Before reading the rest of this article, take two minutes to outline the journey the wedding and event clients at your local stores 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 that local store? Who turns out to be the best clients?
Now, is the process you just wrote down uniform across stores? Or does the top of that marketing funnel look different across locations—with some clients talking to a florist in the store while others are calling in and a few inquiring through a form? If someone does come in to inquire at the store, does each location have a standard set of questions to ask the potential client? What’s the average time to respond that inquiry, anyway?
It’s rather common for multi-location stores to have widely varying marketing funnels for each full-service floral department. However, while variety may be the spice of life, variety in your marketing funnels across locations are less than ideal for a consistent client experience. So here are three tips to help you create consistent and automated marketing funnels across multiple locations to ensure that each potential client has the best possible experience with your company.
1. Standardize Your Messaging Across Store Locations
What does a future bride in rural Wisconsin have in common with a future bride in Miami, Florida? 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. Your florists do more than sell wedding flowers. They 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 a location’s website — should reflect how the local store can make their dreams come true.
Of course, weddings may only be part of the events that your stores do. 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. However, they hire a florist from a reputable brand instead because their professional expertise makes their deepest desires into a reality, while also minimizing their worst fears.
By standardizing this messaging for each store, 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 that any store has put together. This also lays the foundation for a more automated funnel because when you standardize your marketing messaging across store locations 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 to be looking for their wedding/event florist online. Furthermore, as curbside pickups increase, the amount of foot traffic in any store decreasing, along with opportunities for in-store marketing. 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.
As previously mentioned in our article on how to increase wedding floral inquiries, your site should have a separate weddings/events page and, if possible, each location should have its own “homepage.” By having a separate homepage for each location, you’re giving potential clients the opportunity to see the work of designers at that location, rather than a pool of designers from all around the region or country. This means that they can have a realistic expectation of what they’ll get when they book with a specific store. 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.
“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.
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 to the store on their website. So now it’s time for the store employees to work the bottom of your funnel and turn those inquiries into paying clients. This is where heavy automation is critical.
First, the store employees need 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, the employee 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 their typical process).
Numerous studies show that response rates drop significantly after the first five minutes of getting an inquiry. If employees are waiting to call a new inquiry, they are dramatically decreasing the likelihood of that person booking with them.
Once your employee 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 across all stores 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, each location will be guaranteed to turn more leads into clients and ensure that clients will have a fantastic experience, regardless of which location they use for their event.