Final Expense Life Insurance: Sales Ideas & Marketing Tips
We’ve been hearing from a lot of you that final expense sales are on your radar – and you want sales and marketing ideas.

We listened and created this post with sales & marketing ideas, including a free download, to help you market final expense policies.

Jump to a section:

1: Target Market
2: Get Your Material Ready
3: What Can You Offer?
4: Marketing Do’s & Don’ts
5: Sales & Presentation Tips


1: Final Expense Target Market

Final expense policies solve a very particular problem: how to pay for funeral and burial expenses. These policies offer low face amounts ($5,000 - $50,000) and a low monthly premium ($40 - $60/month). As a result, your target market is very specific:

  • Age 50-80
  • Yearly income at or below $50,000/year
  • Can afford about $50/month

You can get a lot more granular, as we’ll go over in the marketing ideas section for paid ads. But in general, you’re looking for seniors with low income who are likely to need help paying for funeral, burial, and final medical expenses.


2: Get Your Material Ready

Whether you’re marketing from scratch or buying leads, you need data – particularly, data that will help show why final expense policies are necessary. Before you make a single call, here’s what you need:

28% of Americans report stronger personal faith because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the 2021 Cremation and Burial Report.
  • Statistics on funeral & burial costs. If you’re local, call up a nearby funeral parlor and get some cost estimates. You should also know the difference between the costs for burial and cremation.

  • A personal story about a death or funeral. This is not an easy subject to talk about. You need to find common ground with your prospect, and that’s easier to do when you have a rehearsed story you can share about a time when you or someone in your family faced the same questions you’re asking your prospect to face. How did you feel? What decisions had to be made? What could have gone better with a little more planning?

  • A story or testimonial about an existing client. Some prospects need more than your story to take action. Have a few stories about other clients to share if you reach a point where the sales process stalls. For example, was there a client who thought she couldn’t get covered with a history of breast cancer? Or a client who didn’t think he could get coverage that was under $50/month? You can change or omit the name of the client in the story to protect their identity and privacy. But the story itself should reflect actual concerns and success stories from clients you’ve sold to.

  • A planning worksheet. Even if prospects know what a funeral costs, they may want time to think and plan before moving forward. If you have a planning worksheet to leave with them, they’ll have a reminder of what they need to do – and how to contact you. BONUS: Download our free funeral/burial planning worksheet here.

Click here to download the Word doc
Click here to download the fillable PDF

Screenshot of our 2-page downloadable final expense planning chart

3: What Can You Offer?

Because of the target market, you’re likely to talk to people with current or pre-existing health conditions. As you’re getting to know the client and their needs, you need to have a plan in the back of your mind: (a) are they a good candidate for final expense? and (b) if not, what else can I offer?

If they have impaired risk conditions, be thinking of the various types of plans they may qualify for:

Level: the policy pays out the full face value as soon as it’s in force.

Graded: due to one or more pre-existing health conditions, the policy will pay out a limited percentage of the face value if the policyholder dies within the first 1-3 years.

Modified: due to higher-risk pre-existing health conditions, the policy pays a return of premium plus a specified percentage of interest until the year the insured is fully vested.

Guaranteed Issue: for clients with serious pre-existing health conditions (cancer, oxygen use, organ failure or recent transplant, etc.). Everyone is approved. The payout structure is similar to modified plans.

The national median cost of a funeral with a viewing and burial in 2021 was approximately $7,848.

You need to go in with a good understanding of which health conditions are likely to disqualify a client – and which guaranteed issue products you can offer instead. Don’t be caught off guard. Prepare in advance.

If, during your sales conversation, you find out the client ticks any of these boxes…

  • Stroke or heart attack within the past year
  • Cancer within the past two years
  • AIDS/HIV
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Live in a nursing home

…you’ll want an alternative product to sell now that you have their attention. You need to be somewhat familiar with the carriers and which conditions they’re more knowledgeable about (and potentially tolerant of). We can help with that!


Need help finding carriers or selecting the right product?

Let us help! We just added 4 new final expense carriers: Guaranteed Trust Life (GTL), Globe (United American Insurance), Royal Neighbors, and Great Western. Our Brokerage Managers - Dave, Sheryl, Joshua, and David - can help you figure out which carrier is the best fit for your final expense clients. Call 800-823-4852 and ask for a brokerage manager, or click the button below to email us!


4: Marketing Do’s & Don’ts

Unfortunately, we need to start this section with a few words on how NOT to market final expense policies. As with many products sold to seniors, there are plenty of dishonest marketers out there. While we trust you'd never be one of them, you’ll meet prospects who don’t want to talk to you because they’ve already been scammed or misled. Just so you’re aware, here’s what sometimes happens.

