamless as possible, in other words, easy to remember numbers or website addresses
6. Avoid making the commercial sound like a funeral or cemetery commercial by not using cliches or somber music in the background
7. Consider 60 second commercials as you are telling a story
8. Make certain that there is a definitive call to action at the end of the commercial which includes your company name, slogan and the simplest way to contact you
9. Use a believable and trustworthy voice instead of a radio stations’s house announcer
10. Do the commercial yourself as your understanding and passion for your business will come across in a more compelling fashion than anyone else

For more information on radio advertising for the funeral and cemetery profession, contact tim@

Funeral and cemetery radio advertising

So we have established that radio is an optimal medium for the funeral and cemetery profession. But what are the steps to creating a campaign. 

Step # 1 – determine which radio stations reach the target demographic which typically is 50+ skewed female

Step # 2 Рestablish a budget and gather rank reports on the stations.  Factor the audience and the price and determine which station is most cost efficient

Step # 3 – schedule a long term campaign as short schedules are a gamble

Step # 4 – have patience and let the campaign build your brand over time

My next blog will discuss the creative approach

Say goodbye to passive media

In the world of funeral and cemetery marketing, the traditional approach usually includes a combination of newspaper and direct mail. The challenge today is that less consumers are reading a newspaper on a daily basis and the response rates for direct mail are less than half a percent. It’s time to say goodbye to passive media and begin working with proactive media like radio, television and social media. Radio is the optimal mainstream media as it offers the ability to target specific demographics and offers affordable frequency. And you can create an emotional connection to listeners more than 95% of North Americans listen to the radio daily and it is the only medium available for free. in the coming weeks, i will give you simple steps to create your own radio campsign. For more information contact

It’s all about the message

In the funeral and cemetery advertising business, there are too many cliche filled ads – our family serving your family, serving this community for 50 years, and compassionate at a time of need. Although these are important considerations, the focus should be on education. Work to demystify death by educating consumers about the funeral and cemetery profession. Start a commercial by saying did you know that more and more consumers are opting for cremation and then explain the reasons such as convenience, flexibility and simplicity. You then position your company differently from the others by offering consumers a benefit. For more information contact tim@