Cofounder of Parting Pro, CEO.

How to Sell Your Funeral Services to a Millennial

Learning to speak the language of the Internet Generation

In the instant-gratification world of the Internet Generation, potential customers don't have the patience to dig around for answers. With expectations of the world's answers a simple Google search away, it's no surprise that the new generation demands this behavior from businesses.

When it comes to your funeral home website, am I able to take that same expectations and get the same results? If you're not answering the basic questions of "who", "what", "where", and most importantly, "why" in the first 15 seconds of my initial visit, I will most likely have moved on to the next business.

If everyone is saying the same things, it's impossible to differentiate.

Let's take a look at an all too common funeral home description that you could expect to see on a normal funeral website:

"Parting Pro Funeral Home has served the Los Angeles area for 3 generations. Our highly trained staff is compassionate and dignified and will help you in your time of need. We offer services as unique as the life they are celebrating. We are family-owned and operated, which means we don't have the overhead of the corporately-owned funeral homes and offer great service at an affordable price. So come in and see why we're different."

Now I'd bet that if you took the top 100 sites in your area and counted the instances of each statement, you'd find a pretty repetitive pattern. From the consumer perspective, this doesn't help me make my decision. The more generic the statement, the more forgettable the message. Not only is it forgettable, but the audience is speaking a different language. Values, interpretations, and perspectives have all changed.

So let's take a look at these statements and see how they're being interpreted by this new generation of customers.

 "{Insert number} of Generations"

With technology growing at an exponential rate and people always looking for the latest and greatest, consumers aren't conditioned to look for "traditional." There is not nearly as much value placed on generations of experience as there once was. Telling someone how long you have been in business might even have the opposite affect than you might expect. When we think of the old, incumbent companies in an industry, they are rarely looked at favorably. So consider that the next time your opening line starts with how many generations of service your family has given.

"Compassion and Dignity"

Yes, we understand that you, your staff, and your company exudes these qualities. As it should. However are you spending precious time telling your potential customer something that is already expected of you? It's especially ineffective when your competitor is saying the exact same thing. 


If you offer truly unique services, you should be showing how or why you're different. Do you specialize in a certain religion, ceremony, or culture? Did you just invest in an amazing sound system? Does your staff speak multiple languages? Just by saying you're unique, doesn't make it true. If everyone says they are unique, no one seems unique.

"Family-Owned and Operated"

While I understand how this can be a topic of pride for your business, it often doesn't translate as strongly to a generation that understands none of the context. While it may not be true in funeral service, corporately-owned can often times mean more affordable pricing (Walmart), more consistent results (food chains), and better customer service. You might be want to be careful bringing up industry-specific thing if they aren't necessary.

It might seem that the Internet Generation is speaking a different language at times. However, when you step back and look at how differently information is spread, you can start to understand why it seems so foreign.

P.S. If I had to write a blurb for my own funeral home, it would probably be something like this:

"At Parting Pro's Funeral Home, we live to help those that are suffering from loss. We’re here to listen, then help guide you through the best options for your loved one. There’s a reason why our walls are filled with thank you cards from others who have gone through the same thing you are experiencing. Please contact us in whichever way is the most convenient for you, no pressure, no obligation. Thank you for this opportunity to help you."


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Tagged: Building a Funeral Home Brand Online

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