» 3 Unique Ways to Collect More Reviews

Building online credibility by collecting reviews from past clients is an important aspect of your business’ marketing. While your clients probably tell you they are going to write you a review, you may find getting them to follow through is time consuming and difficult.

Our Review Collector Tool is a great way to send a personalized email to your past clients to request reviews and easily track the status through your WeddingWire account. But what happens if you’ve tried this tactic already, maybe even more than once? Are there other ways to collect reviews if your client isn’t responding to your emails?

Below are three unique ways you may not have tried to reach out and collect more reviews from your past clients!

3 Unique Ways to Collect More Reviews1. Send a handwritten note

Because everything is online, your email may get lost in the chaos of a client’s inbox. To get their attention, consider sending a thank you note to your clients. While this may take a little more time than sending an email, a handwritten note will stand out and be appreciated. It’s a personalized way to not only congratulate them on their wedding (or event) but ask them to post a review for you! Just be sure to make it clear in your note that they can review you by going to your Storefront, and include the link whenever possible.

Pro Tip: Consider ending the thank you note with the request to leave a review so it’s the last sentence they read. The request will be fresher in their minds!

2. Use social media

Have you considered using a Facebook private message to solicit reviews? If you find your clients are active on Facebook, try sending them a private message. When your client reads the message, they are more apt to leave you a review when they’re already online. It’s also a good idea to post regular review reminders with your Storefront link so that your followers know reviews are important to your business.

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» Celebrating Our 100 Review Club

Celebrating Our 100 Review ClubIt’s the 100th day of the year, and we’d like to use this day to recognize the elite group of WeddingWire Pros who’ve made it into our WeddingWire Rated™ 100 Review Club!

The WeddingWire Rated™ program recognizes wedding professionals across the U.S. and abroad for commitment to providing quality service by allowing them to showcase different badges based on their number of wedding reviews. WeddingWire members with a minimum average rating of 3.5 are eligible to receive new badges when they reach 3, 10, 25, 50 and 100 review levels. The more reviews you collect, the higher your WeddingWire Rated™ status!

Vendors who have made it into the 100 Review Club are part of an exclusive group of premium Pros who have worked hard to earn more than 100 wedding reviews while maintaining an average rating of 3.5 or higher. We’re celebrating all the hard work it took to reach the coveted WeddingWire Rated™ Black Badge with a new page to showcase the winners! Be sure to check out the new WeddingWire Rated™ 100 Review Club page today.

With 95% of engaged couples using online reviews to select their Pros, reviews from your past clients are extremely important! Below are just a few of the benefits reviews can have on your business:

  1. Reviews create consumer trust because they come from other consumers, not your business! In fact, 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  2. Having a high average rating as you collect more reviews shows consistency in your work. Seeing that other couples are all saying the good things about your business helps other couples make decisions.
  3. Reviews can help increase your number of inquiries – our research shows that average Storefront traffic increases 106% for Pros with 11-20 reviews!

And don’t forget – collecting all your reviews in one place makes research easier for engaged couples. They can search for your business and find examples of your work, an explanation of your services, your contact information and your reviews all on WeddingWire. WeddingWire also helps you monitor and manage your online reputation by notifying you every time you receive a new review. Check out your current reviews, and request reviews from past clients here.

Happy 100th Day of the Year, Pros!

» Join the Winner’s Circle!

This winter, get noticed for your hard work by earning your WeddingWire Rated™ Badge or advancing to the next badge level! You’ll be sure to catch the eye of searching engaged couples with this prestigious award displayed on your Storefront and marketing materials.

As you continue to collect more reviews, you’ll earn higher badge levels to show off your great client feedback and business ratings. How many reviews do you need to get to gold status or to become an elite member of the 100+ Reviews Club?

Join the winner’s circle by collecting and showcasing your reviews. We make it easy to send and track customizable review requests using the Review Collector tool.

Join the winner's circle

Unsure about the power of reviews? Check out our past webinar Best Practices to Stand Out with Reviews for effective review strategies from top Pros like you, and our infograohic 10 Ways to Get More Reviews for tips to take your business to the next level!

» Small Business Marketing: Are You Holding Yourself Back?

With the world becoming increasingly digital, there’s a website for almost any imaginable idea, event, company or person. In addition to a website, many entities expand their reach by setting up social networking profiles, mobile websites, and profiles on other industry websites and communities.

So how can it be that so many small business owners have not adopted modern technology to assist in their marketing efforts? According to a recent survey by Yodle, more than half (52%) of SMB owners do not have a website, or even measure the results of their marketing programs. Even worse, only 1 in 10 small businesses have figured out how to use social media or online advertising.

