Do you feel like you have enough requests coming in but not enough bookings?
Are you banging your head against the wall trying to figure out what’s going on?
We talk a lot about ways to get more leads but very little is said about how to increase your conversion rate.
In this article we’ll teach you some simple ways for photo booth owners to close that back door, increase your conversion rate and get more sales.
I was recently speaking with a successful photo booth company who shared a frustration with trying to grow their business. They have over 200 reviews, 5 booths and plenty of leads coming in on a weekly basis. However, they’re just not closing as many jobs as they’d like.
If you notice something like this happening in your business you might want to take a few steps back. What I mean is don’t keep adding more features, buying more booths or buying more leads. Instead focus all of your effort on increasing your conversion rate.
For instance lets say on average you close 10% of 50 leads on a monthly basis. That would be 5 bookings every month. If you buy an ad for $100/mo. and it brought you 10 new leads but you’re only able to close 10% of 60 leads that would mean you’re now booking only 1 extra lead per month. Would you be willing to spend $100 for every new booking?
Now, lets say you’re able to get your conversion rate up to 30%. Without spending any extra money on ads you would be going from 5 to 15 bookings every month. By increasing your conversion rate not only are you booking more leads but you’re also reducing the cost of acquiring new customers. Win. Win.
Now this sounds complex and difficult but it’s really not! It just requires lots of small adjustments and fine tuning. If you apply some of the following strategies below you should start to see your rate of booking more events go up.
Remember the point here isn’t to just slap all of these ideas onto your business and hope for the best. You want to experiment with it little by little until you form the perfect recipe for your brand. So here are a few ideas we came up with:
1. Pick up your phone
This is an obvious one but there are a lot of last minute impulsive purchasers who are ready to book a booth, if you just simply pick up. They typically only have a few remaining questions and want some closure. Answering the phone doesn’t have to be a sales pitch. It’s just a matter of being available, friendly and helpful. If you don’t have the availability to answer the phone you can always use this 4 little word to books more gigs.
2. Send auto responder email
I can’t tell you how powerful this one is and it’s so easy to setup. A simple auto reply after someone submits your form makes a huge impression. First, it reassures the client that their message was delivered. It also gives them an opportunity to hear from you right away. This message allows you to communicate your promotion, explain you’re looking into booth availability, give them something of value or give them an answer you know their looking for… etc. It also buys you some time to manually follow up with them in a more personalized way. Many times our leads will reply back to the auto responder with follow up questions.
3. Create effective email sequences
You want to develop a series of email responses to incorporate into your sales funnel. Yes, having email templates will help you save time when needing to respond to common requests. For instance this 9 word email is great for dead leads. But more importantly your emails should be an extension of your on-boarding process, taking them from being an “interested lead” to a “paying customer”. Think of it like holding their hand through the process. If you only shake their hand by responding to their first email you’re losing touch with them. Before you know it they’ll be off shaking hands with other rivals. Having an effective email sequence you can test over time will help you to stay on their minds. Often times it can take several weeks before someone decides to make a purchase so being on their radar and filling up their inbox gives you a slight edge.
4. Change your pricing
Make sure you understand what the market is willing to pay and what your competitors are charging. Please do us all a favor and stop pretending to be a fake lead and rob other business owners of their time. It’s quite obvious when you start asking insider questions. Just get a ball park figure from what’s online in your local area. Take an average of several different kinds of companies and see where you want to land and what sets you apart. Before doing anything run your numbers and make sure it’s profitable for you to scale.
5. Simplify your language
It’s so easy to get caught up with insider talk and photo booth lingo that we forget there is an outside world that doesn’t always understand us. Make sure your brand communicates to the world using language they can easily understand. Stop making up terms that require an explanation. For instance here is a common phrase you should consider changing. But more than that most customers don’t always understand our features and the descriptive words we use. Look over your package offerings and make sure it’s simple and clear to understand.
6. Send the proposal fast
If you delay in getting out your proposals to a customer it will definitely lower your chance of booking that job. The faster you can close the gap in your sales funnel the better. Make the booking process as simple as possible for your clients. When a potential lead takes the time to reach out to you their usually at their highest emotional stage for potentially booking you. Sometimes people just want to satisfy that urge or check it off their list, so keep that in mind. Not everyone wants to spend weeks researching and comparing small businesses.
7. Include a promotion
Find something of value to the customer that would be worth giving away. You could even raise your prices a bit so you don’t incur the cost. The beauty of doing a promotion keeps them from exploring other options and gets them off the fence quicker. You could even go as far as to say something like, “for the next 7 days” or “until the end of the month”. A promotion helps the customer to decide quickly if they want to move forward with you. Knowing a special offer is going to expire, sticks with customers and helps speed up the booking process. Give one promotion a try for one month then test another the following month. Eventually you will find one that seems to work better than others.
8. Mention the deposit
So often we forget to communicate what the next step looks like in our booking process. The deposit requirements can be easily seen on your website or incorporated into you conversation on the phone. Often clients want you to take their money they just don’t know what’s next. Having a deposit whether it’s $100-$200 down, 10%, 30% or 50% gives the client a peek into what it takes to reserve you. This puts the ball in their court to decide if they really want that date with you.
9. Simplify your website
Less is always more! You only have a couple seconds to grab your readers attention before they bounce to the next website. Comb through your site and simplify every page, especially the home page. Each page should have one CTA (call to action). Don’t overcrowd your site. It will only confuse your potential customers and cause decision fatigue. Here are 5 Website Mistakes we see photo boothers making all the time.
10. Get clear on your messaging
When someone comes to your website or profile page on another site you want to be crystal clear on what it is you do. Pretend a child is going on your site. Will this child be able to understand what you do? It should be that simple. Far too many photo booth websites are not clear as to what they really do. It can confuse clients and turn them away if they can’t visualize what you do at their event. Get others to test out your site and provide you with feedback.
11. Have some else handle your bookings
You may be extremely good at dealing with clients and handling all the sales yourself. If that is the case then keep on doing it. Otherwise, if you have any doubt then find someone who can communicate on your behalf. My wife took over all emails and phone calls a while back it I saw an immediate increase in sales. Plus when it comes to working with brides they generally want to talk with people who’ve been in their shoes or are like them in some ways.
12. Give first. Ask later
Too often we’re just asking for money before ever giving something in return. What if you flip this model around and give something away to people before they ever book. Something of value or something that can help them in their decision making process. For instance you could create an informative article on your blog or an infographic to help your potential customers. This is partly why I don’t advertise my pricing too early in the sales funnel. We know that pricing is one of the most important concerns a customer will have but knowing when to show it is just as important. Timing is everything and getting them to like you first should always be your goal. Build value then ask for their money.
13. Communicate why your different
This isn’t something you want to copy from another company. You really want to spend time digging deep to figure this out for yourself. We outline this a bit more in the 5 Simple Ways to Grow Your Photo Booth Business. Essentially if you’re able to consolidate this into a clear and concise way it will be your unique selling point. This is what businesses use to separate themselves from other competitors and create a strategy that’s hard to replicate. Once this message is figured out put it on EVERYTHING within your brand.
14. Use more videos
Videos are probably the best way of communicating value to your potential customers. You can make simple videos introducing yourself or answering common questions with an iPhone. This builds trust and a personal connection with your customer. Have your attendants grab video clips at each event. These can be quick shots of guests grabbing props, touching the screen, grabbing prints and laughing at their photos. This will make people experience the booth in a much better way.
15. Survey dead leads
If your stuck with what to do, go back to any recent leads that ended up not booking. Write them a simple email thanking them for reaching out and ask for honest feedback on how you can improve or what you could have done to win their business. Then give them a coupon code toward any future bookings. Save this email and begin making it a consistent part of your email sequence chain. Over time you’ll start seeing patterns of why your customers are not booking you. It’s real data that you can use to make improvements on your business rather than guessing.
So now it’s your turn! Tell us in the comments below what things you’ve been doing to increase your conversion rate and book more events.