Monday, July 21, 2014

The “Call:” Mobits are the fastest and easiest way for your families to share arrangement information on Facebook


Here at Mobits we are big on “Actionable Intelligence” meaning we only like to give you stats when we can actually show you how to take advantage of them.

Here’s a great stat: 80% of all Facebookers use their smartphones to access their Facebook account.

And here’s how funeral directors can take advantage of this: Tell your families that your funeral home makes it extremely easy for everyone to post the arrangements information on their Facebook pages.

All the family member has to do is open the Mobits on their smartphone, tap the Facebook icon, logon onto Facebook and tap “Share” in the top right corner, or write something and then tap “Share” in the top right corner.

The Mobits is immediately posted on their Facebook page!

Note the image of the mobilephone screen. This is what your families will see after they log into their Facebook page from the Mobits.

Smart funeral directors will offer their families a Multimedia Obituary package – it includes a Mobits for texting and Facebooking obituary information and basic newspaper death notice with a 1 to 2 lines that say “For more info, text RobinJ to 72727.”

“The Multimedia Obituary package enables families to easily communicate arrangement information using the newspaper, smartphones and social media at one low price.”

The Mobits cost $49 (Price goes to $59 August 8 for all new funeral homes), add in the cost of the basic newspaper death notice in your area and then add your premium (profit) to the price to your families.

There’s plenty of room to make $100 or more off each Multimedia Obituary package and it gives your funeral directors something to talk about that sets them apart from the competition. Another thing Mobits are big on is “people buy differences, not similarities.”

It’s much more important for families to post the arrangement information on THEIR Facebook pages, not on YOUR FUNERAL HOME Facebook page. You too, can easily post all of your obituaries on your Facebook page (just like family members, view the Mobits from your smartphone, tap the Facebook icon, sign onto your funeral home’s Facebook page and then tap “Share” or write something brief and tap “Share”).

The Multimedia Obituary package is a higher level of service to your families and can get you more first calls.

Don’t you agree? Either way, we still would like to get your feelings on this subject. Click or tap The “Call” to go to our blog and post your comments! For a demo, text the term “Mobits” to the phone number 72727. Our contacts: phone, 786-763-1875, website, www.mobits.org, email, info@mobits.org.

To demo a Mobits™ outside of the United States, type or copy the following link into a web browser on a mobile phone or device: http://bit.ly/1bgS4QJ. Or Skype us, username “Mobits.org.” Mobits™ can be done everywhere on the planet where there is internet access! International directors are welcome.

We'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn! Please click to invite us: http://linkd.in/1arZsES

The “Call” Blog and Email for Funeral Directors
 

Monday, July 14, 2014

The "Call:" The only mobile-marketing kit for funeral homes (and it’s free!)



Mobilephones, by far, are now the best way to market businesses. The reason is simple: everyone has one and everyone keeps their mobilephone nearby.

It’s today’s Yellowpages, 411, billboard, TV and newspaper.

Most funeral directors know this, what they don’t know is how to take advantage of mobilephones to get more first calls.

We equip our funeral directors with everything they need to use mobilephones to get more business. Here is an example of the initial email we send out to our new funeral homes (we customize everything to the funeral home, below is an interactive example):

Greetings,

Thank you for your business!

To jump start your funeral home marketing, I am providing the following:

1. QR Code (image). This image should be placed in all of your marketing, particularly in your printed materials.

2. Keyword ("Mobit"). This too, should be included in all your marketing. Basically, you put the following somewhere in your printed marketing (funeral programs, church fans, calendars, etc...): "For more info, text Mobit to 72727 or scan this box." This should go somewhere near your website address and/or contact info.

3.  Arrangement room flyer with your logo. Put this in a 8 1/2 by 11 frame and display it in your arrangement room.

4.  Flyer with your logo to give to prospective clients. Give this to clients who don't buy right away.

5. Kiosk (http://bit.ly/1maH4q0).

Open this link on all computers that are near where you answer the phone. Then bookmark it. Everyday, open this page on your computers and leave it in the background. Then, when people call for general information, tell the caller if they give you their cellphone number, you can text them a link with all of the funeral home's information. This will build you a database of cellphone numbers that you can use later for marketing purposes.

