Want More Calls? These 800 Numbers From The Cremation Network are the Answer!
Marketing your funeral home is a multi-faceted, yet undeniably important, endeavor. No matter what tack you take — digital ads, social media, or billboards — your ultimate goal is to get noticed and be remembered. Now, thanks to Brent Shehorn and The Cremation Network, there is a brilliantly simple and affordable way to do that.
What is The Cremation Network?
The Cremation Network is an ingenious program that allows funeral homes and crematories to use one of two (or both) “vanity” phone numbers: 1-800-FUNERAL and 1-800-CREMATE. When your organization rents and promotes these easy-to-remember numbers, you immensely increase your chances of being the first place a family will call when their need arises.
“They say you’ve got to see something seven times before you remember it,” explains Brent Shehorn, founder of The Cremation Network. “That’s what The Cremation Network is about. It’s a tool to get your phone to ring.”
Shehorn is a veteran funeral director and owner of Lake Shore Funeral Home & Crematory in Waco, Texas. About five years ago, Shehorn hired a local company to refurbish Lake Shore’s parking lot. In working with the company’s owner, he noticed that every truck and piece of equipment being used was emblazoned with a toll-free number with the word “pavement” behind it.
“The first thing I thought about was associating it with my industry,” Shehorn recalls. “I asked him, ‘How did you get that phone number?’ And he said, ‘I rented it; it’s area code exclusive.’”
It took a few years before Shehorn could act on his idea to offer a similar concept to the deathcare community, but in early 2021, The Cremation Network was born.
How The Cremation Network works
Renting your own vanity number is incredibly easy, thanks to Shehorn and The Cremation Network. Your first step is to visit TheCremationNetwork.com to see if the numbers are available for your area code.
Once secured, you can promote your 1-800-FUNERAL and/or 1-800-CREMATE numbers in every advertisement and obituary notice. These numbers do not replace your assigned phone numbers, and you don’t have to install any new equipment. Instead, calls to these numbers with your area code will automatically route to your facility’s main lines. If you have both numbers, you’ll hear a whispered “1-800-FUNERAL” or “1-800-CREMATE” when you pick up. This not only helps you to anticipate the caller’s need; it also shows you your marketing is working.
Members of The Cremation Network enjoy market exclusivity for a particular area code. For smaller markets within large or even statewide area codes, Shehorn has also organized the vanity numbers based on zip codes.
“A member in Phoenix is in a huge area code, and he can’t cover the whole state,” explains Shehorn. “So he’s focusing on zip codes. Now, he’s going to serve 19 chosen zip codes, which are within his market area. A funeral home is going to know its market best, and there are going to be some unique situations.”
Simplifying the potentially complicated
Shehorn works closely with members to determine the best method of coverage for each facility. After just a few months in business, he’s already created personalized solutions for several member funeral homes.
“In Pennsylvania, there are two members who have kind of partnered,” he says. “They’re not really competitors. Think about their markets as two circles that are just barely overlapping. They are marketing and advertising their shared 800-FUNERAL and 800-CREMATE numbers together. When someone calls from their area codes, the call is routed to whichever of their combined three locations is closest to the caller.”
“It’s all about having the best service experience for the caller,” Shehorn says.
Shehorn also wants members of The Cremation Network to have an amazing service experience. When you have one (or two) of the network’s 800 numbers, you also receive member-exclusive benefits, including discounts on services and products from providers like Disrupt Media and Ring Ring Marketing.
Members will find themselves among good company, as the network approves only “A-Class” establishments. Shehorn personally vets each application, with a focus on family-owned, upstanding, properly insured funeral homes.
Given the exclusive nature of the Network’s numbers, some funeral homes are simply “reserving” their area codes for future use.
“It’s only $59 to reserve the area code,” Shehorn explains. “And renting a number begins as low as $159 a month. Rates will vary as we grow, but anyone jumping on board now will benefit. Your fee will be fixed for the first two years, and at no time will we increase fees by more than 5% in any one year. There are no surprises.”
Members also have access to detailed analytics and reporting to show how many calls they’re receiving through the Network. Shehorn says his inaugural members are already seeing impressive results — especially from new families, which are the true targets for this service.
“These phone numbers are not for the families you’re already catering to,” he says. “You’re going to get those calls anyway. It’s about those folks who have no connection to a funeral home. It’s all about top-of-mind awareness.”
To reserve your 1-800-FUNERAL and 1-800-CREMATE numbers today, visit www.thecremationnetwork.com. Be the first in your area to make this ingenious marketing move today!