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January 11, 2022 50 mins
Rob recalls his first involvement with a funeral home website in 1996, discovering how obituaries could be found by Google and the path he took to create the digital marketing agency, Funeral Results Marketing (and why he chose that name). Then Rob and Jake talk through the suite of services that help funeral professionals be more successful online. For more information about Funeral Results Marketing, checkout our Funeral Home Website section, Cremation Arrangement section or Digital Marketing Services section on our website or contact Rob at or at 1-800-810-3595. See the complete transcript here: Rob Heppell: Welcome back to the Funeral X podcast. I am Rob Heppell and I'm joined with my Funeral Results business partner, Jake Johnson. Hey Jake, how's it going today? Jake Johnson: Hey, Rob. Very good. Rob Heppell: Great. Well, enjoyed the story of Johnson Consulting and after that, we were talking. He said, "Okay. Well, you need to do... You need to give the story behind Funeral Results Marketing," so I think we'll tackle that today. Jake Johnson: Exactly. Exactly. I mean, it goes without saying. How did you start to offer websites and other marketing services? Give me a little more background on that. Rob Heppell: Yes, for sure. So I'll give you a little bit of the early part and then will get into Funeral Results. So I started with McCalls in Victoria in '86 right out of high school as a funeral director, and then lots of things go in 10-year chunks. So in 1996, I helped McCalls with their first website, and then for myself, I thought, "Oh, you know what? I should get," and I got it and get this, Jake, this is from Network Solutions and it was $20, and I guess that was too much money. They felt that they were charging too much, so they actually sent me a t-shirt, and I'll take a picture of it and I'll put it in the show notes because it's quite funny. It's not looking too great, but it was good quality. It's nice and thick. Rob Heppell: So as things progressed, in 2002 I met Todd Abrams and the unique thing about Todd is his family's funeral home is the one directly north of my uncle and grandfather's funeral home in Ontario. So there's Bolton, which was Egan's, and then if you drive north, the next one was Abram's Funeral Home in Tottenham, and I ran into Todd at a trade show. It was an FSAC in Whistler, and we got talking and I'm like, "Hey, I think your name sounds familiar," and here he is, he's this tech guy from Texas. Yes, he didn't stay with the funeral, got into technology, started websites, and so I started working for him, representing his company through Canada and they became Aldor Solutions and FDMS, and FDMS is a very familiar company to both you and me, and continue to work with them. Rob Heppell: So it's just funny how these things start and how they continue to circle back and continue to be part of the story. I went back to school, to university, got my business degree in entrepreneur management, took marketing courses, and this would've been early 2000s, and 2006 I created a website for myself off of WordPress, and I noticed that it was quite easy to use compared to... I played around with HTML and it was starting to get over my head, and WordPress made it a lot easier, and at this time, I'd left Aldor Solutions. I was doing more SEO and offering those services plus different training. Being in Victoria, our cremation rate when I started in '86 was 67%, and I believe in the mid-2000s, it was around 88%, and now it's 93%. So we were kind of always on the verge of something new, everyone else had... And Victoria to this day still probably has one of the highest cremation rates in all of North America to 93%, but it's been steady at that rate for about five years. Jake Johnson: Yes, it makes you wonder, something like that, like just where the cremation rate ends up across the US. Of course,
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