6.  MCard (http://my.accessmobilewebsite.com/m/25822/p/162809). I will send you this link via text message. Open it, then add it to your home screen. Then, when you are out and meet people, ask them can you send them your mobile-app. If they say yes, you open the icon on your phone, then enter their mobilephone number and tap submit. They instantly get a text with a link to your mobile and you just added another mobilephone number to your database for future marketing!

7. Order form. Please feel free to make copies. Also, if a funeral director prefers to submit orders online, they can do so by going to www.mobits.org.

These tools, IF USED CONSISTENTLY, will really help you build your business. They are very easy to use, you just need to be consistent about it.

After you have the chance to review all of this, give me a call and I'll walk you through everything and answer any questions.

Don’t you agree? Either way, we still would like to get your feelings on this subject. Click or tap The “Call” to go to our blog and post your comments! For a demo, text the term “Mobits” to the phone number 72727. Our contacts: phone, 786-763-1875, website, www.mobits.org, email, info@mobits.org.

To demo a Mobits™ outside of the United States, type or copy the following link into a web browser on a mobile phone or device: http://bit.ly/1bgS4QJ. Or Skype us, username “Mobits.org.” Mobits™ can be done everywhere on the planet where there is internet access! International directors are welcome.

We'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn! Please click to invite us: http://linkd.in/1arZsES

The “Call” Blog and Email for Funeral Directors

Monday, July 7, 2014

The "Call:" More fun in funerals

Lights, Camera, Mortician! The Rise of 'Fun Funerals'

Jaweed Kaleem, Huffington Post

When a friend and fellow mortician died a decade ago, Teddy Lee received an unusual request. By most measures, the widow said, it was to be a standard Christian service, complete with prayers and promises of life after death. Except for one thing.
Would Lee, asked the widow, put on a little show?
Lee, who is also a magician, gladly obliged. On the day of the service, he stood in front of the mourners gathered in a Bronx sanctuary, held up a few pages of the New York Daily News, and then tore them methodically into pieces as he told a story of life and death.
"God breathes life into your body, and then you go through complications over the last years and last days," he said.
"Lawrence's lymphatic system broke down." Rip. "His cardiovascular system broke down." Rip. "His brain broke down." Rip. "He died." Rip.
Teddy Lee
Mortician and magician Teddy Lee.
"But the Lord restores his soul," Lee said, paraphrasing Psalm 23:3. "He'll guide him along the right paths." Lee clenched the scraps of paper in one fist. Then, he opened his hand and unfolded that same newspaper restored to its original pristine form.
It was "Torn and Restored," a classic beginner's magic trick done in countless talent shows and festivals -- repurposed for death.
"Sometimes I'm asked to do both [magic and funerals] at once," said Lee, 76, a licensed funeral director from White Plains, New York. "People have come to know both sides of me, so they ask. And I say, why not?"
Lee, who long ago claimed the moniker "mortgician" in his AOL email address, wouldn't call himself a pioneer or part of any special movement in after-death care. But he's among many who are turning the idea of the solemn, sedate funeral on its head.
Call it the rise of the personalized "fun funeral."
The wide range of what's considered "creative" or "unusual" when burying a loved one means there are little to no statistics on such practices, but industry experts say redesigning the standard funeral is increasingly popular. For the 2.5 million Americans who die each year, families are "making funeral decisions based on different values than previous generations," said Jessica Koth, a spokeswoman for the National Funeral Directors Association.
Cremations are now used in 43 percent of deaths, and environmentally friendly"green funerals" are becoming more common. From customizing the casket to offering surprising music, costumes, themes and performances at the service, families are "seeking experiences that are different than those they perceive as part of a 'traditional' funeral," said Koth.
Cultural, religious and political upheaval in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s led to more diverse views about death, noted Gary Laderman, a professor of religious studies at Emory University and author of Rest in Peace: A Cultural History of Death and the Funeral Home in Twentieth-Century America. And, as those in the baby boomer generation age, that has led to more recent changes in how people imagine their funerals.
For those who don't want the same old ceremony, there are others, like Lee, ready to help.
Last September, Kyle Tevlin, a part-time graphic designer, launched "I Want a Fun Funeral." The 45-minute workshops she hosts at churches and community centers around Philadelphia are meant to show people that "funerals don't have to be cold and sterile," said Tevlin.
Kyle Tevlin
Kyle Tevlin, founder of "I Want a Fun Funeral."
The events -- she's held six so far -- typically include a table of homemade tombstone cookies and handouts of "This Is the Awesome Funeral Plan of ...," a 30-page guide she asks attendees to fill out. It covers everything from how their body should be handled after death (buried, cremated or perhaps do-it-yourself "home funeral"?) and whether clergy should take part, to the kind of music, decorations and dress code they want.
"The lights are dimmed, the song '(Don't Fear) The Reaper' by Blue Öyster Cult comes on, and I come out in my Grim Reaper costume. As the song fades, I slowly strip to a 'I Want a Fun Funeral' shirt and a psychedelic-looking fluffy boa," said Tevlin. "I try to go from somberness to excitement."
Attendance can be sparse -- sometimes only five or six people have shown up -- but it's growing. Tevlin, 54, said she conceived the idea after going to "quite a few bland funerals."
Perhaps the man best-known for creating such personalized funerals is John Beckwith Jr. of Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas. Beckwith, whose business was catapulted to national fame on the TLC reality show "Best Funeral Ever," has overseen nearly ever kind of funeral during his 30 years in the field. The more memorable include a space alien-themed ceremony, another in which a casket was pushed down a bowling lane to knock over pins that spelled "R.I.P. JUDY," and one with a chocolate-covered casket for a man who had a big sweet tooth.
John Beckwith, Jr.
John Beckwith Jr. in front of a chocolate-covered casket.
"It's exciting how people are still celebrating life and not just disposing of the deceased. I would hope that it never gets to that point," said Beckwith. "For the African-American community we serve, it all goes back to slavery and the homegoing tradition. When your life was so bad as a slave, you tried to have a celebratory funeral because the ones you loved were going to a better place in heaven and you were guiding them there."
But looking at the more unusual ceremonies -- one New Orleans funeral home has recently been in demand for its displays of dead bodies standing up and sitting down, posed as if smoking or drinking -- some who work with the bereaved call for a degree of caution before planning the "funeral to end all funerals." Remember the mourners, they urge.
"I feel planning our own service isn't healthy as the funeral needs to meet the needs of the family and grievers," said Jane Bissler, president of the Association for Death Education and Counseling and clinical director at Counseling for Wellness in Kent, Ohio. "The 'stand up, sit down' issue is the strongest death denial that we can have."
Lizzy Miles, a hospice volunteer and social worker who has been a leader in theDeath Café movement in the U.S., has a different view.
"From a distance, a 'fun' funeral can seem crass to acquaintances. However, if you knew the deceased well, the unique celebration helps you to remember them as they lived," said Miles, who in 2012 began holding Death Cafés -- gatherings in coffee shops to encourage open-ended conversations on the end of life.
Moreover, what seems bizarre to some 21st-century Americans might be quite normal to people in other places or other times. The idea of a lively, even boisterous funeral is not entirely new.
"If you look across cultures, families and communities have always been trying desperately to make sense of death in different ways," said Bill Hoy, a lecturer in the medical humanities program at Baylor University who wrote Do Funerals Matter? The Purposes and Practices of Death Rituals in Global Perspective. "With these rituals that seem newer to us, for some people it's a way of trying to forestall the pain of something that frankly hurts a lot."
Helping the living grieve is part of why we have funerals.
"I never thought people would be interested in funeral magic," Lee, the mortgician, said. "But you see all kinds of families and you try your best to help them through the mourning. A little fun, a little trick can make a big difference."
Do you agree? Either way, we still would like to get your feelings on this subject. Click or tap The “Call” to go to our blog and post your comments! For a demo, text the term “Mobits” to the phone number 72727. Our contacts: phone, 786-763-1875, website, www.mobits.org, email, info@mobits.org.
To demo a Mobits™ outside of the United States, type or copy the following link into a web browser on a mobile phone or device: http://bit.ly/1bgS4QJ. Or Skype us, username “Mobits.org.” Mobits™ can be done everywhere on the planet where there is internet access! International directors are welcome.