Scam Tactic #1: Confusing Final Expense Coverage with Social Security

Some final expense marketers trick seniors by using confusing language in their marketing (especially online ads).

They don’t want it to look like they’re selling insurance, so they only refer to “coverage” or “benefits.” They may also describe these “benefits” as being an addition to the Social Security death benefit. Sometimes, they’ll describe what they’re selling as a “state-regulated program” that’s available in addition to their “federal funds.” They urge seniors to act now before these “benefits” are reduced or they no longer qualify. As you can see in the example below, there's no indication that this is a life insurance agent/brokerage:

Screenshot of a Facebook ad for final expense life insurance that never mentions final expense life insurance

Seniors see words like “benefits” and think these are free government benefits, since that’s the language used to describe things like Social Security and Medicare. They contact the marketer, looking for information. When they get a sales pitch for insurance, they’re often confused – or angry. This wastes everyone's time and shows no respect for the client.

Here's a much better way to operate, with clear language that doesn't attempt to mislead the client:

Screenshot of a Facebook ad clearly explaining that final expense life insurance helps with funeral costs

Takeaway: Always be clear you’re selling life insurance.

Scam Tactic #2: Pretending to Be Part of a Senior Support Charity

Here’s another scam we found online. We found a final expense sales script offered by a lead provider that asks you to pretend you’re from a charity so the client won’t hang up on you. The sales tip included at the top of the script? Talk fast and don’t let the client interrupt you.

Screenshot of a sales script advising the agent to trick the client into thinking they're calling on behalf of a charity

Takeaway: Always be clear you’re an independent insurance agent. Pretending otherwise is unethical and unprofessional.


Need help finding carriers or selecting the right product?

Let us help! We just added 4 new final expense carriers: Guaranteed Trust Life (GTL), Globe (United American Insurance), Royal Neighbors, and Great Western. Our Brokerage Managers - Dave, Sheryl, Joshua, and David - can help you figure out which carrier is the best fit for your final expense clients. Call 800-823-4852 and ask for a brokerage manager, or click the button below to email us!


Okay, now that we've covered what not to do, here are some final expense marketing ideas.


Traditional Marketing

As of 2021, NFDA projects the cremation rate in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. will exceed 50% by 2035.
  • Pay for leads. This is the most obvious way to get started, while you wait for your lead-gen efforts to start paying off. You can buy the type of lead you’re most interested in: phone leads, online leads, and/or direct mail leads.

  • Ask senior centers, churches, and adult day care centers if you can host a free financial checkup seminar. Go over things like the importance of having a will and understanding funeral and burial options, as well as their costs. During your presentation, go over a final expense planning checklist with your attendees so they have something valuable to take away. (Use the one we provide in this post!) As a thank-you for attending, offer a free 30-minute consultation for more personalized help & advice.

  • Partner with local financial planners to find prospects with aging parents. The goal is to get referrals from middle-aged prospects who have aging parents. This gives you a wider customer base to target. Start by reaching out to the kids, who can then start the family discussion on final expense planning.

  • Ask for referrals. Every sale made is a chance to find another prospect who needs your help. Create a system of asking for and working referrals. How and when will you ask for them? Are there any rewards or thank-you’s you can give people who offer referrals?

  • At every in-person meeting, offer to put your contact information in the client’s phone. Seniors aren’t always phone-savvy. This is one more way you can make the process seamless for them.

  • At every in-person meeting, have freebies or handouts. One easy giveaway to drum up local business? Order business cards printed with local emergency numbers on them. Include your name, number and branding.

Hybrid Marketing

The national media cost of a funeral with cremation in 2021 was approximately $6,971.
  • Send a letter with a postage-paid reply card. If you want to build up a local clientele, send a postcard or letter with your business card inside. Include a great photo of yourself, contact info, and directions to your office. The USPS has a service that will send your mailing to everyone in a particular area or neighborhood. You select the area, provide your direct mail piece, and they do the rest.

  • Send postcards with a QR code or special website URL. Not all seniors are technophobes. A 2022 Pew Research report reveals that 61% of people age 65+ have a smartphone. 44% of people age 65+ also have a tablet. As long as your postcard also has a phone and email address, people who don’t want to reach you online will ignore the QR code or URL. For those who do want to reach you online, create a special landing page for your postcard recipients (i.e., mywebsite/postcard). Google Analytics can show you how many visitors that page gets, helping you track your direct mail ROI.

  • Host a webinar or live social media session. This is the same concept as hosting a live session at a senior center or church, as mentioned above. Giving your presentation online, however, gives you something permanent to leave online for those who couldn’t make the live presentation.

  • Pitch a local reporter, podcaster, or TV station for an interview. Yes, this has benefits for those who want in-person business. But chances are, a TV or news story will also be posted online, too – and go a long way towards establishing you as an expert clients can trust. Ditto for a podcast interview.

