Have you heard the adage: “If you try to be everything to everyone, you won’t be anything to anyone.” The problem is I still see and hear funeral homes using the line “Serving All Faiths” – but that message when received is received by an individual who is either a particular faith or maybe no faith – but not all faiths. There is no connection. On today’s episode we’ll talk about how you can use hidden landing pages on your funeral home or cremation website to market directly to specific markets.
Topics discussed / In this video:
01:07 – Importance of hidden landing pages as marketing tool
03:34 – The importance of hidden landing pages
04:25 – Learn more about hidden landing pages
06:18 – How to use hidden landing page in funeral home or cremation provider
14:51 – Benefit of call tracking number and the landing page
17:32 – What URL Builder tool is
19:50 – Other applications for hidden landing pages
23:04 – The pre meeting information page
28:31 – Cremation conference in mid September
Hidden Landing Pages Process
Robin Heppell: [00:00] Have you heard the adage, if you try to be everything to everyone, you won’t be anything to anyone. The problem is, I still see or hear funeral homes using the line, serving all face. With that message, when it’s received, it’s received by an individual who is either probably a particular faith or no faith at all, but they are not all face. There’s no connection.
[00:26] On today’s episode we’re going to be talking about how we can use hidden landing pages on your funeral home or cremation website to market directly to specific markets.
Brian Young: [00:35] Welcome to another episode of The Strategy Talks by Funeral Results Marketing. Today we’re going to be looking at a very important piece of marketing that doesn’t get used so often here in the death care industry. We’re going to be talking about hidden pages, and how they play into the overall marketing plan. Most people don’t even know what hidden pages are, let alone how to use them.
[00:59] Today we’re going to talk with Robin Heppell. Robin, I’d like to ask you to start out here, why are hidden pages an important marketing tool?
Robin: [01:08] Thanks Brian. First of all, when you’re marketing to a specific audience, you don’t want to drop them right onto your homepage, because there’s too much noise there. We’ve talked about this in the past. There could be 12 to 15 or even up to 20 different possibilities or messages on a funeral home’s home page.
[01:30] If you’re talking to a specific group, you want to continue that conversation with them on a page on your website. There’s a great marketer from the 1900s, Robert Collier. He said you want to enter the conversation already going on in someone’s mind. This is where we can make the connection.
[01:52] When we take someone, when we’re marketing to a specific group and we put them onto our home page, that’s like phoning some support of your telecom company or your cable company, and getting down the channel and then all of a sudden you find yourself back up to the beginning operator and starting the same process again.
[02:16] Putting people on your homepage is just putting them back to the top of the queue. We don’t want this to happen. If we already know something about our market, then we want to take them down to funnel just a little bit further.
[02:32] We’ve been using this now for five or six years and we really encourage our clients to use these hidden pages. It does allow them to then having that ongoing conversation with them.
[02:45] What happens is when they land on that page, they feel more comfortable because it’s congruent. There’s an alignment of what the conversation was on whatever the advertisement was, and it just seems like this is the next logical step.
[03:03] The other thing too is, with the hidden pages you don’t want to have dozens of links on your main navigation of your website, because only a small percentage of those for each individual that’s visiting your website only one or two of those dozens and dozens of links would be applicable. It’s just better to hide all of them and get them there another way. We’ll talk about that in a minute.
[03:34] The other reason why using hidden landing pages is important is that it’s a great way to track your ads and/or your other marketing activities.
[03:45] I don’t think a lot of funeral homes and cremation providers actually use the power that they have with their website and with other online marketing because out of any other type of marketing you can track this the most. Probably the next closest would be direct mail, and getting survey cards or reply cards back, but this you can find a lot quicker and a lot more exactness.
Brian: [04:15] That is interesting. Can you explain a little bit more specifically what are hidden landing pages?
Robin: [04:24] Yeah. Sure, right. There’s two parts of that definition. We’ve got hidden and we’ve got landing pages.
