Curate's very own Ryan O'Neil is back this month with tips on turning leads into actual clients so you can close the deal and increase your business - read on for his advice!
Before reading the rest of this article, take two minutes to outline the journey your wedding and event clients go through. How do they find you? What are the things that drive them to schedule a consultation? How do they reach out to schedule that consultation? What happens with their information once they’ve reached out? Why do they ultimately book their big event with you? Who turns out to be the best clients?
Now, is the process you just wrote down in a uniform form for all of your inquiries? Or does the funnel look significantly different if a potential client meets you at a wedding show compared to if they find you online? What’s the average time your team takes to respond to that inquiry anyway?
While variety may be the spice of life, variety in your marketing funnels can cause quite the headache and create a less than ideal client experience. So here are three tips to help you create a consistent and automated marketing funnel to ensure that each potential client has the best possible experience with your company.
1. Standardize Your Messaging
What do all of your brides have in common? They’re in love and want to have the wedding of their dreams, and they’re afraid of their big day turning into their worst nightmare. You do more than sell wedding flowers. You sell dreams come true with the expertise to execute the event effortlessly.
That means that every piece of marketing material you create — whether it’s a brochure or the banner image on your website — should reflect how your business can make their dreams come true.
Of course, weddings may only be part of the events that your store does. Identify each of your target audiences and ask yourself what it is that they desire and fear deep down. That is the messaging you use to target them. It’s way more than flowers. There are plenty of people who can go buy some flowers and make them look half-decent for an event. However, people hire a florist with a reputable brand because their professional expertise makes their deepest desires into a reality, while also minimizing their worst fears.
By standardizing your messaging to be clean and clear, you’re creating a brand experience that is consistent and that encourages potential clients to buy into what you’re selling (the answer to their dreams without any of the risk) before they even look at the portfolio you’ve put together. This also lays the foundation for a more automated funnel because when you standardize your marketing messaging, you’re better able to track which messages are resonating best with potential customers and optimize your messaging for better results.
2. Market With A Digital First Mindset
There is an overwhelming trend of Millennials that are looking for their wedding/event florist online. Furthermore, if you only do weddings and events, you likely lack the opportunities for in-store marketing that foot traffic provides. This means that now, more than ever, your marketing efforts need to be digitally based. While brochures and a fantastically designed wedding florist welcome packet are important, they are less effective than having a fantastic digital presence.
“Digital first” most importantly means that your website is fully optimized for mobile interactions. By ensuring that your design is as clean on mobile devices as it is on a desktop, you’re able to further maximize online conversions. This especially means that your amazing portfolio of work needs to look just as great across device types. Remember, it’s about showing them that the store near them has the ability to make their dreams into a reality so having high quality images from that store’s portfolio is critical.
3. Turn Inquiries Into Floral Proposals Quickly
Because you’re marketing with a digital-first mindset, your inquiries will now have a single place where they can easily reach out on you website. So now it’s time to work the bottom of your funnel and turn those inquiries into paying clients. This is where heavy automation is critical.
First, someone on your team needs to be notified immediately when the inquiry comes in. Systems that delay submission notifications, even by five minutes, are simply no longer effective. As soon as the inquiry comes in, your team member that receives the notification needs to call the person who made the inquiry. Yes, they need to literally stop designing their arrangement and call them to schedule the in-person consultation (or conduct a phone consultation if that’s your typical process).
Numerous studies show that response rates drop significantly after the first five minutes of getting an inquiry. If you are waiting to call a new inquiry, you are dramatically decreasing the likelihood of that person booking with you.
Once your team member has reached the new inquiry, scheduled the consultation, and ready to create the proposal, you’ll want to be sure that the floral software that you’ve implemented is able to pull their information directly into their proposal. This does a couple of key things:
- Saves time that would have been spent copying the client’s information into the proposal,
- Ensures that the client’s information is accurate (just imagine how annoyed a “Kaylee with a K” may get if her name is spelled “Caylee”).
Your floral software should also allow employees to directly send a digital version of the proposal and otherwise email clients without having to leave the system to help them minimize the time spent on that proposal. By automating and streamlining the bottom part of the funnel, your company will be guaranteed to turn more leads into clients and ensure that clients will have a fantastic experience.