Take a look at the website of any given KBB retailer, and you’ll most likely see the words ‘Book a Design Appointment’ branded boldly across the site.
Whilst design appointments, consultations and home visits are imperative in moving forward with a kitchen, bedroom or bathroom project, it’s much too much of a commitment for even the most ‘in-market’ of consumers. Jumping all the way from ‘not knowing you’ to ‘full-scale sit-down meeting’ can be a bit frightening for some, so a smaller step is needed.
One of the biggest skills in business is to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think like they think. If we were to assume the position of a person who has just decided they are in need of a new kitchen interior, then jumping into a full design appointment is a large commitment at this early stage, and one that they’re not likely to make for a few months. People in this part of the buying journey aren’t likely to commit to a design appointment before doing their research, and this is where you can use your brochure to your advantage.
You see, a brochure is what people in the ‘Research’ phase of their customer journey are looking for. Your brochure is the encyclopaedia that they need to find out what styles of kitchen they like, what colours suit their character and what appliances they may choose. It’s the perfect way for them to find out more about you at their own pace.
So if a brochure is the perfect introductory tool, why is it that many KBB retailers don’t even have a polished brochure that does their brand justice? Many do have a brochure, but don’t make it available on their website. Quite frankly, it’s bonkers.
The fact of the matter is, brands that aren’t making a brochure available on their website are missing out on a large quantity of could-be leads.
Intent – Why Not All Leads Are Equal
Now, we use the word ‘leads’ lightly here, as someone requesting a brochure isn’t a strong lead like a design appointment request. Brochure downloaders are often much earlier in the customer journey and won’t have as much intent to purchase a kitchen as other enquiries, but it’s important to understand that they still have some intent.
Many of our KBB clients regard their brochure requests with the upmost importance. They see it as a chance to prove themselves, a chance to differentiate themselves above their competitors who will most likely also be sending brochures to your prospect.
That’s right: if someone downloads a brochure from your site, expect them to have visited at least three or four of your competitors’ websites to do the same, so it’s imperative that you provide a great experience.
The good news is that in terms of following up a brochure request, the bar is set fairly low…
How Can To Convert a Brochure Request Into a ‘Lead’
Most KBB retailers do a really crap job at impressing themselves upon prospects who download brochures. Firstly, they only send them an e-brochure, which usually gets flicked through once and then lost in a downloads folder somewhere on a laptop. Secondly, they don’t do a good job of explaining why their company are so good at what they do, through testimonials, case studies, awards, imagery and insightful knowledge. Thirdly, they commit the cardinal sin of not following up!
But once you know that your competition often make a hash of converting a brochure download into a lead, it give you the opportunity to do a great job of creating a magnificent first impression and standing out from the crowd. So here’s how to do it…
Although E-brochures Are Undervalued, They Are Still an Important Asset
E-brochures aren't all bad. In fact, they are a great asset for us marketers as they offer a great method of capturing people's data, giving you the chance to send further marketing material. They act as a very easy, low-commitment way of a prospect making a first step with your business.
The problem with e-brochures is that you invest a lot of energy, time and money into creating one, and when a prospect comes to look at it, they don’t place any value on it. They simply spend 30 seconds flicking through it on their iPhone and then forget about it, never to be seen again.
“Posting physical brochures to people who have expressed interest in a kitchen is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself over competitors. Most retailers think they can get away with an e-brochure which saves a lot of money. They are wrong, and they are losing out to those willing to invest in this bomb-proof direct mail strategy. Paper will always outperform a screen when it comes to prospects looking for a kitchen from the comfort of their own home.”
One of the issues with online files is that they are easy to discard. It’s oh-so-easy to open a new browsing window and hop onto Facebook at the drop of a hat. Tablets, smartphones or even desktop computers don’t make great viewing platforms either, and this is why a physical brochure outperforms a computerised version in almost all areas apart from cost (which is actually irrelevant when you factor in your average sale and average margin).
Setting Yourself Up For Success…
The best way to send more brochures is, of course, to make one available on your website. Your brochure is one of the top 5 things people want from your website, so it’s important to put it somewhere prominent (we’re talking somewhere in the header of the site that also displays on mobile devices).
You can simply link this button to a landing page or lightbox that has a small amount of information about your brochure, possibly an image of the front cover, and a web form that captures details, such as name, email address and physical address for postage reasons.
Should The Option For An E-Brochure Remain?
The one meaningful advantage that an online brochure has over a hard copy is that it’s instant. There’s no waiting around for the postman to deliver it 2 days later. You can get it there and then.
Our advice to overcome the initial waiting around is to send them both the e-brochure and the physical brochure in the same, swift movement. Simply place a note on the webform that they fill in to say “We’ll send you our latest brochure both in the post and via email so that you can start browsing without delay…” Alternatively, place a simple tick box on your form that reads ‘Send me an e-brochure’. This tick box can trigger an automated email to be sent with the document attached.
Your Brochure, On Steroids
Smart marketers will view the sending of a direct mail piece as huge opportunity to make a first impression, and after all, first impressions count. So what can you do to surpass the expectations of your prospective clients? Because believe it or not, people’s expectations won’t be very high – they’ll more than likely be expecting the brochure in a white envelope and nothing else…
This is the big chance to make yourself stand out from the crowd. There’s certainly some room for creativeness here, so get your thinking hat on. Other clients of ours have sent chocolatey treats and promotional material in the past, or other information such as a small book of case studies. Something that hangs around in the kitchen with your branding emblazoned could be a nice touch. We’ll let you think on that…
Following Up: The Ultimate Marketing Strategy
Our worst fear is to come across as patronising, but we must say that it makes us laugh when KBB retailers go to all the effort and cost of creating a brochure and sending it off in the post only to never follow up with that person.
Although the thought of waiting for your prospect to get in touch with you is a romantic one, it’s been proven time and again that following up with these people is much more likely to get you the business. But how do you go about following up in the months after someone has requested your brochure?
Our go-to tool when it comes to following up is email automation. Automatic email marketing has been around for years now and it’s still rarely used in this industry. No matter how much of a technophobe you are, the good news is that it’s relatively simple to set up – just ask us if you need a hand. We’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
“In this day and age, there are not many instances when you make a bigger purchasing decision than on a kitchen. Even nice cars are relatively affordable these days compared to 20 years ago…”
The reason that following up is important is that the buying journeys are VERY long in this industry, and let’s face it, buying an interior like a kitchen is a big decision. It’s not uncommon that someone takes 18 months to finally book a design appointment, and that’s why you need to be in their inbox, following up. You can send out a list of reasons to work with you, answers to frequently asked questions, your latest blog post, case studies, advice on planning a kitchen… The list goes on, but email follow up is a must for your KBB business.
The other avenue of follow up is telesales. You’ll most likely be implementing this already (certainly in the short term), but our question is this: What do you do with those leads that have never said ‘no’?
Sure, there are many leads that go dead because they have essentially said ‘no’ to you, but many won’t get to the stage of either saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and they drift into the sunset and are forgotten about.
It’s no secret that one of our team has been in the market for a kitchen recently. They enquired to several companies regarding a design appointment, but it all got put on hold because of a new baby. The project never got cancelled, though, only postponed until further notice. I’d bet my packed lunch that none of those kitchen companies are still sending marketing to our new mum…
Like all of the content we put out for your reading, it’s only ever useful if you go and action it. It’s a nice thought, but it won’t earn you any money sat on this page!
As ever, if you need any help with implementing your brochure campaign, feel free to give us a call. We’re always happy to offer advice free of charge.
Team at Flo
If you’d like to get in touch with us, call us on 0121 405 6780 or alternatively email us on email@example.com.