As a deathcare provider, it may at times feel somewhat incongruous to think of those to whom you provide services as a ‘lead’, or a ‘prospect’...but they provide useful short-hand when thinking in terms of the modern buying cycle.
Simply put, a lead is someone who has shown interest in what you provide. They’re important, in that they provide you with the opportunity to convert a prospect into someone who will use your services, generating revenue, and helping you to grow.
So how can we begin to create that opportunity?
We can start by asking ourselves three important questions:
Who is your audience?
Understanding who your customers are will ultimately shape everything else that you do in terms of lead generation: what you say, as well as how, when and where you’re saying it.
The short answer is that you will of course have many different types of customer - and all with different needs and expectations.
Consider, for example, how that might look just within a single family unit: the ‘Baby Boomer’ beginning to embrace technology but with a mix of how and where they research for goods and services; the techno-literate ‘Gen X-ers’ who use email as a primary communications tool; the ‘Millennials’ who primarily use online and social media.
Read our blog on marketing to different generations here.
Creating a profile of your target audience is a good way to help tailor your marketing activity. Consider their demographic, what motivates them, where and how they consume their media - any factor that may influence their buying choices and decision-making.
Also ensure that you’re making best use of the data you hold. Do you know, for example, the community make up or religious backgrounds of your customers or service users? Think about how you can use that information. Is there a way you could be catering more towards specific groups of people? Are there reasons why perhaps you aren’t seeing as much engagement among them and how could you address that?
What channels should you use?
The answer to that can be determined (in part) by the answer to our first question.
It’s important - particularly as a deathcare provider - to consider a multi-channel approach when it comes to generating leads - one that utilises a combination of both online and traditional methods - and accounts for the preferred methods of communication of your target audience.
Are you doing everything you can to engage people? Think about how you are currently reaching people, and if you are providing the information they need:
- Do people call into the office?
- Are community events successful?
- Does your website get lots of traffic?
- Do people engage with your social media posts?
- Do you produce a bulletin or newsletter?
- Do you provide printed brochures with info on pre-need plots?
Consider how you can best utilise those opportunities in respect of your audience. Some people, for example, may prefer bulletins to updates on social media. How can you make that available to them? Are they printed or emailed to a list of people? Similarly, if you know that your audience uses facebook, try scheduling a series of posts that encourage engagement, with a call out to sign up to a newsletter.
Increased adoption in technology and growth in the digital has of course changed how we all interact with the world - and the methods of lead generation we use should reflect that. This is why deathcare providers may want to think about strategies such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), keyword targeting, or content marketing in helping to drive traffic to your website. When customers are searching online for services, are you sure they will find you?
How are you capturing leads?
Think, for example, about what action you would want someone to take when they land on your website. Is it sign ups for attending community events, subscribers to your newsletter, or enquiries about pre-need plots?
How are you ensuring that you’re capturing that information? How are you making sure that they stay to read what you have to say and importantly, let you know that they would like to know more?
One easy thing you can do is to review the information on your website’s homepage. How does it look? Does it have the right messaging? Are you making use of ‘call to actions’?
Something as simple as a ‘would you like to learn more?’ pop-up button on your homepage, or a ‘sign up to our newsletter’ form could potentially turn a lead into a prospect. Asking how or when someone would like to be contacted can help with personalisation and even create a background trigger for your sales team to follow up.
Having expressed that interest, the nature of the interaction can now change from a one-way to a two-way conversation - at which point you can begin to tailor the information you provide, ‘nurturing’ your lead, and intuitively bringing them through their customer journey.
An approach will never be a one-size fits all. The people and resources you have, the services you provide and the community in which you operate, will all factor. But asking yourself these simple questions can provide a broad framework to set you on the path to success.
Like to learn more? Download our eBook on lead generation for deathcare providers at the link below: