Elegant Hire is now one of Australia’s largest event hire companies hiring everything from photo booths to event furniture. This case study focuses on their most popular product, their Studio Photo Booth and was originally started when Elegant Hire was a small start up in Adelaide, South Australia.
Elegant Hire had previously paid an agency to create custom landing pages with some success, however they were looking for more increase. In our experience big conversion rates come from big changes, so we started from the ground up.
The design and re-marketing tactics we used were directly responsible for the business growth to a national company. Conversion rates increased by more than 120%, allowing the company to increase the product hire price by 85% (which is unheard of), producing huge profits of over $1 million. It is important to mention that it was a team effort between Bold Web Design (our research and design) and Elegant Hire (with a quality product and a willingness to action ideas quickly).
Phase 1 – Researching the target audience & designing a more effective landing page.
It’s a timeless business rule to listen to your customers, but we took it one step further. We ran a series of in house primary research groups, interviewing people that matched Elegant Hire’s target audience (i.e., women getting married). We presented them with designs, headlines and more importantly learned about their fears and any objections they would have about enquiring with a hire company for their wedding. In an effort to be thorough and have quantitative research we also conducted over 1000 questionnaires on new and previous customers.
Here are some of the methods we used.
We asked Elegant Hire’s existing customer base – why did they choose Elegant Hire? Was it pricing, was it the product, the sales pitch over the phone? We found that the existing customers booked in spite of the current website and that the sales pitch over the phone was what pulled them over the line. What was interesting was that they had a series of questions not answered on the landing pages but rather over the phone.
Next we interviewed potential customers to find out what questions they had:
a) What were they expecting to see when they landed on the page?
b) What would excite them to enquire with Elegant Hire?
c) What would turn them away from enquiring?
d) What information did they need to even consider enquiring?
e) What feeling or impression did the current landing page give them?
Next we interviewed people that didn’t book with Elegant Hire and booked with someone else. We asked them the obvious question of why they didn’t book? What was it that made them book with another company?
We became the customer ourselves – going through the sales process from the beginning of a Google search through to the end of the sales call. We wanted to find out what questions were being answered and more importantly what wasn’t.
We then crafted in our research answers into wireframes and layout designs. The idea behind wire-framing allows us to make sure we have all the research objections, questions and motivators for customers in order of priority. It’s a way of making sure the user is fed all the content in the correct order we want.
Then we used some of the previous research candidates to go through our wireframe just for some fresh eyes on the overall design. Through intensive testing, modifying the page layouts, we then moved onto graphic design and photography.
Every design change was based on research.
Our research showed that most users had no idea about the quality of the photography an Elegant Hire booth produced. Photography was the main point of difference for Elegant Hire as their booths had been put together by professional photographers and produced amazing photos. We decided to create a new industry term “Studio Booth” as a way of clearly communicating the difference to Brides who were familiar with “shopping centre booths”. The term proved so successful the sales team adopted the same headlines in their phone pitch.
Original headline “Photo booth Hire Brisbane” changed headline: “Experience Studio Photo Booths”
The changed headline communicated a national brand and a new professional style photo booth which perfectly suited those one in a lifetime events. Other headlines and helper copy was continued down the page based on a percentage of researched objections or questions.
Clever call to action – We crafted in a pricing and availability call to action button.
It was a clever way of including the two most asked questions within the call to action itself. Using “availability” it also communicated to the user that there was a limit to the number of clients Elegant Hire can service, motivating the user to take action. We overhauled all the photography with modern professional photos that showcased their photo booth larger than life.
Originally a text based logo we changed it to a new design that left the user feeling like they had contacted a premium wedding hire company. As David Olgivy said it always pays to present a company as a premium brand where possible. What better industry to do that in than the wedding industry.
Photography & Videography – Anyone who thinks photos are not important is dead wrong.
We overhauled all the photography with modern professional photos that showcased their photo booth larger than life. We also created an in depth video answering customer questions in order of importance. (See Alecia here doing a fantastic job presenting Elegant Hire’s photo booth).
We also placed the promotional video on the post enquiry page to prepare the prospective customer before the return phone call from the Elegant Hire sales team. (The client didn’t feel comfortable featuring in the video so one of our staff members took the opportunity to present the booth in the video).
From $590 per hire to $990 per hire
We received permission to share these numbers. A unique insight into this project is the huge price jump Elegant Hire was able to do as a direct result of the design. Over the period of 3 months they gradually increased the price of the photo booth from the original $590 per hire all the way up to $990 per hire. Customers responded so well to the branding and unique promotion of the “Studio Booth” that they were willing to spend almost double to get a hold of a booth for their special day. Increases in sales conversion in addition to landing page conversions is a common story – It’s simple, brand trust coupled with a better perceived value for a product or service.
Most businesses presume they know what their customers require and what they are looking for. The problem is most businesses are mainly educated with customers that converted rather than those that didn’t. Putting aside our own ideas and letting the customer speak is crucial.
Wire-framing based on research.
Once we found out what the customer was looking for it’s not enough to just put it up on a landing page. It’s about order of priority that is crafted into the wireframe.
Headlines are important, but are not enough on their own. In the online world a design (good or bad) gives of an overall feeling to the customer.
Separating Elegant Hire with a new industry term helped differentiate them from their competitors. Long landing pages vs. short landing pages, it makes no difference.
Focusing on educating the user rather than worrying about the length of the page. Direct copywriters have been telling us for years that long copy sells better than short.
Remember when you overcome customer objections face to face you only need to overcome a limited amount of objections. When you sell on the web you need to focus on every customer’s objections.
It takes big changes to get big results.