Let’s be real. It’s rough out there. Postponements, negotiations, and cancellations are what’s coming in our inboxes rather than the inquiries we all want to see.
Remember those obnoxious, generic emails you used to get asking about pricing and availability, clearly copied and pasted from the 50 other vendors they emailed or BCC’d with you? You used to hate getting those! Now? I bet you’d be happy to get one. Or Ten. Something in your inbox.
Why no one’s inquiring
The simple fact is everyone’s scared to inquire about wedding services right now. And they will be for a long time. People don’t like to make long-term plans in uncertain times. Too much is up in the air:
We’ll continue to see a massive decline in inquiries until couples know the answers to these questions. It’s simply too risky to make a big investment of money or time with so much uncertainty.
People are still interested though
Even though people aren’t sending you emails for pricing and availability, couples do want to learn more about your services.
Last week, Hubspot put out benchmark data from their 70,000 customers that confirms what I’ve been seeing through my own clients’ analytics. People aren’t buying right now. They aren’t inquiring, either. In fact, buyers are dodging emails from sales teams. But – and this is a massive but – people are doing their research and engaging with brands online.
With nearly 90% of the country under some form of stay-at-home order people are looking to keep themselves occupied online. Marketing email open rates, chat sessions with bots and website traffic are all up big over the previous month. They may not be ready to open their wallets, but consumers are interested in learning more about what you have to offer.
Give the site visitors what they want
Couples are on your site looking for information, not deals and promotions. Stop selling things to people who aren’t ready to buy. It’s a huge turn-off. Instead, focus on using your site to move people through the buyer’s journey.
You know I’m a huge proponent of guiding engaged couples from “we have no clue what we want” to “you make me feel reassured I’m getting a great value for a service I can’t live without.”
To make that happen you’ve got to provide the right information at the right time, in the right way. It’s not about sending buyers a massive avalanche of information all at one time on the initial email response.
Instead, set up your site to accomplish five key goals:
Not everyone who visits your site knows what they need for their wedding. Many show up on your homepage because Google recommended you in search results. Others talked with a friend who said to check you out. Still more clicked the link in your IG profile and landed on your site.
Now that you’ve got them, you’ve got to keep them. The best way to do that is to drop clues on the homepage that they’re in the right place, that you know them and their problems/desires, and that you have services that meet their needs.
People who buy expensive services for important experiences during uncertain times want to know they’re picking the best choice. You have to showcase why you’re not going to be a big risk, and that’s best done by putting yourself out there as the expert.
And it’s more than just awards you’ve won. Show site visitors you know what you’re doing, don’t just tell them. The best way to do this is through your blog. Create content – not just images and real wedding stories. Highlight what you do, how you do it, why it works, and how people transform their lives with it.
Not only will it reduce risk, but an outstanding blog also builds huge value for potential buyers while they’re on your site.
If you’re sending out lots of information to couples who inquire by email it’s time to put it all on your site. If you’re spewing off all your services on a phone call to walk potential clients through what you do, time to put it all on your site.
Even if we weren’t dealing with COVID-19 you’d do better to put the same information on your site. People want to know what you do for them, and they shouldn’t have to send you an email to learn. If you tell them straight up what services you do and how it helps them you’ll not only save you and them time, but you’ll build value from the start of the buying experience.
If you feel like it’s hard to stand out in the crowded marketplace first ask yourself what you’re doing to stand apart from everyone else. If you’re engaged and browsing sites for services, pretty much everyone looks the same. Templates, color palettes, fonts, layouts, and portfolios pretty much all look the same when you’re skimming.
Sorry, but it’s true.
If you want to be seen as different, you’ve got to actually be different. What are you doing to distinguish yourself? And not only when couples are skimming sites for the first time.
Most importantly, when all the decision-makers (parents and fiancé included) are diving deeply into the site, what are you doing to make yourself more valuable and a better choice than your comp set?
It’s essential you remember that many people provide input on the decision and the only source of information they use to make their decision is the website. (This is especially true for y’all in the luxury segment.)
Is your website engaging your couples?
My guess is no. We’ve done dozens of formal website evaluations for wedding pros and most don’t make the cut in even two or three of these areas. Sure, your site may look good, showcase photos of your work, and provide a short intro to who you are IRL…but it’s got to do more.
So. Much. More.
We know lots of pros are working on websites right now. But do you know what you’re doing?
What’s that phrase about rearranging the chairs on the Titanic? Or is it polishing the brass? I think it’s both.
Instead of guessing what to do with your site, why not join us on our free group coaching call this Thursday? Katy and I are going to share the goal for each page on your site, as well as key components and wireframing techniques to enhance user experience.
(If you missed last week’s intro to websites, common false beliefs about their purpose, best practices for your site, and five tips to apply immediately here’s the link to the replay.)
Stop fighting the fact that no one’s going to inquire for a while. Embrace the existing demand to learn more about your services and give website visitors what we know they need.
Join Compass Coaching, the monthly live Q&A-format coaching series, where I'll answer these (and much more) - and help coach you to a sales conversion!
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