» How to Create an Automatic Email Welcome Sequence to Book Couples Faster

wedding pros email marketing welcome sequence

Imagine this: A couple planning their wedding heads to your website after finding you on WeddingWire. They want to learn more about you, but aren’t quite ready to contact you for a quote yet, so they sign up for your email list. Minutes later, they get an email welcoming them to your list and introducing your business. They then receive various emails from you over the next 10 days that eventually persuade them to reach out for a quote.

The best part? You can make all of this happen on autopilot. With an email marketing system like ActiveCampaign or MailerLite, you can set up emails that will automatically be sent to new subscribers. Here’s a brief tutorial on how to set it up in most email tools:

1. Create a form that requires a first name and email, and embed the form on your website.
2. Click on Automations and start creating your automated sequence.
3. Start with a trigger. Set the trigger to be activated when someone fills out your form that you just created.
4. Add a step to send your next email, and create your email.
5. Add a step with the setting to wait 1-2 days.
6. Repeat step 4 and 5 until you reach the end of your sequence.

Now, let’s talk about what should go into your welcome email sequence. This automation should have five emails set to send out every other day. Here’s what each email should include:

Email 1: Intro & What to Expect

In this email, start off by thanking the new subscriber for signing up for your emails. Tell them a little bit about you; what your business is all about, why you love what you do, and who you love working with. Then, let them know to expect lots of valuable advice in their inbox in the coming days.

Email 2: Value, Value, Value!

Give the subscriber an incredible piece of advice pertaining to your niche in this email. They will be excited to receive some advice instead of a sales pitch, especially if your tips are truly helpful. In order to make sure this email wows the subscriber, offer a tip about something most couples wouldn’t even think of.

Email 3: Fight Objections

What are some of the most common objections you hear from couples? It could be that your service is too expensive, they don’t see why it’s important, you don’t have enough reviews, etc. Pick one of those big objections and tell the subscriber why they shouldn’t let it worry them. This is your chance to fight objections before they are even brought up. However, don’t pitch your services just yet.

Email 4: Bust Some Myths

In this email, talk about common myths surrounding your niche. Some examples could be that videography is always expensive, you don’t need a wedding planner when you can DIY, no one has ever had great food at a wedding, etc. Talk about why those myths are false and give examples of your work or reviews to prove it.

Email 5: Sell Yourself

Now that you have introduced yourself, shared advice, fought objections, and dispelled common myths, it’s time to pitch your services. Remind them what you specialize in and how much you love what you do. Tell them that you would love to hear about their dream wedding, and ask them to reply and share their ideas so you can help bring them to life.

After going through this email sequence, your subscribers will love and trust you, which will make them more likely to reach out for a quote!

» Tips for Managing Your Email Communications

Tips for managing email communicationsWhen 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.

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» Is Your Digital Content the Right Length?

Creating digital contentWhen it comes to writing for your wedding business, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. The messaging in your blog posts should be consistent with your content your website, and your emails and social media posts should also reflect the same tone and voice. With all of those considerations, it’s easy to write too much (or sometimes too little) to keep it all straight!

If you’ve ever wondered how long your pieces of digital content should be, you’re not alone. Luckily for you, there’s a ton of research on exactly how long your digital content should be for ideal exposure and views on the various channels. Below are some of the findings:

Facebook. Research shows that posts shorter than 40 characters (meaning words and spaces or punctuation) had 86% higher engagement rates than longer posts. This isn’t to say that long Facebook posts are useless – in a lot of cases, there’s no way to condense information into less than 40 characters. If you can squeeze posts to under 80 characters, they get 66% more “likes” and comments.

Twitter. Twitter, unlike Facebook, is already very limited in the amount of content users can post. Ideal post length on Twitter is actually longer than ideal post length on Facebook, but it’s an easy number to remember: 100 characters. Twitter’s own research shows that medium-length tweets get the most re-tweets. Why? If users want to “quote” the tweet or retweet and add their own thoughts, they have enough characters left to do so. For optimally shareable tweets, aim for 70-100 characters.

Headlines. If you have a blog, pay close attention to this one! Just like people scan blog posts, (sad, but true) they scan the headlines. The maximum word count for headlines is just six words. Research shows that if a headline is longer than that, readers only look at the first three words and the last three words. Consequently, keeping headlines to six or fewer words ensures that readers pay attention to the whole headline. Plus, Google typically only displays 50-60 characters of the title in search results, so the shorter, the better!

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» Mobile Marketing for Wedding Professionals

Mobile Marketing for Wedding ProfessionalsWith all the components of digital marketing to keep track of, mobile marketing may not be a high priority. Much of the research and articles written about mobile marketing suggest that your business create a fully responsive website, send SMS messages or create a mobile app.

OK, so your wedding business probably won’t be creating its own mobile app, but that doesn’t mean you can’t optimize your marketing efforts for mobile devices! Mobile marketing for wedding professionals is a whole different ball game, and with your limited time to dedicate to mobile marketing strategy you might feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry! There are a number of small things you can do that will have a big impact on your business’ ability to reach couples wherever they’re spending their time.

Below are the areas you should focus on mobilizing for your business so every couple who interacts with your business in some way gets the best experience, no matter the device!

Mobile website: Before you protest that you don’t have enough time to create a mobile website, read further! You don’t have to have a separate mobile website for your business; the key here is to ensure that your existing website functions well on a mobile device. Use your phone to check out your website on your smartphone. Is the text too small to read easily? Do you have trouble clicking on individual links? Do you have to zoom in and out with your fingers to navigate through the site? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you have some optimizing to do! WeddingWire offers our Mobile Website Creator to premium Pros, which simply requires you to paste a quick bit of code to your website and voila! You’re done and have a mobile-friendly site. Some website providers, like WordPress, also provide similar plugins that may be worth checking out.

