Want to Book More Weddings? Pick Up the Phone
Call back people who make inquiries at your website within 30 minutes. Yes, using the phone. Yes, within 30 minutes (or less). If they don’t answer, leave a voice-mail and follow-up with an email. If you do this and do not increase your sales 25% this year, tell me and I’ll buy you lunch. Actually, you will tell me it worked and want to by ME lunch!
Do Things Right & Do the Right Things
The biggest waste of time is doing things that don’t work or not knowing what you’re doing in the first place. Learn, understand, and then USE BEST PRACTICES and you’ll accelerate the growth and increase the profitability of your wedding business in the coming year. Need help, guidance, and support to grow your wedding business more effectively? Join the International Association of Wedding Industry Professionals (IAWIP). LEARN MORE AT THIS LINK.
Use a Post-Inquiry Landing Page
Create a post-inquiry landing page at your website. A post-inquiry-landing page is a page someone is redirected to after making an inquiry at your website. It has 11 elements – all that will help you more effectively turn website inquiries into sales (i.e. conversion). If you want to see one in action, start to finish, visit this link: http://trypilp.com
Improve the marketing message at your website, also referred to as Marketing Communications or MARCOM. You’ll get more inquiries from your website with a stronger marketing message. The number one reason brides leave websites is slow loading pages. The second reason brides leave a website is because of a poorly written marketing message. Hire a professional to help you with this if you are not a marketing copywriter – it’s THAT important. Poorly written marketing copy hurts your sales. Properly written marketing copy leads to more conversion, more inquiries, and more sales.
Amp-Up Your Social Proof
Use more testimonials, reviews and credentials throughout your website – and in your email signature. Using this type of “social proof” is the #1 way to get more inquiries from your website.
Create & Use a Sales Script
Even if you’re a seasoned PRO, create and use a follow-up sales script template when you follow-up on inquiries. It should include a ready-to-use response to any objection, including the ever frustrating “we just want a price…” Answering tough questions by the “seat-of-your-pants” is never the most effective strategy.
Remove the Prices from Your Website
If you want more inquiries from your website remove your prices. If you think not having prices on your website makes brides angry, then your website doesn’t do a good enough job of making a bride WANT TO TALK WITH YOU – on the phone. If you’re thinking you have to put something at your website (and I disagree), you can put: “Pricing starting at $0.00.”
Optimize your social media marketing strategy and start using BEST PRACTICES that actually deliver results. Pick two channels and use them VERY well. Probably Facebook and Instagram first. Then Pinterest. Forget about Google+ and Twitter unless you have an intern who has extra time on their hands. Post regularly and post consistently. Post high-quality information that is interesting and will engage your audience. Link back to your website. Use your phone number in some of your posts. Getting good results from social media requires more than throwing words and photos up on Facebook or Instagram. Poor social media management actually will hurt your company/brand.
If you’re not blogging, start blogging. There’s an old saying that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now. That’s blogging! If you are blogging, use BEST PRACTICES and create blog posts that (a) brides and grooms will find helpful, (2) clearly promote you as an expert at what you do, (3) are properly written as part of your overall search engine optimization strategy, (4) link to your contact form in 95% of your posts, and (5) use lots of social proof (testimonials, reviews, awards, badges, etc.).
Optimize Your Website for Better Ranking at Google
Learn basic SEO so you can optimize your overall online visibility with Google. If you don’t have the time or want to learn basic SEO, hire someone to do it for you. You should understand the basics and the basics can get you top ranked; solid keyword/keyword phrase selection, page title tag optimization, page description optimization, and use of keywords/phrases in your page copy to create page relevancy. Building inbound links is another critical component of a long-term successful SEO strategy.
Make sure your website passes the Google mobile-friendly test. Google recently published a blog post that clearly indicated they are going to give more visibility and better rankings to mobile-friendly websites, and are likely to push non-mobile-friendly websites further down in the search engine results. Test your website at this link: https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly
Backup & Disaster Recovery
Even if your website hosting company says they backup your website, do your own backups and keep a copy of them locally on your PC. I’ve heard too many horror stories about businesses losing their entire websites as a result of malware infected hosting. For example, if you host with BlueHost and they find your website is infected with malware, they just take it offline.
If you are using WordPress keep your core WordPress software up-to-date at all times. Also, make sure any plugins you are using are always up-to-date. Your website WILL get hacked if you don’t do these two things – I guarantee it. This year WordPress hacks and attacks will increase exponentially, it’s already happening (I got three calls last week!). One way to stay on top of things is to use the WordFence plug-in for WordPress. https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/
Optimize Your “About Us” Page
One of the most powerful marketing pages at your website, one that turns visitors into inquiries, is your About Us page. It should be very upbeat, tell your story, use testimonials from recent/happy couples who have hired you, and clearly communicate that you (a) love what you do and (b) are REALLY good at it. It should also link to your contact page as well as other pages at your website.