I just finished reading Internet Retailer’s “Hot 100 Best Retail Web Sites” issue, in search of ideas from other industries that might be applied to gardening websites. One of the first to catch my eye was Lilly Pulitzer, the clothing designer renowned for brightly colored prints.
Their company profile noted that they receive 1,000 photo submissions per week to the photo gallery on their website. We’ve always found customer photos generate a lot of interest when used on websites and in enewsletters, yet most companies don’t make much of an effort to collect them. I was curious to see how Lilly Pulitzer did it.
Surprisingly, the photos aren’t prominently displayed on the site. You have to find your way to their blog or “Our Story” page to get the link to the Photo Gallery. There you’ll discover hundreds of photos of happy customers in distinctive Pulitzer prints, frolicking on exotic beaches and celebrating at weddings.
There’s an element of exclusivity in the invitation to submit your photo: “Can you beat these?” reads the caption. “Click here to submit photos of your own Lilly Loving moments. We’ll post the best of them here!”
The photo upload page continues that theme: “Once you submit, please allow 48 hours before you check back to see your smiling face on the gallery,” it instructs. “Then send the link to all your friends – click – you’re famous!” – A not-so-subtle traffic-builder for the site.
Surely gardens are at least a fun to look at as dresses, if not more so. Why don’t more gardening sites make an effort to encourage as many customer photo submissions as possible — and then encourage the submitters to share them?