To demo a Mobits™ outside of the United States, type or copy the following link into a web browser on a mobile phone or device: http://bit.ly/1bgS4QJ. Or Skype us, username “Mobits.org.” Mobits™ can be done everywhere on the planet where there is internet access! International directors are welcome.
We'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn! Please click to invite us: http://linkd.in/1arZsES


The “Call” Blog and Email for Funeral Directors

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The "Call:" Coming to a funeral home near you: Dancing pallbearers

Coming to a funeral home near you: Dancing pallbearers

Miami Times staff report | 6/12/2014, 9 a.m.

Amid sobs and tears, they march and even dance before they carry the casket of the deceased to their final resting place. As part of the service, they would break out in snazzy, choreographed dance routines to help lighten the mood among mourners.
They are professional pallbearers, stylish men who help give a grand sendoff to loved ones during funerals. It's a growing trend in the funeral industry as consumers seek more creative and less traditional ways to celebrate their relative‘s life and legacy.
This new service doesn't come cheap. Some charge as much as $1,400, or more, for the fancy perk. Others give it away for free, as a way to one-up the competition.
John Houston, owner of the John B. Houston Funeral Home of New Jersey and New York, has been offering professional pallbearers since he attended Lena Horne’s funeral in 2010 and first saw professionals in action.
“It’s show business,” Houston says of the service that seems to be catching on in the industry.
Houston, 55, comes from the South, where the use of professional pallbearers, including ones who dance or march, is more common. When the Alabama native arrived in the Northeast, he says, he was appalled by what he calls the mediocrity of funerals. He was searching, he says, for something to make his funeral homes stand out, “something to put me above the rest.”
So, his gym trainer helped him recruit other guys from their gym to lift caskets. “Over the period of five or six Saturdays,” he recalls, “We put together the technique.” Now it’s just about perfected, he says.
“They raise the casket, basically shoulder it at the end of the service from the top of the church down the aisle, and put the body in the hearse,” said Houston, who became a funeral director in the Northeast in 1995. “Then they accompany the hearse, walking. Then, depending on the service, they may do the same thing at the cemetery, shoulder the casket to the grave.”
Of 10 pallbearers he keeps on staff, eight are used per service, dressed impeccably in formal attire, bow ties and white gloves.
Out of about 150 funerals he does a year, only five to 10, he says, request the extra service. “It correlates with the deceased’s position in life,” he says. People he calls “upper-echelon” want it. He recently had the family of a councilman in East Orange New Jersey request it.
The white glove service, he says, blows people away, because they recognize it as demonstrating “the highest level of respect” for the deceased. The only further step a family could take, he says, is offering a 21-gun salute.
In South Los Angeles, the Boyd Funeral Home also offers professional pallbearers, though it offers them at no extra charge as part of any funeral package, Candy Boyd, owner of the home, told the Los Angeles Times.
A Los Angeles Times reporter who recently saw the pallbearers in action described them as immaculately dressed, wearing black top hats, tails, burnt-orange ties and vests, and white gloves.
Their swinging, dancing movements, the Los Angeles Times says, are synchronized to gospel music and carefully choreographed by the team’s dedicated choreographer and drillmaster.
A YouTube video of the professional pallbearers is attracting new fans, but critics as well. Some say the new trend is too showy and even “disrespectful”. But the majority of viewers say they like the new service.
Houston says some funeral homes catering to white customers offer professional pallbearers, but that the phenomenon in the South is more often aimed at Black customers.

To watch them in action, watch this YouTube video:http://youtu.be/6lfO0ixsKes 
Don’t you agree? Either way, we still would like to get your feelings on this subject. Click or tap The “Call” to go to our blog and post your comments! For a demo, text the term “Mobits” to the phone number 72727. Our contacts: phone, 786-763-1875, website, www.mobits.org, email, info@mobits.org.

To demo a Mobits™ outside of the United States, type or copy the following link into a web browser on a mobile phone or device: http://bit.ly/1bgS4QJ. Or Skype us, username “Mobits.org.” Mobits™ can be done everywhere on the planet where there is internet access! International directors are welcome.
We'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn! Please click to invite us: http://linkd.in/1arZsES


The “Call” Blog and Email for Funeral Directors