Now that you know what NOT to do when you respond to that lead, let’s get to the good stuff!
Here are four strategies that leave her begging for more. (Watch our free video series to learn how to follow up automatically!)
1. Respond instantly with video.
Fast response is critical. The best time to respond is within 5 minutes. (Kellogg’s School of Management.)
Waiting even one measly hour means you are 21x less likely to reach the bride.
I don’t expect you to stay glued to your computer or smart phone all day long. I mean, we live in a real world full of driveways that need shoveling, families that need feeding, toenails that need clipping. (Maybe that’s just my world.)
But don’t make the common mistake of sending this boring autoreply: “Thanks! We’ll respond within 24 hours.” It doesn’t do anything for you.
Send her a link to your super cool welcome video in that autoreply and you will instantly stand out from the competition.
In your video, say hello. Show off your personality. Above all, invite her to take an action.
Rev up her interest. Arouse her curiosity. Get her to take another action and she’ll be primed to respond.
2. Set a date and seal it with a kiss.
Instead of mentioning what the bride can do, “if she wants,” the way most wedding vendors do, tell her exactly what to do and when to do it. Nicely, of course.
Guide her to the desired action by asking a direct question. Why a question? Because questions require an ANSWER. In other words, she’ll be compelled to respond.
Finally, end with an enthusiastic greeting indicating that you expect to get a response.
- Determine the very next action you want her to take. For most wedding vendors, this is a phone call because once you get her on the phone, setting the meeting is easy.
- Ask a specific question setting a date for that action, like this: Are you available for a quick phone chat at 4pm tomorrow?
- Ask your question at the very end of your email in a paragraph all on its own so that it stands out.
- Seal the deal with a “kiss,” like this: Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!
Asking a question to set a specific date for a chat makes a HUGE difference in the response you get. Try it and see.
3. Be so different it makes her laugh. Or at least snicker.
Check out how your competition is responding and do something completely different.
The first sentence or two of your email usually shows up in the “preview” before the bride even opens her email. Take advantage of this fact and make it intriguing.
Think outside the box. What can you write that will make her want to read more?
Jane, I’m about to share advice from real brides that may shock you because it goes against everything you’ve been told about planning a wedding…
What will June 17, 2013 (her wedding date) be like?
Warning: don’t read this email unless you have a bathroom nearby!
Okay, I got a little crazy with that last one, but that’s kind of the point. You need to be different enough to get attention, then arouse enough curiosity to make her want to read more. Now.
4. Give her a deadline.
Prepare to be shocked by this fact:
People are lazy.
Okay, maybe that isn’t so shocking, especially if you have children. Or a husband.
It’s a quirk of humanity that we tend to conserve our actions unless absolutely necessary. In other words, we don’t take action until we HAVE to.
Yet tell us that we’re about to lose something and we’ll hop to faster than a bunny rabbit in a frying pan.
Include a deadline or a limited time offer in your reply to give the bride an incentive to respond fast.
This might be:
- Contact us by Friday for a special deal.
- All couples who meet with us by March 31st get a free bonus.
- We have another couple inquiring about your date, so call me tonight to confirm our availability. (Only if this is true.)
When you let the bride know that you won’t be around forever, it gets her off her butt and into action.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to strategies to warm up those leads and get a response so you can book more weddings!
Want to Learn More Disastrous Mistakes to Avoid?
*For the sake of brevity I have chosen to use the words “bride” and “she” in this blog post. I’m not suggesting that only brides or heterosexual couples plan a wedding. Really. I just happen to like ladies and ticking off really uptight people.