When it comes to the initial outreach to vendors, approximately 80% of couples use email to inquire about their products or services. Engaged couples prefer to email vendors during the planning process, primarily because they can fit in emails between other activities or while they’re at work. Plus, many couples like to have their initial conversation via email so they can easily reference it at a later date.
If you can’t get a bride or groom on the phone, don’t worry about it! While email takes a bit longer to get all the appropriate details, the more conversations you have, the more opportunities you’ll get to set up an appointment and close the sale. Use these tips for managing your email communications to better your chances of booking your leads for each email type!
Inbound inquiry emails
Whether you receive them through WeddingWire or through your business’ website, an inbound inquiry email is an extremely strong buying signal on the part of the prospect. The prospect has already filtered through a large number of possible choices to select your business, so the sale is now yours to win! Despite the fact that most couples know you’re busy, responding to an email inquiry with an auto response may not have the positive impact you intended. Our research shows that about 25% of couples don’t like generic automated responses, as they can be perceived as impersonal and often provide little added value.
Consumers want a response from a real person and not an auto-reply that states obvious information such as, “Thank you for contacting us, we’ll respond back as soon as possible.” If you feel the need to have an auto-reply, make sure you tell them something they don’t already know or can’t find on your website. Consider being more conversational and adding only helpful, more personalized information the recipient needs to know so you still provide value.
Ongoing communication emails
Whether your client likes to email or talk on the phone, data shows it’s important to take a cue from your clients and respond in the form you received it. 48% of couples express frustration when their vendor does not reciprocate their preferred communication type. If a prospect starts a conversation via email, continue using email to communicate until it’s necessary to take the next step.
When emailing back and forth, be sure to answer all the questions the prospect asks without adding too much information or adding attachments they didn’t want or ask for. A good way to decide how much information to include would be to put yourself in the potential client’s shoes and go through the contact process. That should inform you about what information they’ve already seen and what information they still might not know! And when it comes to price, don’t ignore their questions – acknowledge that you’re going to tell them how much it costs as soon as you have all the information you need to know about their big day.
Outbound solicitation emails
When sending emails to a prospect with which you don’t yet have a relationship, you’re walking a fine line between attracting new clients and driving them away. The best way to leave a great first impression is to personalize your email. 1 in 4 couples who participated in our year-end survey felt as though the response they received from a vendor was not personalized, creating little desire to continue the conversation.
There are many ways you can personalize your email communications. If you’re working from a bridal show list, segment your list by those who scheduled an appointment or showed interest so you can prepare different emails. Use the information you know about them – whether they filled out a form or casually spoke with you at your booth – to provide the information that is most relevant to their needs and stage in the planning process. Additionally, pay attention to their wedding date (if you know it) so you know how quickly to follow up and how many times you are able to reach out if they don’t respond right away. Remember: Don’t be pushy, but remind them that you’re there if they need the help!