Create a Great Experience on Your Site
A happy customer is a return customer. Your clients chose you over others because they know you can meet their specific needs, but your job is much more than simply creating a few good photos: You need to deliver a quality experience from the first contact through to getting those prints into their hands.
Make a Great First Impression
What will your visitors see? That's up to you!
All websites have some basic common elements: a landing page, header, footer and content box(es) on each page, and a way to click from page to page. You can change all of these elements using customization on your SmugMug Power and Pro sites.
In addition to the above, you should include:
• Contact Information (a MUST!)
You can also spice it up with:
A Slideshow or Video
Your Most Recent Upload
A Search Box
or any of the many different content blocks that you can show or hide on your SmugMug homepage.
Don't Hide Your Email Address
Make use of the Profile tool. Add your name or business name, an image of yourself and a background image to take full advantage of the tool. You want this info up front and center, displayed on your homepage or you could Create an About Me page, add the profile content block to it and link it from your navigation bar.
All SmugMug accounts also get a Contact Email address to fill in in their Profile. That, in turn, creates a simple (but impressive) contact request form from the contact link in the footer or in your navigation menu.
Make Your Site Neat and Tidy
While galleries are the building blocks of your site, they can be categorized into higher level Folders. Your SmugMug folder hierarchy can be up to 7 levels deep.
Build a Navigation Menu:
A navigation menu is a row of links at the top or side of every page. Best used when you link to specific galleries, pages or folders on your site.
These links at the top of each gallery easy take your viewers back to the Category or to your homepage. Nothing's worse than a digital dead-end.
The bottom line: Using SmugMug as your portfolio, for client proofing and for your shopping cart creates a smooth customer experience.
Prevent Analysis Paralysis
Get organized. The first step for providing a great customer experience on your SmugMug site is to organize your photos in a meaningful and easy-to-navigate way.
Don't just dump.Your viewer will have an easier time browsing their wedding photos if you take the time to organize them into galleries rather than showing them one gallery with all 1200 photos.
SmugMug Smart Galleries can be a real timesaver. Create your galleries and set Rules based on keywords, then go ahead and upload all of your photos into a single Unlisted holding gallery. The Smart Gallery will automagically pull in photos that match your rules based on your keywords!
Take this one step further by making use of Events and Favorites, so that the customers can pick and choose their favorite photos. The favorites are put into a separate gallery that both you and your customer can see, providing a great way to dialogue about their choices.
Don’t overwhelm the viewer. Cull your shoot down to the best of the best. Limit the products that you sell as well - price only those that best suit your photos' and your clients' needs. Be ruthless.
Create a Sense of Urgency.
Giving clients incentive to buy sooner than later can make all the difference. Try these options:
• Limited time discounts immediately after the event. With SmugMug you can easily create a Coupon good for only a few days, to get them buying while their memories are fresh.
• Seasonal or special event discounts. Encourage customers to avoid the Christmas rush by having a special deal available only in September.
• Take galleries off line (make them unlisted or change the password) after a certain date. Just make sure potential customers know this deadline, so they know exactly how long they have.
Creating a friendly, simple experience keeps visitors on your site: clear, organized navigation, easy-to-find galleries and a simple list of products they can buy. Try it and keep your bounce rate down and your sale rate up.