Every business needs a newsletter.
Even funeral homes.
There are always eyebrows raised when I say that. What, for heaven's sake, can a funeral home put in a newsletter? Why would they need one?
In town there are two funeral homes. Let's call them Dyer and Co. and Restinpeez Brothers.
They're both as good as each other. Indeed, they share business in town 50:50. Traditionally, people have chosen one or the other based on family tradition.
But the Restinpeez Brothers want more business - without opening up in another town.
They can't create more business (killing people is wrong), so they must take business away from Dyer.
This is the strategy I would suggest, using newsletters.
Restinpeez's strategy would be to position itself as the hub of the community. After all, a funeral home is well connected within the community anyway, so it's a natural step to develop those connections.
The funeral home would produce a monthly newsletter that serves the community. The newsletter would include news of community events, "good news" stories of positive things happening in the community, useful information to help new residents settle in, a way for people to include their own stories of life in the community, and plenty of articles that help people live life to the fullest in that town.
The newsletter would be distributed free to "nodes" within the town - places where people hang out.
People would also be able to subscribe to the newsletter and receive it (for free) in the mail or by email.
Over time, the newsletter becomes almost like a mini-newspaper. One that really serves the community at a grassroots level.
Restinpeez will become the funeral home of choice because it is so integrated into the community and touches the community so frequently with useful, entertaining, interesting information.
Information that helps people live their lives better.
Restinpeez might be in the business of death, but their newsletter will be about life.