Question of the Week: How Do I Figure Out Which Source of Leads Is Profitable?

Brides walking


Hi Stephanie,

The biggest frustration is figuring out which source of leads would be



That is a challenge!

You ask how can you figure out which source of leads would be profitable, meaning when you haven’t tried the particular bridal lead source yet.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to guarantee any particular source of leads will make you money until you try it out.

Every wedding business is different and not all leads are created equal.  You might get a lot of leads from a particular source, but they might not be profitable for you because those leads are not your target market.  For example, you work with creative, artistic brides and the bridal leads you’re getting are for practical, pared down brides who aren’t interested in your services.

But you can minimize the loss and maximize your chance of making a profit by taking these actions before making the investment of time and/or money in that lead source.

1)  Do your homework first.

Find out everything you can about that particular source of leads.

  • Where do these leads come from?
  • How are they collected?
  • Have they specifically requested information from you or is a generic list?
  • What demographic are these leads?  Are they local?  What is the average wedding budget of these leads?
  • If it’s a website, how many unique visitors does it get per month?  How many page views?
  • If it’s a bridal show, where and how often do they advertise?
  • Can they give you references to contact?

Ask your friends about their experience with the lead source.  Search the internet for reviews or negative comments.

Don’t simply listen to the sales pitch; do a little digging to see if this makes lead source is likely to work for you.  If it passes your homework test, move on to step two…

2) Test small before you invest big.

Many types of bridal advertising may offer a monthly trial or no commitment listing to test it out.  If you’re considering a more expensive campaign, you may be able to test those ads on Facebook before you pay the big bucks for a print ad.

Whenever you try something new, test it out small before rolling it out big.  This way you can minimize your expenses if it doesn’t work out.  If it’s profitable, you can always double down later on.

3) Track and test meticulously.

There is no way to identify which source of leads would is profitable unless you know specifically where each and every lead is coming from.

  • Use Google Analytics on your website to track where your website traffic comes from and prove which online advertising is working for you.
  • Set up a tracking system for your offline advertising and make sure you ask every single lead how they found you.
  • Once you have your stats, you’ll know what’s working and you can experiment and test to figure out how to make it work better.

4) Evaluate your lead sources regularly to determine where your best money-making leads come from; invest more in what’s already working and ditch what isn’t.

At least once every three months, analyze your lead tracking and see where your best leads are coming from.  Keep a close eye on your sources of website traffic, phone calls and referrals.

Your best chance of a profitable marketing investment is to spend money on what’s already proven to work.

5) Test, test and test again!

Before you dump a source of advertising, figure out which link in your sales chain is broken.  An ineffective ad on a bridal website that gets thousands of bride visitors per day won’t make you any money because brides don’t click on it.

If you can, switch your ads or try something new.  When you find something that works, make small changes to see if you can get it to work better.

Nancy, you’re smart to focus on getting more profitable leads and not just getting of them.  Keep up the great work!

Got a wedding business question you want answered?  Email Stephanie & Jeff and you could be the next Question of the Week!  All personal details about your identity will be removed unless you specify otherwise.


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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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5 thoughts on “5 Steps to Money-Making Bridal Leads”

  1. Anonymous says:

    These are great tips.
    It is also good to hear from other photographers as to what does work and what doesn’t work.

  2. Anonymous says:


    Thanks for the article. Over the 7+ years we’ve been shooting weddings I have tried the following: AdWords, WeddingWire, WeDJ, PartyPop, WedAlert, and Decidio. Of these, AdWords has given the most profitable results and ROI.

    However, the two that I didn’t mention above which have proven over and over, year after year, have been to be highly ranked on Google in the organic listings and our Facebook fan page. Both are free (with a lot of work) but both send us awesome leads. We fill up every year and have as many weddings as we want. We passed on over 15 weddings this year alone.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the information. My questions is should you pay for a lead. I’ve seen some sites that want you to send a proposal to the bride first, or another site charges 2.50 per lead. Do they make since to give them a try.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I would also add… a simple way to track the best profitable sources: For each client you get, track the source, total dollars spent with you, and your total cost for that client.

    Track this over time to see which sources provide the most profit… with this and the things that Stephanie mentioned, you can easily see which sources provide you the best profit.

    1. Great tip, Shane!

      When we take the guess work out of it and look at the real numbers, the profitable investments become obvious.

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