[04:29] First of all, landing pages are the page that a visitor will land on after clicking on a specific link, or typing in a specific URL into their browser. That’s where they’ll land on your website.
[04:50] In Google Analytics, you can actually draw down to the landing pages where people come into your site. It doesn’t have to mean that they’re hidden or not, but that’s where they’re landing, and then you can also measure where they go from there.
[05:03] Obviously, the hidden part is that they’re hidden from the main navigation of your website or the main call to action banners or buttons that you have.
[05:17] A hidden landing page is a landing page that isn’t part of the main navigation. These can be used for tracking church ads in church bulletins, it can be used for targeting specific groups — maybe it’s different fraternities or veterans — and you can also maybe use it for your price shoppers. We’ll get into examples of all those coming up.
[05:49] Depending on your website system, you should be able to create an unlimited number of pages, and choose if you want them to be in your main navigation or not. All of our websites are built on the WordPress content management platform.
[06:05] This allows you to accomplish creating hidden landing pages, and unlimited number of them, just as long as you have a niche market to market to, and content to put on that page.
Brian: [06:18] That makes sense. More specifically then, how would a funeral home or a cremation provider use the hidden landing page? What’s the process they want to go about?
Robin: [06:32] First of all, we want to think what’s the end result in mind. We want to make sure that all of our marketing that we track, that we get positive results with our marketing. You want to make sure that you can track that.
[06:48] Everyone’s website should have an analytics program installed — usually, Google Analytics. It’s free. It used to cost $6,000. Then Google bought it and turned around and gave it free to people.
[07:04] It’s a great program. That’s where you want to…The first thing is you want to make sure that you can track this. Next, you want to identify your target market. This can be in any of your advertising.
[07:21] When you’re creating an ad, the first thing you need to do is figure out, “Who I’m going to market this to?” because, as I’ve mentioned earlier, you don’t want to do it to all people.
[07:32] You want to be able to somehow segment that group, so that you can have a more specific conversation with them, not just a general, broad conversation where you’re trying to speak to the masses through a megaphone.
[07:49] You want to speak directly, one-on-one, to people, because that’s how the message is being received. Even if there’s thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people, and you’re sending out any marketing messages, it’s being received one person at a time.
[08:13] They’re receiving it one person. That’s why we talk about making sure that when, in our marketing, in our copy, we use words like “you” and “your” instead of “Hey, all of you out there! we’re having a one-on-one conversation. We’re just having dozens or hundreds or thousands of one-on-one conversations with these people.”
[08:39] Once we’ve identified that target market, we want to make sure that we then start the communication with them, and we’re going to create some form of ad or somehow we’re going to initiate that with a direct link to that landing page.
[09:00] This could be in your church bulletin ads, it could be in your Yellow Pages, it could be on a billboard, it could be on Google AdWords, or even on Facebook. Let’s drill into these a little bit.
[09:15] For your church bulletin ads, some funeral homes just feel that they’re obligated to do that. Just think of, in the Catholic parish there, and there’s your ad. You’ve had that same ad there probably for years.
[09:31] Obviously, hopefully, you don’t have “Serving All Face” in your Catholic Church bulletin ad. You could say, “Catholic Funeral and Cremation Experts. For Information on How to Plan Your Own Cremation or Funeral Service Go to heppellfuneral.com/catholic.”
[09:59] Because before it was just a generic ad, probably, if it even had the website in it, it would have just been “heppellfuneral.com,” and just driving them to the home page. Now with the benefit of that ad, then, is there’s a lot more curiosity with that ad.
[10:22] First of all, you’re stating that you’re experts in dealing with their faith and…I’m just using Catholics as an example. Once we get that one done, we’re going to tackle all the other denominations that you serve. To the person reading that, if they’re Catholic, they’re sitting there at St. Mary’s and St. Mary’s Parish.
[10:52] They’re reading it and then it says — even at the bottom — it says it’s obviously a pro-Catholic ad, and then it says for more information, or to download your information sheet, go to heppellfuneral.com/catholic. /catholic is going to really resonate with them. There’s going to be some more curiosity there because that’s something that they’re really interested in, so you’ve got that benefit.
[11:26] Plus, that then can direct them to a specific page on your website. That page isn’t going to be talking about all the other things that you do. It’s going to be continuing on that message from that one ad, and talk about, in this case, funeral services and cremation services that you offer for Catholics.
[11:55] If you really wanted to drill it down, you could you could do the same thing for specific parishes, so it could be /StAndrews or /StPatricks. Again, those people reading the ad are going to be very curious and they’re also very vested with St. Mary’s or St. Patrick’s, so they might just go there just to check out what you have.
[12:26] I know some firms that they put the picture of the church there, maybe a picture with a couple of the funeral directors, with the funeral coach, in front of the church. Ideally, if you could get a picture with standing with the priest in front of their church, because you’re brand swapping, it’s almost an implied endorsement.
[12:55] Then, on that page, you would just continue to talk about whatever your message was that you wanted them to do. In this case, it would be maybe pre-planning for their service. Once you have that dialed in for that church or that denomination, you could then…
[13:16] Let’s see about our yellow page ads. If you still have yellow page ads, one thing that I think the reason why a lot of yellow page ads don’t work is because the messages are just, again, generic messages. They’re not capturing attention and driving them to a specific page.
[13:36] I’ve done this with clients where we’ve actually created separate landing pages and with a separate call tracking phone number, where we were able to see if the yellow page ad was beneficial or not, and they were actually comparing two different phone books. This was a year-long process, but in the long run, it really paid off because we found out two main things.
[14:04] One, one yellow page book was way better than the other, so the following year they scrapped that — the one with less impact. They also found that for most of the people that were calling, over 50 percent of them were Hispanic.
[14:25] In their market, for some reason, the Hispanic community use the yellow pages more than English-speaking people, so they changed their yellow page ad to be 50-50. Before, it just said in the bottom corner, “Si Espanol.” Now, 50 percent of the ad is in Spanish.
[14:51] Again, we were able to track this with the benefit of the call tracking number and the landing page. Same with the billboard. If you could put a special domain name on the billboard, you would then know where they came from, and you could even say, “Oh, thanks for seeing our billboard,” and then carry on the conversation.
[15:21] They’re getting the sense of, “Hey, we’re not just getting thrown back onto the home page.” They obviously have some intent because they landed there.
[15:31] Also, with online ads, such as AdWords and Facebook ads, with your AdWords, you’ve got it in your different groups if they’re searching funeral terms, or they’re searching cremation terms. Are they searching funeral costs or just funeral homes? Are they searching cremation services or cremation costs?
[15:53] You should have, actually, at least four separate landing pages for those separate campaigns and ad groups. Also, with your Facebook ads, you can really drill things down.
[16:13] You could have, if you’re marketing to females, then you don’t have to tell them, but you know that that ad for the females is going to a particular page, so you can write it in a way knowing that it’s a female. You could have a similar ad for males, and then when they land on that landing page, you’re going to be talking to a male.
[16:42] You can even chop this up further for marital status, for age groups. There’s lots of things that you can do with the knowledge that you have of where or how that ad is appearing, that you’ve got that inside information who they are, so you can carry on that specific conversation on your landing page.
[17:06] Those are just examples of using it from an ad perspective of driving people from an ad, whether offline or online, to your specific page. When you’re using, especially in print in your church bulletin ads, that /catholic, you can actually add some tracking code to that.
[17:32] There is a tool Google. It’s called the “URL Builder” tool, and it actually tags on a little bit of code to the end of your link. I’ll create a little demo of how this works below this episode so you can actually see how to create a tracking link. What that’ll tell you then, is not only if they landed on that main page, because maybe you’re using that page for a number of different… Like, maybe that Catholic page is in five different Catholic Church bulletins.
[18:15] You could track each one of those church bulletins to see, hey, more people are coming from St. Andrew’s than from St. Mary’s. Once you have those mechanics you obviously want to have your landing page. You’re going to create your landing page with the content educating them and then at the bottom of that or throughout that page you want to have a call to action where they can interact with you.
[18:48] Whether it’s calling you, filling out a registration form, maybe it’s for a pre planning event or maybe it’s just like a free membership form if it’s a cremation site. Maybe it’s going to be…start them on a…filling out a pre planning form.
[19:05] You want to have some call to action, so that you can track what we call a conversion, that at least they took that next logical step. With all that, once that’s all done, theoretically track your results.
[19:20] That is how that would transpire of doing that and we will put a checklist together, so you can come to the page. We actually have a short link that we can use. It will be funeralresults.com/6, the number six. That will take you right to this episode and you can then download that form here.
Brian: [19:50] What other applications are there for hidden landing pages, besides those that you’ve just shared with us, Robin?
Robin: [19:56] You can use hidden landing pages for…It doesn’t always have to be driven from a particular ad, you could use this even over the phone. Say if you had a price shopper on the phone. Maybe you’re a traditional funeral home, and you’re not the lowest priced funeral home in the market, you may not want to have your prices online, although I think you should have them available to everyone.
[20:31] This is a way you could put them online and what you could do though is have them on a hidden page where, say if you were on the phone with someone, you could then easily direct them to that page. They could see it, but people just navigating through the website may not find that. That’s just another strategy where…And maybe you have two or three pages that you use if you have someone like a price shopper on the phone.
[21:07] If you are saying, “Oh, thanks for your enquiry, sure I can get you prices. Before I get that I just want to ask you a few questions. One thing, do you have Internet access? Are you in front of a computer?” “Oh, yeah, sure.” Probably 95 percent of North America has access to computers now.
[21:33] “OK, you know what, one thing you could do is you could go to our website, heppellfuneral.com/prices and you know what, right there I could walk you through some of those prices.”
[21:46] Right there, instead of giving them just a bottom line price, you send them to a page. Obviously that page is going to be crafted for the price shopper, and your content on that page would sure include prices, but maybe there’s a little video there that explains your prices in detail, probably maybe longer than what you could do over the phone.
[22:10] Also, you could have other things that they could download. Like, we’ve created the funeral cost calculator, cremation cost calculator, which is basically just a sheet with columns and rows and it allows the shopper to easily compare apples to apples and obviously worded it in the funeral home’s favor.
[22:35] It would be really hard to try to convey all of that information over the phone. If you were able to get them without sending them to the web page, but if you send them to that hidden landing page, they could now, after they hang up with you, they’re probably not going to click off that page. They’ve just hit this great resource with a lot of information, but it may not be for information that you want everyone to see.
[23:04] Another landing page that we’ve helped clients create is what we call that pre meeting information page. What this does is it talks about what they’re going to face when they come into the arrangement. You’ve already secured the first call and basically you’re going to let them know a little bit maybe of the agenda of what you’re going to go over in the meeting.
[23:31] You can also use this page to introduce some new products or service offerings that you have that they may not be aware of, because as we know, families don’t experience a death very often. Maybe it’s every 5, 10, 15 years or maybe this is the first time ever. We can’t just assume that everyone knows what a thumbprint jewelry is or a memorial blanket or even a celebration of life video.
[24:06] People may not know what those are. This is a very easy way to introduce them to new services, so that when they come and make arrangements with a funeral director after minute 90 when the funeral director knows that the manager or owner is like, “Hey, did you give them every option?”
[24:30] This way it’s a lot easier to have the family say, “Hey Rob, tell me a little bit more about those memorial blankets.” Versus you having to introduce something that they’ve never seen before. If they saw it on that landing page, they may have clicked on the link, read a little blurb about it. Maybe you have the video where it shows the room creating the tribute blanket.
[24:59] It’s much easier for them to ask you information, instead of you trying to offer that information. Those are just a couple of other ideas that you can use hidden landing pages for. They can be used for trying to reach out to all kinds of different groups. We talked about different denominations, but there’s different fraternities, the veterans. For any of your veterans ads, you want them to be going to a specific direct veterans page.
