The Results Are In – Should Families Be Charged For Online Obituaries?

October 21, 2009
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Opinions and questions are circulating regarding whether families should be charged for online obituary services, and whether guest book signers should have to register to leave messages. Connecting Directors.com, in conjunction with FuneralNet, conducted the following national survey of death-care professionals to develop a better professional understanding and improve the industry?s service at large.

The results are below:

1. Do you charge families for placing their obituaries on your Web site? Total Surveyed – 197

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Yes ? 6.60%

No – 93.4%

2. Should families pay some amount for online obituaries? Total Surveyed – 202

Yes ? 17.33%

Only With? 22.77%3. Why (Comments) Functionality ? Total Surveyed ? 91

Photos – 87.91%

Videos – 72.53%

Guestbook – 70.33%

Candles – 25.27%

Registration – 42.86%

Genealogy Chart – 14.29%

4. Will Visitor Assistance Increase – 187

Yes – 63.10%

No – 36.90%

5. If you said “Yes” to Question 5, do you believe the time needed to handle these phone calls for assistance would be worth the benefits your firm may received from offering these functionalities? ? Totaled Surveyed ? 123

Yes – 60.98%

No – 39.02%

6. Do you believe requiring all would-be guest book signers to complete an online registration process before leaving a message and/or media post(s) in a guest book would decrease or increase participation in signing your families’ guest books? ? Totaled Surveyed ? 186

Decrease – 56.99%

Slightly Decrease – 33.33%

Slightly Increase – 8.60%

Increase – 1.08%

7. If you believe families should pay for online obituaries, what price is appropriate? ? Totaled Surveyed ? 93

$ 15 – 24.73%

$ 30 – 31.18%

$ 50 – 30.11%

$ 100 – 8.60%

$ 150 – 2.15%

$ 200 – 1.08%

Above $250 – 1.08%

8. Do you believe it is better to charge for obituaries which stay online for an extended period of time (i.e. more then 15 days), to charge for additional guest book functionality (includes allowing the decedent’s family to control features on the obituary), or both? – Totaled Surveyed ? 135

Extended Time – 29.63%

Guestbook Extras – 28.15%

Both – 42.22%

9. If you chose “Extended period of time” or “Both” in above qustion, and if the family does not pay to extend, how many days do you believe the obituary should remain on the Web site before it is removed? – Total Surveyed ? 118

15 days – 13.56%

30 days – 31.36%

60 days – 16.10%

90 days – 9.32%

180 days – 1.69%

360 days – 27.97%

10. Do you believe it is better to charge families for online obituaries at the time of the arrangement conference or to solicit funds from the Web-site visitors viewing the online obituary? ? Totaled Surveyed ? 132

Family – 81.82%

Visitors – 18.94%

11. You believe families are willing to pay for: – Totaled Surveyed ? 187

Online Obit – 10.70%

Extra Functionality – 40.64%

None – 48.66%

12. What is your market size? ? Total Surveyed ? 192

Town – 26.04%

Big Town – 13.02%

Small City – 18.75%

Medium City – 14.58%

Large City – 11.46%

Major – 16.15%

13. What region do you serve? ? Total Surveyed ? 136

Northeast – 27.21%

Midwest – 30.15%

Southeast – 22.79%

Southwest – 5.88%

West – 9.56%

Thank you to all how participated in the survey.

What do you think of the results? Are they what you expected?

CDFuneralNews

CDFuneralNews

ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
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