How to Make Sure Brides Remember, Recommend & Return-To your Website

In Pursuit of the Ever-ElusiveĀ ”Stickiness”

So, you ‘re spending money and energy on links, clicks, ads, google-ads, facebook-ads, social media .. [insert preferred marketing channel]. It works for you: dozens/hundreds of targeted, local brides-to-be visit your website and check out your services & rates.

Do they Book you, Right away?: Unfortunatelly, probably not: the average bride looks at at least four vendors, before she starts making contacts (source: our Bridal Network directory!) Meaning that they will (hopefully) appreciate what they find on your website, make a note, then move on to the next vendor..

The Danger: (i.e. the #1 cause of wasted marketing) That the bride will not make a note; she makes a mental note instead, moves on, clicks something else, then again, then again .. oops! what was the first site I saw? .. hmm.. oh well, moving right along.. – Not good: thanks to the availability of information on the internet.. you just lost a customer, a customer you paid real money to acquire!

So, How Do the Brides “Make a Note” then?

In the good-old-days, if you liked something on the Internet, you simply bookmarked it. Easy. “Add-to-Favourites”. A kid can do it, right?

Well, wrong: These days everyone accesses information from multiple places – home, work, phone – so bookmarks are actually kind of useless. Web users (your brides!) seem to have developed altogether different ways of “flagging information”. Here they are:

How brides bookmark and share your website

How Brides bookmark & share a Favourite Webpage

Noteworthy Behaviour

  • See? Nor very many bookmark/favourites, at all..
  • Email! Wow.. you did not expect this, did you?
    Basically, instead of bookmarking, users today simply email a copy/link of this webpage to themselves – usually their gmail/hotmail – so they can access these “favourites” from anywhere, later. Makes sense..
  • Print! Double-wow. This we did not expect. A full one-quarter of all users, simply print the pages they like – probably organising them into a binder afterwards??
  • What is Most “Viral”? Check out the smaller “inner circle”: it shows how “viral” each of these services are – basically, what percentage of shares result in a return visit.
    1. Facebook: not surprisingly, the stickiest medium of them all
    2. Twitter: also not surprisingly, the least effective social share (very few brides on Twitter)
    3. Email: still, the oldy is a goody. If you can make a bride email a copy/link of your page to herself or a friend, you are guarranteed they are coming back..

Sticky Tips: Making your WebSite “Unforgettable”

  1. Avoid Flash! On top of their other issues, Flash websites do not print well, email well or share properly on Facebook (can’t render a preview) – there go 75% of your users.. lost in cyberspace..
  2. Make sure that your website has meaningful titles on every page: when a bride shares this on Facebook or even emails/bookmarks it, the label of this share/bookmark will simply be the HTML title of your page. So if your site says “Home Page” on its home page or “Packages” or whatever, the share will look boring. If one of your friends shares a link called “packages” on Facebook, would you click it??
    Instead, your home page should be titled “Something Blue | Toronto Wedding Boutique” or whatever, something descriptive and attractive. And the “packages” should be titled “Toronto Wedding Packages by Something Blue”. So when a bride finds this bookmark in her favourites or her mailbox, she is instantly reminded what this is and why she saved it.
  3. Use a simple Plug-and-Play Share Tool: Like AddThis. Make it EASY for brides to share/save your website. It will automatically add the right buttons to your site and even track everything, clicks, shares, back-clicks – so you know what your users are up to.
    You know, one of these things:
  4. Make print-friendly pages! Avoid full screen. Try sticking to the standard 800×1000 px wide resolution. The less flash/javasript and other interactive scripts, the better. Good old useful contest, structured with text & images, scrollable too, will ensure that the bride finds it easy to print and file away for later..
  5. A “Advanced Trick”: Make sure, all the important pages on your website (at least all the pages with a “Share” button) also contain an attractive roughly-square image, that looks good as a thumbnail. This will double your click-backs. Why? Because every time someone shares your page on a social network (mostly Facebook) the share automatically tries to grab a square image off that page and use it as your thumbnail – i.e. display it next to your link (you ‘ve seen how this works on Facebook, I am sure) The catchier that image, the more return traffic you will get from this share.

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About niko

Nicholas ("everyone calls me 'Niko'" ) Lourotos is an original founder and the managing partner of Bridal Network Inc. (2001) He launched the first online wedding directory in Canada in 1995 (remember? when we still used modems!) and has happily remained in this space ever since. These days, he prefers to be called the "Network Manager". A suitably vague job description which allows him to float a lot, talk to people a lot, go to lunch a lot, brainstorm a lot and blog a lot - and generally oversee the network and try to keep his finger on the pulse of the industry.
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