Small Business Marketing: Are You Holding Yourself Back?In this day and age, you cannot afford to hold yourself back by not having an online presence. Think about it from an engaged couple’s perspective: are you willing to hire a company who doesn’t have a website or has one of poor quality that is hard to navigate? How can you trust this service’s work without being able to do online research? If the company can’t afford a website, how can they be successful?

At WeddingWire, we’re constantly improving our services to be a true technology partner for small businesses. Wedding and event professionals like you should be able to focus on what you love to do, and we make that easy through our industry-focused business management and marketing tools. We make it simple and quick to build a strong online reputation with reviews, create a mobile site, set up and manage social media in one place, and more. WeddingWire’s suite of online tools, available to our premium members, help you easily manage your business and get back to doing what you love!

If your business is missing a website or other key online elements, here’s how WeddingWire can help:

1.  Create a Storefront. Your WeddingWire Storefront is a customizable area for you to describe your business services to prospective clients. Here you can upload photos, collect reviews, display your services and a include variety of other important aspects of your business! Your Storefront will be seen by engaged couples searching for wedding and event vendors in your chosen category and region. Continue reading

» 10 Ways to Get More Reviews

Building a strong reputation is a crucial element to success in the fast-paced and competitive wedding and events industry. Reviews, ratings and referrals all play an important role in developing a strong online relationship, but we know collecting this feedback can sometimes seem daunting. Learn how to effectively collect reviews in this infographic!

10 Ways to Get More Reviews

Love the infographic? Share it! Also, find more great images and inforgraphics for your business in WeddingWireEDU’s Pinterest account!

» Pro Feedback from the 2012 Annual Survey

At WeddingWire, one of our core values is to delight our customers and we take feedback from our members very seriously! Our team collects and shares feedback daily— from messages we receive on social media, to ideas and thoughts shared with our Account Managers and Customer Success teams, and even conversations at events. In addition, we like to proactively ask for your thoughts and feedback through surveys. We greatly appreciate your time and insight!

Firstly, a BIG thank you to the thousands of wonderful basic and premium WeddingWire members who took the time to complete our 2012 Annual Survey to share their thoughts and feedback. This information is an invaluable tool as we continue to provide the industry’s leading tools and technology.

We thought you might be curious to know what other Wedding Pros like you had to say! Here are some top 2012 Annual Survey takeaways:

  • The average WeddingWire member has been in the business 11 or more years
  • 2/3rds of premium members, with access to monthly educational webinars, said the information learned has had a direct positive impact to their business
  • Premium member’s favorite tools are the Review Collector and the Video Builder.

WeddingWire members also shared their thoughts on their WeddingWire account. We learned their favorite attributes include many of the pillars that we have built our business around, including:

  • The ability to collect and showcase reviews and endorsements – Collecting Reviews is the #1 way to build your online reputation and you should focus on the four main factors of effective reviews: Quantity, Quality, Recency and Consistency!
  • Business management tools available to premium members – Over the past year, we have introduced many new marketing and business management tools to effectively Power Your Business. Building additional tools, as well as continuing to improve existing ones, is a top priority for WeddingWire in 2013!
  • Qualified leads and website traffic are the most important factors in determining how to spend advertising dollars – The WeddingWire Network receives an average of 40 million monthly visits; continuing our historical trend of 100% year-over-year growth. With the leading sites in the industry, premium placement allows your business to reach more engaged couples who are searching for their perfect vendors.
  • Educational materials, monthly webinars and local networking events – We want you to succeed, which is why we spend our effort on creating educational opportunities and facilitating networking through events and online forums. We are committed to bringing you the resources your business needs through daily educational articles, monthly educational webinars for premium members and weekly networking events in cities throughout the US.
  • Easy to use user interface and account setup – It is our mission to help your business grow, and we are always working to update our product offering to ensure creating, navigating and using your account is as easy as possible.  Last year, we launched a re-designed account navigation, and conducted user testing sessions prior to new updates and tools.

Of course, there is always room for improvement! Here is some of the top feedback from our members on ways we can improve in the future:

  • Education about new WeddingWire tools. The great news is that we have started to conduct training sessions and educational how-to articles surrounding tool launches, and plan to continue to develop new programs and training opporunities in 2013!
  • More account support available would be helpful. Our Customer Success team is here to help – and quickly growing! These managers are great dedicated resources for premium members to learn the best way to get a return on investment, get advice and use the available marketing and business management tools.

We love to hear the feedback and information from our members, and enjoy learning from your needs and experiences. As a thank you, we held a prize drawing for all survey participants. Congratulations to the winner, Julie McCullough of Florida Beach Weddings by Julie, who received an iPad mini!

We look forward to continuing to grow and develop new ways to help your business succeed in the future!


