Whether they advertise their wedding business on one site or dozens, many wedding professionals still believe that a lot of their local business comes from word of mouth – and for good reason! Having happy customers who refer you to their friends and family is a great way to get more business, and it’s not going anywhere in the near future. Even as online presence becomes more and more important, word of mouth marketing should not be overlooked.
Although word of mouth may seem like a more casual form of marketing, it’s not accidental! You can create a deliberate, planned strategy to build an army of fans and leverage them to help you attract more engaged couples. Below are some top word of mouth strategies to get you started!
Know when to ask
The most important part of any word of mouth strategy is to ask at the right time. The best time to ask for a consumer referral is after you’ve completed your work for their wedding or event – right when they couldn’t be happier with the way it all turned out. Ask at the event (if the moment is right and you have the opportunity), include it in your review request emails, or put reminders on your website and even on your receipts and invoices. Remind them to tell their friends about your business if they know anyone recently engaged, and let them know you would really appreciate the help. Happy customers are typically more than willing to pass your business name along to others if you truly exceeded their expectations. All you have to do is ask!
Offer something in return
If you’re really trying to grow through word of mouth strategies, consider offering something in return for those customers who provide a referral. This takes a little more work on your end – you’ll need to be sure you can track referrals in order to provide incentives – but the prospect of receiving a benefit can help activate happy clients who need a little push to help you out. Offer a special discount code if the event hasn’t yet occurred, or throw in a free or discounted product if you can. If your business does repeat business (florists, bakers, photographers, DJs), offer a free or discounted product for the future. These sorts of perks will make clients more likely to tell their friends about your business.
Always say “thank you”
Regardless of whether or not you offer an incentive, always thank the customers who refer you to other couples. You can reach out privately or publicly to let them know that they’ve personally helped your wedding business grow. It’s great customer service, yes, but it also closes the loop once you receive the referral. A simple thank you note will suffice in most instances.
Go for the testimonial
Once a customer reviews your business or refers you to a friend, you’ll know that customer is willing to help you spread the word about your business. At this point, they’re your ally! When you reach out to thank them for referring you, be sure to ask permission to use their review or feedback and possibly name and photo as a testimonial on your website or blog. A testimonial is a great way for you to extend the life of a great customer’s words and use them in your own marketing materials.
What other word of mouth strategies have worked for your business?