If, in the next five minutes, you could increase your website inquiries by 400%...would you do it? We accomplished this and several other high-impact changes when my wife and I turbocharged our website for our St. Louis event execution company: Twisted Willow Design. You're never supposed to tell key industry secrets before you've actually used them to their full advantage. So, if you follow all of the industry's implied rules, stop reading here. :)
We’ve already seen what other event professional websites have done right. This post will talk about how our new design has affected us. While your results will vary, the principles in this post dramatically helped us increase our conversions by a whopping 705%* (you read that correctly). What action items should you put on your list?
Lower The Number Of Links On Your Homepage (Decreased our bounce rate and made updating the site easier)
A website with over 6 links on the homepage is difficult for a potential client to navigate so we knew something had to give on our site. To lower our page count, we had an idea to merge the portfolio and the blog as one page. While these aren't the easiest two to add together, we created a way to use our blog posts that we already needed to put up and add a way for brides to search through those photos and posts. We added photos to all posts, then created categories in Wordpress for users to search through color or theme options. The hardest issue for us in doing this was to find a name that represented both a blog and a demonstration of work. We ended up with calling it our Design Diary.
Transform Your Call-To-Action (Quadrupled our inquiries*)
This change took us less than 5 minutes of work and raised our inquiry rate by 430%. The call-to-action (CTA) on your website is probably as exciting as processing ingredients for the weekend. "Contact us" isn't a call to action...it's more of a last resort for a desperate couple who has no other way of contacting you. We had the exact same CTA prior to our new site. Our contact us form received 5.8 inquiries per month from January to October of this year. Then we tried something new. In just the month after our new CTA, we received an eye-popping 25 inquiries on this form. So what did we change to get such dramatic results? Something so simple, you won’t believe it. We changed the name of the page. That. is. it. Instead of calling it "Contact us," we changed the name to "Check My Date." This absolutely slammed us with so many requests we thought our website was broken.
Something magical happens when you shift the conversation to be about the bride instead of about you. Yes, clients DO need to be impressed with your work and presentation. The rest of the new site added to that for us. Once they had that though, a simple, effective CTA will change things dramatically. The best part? We don't have a high-tech software letting them see our calendar. It's the exact same form we had but with a new page name.
Add A Budget Calculator (Added over 275% more website inquiries and pre-qualified our inquiries*)
This was probably the most complex piece of the entire website. But it has been worth it in our processes as a company. We created a formula to give a bride an estimate based on all of the pieces that she wants to see in her wedding. Does she want large extravagant centerpieces on every table? Great. She can calculate it without us having to delivery the investment news.
This completely changes the discussion from being about you (the florist) to being about them (the customer). NEVER, I repeat, NEVER talk about YOUR prices. Talk about THEIR budget. Once the bride finishes out her calculations, she can add a few more pieces of information to let us know she wants to get in touch with us. In the month since our new site has been up, we’ve received 16 additional inquiries. This individual item was a difficult task so if you’re thinking about adding it to your site, you probably want someone who understands the floral industry to help. You can check out our calculator here.
We're sharing our super secret budget calculator that is perfect for florists, caterers, and rental companies with a little bit of tweaking.
So, what's next?
The obvious next question is: how do we handle so many consultations as a growing, yet still small shop? This is exactly why we created Curate: to painlessly create beautiful, accurate proposals (with automatic stem counting) DURING the event consultation. It’s raised our in-consultation booking rate by 400%. Take advantage of our 30-day risk-free subscription and see how well it will work for you.
*For the numbers nerds: 1) The numbers are based upon our January to October averages of website inquiries for 2015. We had 5.8 website inquiries that came in on our page. 2) We released the website on October 28, 2015 and the numbers are reflective of the month following. 3) We advertise on The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Style Me Pretty but didn’t change any of our advertising levels. 4) November is starting booking season so there should be a slight uptick in inquiries compared to the year average. 5) We accidentally put 730% in our newsletter. Apologies for the miscommunication.