» Reviews 101 – Getting Started

Here at WeddingWire, we believe that it is important for Pros to have many reviews to showcase your work through the eyes of clients! Engaged couples browsing our vendor catalogs are more likely to click into a listing with 10 reviews than a vendor with 1 review. Consider when you are shopping online at a site such as Amazon. Do you purchase from a seller with only one review (even if it is a perfect score), or do you go for the more consistent seller with a very strong but not perfect rating, but over 20 reviews? The large majority go with more reviews, which indicates consistency.

We know that reviews can be a pain point for some Pros. Sometimes, no matter how amazing your services were, it can be impossible to please a couple which can result in a not-so-great review, or you may feel uncomfortable making the request. We encourage Pros to request reviews from all clients, to grow a strong, consistent database of valuable client feedback. Having many reviews also helps to deflect from the one review that may not have been as positive as you would like. WeddingWire provides you with tools to make requesting and tracking your reviews easy.

How do I get reviews?

Make sure that you’re discussing reviews early in the planning process with your couples. If you mention that you’re going to be asking for a review from the couple early in your relationship, then when you actually request the review it will simply serve as a reminder for them. Keep in mind: couples do not have to make accounts on WeddingWire to write you a review. They simply have to provide us with an email address and password in case they want to edit their review or if we need to contact them regarding the validity of their review.

The easiest way to request reviews from past clients is to use our Review Collector Tool, located in premium member’s Home tab under “Reviews.” In this tab, we provide easy ways to upload your clients contact information, an email template that can be personalized, and a tracking tool to see if the request was received and added.

With these helpful tips and tools, requesting reviews from previous clients is easy! Check out Reviews 101 part two – Showcasing Your Reviews!

» Effective Ways to Get More Inquiries

All businesses want inquiries. Every Wedding Pro wants potential clients actively reaching out and requesting information about their services for their upcoming wedding or event. Simply creating a listing about your business doesn’t guarantee you business. It’s important that you develop, manage, and maintain your listing over time to maximize your business exposure and that you are showcasing your work to engage with interested parties.

Here at WeddingWire, we often use a billboard analogy. If you buy a billboard on the highway and don’t put anything on it, that billboard is not going to bring about much business for you. You need to make sure that you have eye-catching content and information that pushes couples to contact you.

Customer Success Managers and Account Managers are often asked by Pros, “How can I get more inquiries?” While there is no finite formula to get couples clicking and calling to encompass all Wedding and Event Pros, we do have some effective tips and best practices to drive interest and therefore, inquiries!

In addition to considering premium placement, which lists your business before basic listings and highlights your account, having a ton of great reviews will help to bring potential clients to you Storefront.

If you believe that you could be getting more inquiries from couples calling and emailing you saying they found you on WeddingWire, it could be time for a Storefront face lift.

Here are some top tips for changing the appearance of your Storefront:

Swap out your Main Image. Even though your Main Image could be your favorite picture, it might not be helping to drive couples to your Storefront. Remember: couples looking at WeddingWire and our partner sites tend to respond to “aspirational” images. Your Main Image should showcase a couple or wedding party celebrating or using your product. Make sure that your pictures are bright, clear and colorful! Double check your Main Image in the vendor catalog after you choose it. You don’t want any important parts cut off or zoomed-in too far.

Change your Tagline. Your Tagline appears along with your company name, Main Image and number of reviews in the vendor catalog. If you’re not getting the clicks that you want, change it up! Instead of saying “Since 1942” for your Tagline, try “Hosting Gorgeous Weddings for Decades…” Instead of “Photojournalistic and Editorial Photography” try “The Beauty of Your Big Day Captured for a Lifetime”.

Edit your About Us section. Is your About Us section too long? Does it take several “scrolls” to get to where your Photos section is? Shorten it! Do you have only one sentence in this section? Add more content! Your About Us section should be a teaser that not only provides information about your company, but also pushes couples through to your website and to other sections of your Storefront. Make sure that there aren’t any typos or spelling errors and that the format looks clean.

Pick new pictures. For premium members on WeddingWire, there are an unlimited number of albums and pictures that you can add to your Photos section. Upload a new album (or two) with 15-25 professional pictures and change the order of your albums. This way, you’re adding content for couples to click through. By swapping your old albums for your new ones, you’re changing the look of your listing.

Add a video. Videos not only help to boost the SEO for your listing, but they also keep potential clients on your page for longer. Make new videos using the Video Builder, or embed videos from this past wedding season.

Highlight a recent review. A lot of the time, upgraded Wedding Pros will highlight a review on their Storefront and never bother to choose a new one. It’s important that the review you have highlighted is not only flattering to your company, but it also should be from a wedding within the past calendar year to show you consistently get great reviews, and have recent experience.

