Customer Success Stories
into A Portrait of Success.
Mélanie Paquette and Erik Millaire are professional photographers. They started their photography studio 6 years ago and built it into a successful business. The studio is located in Ottawa, Ontario. After 3 years of steady growth, they realized they needed to fine-tune their business strategy as they lacked the ability to showcase their talent to potential clients. Both Melanie and Erik felt they were consuming too much time personally showing prospective clients their portfolio. They decided to launch a website in an effort to display their photographs online and build confidence and trust in their photography skills. Erik and Melanie haven't looked back since.
Before the PhotoCMC Website:
Prior to launching the website, new clients were mainly generated from word of mouth. However, Erik and Melanie advertised in complementary business categories. "We added our contact information to "Group pages" of wedding suppliers with our phone number as contact information". Erik also explains one of their most successful marketing efforts at the time; "For every wedding we did we provided the client with personalized business cards with their picture and our contact info. This generated a lot of business". Unfortunately, their marketing strategy lacked the ability to showcase their talent to potential clients prior to meeting them in person. They also lacked the means to communicate to potential clients and referrals quickly and easily. Erik explains, "It can become tedious to meet potential clients for a one-on-one presentation having to explain all the details of our service as well as showcase our portfolio".
After the launch:
Erik and Melanie are pleased with the way the website has freed up their time and streamlined their sales cycle. The site met Erik’s and Melanie’s main goal of permitting prospective clients to take their time viewing the portfolio and pricing. "The website directs clients to our product, allows them to review our packages and when they are ready, meet with us", stated Erik. He calculated that meetings with clients who reviewed information on the site were 1/2 as long as meetings with those who did not.
The website has changed the way PhotoCMC.com both advertises and communicates with clients. Referrals now contact Erik and Melanie via email (using the Contact us button) instead of phoning. Erik is pleased, "This allows us to communicate with them via email, which allows us to keep the email chain. We can also answer them at any time". He added, "They look at our work first and this simplifies our meeting with the client as they have become familiar with our style". The Portfolio pages and the Contact us page have become integral to the business and the site now plays a key role in booking clients. PhotoCMC.com had added their site to online directories that specialize in wedding suppliers and have discontinued creating their business cards, once their best marketing strategy prior to the website. It is no longer needed to generate new clients. Snaps for PhotoCMC!
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Steve and Susan Marinick opened Brookewood Nursing and Rehab, a Long Term Care, Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy centre over 25 years ago. They employ a full time staff of occupational therapists, nurses and doctors. However, the centre also focuses on creating a family and home environment for residents to ensure their spiritual and emotional needs are met. The centre is located in De Queen, Arkansas and serves the surrounding communities, extending to Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. Steve and Susan decided to build a website just over a year ago to better inform families of patients about upcoming events and activities and to also showcase the facility to the regional population. Since the site launched, feedback from families has been positive, visitors to the site mention that it is both professional and informative and patient numbers have risen.
Before the Brookewood Nursing & Rehab Website:
After 25 years in business, Steve and Susan had maintained a comfortable advertising strategy. Prior to the launch, the rehabilitation center advertised the facility mainly through newspapers, the phone book, brochures, and radio advertisements. However this advertising strategy was not successful as new patients most often heard of the center by word of mouth. Steve and Susan were looking for a way to offer families who had heard of the facility the chance to visit the center virtually first, without having to make a dedicated trip to the facility. Brookewood also hosts many family events such as formal Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners and informal cook-outs and socials, so Steve and Susan needed a quick way to inform family members of upcoming events. They also wanted to easily upload pictures of events and activities on the website to further create a sense of community that the centre fosters. A website that was easy to build and update with no html requirements was just the type of website they needed.
After the launch:
Since the site launched, Brookewood Nursing has enjoyed an increase in their patient-base. They reach a larger portion of their target market because the site ranks well in search engines. They also enjoy visits to their site from listings in online directories that profile nursing facilities and long-term care homes. Families and patients have enjoyed the website, looking at photos from various events and activities. The site even carries the sense of community and caring felt at the facility. Star residents are profiled each month on the site and the volunteers have a dedicated page with their photo and a word of thanks. Steve feels his objectives for creating the site were met, "It's so easy to inform families of activities, and we save on the cost of monthly postage!" Steve also notes that the Contact page on the site is very useful to the center now, as most families who visit the site now contact the center using email instead of calling.
