There is no way I am trying to say your funeral home’s general price list (GPL) should be thought of as casually as a restaurant menu. I promise. But, I found an article this weekend explaining how graphic designers use color and placement to move diners to more profitable entrees and couldn’t help but see the similarities. And, by applying a few of these suggestions (even just for a test period), you might actual be able to soak up additional revenue. Soak. Like gravy. Restaurant humor? Okay, here are some real tips for making your GPL a little more appetizing.
1. Placement. According to Freeshipping.org, the eye naturally falls to the top-right section of a page, so many menu designers place their most profitable dishes here. Sometimes enclosed in a box. Do you have a package that has a high margin? Maybe you could place it in a gold or silver box in the top right corner as a ‘featured’ item.
2. Storytelling. Let’s face it. The people reading these descriptions aren’t in the best of moods. The last thing they want to do is read a price list that talks about remains and embalming in a clinical, non-emotional way. Obviously regulations about what does and doesn’t need to be included on a GPL vary from state to state, but try to make the description of the Cremation package sound as amazing as possible. Or as non-offensive as possible. Here is a funeral home GPL that I feel tells just enough to explain, but not enough to put off a family.
3. Disappearing dollar sign. This was why the article caught my eye at all. ‘It’s not unusual to see prices listed as 15 instead of $15. That’s because eliminating the dollar sign avoids reminding diners they’re actually spending money.
4. Short lists. More menus now just place five or six items in a category, providing you with fewer selections, but making it easier to choose. Limiting the number of dishes, designers feel, also keeps the menu from looking cluttered. Think about it. If you go to a restaurant with an inch-thick wine menu, two things come to mind: 1) I hope I’m not paying; and 2) who has time to go through this thing?
Take your top 10 services, urns, caskets, etc. and create simple, concise lists to share with families. If a family doesn’t like any of the urns you have shown, you can always break out your Halo catalog or direct them to a web site. That’s exceptional service. If they pick one from the pared-down list, the arrangements are finished even sooner.
5. Create a decoy. Admitedly my favorite. The article ends by saying ‘adding a high-dollar item to each category makes everything else look more reasonable. If a USDA Prime steak is priced at $30 and beef tips at $10, frugal customers will be attracted to the beef tips.’ I’m not AT ALL saying to lie on your funeral home’s GPL. I am telling you to create a high-end package and add it to the list. Your current number one option — now two — should become a lot more popular.
Many people don’t think of a funeral home general price list as an advertising medium. But, can you see the similarities between a GPL and restaurant menu? I can even see an A La Carte section on the general price list. Why not? It’s a term consumers are already familiar with for positive reasons. I’m strangely hungry now…
If you would like to put these ideas into practice on a new GPL for your funeral home or cremation society, call us at 1-877-251-1222 today!
(originally posted in September 2012; updated July 2017)