Most importantly: keep getting great reviews! Try using our Request Reviews Tool. You can also use our Reviews Widget and you can send out your Personalized Review URL to your past clients. All couples will want an idea of what to expect from your business. Make sure that you have a lot of examples!

» 5 Steps to Build Your Online Reputation: Part 3

 

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire. You can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

 

 

As the final installment in the “5 Steps to Build Your Online Reputation” series, we will focus on how to turn negatives into positives! Also, be sure to review  Part 1 featuring the importance of knowing what your audience is saying about you and your business, and Part 2, focused on the importance of collecting feedback and how to gather effective reviews.

Turn Negatives into Positives – Unfortunately, sometimes we all get negative feedback. Don’t let the fear of a negative review, post or comment hold your business back! The biggest key to handling negative feedback is to take emotion out of the equation. You want to make sure you stick to the facts, but at the same time be understanding of someone else’s point of view. Try to stay positive and take the high road with any negative comments. By responding in a sincere and understanding manner, others will see and respect your professionalism. Additionally, we have found a few outlier reviews that are less than perfect can help actually enhance your overall credibility and drive more client interest. After all, no one is perfect all the time! Today’s consumers simply want to make informed decisions for their big day.

Engaged couples have a plethora of choices when it comes to planning their wedding. Make sure to stand out from the competition by building a great online reputation full of great reviews, testimonials, social mentions and endorsements.

What are you waiting for? Take credit for a wedding well done and request reviews today!

» 5 Steps to Build Your Online Reputation: Part 2

 

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire. You can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

 

 

Yesterday, we featured Part 1 of “5 Steps to Build Your Online Reputation,” featuring the importance of knowing what your audience is saying about you and your business, and how to make feedback an important part of your business process from the start.

Review the next two keys to building a powerful online reputation below, and check back soon for the final step!

All Types of Feedback are Welcome – The more positive feedback you receive, the better results you will see for your business.  Reviews are the most powerful form of client feedback, but don’t forget about testimonials, social mentions and endorsements.  Testimonials have always been a strong way to gather feedback on your own website or blog.  Social mentions and likes can be a quick and easy way to get clients to leave feedback.  Getting a bride or groom to ‘like’ your business on Facebook only takes seconds, but can reach a large audience.  Finally, endorsements from other wedding professionals can show your expertise within an industry context.  We have made it simple to collect all forms of feedback on WeddingWire to help strengthen your business reputation.

Pro Tips:

  • 95% of engaged couples use online reviews to select their wedding vendors
  • Double-digit reviews drive more success! Our research shows that businesses with 11 or more reviews get +106% more traffic to their profiles and listings
  •  52% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations
  • When you receive a positive feedback, share the good news on your website, blog and social media!
  • Be sure to follow up and thank your clients for taking the time to provide feedback

Remember the Four Keys – The four keys for effective reviews are: Quality, Quantity, Consistency and Recency. Receiving high quality reviews are important because they show you provide great results, and that your previous clients were very happy with your service. A high quantity of reviews shows your track record of a lot of business, and therefore a lot of experience! The more reviews you receive over time shows your consistency from year to year, and helps to ensure potential clients of what they can expect. Finally, it is important for you to continue to request new, recent reviews so that engaged couples know you are still on top of your game!

Pro Tips:

  • WeddingWire recently launched our new Review Collector Tool, which makes it simple to get reviews from your past clients.  Simply enter email addresses of past clients, craft a message and it will automatically send emails to gather reviews on your behalf.

» Request and Track Reviews with the New Review Collector Tool

WeddingWire just made it even easier to get more reviews! Our new Review Collector Tool makes it simple for your business to get more reviews, and also track your requests from past clients.

Get More Reviews

  • Request reviews from your past clients with a simple and customizable email template
  • Import your contacts with ease directly from Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Windows or a CSV file
  • Get a personalized review URL to send to past clients or add to marketing collateral
  • Add a new Review Us button to your website or blog to remind your clients to review your services

Track Your Requests

  • As a paying member, we will send email reminders on your behalf to clients who haven’t responded
  • Check out the status of your requests and see how many have been sent, opened and completed
  • Easily view your new reviews and respond to thank your past clients

Showcase My Reviews

  • Share your awards based on your reviews, including WeddingWire Rated
  • Add the My Review Widget to your business website, which is automatically updated with new reviews
  • Place a unique QR code on your website or blog so customers can use their phones to quickly access your Storefront and reviews

We are very excited to help your business grow and connect to new potential clients by generating more past client reviews! Check out the new Review Collector Tool in your account, and get started today!

Have questions? The WeddingWire team is here to help!