Here’s some creative ideas that have added traffic to local funeral homes


Back in junior high school when I took aptitude tests for future employment ideas the results for my tests were always that I should go into “Marketing”.  I pursued mortuary science but I do believe that my “marketing aptitude” was helpful in building our funeral home business.


And, while “marketing” can be about placing paid advertising I think some of the best “marketing”, especially by service businesses like funeral homes and crematories, is done with public relations and promotions that allows that business to be seen with a very positive outlook in their local community.


It’s with that preamble that I bring you two very creative ideas, not necessarily set up for the marketing impact, but positive public relations is the result of the publicity that these two death care companies, which span the Atlantic Ocean are receiving.


First of all let me tell you of Wisconsin funeral home owner Nina Grasse of Grasse Funeral Service.  Winters in places like my native Minnesota and neighboring Wisconsin can get long and confining.  Ms. Grasse had the idea to have community members put together the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle — 60,000 pieces — right in her funeral home.  Residents have been and will continue to be coming in over the next couple of weeks to work on it.


In the meantime the Grasse Funeral Service owners and staff will get the opportunity to serve treats and be able to meet and visit with people from the community that they may not have had a chance to meet without this opportunity.  That has to be a very positive when thinking of building market share.  Nina Grasse makes this comment in the linked article from Channel 3000, “We learned that there’s lots of details which have made it more challenging, but people are having a wonderful time.”


Here is an article and news video on the Grasse Funeral Home jigsaw puzzle story from Wisconsin’s Channel 3000.

Here is the website for Grasse Funeral Service.


The second effort by a death care provider comes to us from across the Atlantic Ocean in Nottingham, England.  There, the Gedling Crematorium of Nottinghamshire has installed what they call a “Paradise Mailbox”.


It turns out that they learned that a nine-year old girl was writing letters, to help her grief, to her deceased grandparents.  The crematorium then installed a mailbox outside of their building to allow, not only that young girl, but others to write to their deceased relatives.  The mailbox has only been in place about one month but already has received over 100 “Letters to Heaven”.


According to this article from Great Britain’s Daily Mail, “The site manager at Gedling Crematorium, Giulia McDonough, said: ‘. . . it’s our aim to have a very positive presence within our local communities, and I am delighted that the Letters to Heaven post box seems to have captured the imagination – and interest – of many people.” 


Here is the website for Gedling Crematorium.


Funeral Director Daily take:  Paid marketing is one thing and you can have expected and sometimes objective results from it.  However, I’ve always found the best marketing and positive public relations for businesses are ideas that they craft that appear to have no easily seen self-promotional interests behind them.  That’s what I would say about these ideas and I’m guessing that these two businesses will have many positive comments said in their communities about these efforts.


Have you thought about something that your firm could do to “give back” or “create interest” in your community that will not be looked at as “self-serving” but as just a good gesture?   Interestingly enough, the more you do those things that do not appear self-serving, the more your reputation as a community asset will grow. . . and in the death care business that’s a very good way to increase market share.


More news from the world of Death Care:


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