Digital Marketing

In 2021, 55.7% of people were interested in exploring “green” funeral options because of the potential environmental benefits and/or cost savings.

According to the 2022 Pew Research report linked above, 45% of people age 65+ use social media, up 400% since 2010. 96% of those age 50-64 use the internet, as do 75% of those age 65+. Perhaps even more interesting is what they do online. 83% of adults age 50-64 use YouTube, and 49% of adults age 65+ use YouTube. So don’t ignore the possibilities of digital marketing because you think seniors aren’t online or on social media!

  • Run ads on Facebook, YouTube, or Google. Here are a few ideas for ad targeting that you can use locally or nationally. Think of the seniors in your life – where do they get their information? Which TV shows do they watch? It’s all potentially helpful when deciding who to target.
    • Organizations like AARP, American Seniors Association, Association of Mature American Citizens, The Seniors Coalition, Senior Medicare Patrol, Pension Rights Center, etc.
    • Resource websites like Senior.com, Medicare.gov, National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC), National Institute on Aging, etc.
    • Job sites like RetiredBrains.com, Workforce50.com, etc.
    • Senior dating sites
    • General interest sites like Considerable.com, SuddenlySenior.com, etc.
    • Senior travel groups: Road Scholar, ElderTreks, Walking the World, Evergreen Club, etc.
    • Followers of senior influencers on social media like Iris Apfel, George Takei, Helen Winkle (Baddiwinkle), Lili Hayes, Shirley Curry, Vicky Bennison (Pasta Grannies), Lyn Slater (Accidental Icon), Lonni Pike (Gray Hair and Tattoos), etc.
    • Local: target users who have liked pages for nearby memory care facilities, assisted living facilities, active adult housing communities, local public libraries, etc.

  • SEO + content marketing. Both of these solutions are time-and labor-intensive. The upside? They’re free. We’ve covered a lot of this ground on our blog – check out our SEO posts here and our marketing posts here.

  • Leverage personal connections on Facebook, LinkedIn & Nextdoor. Tell people in your personal network what you do and who you help. Every so often, share the story of someone you helped and what it meant to them (and to you). Close with a friendly reminder that if anyone else needs help planning for  final expenses, you’re here to help.

5: Sales & Presentation Tips

In 2021, 43.9% of survey respondents preferred to have their cremated remains scattered in a sentimental place instead of buried, interred, or kept in an urn.
  • Ask about their “why.” Good salespeople don't sell products or pricing. They ask questions and listen. Start by clarifying the situation. What's happened in their life that has them shopping for insurance now? Without knowing the "why," you're forced to trust that the consumer already knows all their options. If they've only ever heard of final expense and term life, for example, that's what they'll ask for. But that might not be what's best for them. You'll never know unless you take the time to understand their situation.

  • Share a personal story relative to death or funeral planning. If you’re meeting face-to-face, share an experience your client can relate to. Was there a time when a loved one died without the proper planning? Or did things go as smoothly as possible because they had the right planning? How did that affect you emotionally? Let them know you’ve asked these tough questions of yourself or your own loved ones.

  • Show empathy. For most people, this is one of the most difficult topics they’ll ever talk about. Be patient. Give them your full attention. If you meet in-person, start with some light conversation to put them at ease. Get a sense of who they are and give them a sense of who you are. That way, you have common ground to build on when you get to the tricky stuff.

  • Have a fact-finder or worksheet to do together. This one's easy - just download our free funeral planning expense worksheet. You can complete it together, or leave it for them to complete between appointments. Just be sure to fill in the bottom of the 2nd page with your contact info so they can  reach you later.

Click here to download the Word doc
Click here to download the fillable PDF

Screenshot of our 2-page downloadable final expense planning chart
  • Follow up. You need a CRM system for tracking follow-up calls, emails, client notes, and more. We use Insureio, which lets us make detailed notes, view policy details, and store scans and client documents. Insureio uses statuses that indicate where a contact is in the sales process (prospect, application status, in-force, etc.). Every status contains automated tasks that range from sending emails to prompting manual follow-ups. Changing a client's status as you work through the sales process with them triggers new tasks and follow-ups. The system helps ensure that no prospect falls through the cracks.

That’s our look at final expense sales ideas!

Are you selling final expense policies? What sales tips or tactics work for you? Tell us in the comments!


Need help finding carriers or selecting the right product?

Let us help! We just added 4 new final expense carriers: Guaranteed Trust Life (GTL), Globe (United American Insurance), Royal Neighbors, and Great Western. Our Brokerage Managers - Dave, Sheryl, Joshua, and David - can help you figure out which carrier is the best fit for your final expense clients. Call 800-823-4852 and ask for a brokerage manager, or click the button below to email us!