A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post asking the question, “Do Bridal Lead Lists Actually Work?” and shared it on Linked In.

Before we dive into what we uncovered, let’s quickly define what we’re talking about when we say, “bridal lead list.”

We’re talking about those icy cold lead lists you buy either in bulk from wedding directory sites, magazines and bridal shows, or individually from lead generating sites like They are brides or grooms who haven’t met you, haven’t visited your website, and tend to be more price motivated.

Well, leave it to the innovative and helpful members of the wedding business community to not only answer that provocative question, but to share strategies for following up with bridal leads that work and alternatives that work even better.

Are you ready? Because these guys knocked my socks off.

The Reality of Bridal Lead Lists

The owner of A Better DJ and Photographer shared his results from bridal lead lists.

Based on his experience with hundreds of thousands of bridal lead lists:

  • 4% actually respond by phone or email.
  • 50% of those that call book immediately.
  • Calls his wife takes book 100% of the time.
  • Calls he takes book 85% of the time.

These results are actually high, which indicates an offer that is a good match for these type of bridal leads; most wedding pros get a response from 1% of these leads. Yeah, not too impressive, huh?

Out of 100 bridal list leads you contact, expect only 1-4 of them to respond.

What is A Better DJ and Photography doing right with these bridal leads? He’s tracking and measuring his results.

He knows exactly how many leads he’s going to book from that list, so he can easily decide if it’s worth his time and money. He even knows that it’s in his best interest to keep his wife glued to the phone!

An Alternative to Chasing Down Unresponsive Bridal Leads

Over time, A Better DJ and Photographer traded in his time chasing down unresponsive bridal leads like these for focus on search engine optimization for his website and social media. This results in higher quality, more targeted leads that he can book in less time.

“I used to invest 40-60 hours a week chasing leads…” he explains. “Now I invest 20 of those 40 to 60 hours into SEO each week and the other hours have been converted to actually booking clients.”

Nick Choroshyliw, owner of Rochester photography company, Nix Images, reported similarly disappointing results after two years of combined email and direct mail marketing to bridal show lead lists. In other words, these leads were mostly duds.

However, Nick struck upon a much more cost-effective strategy that DOES work with bridal show lead lists.

How to Book Bridal Show Leads Without Going to the Show!

No, we’re not suggesting that you hide in the parking lot and pounce on brides leaving the bridal show, throwing business cards or leave fliers on their windshields. That would be bad, bad juju.

Nick no longer attends these shows in person. Instead, he pays a much smaller fee to have his printed information added to the bridal gift bags distributed to every bride. This way, he gets his business in front of the 400-450 brides who receive the bag upon registration.

After the show, they sort through the cards they’ve collected from vendors…along with the ones that came “pre-stuffed” in the bag…and many end up contacting him.

“What’s interesting is that many of the brides who contacted me say that they liked my display at the show,” Nick says. “Well, I wasn’t at the show! My 6×8 glossy cards were stuffed in the information bags…The organizer charges a fraction of the cost…to stuff the cards into the bags and it appears that I actually get a better response than being there.”

If you can design a postcard that gets results, like the one Nix Images is using, this can be an effective, low cost alternative to getting quality leads from a bridal show.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience and ideas with us, guys!

Now I want to know…what’s YOUR experience with bridal lead lists? Do they work for you or do you have something better?

Photo Credit

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted By

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. :)

View all posts by

Leave a Facebook Comment

6 thoughts on “Disappointed with Bridal Lead Lists? These Two Strategies Book ‘Em Faster and Cheaper”

  1. Okay, I must be a sales-leper… I recently went to my second wedding show. The first one I managed to book ONE bride (and she was almost more haste than she was worth). This time I tried a little different technique. I spent my time trying to get brides to book appointments. Most of them didn’t want to schedule anything because “they didn’t know their schedule” or “they didn’t know their fiance’s schedule” so I just got their information and told them to expect an email or phone call from me within the week to schedule a meeting.

    My statistics:
    I got 50+ contacts (these are people who said they were looking for a photographer and actually gave me their information & seemed genuinely interested.)
    2 scheduled appointments during the show. (one of which is this weekend, I just need to confirm the location. I’ve sent messages, called & texted and she still has yet to respond)

    4 brides have answered the phone when I called:
    2 asked for me to call back, 1 said she already booked with a photographer (doubtful) 1 scheduled a meeting after the show, but she canceled it today. I asked if she wanted to reschedule to a later date and she said she would call (meaning “nope”)

    I have tracked some of my recent emails out of 12 tracked emails:
    6 have opened the email and spent at least 20 seconds on the page.
    0 responses as of yet from these leads.

    My emails start with the brides name and have some funny reference to her current possible stressful position, or mentioned her wedding date. I tried to keep it short, but also not go right into “selling” myself in the first sentence. I have a little call to action at the end asking to meet up over a cup of coffee…

    Any ideas? I’m treading water here.

    1. Brenna Catalano Rhoades says:

      Hi Kelly,

      I know Stephanie has seen your question and will be addressing it soon. In the meantime we suggest that you try for a phone call rather than a meeting in your email communications by asking them a direct question: “Are you available for a quick phone chat at 4pm tomorrow?” This is the next step to setting that meeting and it’s much less threatening.

      Brenna (Project Manager at BMB)

  2. Hi, I am participating in a bridal show next week..and my goal is to secure 1 to 2 brides during the show..any suggestions on how I can do this? I have met and heard of Wedding Planners doing it and I want to try my luck.

    1. It’s challenging to actually book weddings at the show because there are so many people and so little time to really connect with them. It ultimately yields better results to have a goal to set 10 meetings with brides (for example) because it gives you the chance to meet more and set appointments that turn to booked weddings.

      However, if you want to book weddings right at the show, these tips might help:

      • Qualify each bride/groom fast. Find out the date, if they’re available and if they are hiring a planner. If not, wish them well and move on.
      • Give them an incentive to book TODAY. Offer a discount, an extra bonus or some other incentive for couples who book at the show.
      • Prepare a mini 15 min sales meeting ahead of time and practice it.
      • Bring assistants to help you talk to as many couples as possible.
      • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t book two couples right at the show. The real magic is in the follow up.

  3. I very recently discovered a failed opportunity in some of my bridal lead lists. Case in point, I did a show summer of 2011 about 30 miles from my base of ops. Though I emailed the list a follow-up, I shied away from those with dates for this year. I travelled out of country that winter and never did any other follow-up all last year. This week, I dragged the list out and target all the 2013 brides. Too late? We’ll have to wait and see. This time, email, letter, and phone calls are my contact strategies.

    1. If you have your follow up down to a science, using templates, scripts and automation whenever possible, it’s worth a shot. You can usually find a couple good leads in a bunch of “cold” ones.
      I’d love to hear how it goes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *