Nondigital Funeral Home Marketing Part 2: Radio

Many people don’t think of radio advertising as pertinent today, but as of 2019, it still pulled $17.9 billion in ad spending in the United States alone. And just in case you think the numbers are trending downward, the expected U.S. ad spend for 2023 is $18.4 billion.

In Part 1 of this series on nondigital marketing options for funeral homes, we asked whether direct mailers still worked. This week, we’re looking at whether or not funeral homes should consider local radio ads.

Does Radio Still Have an Audience?

Absolutely—more than 92 percent of Americans listen at least once a week. That’s higher than the number of people who watch TV, use a PC, or even use a smartphone.

The figures also don’t heavily favor any one demographic or age group:

  • People aged 18-34: 90 percent are reached monthly
  • People aged 35-49: 94 percent are reached monthly
  • People aged 50 and older: 91 percent are reached monthly

When Do People Listen to the Radio?

More than 70 percent of adults who listen to the radio do so in the car, which is a benefit for funeral homes or any other advertiser. The person in a car is a captive audience; they can’t get up to make popcorn or click away to a faster-loading page. They could change the station, but unless your ad is very long or annoying, they probably won’t.

Radio Ads for Deathcare

­Make the most of this quality time with potential clientele via funeral home radio ads that:

  • Speak to a specific need. It’s unlikely your radio ad pops up just when a family has a loss—and that’s probably not the type of messaging you want blasting the local airways. Instead, speak to worries about the future or desires to provide for families, making your radio ad about preplanning options or building brand recognition.
  • Keep things simple. Most radio spots are 30 seconds or less. Pick one point and product to cover in each ad.
  • Give the listener instructions. The call-to-action (CTA) in a radio ad should be clear and easy to remember. With so many people listening while driving, you can’t rely on complicated CTAs that might need to be written down. Couple one action with one or two contact methods such as “Visit us online at” or “Call us at 800-PRE-NEED.”

Whether you’re going to try radio ads or not, consider checking out Part 3 in our nondigital advertising series. In it, we’ll look at the pros and cons of print advertising for funeral homes.

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