How to Book More Weddings

How to Book More Weddings

02

Aug

What do you think the secret to booking more weddings is? Being great at sales – selling yourself and what you do? Well that’s part of it for sure, but when I’m talking to Wedding Pros who aren’t hitting their sales targets I often find that their ability to sell themselves isn’t the problem. What many wedding business owners struggle with is the follow up – either not following up at all, or not following up in a way that encourages a lead to re-engage and continue the conversation. If that’s you, you need email templates.

Do you have a sales problem, or an email follow up problem?

If you’re not following up on your wedding enquiries, you’re skipping an important step in the sales process and potentially leaving thousands of dollars on the table for another wedding vendor to swoop in and collect.

Yes, it would be fabulous if sales looked like this; enquiry lands in your inbox, you respond and the couple enquiring book your services.  And whilst that sometimes happens (cue unicorns), it almost never happens. 

But here’s why it shouldn’t end there:

  • The couple might be busy.
  • They might be waiting on other professionals to come back to them about similar products and services.
  • Perhaps they have more questions and for whatever reason, they’re not asking them.
  • They might be procrastinating, away on a holiday, etc. etc.

When you follow up, you’re showing your potential client that you understand life gets in the way and that you’re here to serve them.  Not following up sends the message that maybe they aren’t that important to you after all.

Why aren’t you following up with your wedding leads?

The number one reason most people don’t follow up is that it feels salesy and icky and they think it makes them look desperate.  In fact, when people tell me that they don’t like sales, or they can’t sell themselves, it’s the follow up that they’re usually referring to. And I get it, following up can be hard and the truth is, it’s another job you have to find time for, but you won’t grow your wedding business without an effective follow up process.   It’s that simple.

Following up encourages the couple to make a decision and even if they don’t end up booking your services, it helps you to learn more about your potential customers and make informed decisions about whether you need to refine your offerings and how you present them. 

Email Templates for Wedding Planners, Stylists and Designers

The art of the email follow up using an email template

Following up takes time, which is why I like to start with an email template.  I love templates for sales emails. When you create an email template you can take the time to craft a strategic email, rather than trying to find the right words on the fly.  And then you can use it over and over again – personalising and customising it as you need to for each wedding lead. I have my wedding business email templates set up within Dubsado, which is where I manage my leads.  You can do something similar with Gmail’s canned responses. You can check out Dubsado for yourself here. If you decide to buy, they’ll give you 20% off your first payment (yearly/monthly).

Tip:  as useful as email templates are, I always personalise them in some way so the person receiving the email knows I’m tuned into their needs. 

Tips for writing follow up emails

I also keep my follow up concise, but ensure it includes a question and provides some context so the person reading it knows why I’m sending it.

For example, my first follow up might simply read;

“Hi Robert and Michael, do you have any questions about the Price Guide I sent over?”

If this follow doesn’t illicit a response, I will send another similarly short email with a question. If I still don’t get a response, I go a little deeper in my next email.

Something like this can be effective;

“Hi Robert and Michael.

Are you still looking for help at your wedding next March?

We’ve just hit publish on a blog post which tells the story of a couple who got married at your venue. I thought you might enjoy reading the post – here’s the link in case you would like to check it out.

Do you have any time this week to chat about your wedding? You can use this link to schedule a call with me.   

I look forward to connecting!”

This email is a little longer than the previous follow ups, but it’s still concise.  It provides context, but has become a little more personal – I’ve referred to something specific that relates to their wedding and why they should talk to me – I have experience at their venue. There is always a something personal you can add – it doesn’t have to be that you’ve recently worked at their venue. 

Get creative and make a connection!

In the follow up email template above, I’ve also asked a question – can we talk this week and then, I’ve included a Call to Action – a link to book that call in with me. In other words – I’ve made it super easy for them and shown them I care enough about them to take the time to follow up.

My tips for an email follow up that connects and engages

  • Be concise. Limit your follow-ups to 1-2 sentences.
  • In your follow up email, ask a single question – one that requires an answer. Too many questions will confuse your prospect and lead to them not replying at all.
  • Follow up in a timely way – don’t leave it too long.
  • Follow up more than once.  I know this one is hard, but silence doesn’t mean they aren’t interested.  It may mean they are busy, or away on a holiday, which is why it’s perfectly okay to follow up a few times.
  • Don’t just pop into their inbox to say hi when you follow up, tell them why you’re following up.

Timing your email follow ups

Most people will reach out to several wedding vendors at a time, which is why you should aim to reply to initial enquiries on the same day. 

Timeliness goes a long way with couples.

Similarly, you don’t want to leave your follow-ups after the initial enquiry too long – if you’re not dropping back into your lead’s inbox to remind them that you’re interested in their business, another service provider will be.

If you haven’t had a reply to your first email, I recommend following up within 1-2 days.  Subsequent follow ups can be sent every 2-3 days.

How often should you follow up?

80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting.  44% will give up after 1 follow-up. 

I don’t like to follow up more than 4 times, but there is evidence to suggest that following up, up to 7 times can be effective.  How often you follow up is a decision you get to make as the owner of your wedding business.  I recommend trying a few different approaches and tracking the results to learn more about what works with your ideal client.

But when it does come time to send the final email – here’s something worth trying – the magic email.

The Magic Email principle is that you get negative to get a response. Even though it can seem a little blunt, studies prove this works and I’ve experienced it myself.  Here’s my version;

“Hi Michael and Robert

I haven’t heard back from you so I’m assuming you’re no longer interested in our Wedding Planning service at this time. If something changes in the future, please let us know.”

In my experience, what works about this email is this – if the reason they haven’t come back to you is something other than not being interested, they want to tell you what is holding them back.

Why not try it yourself and see if it works for you too!

A handy checklist for effective follow-ups

  1. Be concise. Limit your follow-ups to 1-2 sentences.
  2. In your follow up email, ask a single question – one that requires an answer. Too many questions will confuse your prospect and lead to them not replying at all.
  3. Follow up in a timely way – don’t leave it too long.
  4. Follow up more than once.  I know this one is hard, but silence doesn’t mean they aren’t interested.  It may just mean they are busy, or away on a holiday, which is why it’s perfectly ok to follow up a few times.
  5. Don’t just pop into their inbox to say hi when you follow up, tell them why you’re following up.

Don’t skip the follow up!

My best piece of advice? Don’t skip the follow up. Following up can be a powerful way to gain insight into your customer and your business, especially when you’re just getting started. And take a leaf out of my book and create email templates for your follow ups and the other emails you send to your leads and clients. Templates help to streamline your processes so you can stay focused on the important work in your business.

Email Templates for Wedding Planners, Stylists and Designers

In the WedPro Shop you’ll find 12 Email Templates for Wedding Planners, Stylists and Designers. These emails can be used from the enquiry stage, through following up, booking, on-boarding and off-boarding and I’ve included 2 bonus planning email templates too. I’ve also got to additional follow up email templates for you that differ from those shared in this post. Visit the WedPro Shop to purchase your Email Template Starter Pack do you can start emailing your clients with confidence.

Email Templates for Wedding Planners

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