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Mike Chitavi runs Fuhaha (which means We Are Here in the Mijikenda dialect) a Not-For-Profit soccer academy in Kilifi, Mombasa, Kenya. The club is the first soccer academy in Kilifi, and was formed with over 100 children on December 23, 2006. Mike launched the club’s website just over 1 year ago with the intention of increasing it's world-wide recognition and to give his organization a level of professionalism and credibility. By having his message reach a wider audience on the web, Mike hopes equipment and money donations increase as well.
Before the FuhahaYouth Website:
"When we launched the Fuhaha Youth club, we took photos of the kids playing soccer and simply distributed them to potential donors and told them about our organization. We grew by word of mouth and also by email", said Mike.
Communicating with both sponsors and potential donors was achieved mostly by phone and email. Mike felt that he was wasn’t using his time efficiently. "It was very hard since we had to reach people manually one-by-one, so we were not successful in reaching a large audience like we wanted to", said Mike.
After the launch:
Mike is happy with the results his website brought to the soccer Academy. "It has made our audience look at us as a legitimate and credible organization", says an exuberant Mike. He continues, "When we tell someone about our organization, we just email them a link to our website where they can learn more about our organization. This is much more efficient than having phone conversations covering the same topics over and over".
Donations to the soccer academy have increased by approximately 60%. "We credit all this to our website as we have been successful in informing and getting more members and affiliations through our website", exclaimed Mike.
Feedback on the website has been nothing but positive with support coming in from all over the US and Kenya. "Let me know how I can chip in to assist where possible". "This is a great idea and I wish you well in all your endeavors". "Keep it up guys".
When asked what the most important feature on the website is for visitors, Mike notes that not only has the donations page made a huge impact on getting people to give easily, but the photo albums have been a huge help in leading people to the donations page. Mike explains "The photo albums have played an enormous role in not only giving our website a nice look but also revealing how serious our organization is by showcasing our activities and developments all year through....a picture is definitely worth a thousand words".
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launch of Website.
Roberta Wands owns Plumerias Wedding Flower Boutique. She creates romantic, realistic silk keepsake wedding flowers. She has been in business for over two years and is located in Riverside, California. Roberta sought a method to showcase her flower arrangements and connect to a wider audience, and so she built her own website with the WebsiteWorks builder in September 2008. Business is growing month over month for her silk flowers, and customers are flocking to her site from all over the US and Canada.
Before the Plumerias Wedding Flower Website:
Prior to her website, Roberta sold her silk wedding flowers on eBay®. This was the only channel Roberta used, and so this was the only way for clients to find her. Her business was successful, due to the customers generated by eBay®. However, eBay® was not reaching Roberta's ideal target market which is destination wedding brides. Roberta decided to create her own website, but needed a website that she could maintain on her own. Roberta elaborates "I needed to be able to update my website and add to it whenever I wanted without problems". When Roberta found WebsiteWorks, it was the ease of use and the features that were key for her to purchase a WebsiteWorks website builder. "I also wanted the ability to add hundreds of photos of my work easily - and have them load quickly", said Roberta.
After the launch:
"I'm extremely happy with my website and your company!" exclaims Roberta. She continues, "Two changes have occurred as the result of adding my website: One, the photo albums illustrate and sell my work effectively and two, I have experienced an increase in the amount of inquiries and sales!" Roberta's business has taken off since she launched her website. She explains, "My business has increased by about 50% since I added my website 3 months ago, and it's continuing to increase each month! This increase is the direct result of launching my website".
Roberta is currently advertising in two directory sites specializing in the wedding industry, but she is getting most of her sales from search engine traffic and customer referrals. Roberta finds her Contact page and Request a Quote form are the most useful to her business and her photo albums and Blog help her to display her newest creations for sale and communicate to her clients.
With business blossoming, Roberta is very thankful for her website. "I appreciate the features, ease of use, and customer service provided by your company. I couldn't be happier!"
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