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9 "old school" offline marketing strategies that work for local funeral homes

Updated: Feb 23

A newspaper advert saying "old school marketing techniques we love"
Old school marketing techniques we love!

Marketing a funeral home has come a long way since placing an advert in the yellow pages and the local newspaper. 

Online marketing is so important these days simply because the people in your local community are using Google and Facebook (and a whole lot of other social media platforms) every day to connect with family and friends, to entertain themselves, to read the news. And they are also using it to search for products and services that they want and need which is the reason why digital marketing is an essential part of marketing for a funeral business. 

But the thing is with marketing a local business is that the people that you are trying to connect and engage with can still also be reached by some very effective “offline” marketing techniques too.

And whilst the big players are trying their best to reach families in your local area through faceless TV and radio advertising campaigns, you can reach these people with a much more personal approach.  

So independent funeral directors can win at local marketing by combining both online and offline marketing techniques to help you a top of mind business in your local area.

Here are the OLD SCHOOL MARKETING techniques we still love…

LOCAL PAID ADVERTISING  Paying for advertising locally can really help to increase your brand awareness. Some communities and parishes still publish newsletters, magazines and calendars that are highly thought of by local people. They are great because they stick around for a long time on coffee tables or in business reception areas and a lot of people read them.

FREE ADVERTISING ON YOUR FUNERAL HOME Your funeral home, particularly if it’s located where there is passing footfall or road traffic, can be used as free advertising for your business.

Make sure your signage stands out and tells people you are a Funeral Director (sounds obvious but not all funeral businesses include the words “funeral director” on their signs).

GET NETWORKING As a local business it’s really important to be visible and recognised in your local community, so make sure you and your team put time in your diary to get to know local people and other businesses:

  • Networking events

  • Joining local clubs

  • Attending community fayres

  • Speaking opportunities

  • Hosting your own events - coffee mornings, open days or evening seminars

  • Let local people use a room at your funeral home for hobby groups, or local meetings

SPONSORSHIP & FUNDRAISING Local sponsorships are an excellent way to support your local community in exchange for promotional exposure for your business locally.

  • Sponsor local clubs or teams or even animal shelters

  • Sponsor events or elements of an event, such as welcome drinks at a dinner

  • Donate to local charities - it doesn’t have to be money it could be buying equipment or tools for a local allotment group

  • Fundraise for local charities

  • Create a local fundraising fund where local people and groups can request funds for local projects 

BE A GOOD COMMUNITY CITIZEN There are lots of other ways to promote your business locally that connect you with your local community.

  • Donate your limo’s to local school children to take them the end of term prom

  • Be a donation point for food or clothing banks

  • Attend career open days at schools and colleges and take on apprenticeships

  • Run educational workshop on navigating grief

  • Run coffee mornings to bring local people together 

  • Share your knowledge and speak on podcasts or radio chats or contribute to news articles about funeral trends and choices

DIRECT MAIL & DOOR DROPS If you are promoting funeral plans, then a direct mail or a door drop are one of the best old school marketing techniques to use.

  • You can target particular postcodes in your area, so you don’t waste money unnecessarily

  • The marketing becomes more personal and direct as it’s going into households

  • You can use it to encourage people to respond to ask for more information or attend an event

  • You can use social media posts and advertising at the same time as the direct mail or door drops to make your campaign even more effective.

CREATE STAND OUT BUSINESS CARDS Create a business cards that makes you stand out from the rest and something worth holding onto. What if your business card had a question like “I’d like my funeral to be _________” and give people the chance to fill in their answer. Or add a QR code onto your business card that links to a website page that includes a beautiful and inspiration video about funeral choices and options”

RELATABLE MERCHANDISE If you’re attending events in your local community, it’s a good idea to give away merchandise with your funeral home name on. The idea is to choose items that people will keep so your business name stays with them. As well as the all time favourite of the pen and notebook, also consider trolley pounds, a fridge magnet, or stickers. If your brand lets you get away with a funny line, then why not try this too.    

ENTER TO WIN BUSINESS AWARDS Many funeral home are successful business that have been around for generations, so why not celebrate your achievements by entering into a small business awards. Here are some national awards, but check to see if there are any in your local area too, for example many local Chambers of Commerce run annual business awards. The Small Awards British Business Awards Business Awards UK The Good Small Business Awards


Avens Marketing provides specialist marketing support to funeral directors to help you grow your business. Whether you are new to marketing your funeral home, or have been doing it for many years, we can help you increase the visibility of your business locally, engage local families, attract new clients, enhance client experience and increase referrals. Our FREE Marketing Health Check is great place to start to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your local marketing efforts. Simply answer 30 yes/no questions to get you thinking.

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