[25:34] Maybe that page isn’t hidden, but it can still be a landing page for your marketing. Hopefully that explanation gives you an idea of what hidden landing pages are, how you can put them into use and start to really track your marketing, because as you know, Brian and I here at the Funeral Results Marketing, we’re all about the results. This is one step into making sure that you are at least getting some analytics, so you can see what kind of results that you’re getting.
[26:09] If you need any more help with this, we’d be happy to show you our funeral home websites or cremation arrangement websites. They’re both ready to go with having unlimited landing pages that you can create to target all the different groups that you want to. Maybe you’re happy with your current website and that’s fine. We can even create small little mini sites. I like to call them call winning sites. They could just be maybe five to 10 pages.
[26:45] This would be where you drive specific traffic to them and it has a specific message and it doesn’t then necessarily have to be on your main website. A lot of funeral websites are more of a community service with the grief help and with all your obituaries, condolences and other educational information. We’ve done that as well. If you’re interested in this, you can contact Brian by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call.
[27:23] We do have a little challenge for you today and it’s simple, just the next time you’re pinning up your next ad, whether it’s going to be renewing your church ads or your yellow pages or if you’re thinking of getting a billboard, thinking about, OK, I should direct this to a specific page, because we know something about the people where we’re putting that ad.
[27:51] Even if you’re putting the ad in your general newspaper, the page that they land on can say, “Hey, thanks for seeing our ads here in the Victoria Times corners, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” then you continue on. You already know that that group of people much have come from, in this case, the readership of the newspaper.
[28:18] We also have this, just down below here, as I mentioned before, you can download our seven point checklist creating landing pages. That wraps up, Brian so I’ll turn it back over to you.
Brian: [28:31] Thanks Rob. One of the things we like to share at the end of this calls is just a quick update on what’s happening at Funeral Results Marketing. We wanted to let you know about an upcoming conference. We’re going to be doing a cremation conference mid September, it looks like, regarding growing a cremation business and increasing success in this Internet era.
[28:52] It’s going to be a two day conference. I’ll just wet your appetite just a little bit here. Day one is going to be all about the business and using real life case studies and examples of what’s working and what’s not working.
[29:04] We’ll be looking at things like how to profitably triverse the cremation revolution, and how to successfully create a cremation brand and exploring cremation business models in use today, as well as new technology tools that have come out to improve the stream lining of those death care businesses and drop the overhead cost all the more.
[29:26] Day two we get into marketing a cremation business and we’ll talk about mastering the largest online advertising spaces on earth. That’s a Rob Heppell special, hope you’ll join us for that one.
[29:38] We’ll also talk about how to win with hospice, staying on top of the rapidly changing search engine optimization game and delve into other things like content that impresses cremation shoppers. Importantly, maximizing website performance and our allied leads like a fortune 500 company. Hopefully that wets your appetite just a little bit. With that I’ll turn it back over to you Rob.
Robin: [30:03] Thanks, Brian. We’re really looking forward to meeting the folks there in sunny Florida in mid September. I think it’s going to be a good conference. If you have a burning question about online marketing for your funeral home or your cremation business, just leave it here and we’ll try to answer that in an upcoming episode.
[30:23] If you like what you’re hearing, please leave a comment here on the website or go to iTunes or Google Play and give us a rating and leave us a review.
[30:34] We’d love to hear your feedback. Thanks for spending time with us today, we know your time is valuable. It’s our goal for you to serve as many families as possible and to provide them with meaningful services.
[30:48] Make sure you check back soon with another episode of “Strategy Talks” by Funeral Results Marketing. Until the next episode, this has been Brian Young and Robin Heppell.
This has been another episode of Strategy Talks with Robin Heppell and Brian Young. To ask a question or leave a comment, visit FuneralResultsMarketing.com/talks To make sure that you never miss an episode, you can subscribe to this podcast for free on iTunes, GooglePlay and Stitcher.