Mobile-friendly email: Email marketing can be a very useful tool for many Wedding Pros, but unfortunately many of the beautiful emails you design don’t look so beautiful on mobile. Luckily for you, most email marketing platforms now offer desktop and mobile versions of their own templates, or they offer responsive designs that work on all devices. Unluckily for you, there are still a number of considerations you should still be aware of even if you have separate versions of your emails. You should be prepared to examine your versions and make adjustments where necessary. Remember that big buttons are easier to click than smaller text links, and keep your content as short as you can in your mobile versions. It’s difficult to read a lot of text on a mobile device without breaking it up with other design elements, so bear that in mind as you make adjustments and always review your emails on both desktop and mobile before sending.  Continue reading

» 4 Email Marketing Metrics to Track

4 Email Marketing Metrics to Track

Of the major marketing tactics employed these days, email marketing is one of the least used by wedding professionals. In order for email marketing to be a viable option, you must have a solid email list. But if your “client” is an engaged couple who’ve booked your product or service for their wedding, they might not be a repeat customer, in which case it doesn’t make sense to email them about your business on a semi-regular basis. This is often true for Pros in the Venue, Dress & Attire, Officiant and Wedding Planning categories.

For many service categories in the wedding and events industry, though, there is the possibility of repeat customers. Bands, Caterers, DJs, Florists and Photographers are the types of Pros that clients may go back to for future events if they had a great experience. To capitalize on those opportunities and stay top-of-mind for those past clients, email marketing is a great tactic!

Email marketing is a valuable tool because everyone has an email address (or two or three!). And better yet, people are accessing emails 24/7 through both their computers and mobile devices. But for those who are just starting out with email, it can be hard to figure out how to measure success.

Below are four email marketing metrics to track so your business can determine the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns (and improve on them in the future):

Open rates

The open rate of an email is usually the first metric most businesses will look at to understand the success of the email. The open rate tells you the percentage of those who opened your email out of the total number sent. Since people can’t possibly click through the content in your email without opening it first, the open rate of your email is the first step in determining whether or not your email is resonating with your audience. A good open rate is a good indicator that your subject line for the email was engaging and relevant to your audience!

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» How to Stand Out in the Evolving Inbox

Email marketing plays a key role in your business’ success, but we know inside the inbox can seem like a scary place. What should you say to keep your clients engaged? What makes your recipients open your email or click on your links? How do you reach your target audience on-the-go?

WeddingWire Education Guru, Alan Berg, and Senior Email Marketing Manager, Matt Byrd, shared tips to effectively communicate with clients through email. Attendees learned how small changes to your email marketing strategy can reap big rewards for your business.

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Be sure to review the full webinar in our Education Center for all the interesting email marketing tips! Remember, all of our past webinars are available in our Education Center to watch at your convenience. Stay tuned for info on next month’s webinar!

» Build Your Brand: Social Email Signatures

It’s one of the little things that can make a big difference – social email signatures. Sites like WiseStamp help you add social media buttons, RSS feeds and more to your own personalized email signature. The service is free and works on Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.

Adding links from your emails to your Facebook, Twitter, blog and website will give those you interact with on a daily basis the ability to quickly and easily learn more about your company and establish a greater connection.

Watch the short video below to see how it works:

» Think Email Marketing is Going Away?

Think again. Over 88%* of us check our email at least one time a day. And with the rise in mobile popularity, email is still an effective marketing tool that deserves some attention. Think about it – it’s low in cost, it allows you to target your audience AND it provides ongoing communication between you and your clients. So with that said, here are a few tips to think about when composing your email campaigns:

  • Good lists yield desired results: Find ways to constantly build your lists (e.g. bridal shows, website, blog) all while making sure to capture the right info (e.g. name, email address, wedding date, wedding location, etc.). We also recommend grouping your list (e.g. by wedding date, location, etc.) so you can better target your audience.
  • Think short, sweet and pretty: Put yourself in the shoes of your audience for a second – what is your initial reaction when you open an email that is full of words and no pictures? Exactly. Keep your messaging relevant and to the point, and include graphics.
  • Don’t forget the “call to action”: Provide your readers with a “call to action” in your email, whether a link to your website, WeddingWire reviews, blog or social media accounts. This will help you further promote your business and reach your clients.

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» What does your email address say about you?

Email Addresses as branding for your businessCan your email address build your brand?  Absolutely.  Part of my job here at WeddingWire is to manage our email communications with our member base.  When I look at an email list of vendors I’m constantly amazed with how many vendors still use email addresses from Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, and local ISP’s (ie – Verizon, SBC Global) as their business email address.  What’s more amazing is that they have websites with their own personal URL.  If you own your domain name, there’s no reason for you to not have an email address that uses your domain.  Having your company name in your email address is branding and I’d say adds to your credibility. It’s an ultra competitive wedding market right now and these are the little things that speak to your credibility as a business owner. This is one of those things that potential clients won’t notice when you have your domain in your email address, but when you don’t, it definitely gets noticed.

It’s easier than ever to use your domain in your email address.  If you host with a company like 1and1.com or GoDaddy.com, then you defintely have email addresses waiting for you.  If you use a private company to manage your website, contant them about new emails immediately as they should have emails for you as well.  Even if you’re a true do it yourselfer and host your website on a computer in your own home and only have a domain, Google Apps provides business solutions to manage email through Gmail while still maintaining email addresses that end in your domain and not gmail.com.

The bottom line is having your company in your email address is a must these days.  Even you think too many people have your current email address to change, simply start replying to emails with your new one and people will have your and improved email address.