By: Jennifer Morin
Tuesday 1:06 PM
Being successful as a wedding professional is not rocket science… but it is at the same time profoundly challenging.
Not only do you have to be highly skilled in your wedding category, but you now have to be a master of of building rapport, social media, sales, marketing and follow-up.
Brides are busy and caught-up in their daily routine. Throughout the day, they are swamped with ads and commercials from everything from TV to emails, social media and internet. So, if you send just one message it most likely get lost in the daily shuffle.
In our wedding pros community, I often see clients invest in a wedding expo to get more business. They’ll have a professional looking booth, meet and greet at the show – and then leave out the most important piece of the business puzzle – following up for success.
I often encounter vendors whose plans are basically this:
Step 1. Display in a Bridal Show
Step 2. ?.
Step 3. Book brides and profit
You may have guessed that Step 2 is your follow-up marketing.
They may have an excellent wedding service. Best in their category. But if their message is not in front of the bride when SHE is ready, then they’re on course for disaster. The brides will NOT beat a path to your door just because you ha a booth a the expo. You’ll lose to the competitor who learns how to market his or or message steadily throughout her engagement.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your marketing efforts and increase your bookings:
1. Use It or Lose It.
Use your bride lists on a consistent basis and stick to your efforts. One mailing alone does not work – send a mailing weekly. Don’t wait for the brides to contact you, send a friendly message weekly.
Brides are excited about getting married and planning for that special day. Take the time to send her wedding tips and special offers to remind her about your business. 80% of sales are made after the 5th impression. Get to them before someone else does.
2. Direct Subject Line
Efficient subject lines are key to the success of your email. Subject lines are the first thing that your reader will see, so capture them early. Keep them short and direct. Tell your audience what your email is about in a few words. That’s it.
3. Make it Mobile Friendly
About half of all bride emails are read on mobile devices. Brides are no longer “reading” your message. They are skimming quickly to decide if it is important enough to read further So create your email to be short and sweet. Have a call to action in your email, and make it easy to locate.
Bride email marketing is no longer just on a desk top – it’s also mobile messages on smartphones and iPads. So, being aware of how your message is sent and displayed on several cell phone devices.
4. Make it Personal
Your marketing campaign is your chance to have a conversation with your bride. So make it personal. Individualize the greeting with her name. Brides want to know that the communication they received was intended for them.
With that said, your greeting should NOT be “Dear Bride” or “Dear Engaged Couples” like I have seen…
…but Hi Jennifer (all email companies have an insert to merge her name).
5. What Are You Going to do for Me
Highlight the benefits of what your product or service will do for your bride. Don’t dwell only on the features of your offering. Focus on what your service or product can do for the couple. If you have an important, valuable benefit, you may also want to use it in the headline with the offer.
Be sure to tell the bride what makes you different from the other wedding pros in your category. The bride is interested not about you, but what you can do to make her day easier or more memorable.
6. Give to Get
Offer something of value for free (e.g. a helpful video, industry report or tips on choosing gowns, etc). These types of offers get immediate attention. However, make sure that your giveaway is most valuable to brides planning weddings.
7. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse
Having a good offer is one of the most important parts of your campaign. Whether it’s a discount, a free gift or rebate, the offer needs to be so tempting it is too good to refuse.
Time and time again, it’s been proven that more brides respond to an offer when there’s a limit on the amount of time they have to respond. Include an offer in all of your bridal messages. Brides need that little incentive to pick up the phone and call you. It does not have to be much, but offer something.
8. Brand With a Clear Call-To-Action
Ask for the response you want. Do you want your brides to visit your store, call for a consultation, navigate to your Web site, or pass the message along to a friend? Be clear about the action you are requesting.
Tell the bride what exactly you want her to do in your marketing efforts. Just telling her about what you can do is not enough, you must tell her what action to take at the end of each email.
And, make sure you have plenty of links in your email… make it easy for her to get to your website.
9. Smile and then Dial
Marketing to brides works. The best way to guarantee the success of your email campaign is to personalize it with a call, make it easy for brides to respond and measure the results. Call Me Some Time. Send your mailing and follow-up with a phone call while you are fresh in her mind. Recent studies show that a personal follow up call can increase response rates by nearly 50 percent.
10. Motivate with a Deadline
And, lastly, always include a deadline with all of your offers. Adding a deadline adds a sense of urgency to your message and helps the bride to pick up the phone and call you today.
Follow these time tested marketing strategies and increase your bookings. And, do not omit any of the above rules, especially the follow-up phone call.