Question: Why aren’t brides responding to my emails? Should I call them?

bride with wine

I have a question — I sent an email to two brides and used your idea of saying, “Do you have time to chat on the phone on Tuesday at 1:00?” Giving about 48 hours, so they’d have time to respond.  Neither of the girls who contacted me replied to that email.  Do I still call at Tuesday at 1:00??

~ Courtney

Answer – Part One

I wouldn’t call at the offered time without getting a response from the bride.  It’s not really a date unless they agree to it.  :)

Without seeing your email it’s hard for me to say why you didn’t get a response from either of them.  It could be something in your email or it could be that you aren’t attracting the right type of bride for you.

You can still call them at the time you suggested, but it will be a cold call since they won’t be expecting you.

Question Part Two

Hey Stephanie –

Thanks for answering my question!  My email had a subject that said, “Hey Tawana, Looking forward to September 02, 2012? which I included below”

Any idea why they didn’t respond?

Hey Tawana –

You can stop looking for a wedding photographer … you’ve found me!!  😉 I’m available on 9/2/12. I received your information from Atlanta Bride and Groom Planner. Are you available on Wednesday at 1:00 to chat on the phone about your wedding? Check out my website and blog and I’ll answer any questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!

 ~ Courtney

PS – See what my past brides have said about working with me on my site!

Answer Part Two

Ah, I think I see the trouble.

There are really two types of leads: the ones that contact you and the ones you’re chasing down.  The, “Are you available at 1pm tomorrow for a quick chat?” approach works GREAT with the ones that contact you, or once you have a conversation going, but it’s a little intimidating if they haven’t specifically requested information from you.  It’s kind of like asking someone to marry you on the first date.

I don’t know how the Atlanta Bride and Groom Planner collects those leads, but I’m guessing that those brides haven’t specifically requested your information.  So your initial email is a getting to know you type, and telling them that they can stop looking for their wedding photographer…when you don’t know anything about what they want…comes off as inauthentic.

Be prepared for a much lower response rate on “cold” leads like this.  It will range from 10-50% or even less depending on the lead source.

You’ll have much more success if you get them to take a smaller, less risky action on the first contact.  If you have a free report to offer them, invite them to check it out so that you can get permission to follow up with them.  (It’s got to be very cool and helpful for this to work, something they really want.)

If you don’t have that a freebie yet, invite them to visit a blog post featuring photos of their location.  I’d write it like this, “I just shot a gorgeous wedding at the INSERT VENUE HERE in pewter and periwinkle that looked amazing in the ballroom.  You can check it out here…”

One action leads to another action, and if they fall in love with your photos of their location they will be very likely to fall in love with you.

Keep tweaking your response and testing out new things until you figure out what works.  I’m sharing what has worked for us, but each business is different so it may take some adjustments.

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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8 thoughts on “Got Email Frustration? How to Get Brides to Answer Back”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I really like this post. I have been struggling with what to offer to generate a lead capture on my website. The idea of a video appeals to me. Do you think something like “Register to receive a video download of Alishia performing” would work?

    1. [quote name=”Alishia”]Do you think something like “Register to receive a video download of Alishia performing” would work?[/quote]

      Well, unless they’re already a rabid fan of yours…probably not.

      It’s much more compelling if you answer a question, fulfill a need or solve a problem they have right now.

      How about a video about, “Top 3 Beautiful, Non-traditional Bride Processional Songs” or “5 Unique Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony” or “The Secret to an Unforgettable Wedding Ceremony”?

      It doesn’t have to be directly tied in to your performance. Simply setting yourself up as a wedding expert is enough to get them interested and start the relationship.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very good response. Helpful tough love that we all need.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a wedding planner I send the following email to enquiries I receive with the subject Jennifer, What will 18th Oct, 2011 be like?

    Always & Forever Weddings are Suppliers of Wedding Pages to which you recently registered
    We would be delighted to help you plan your wedding.

    Please go to http://www.always-foreverweddings.co.uk/id1.html for more information to see how the wedding planning process works and go to http://www.always-foreverweddings.co.uk/id56.html see what our brides who have worked with us have experienced and what you should expect.

    Our packages are outlined for your information on http://www.always-foreverweddings.co.uk/id2.html.

    We would love to set up a free consultation with you to discuss your needs further on the phone or in person at a place convenient for you. This will also help us to figure out how best we can work together.

    Here are 3 dates and times that we have available Monday 9 May 7pm, Wednesday 11 May 7pm or Saturday 14 May 2pm, let me know if any of these work if not send me 3 alternative dates and times that are convenient for you.

    Please note before your consultation we ask that you read the articles above. So we can focus on you and your needs, if you are unable to do so before your appointment please let us know and we will gladly reschedule.

    In the meantime, you can find out the 8 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Vendor Before Booking attached

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    By never get any response back, any suggestions of what I can do?

    Thanks

    1. [quote name=”Elaine”]As a wedding planner I send the following email to enquiries…never get any response back, any suggestions of what I can do?
      [/quote]

      Elaine,

      My first question: are these “cold” leads you’re sending this email to? A cold lead is someone who didn’t inquire about your services specifically or visit your booth at a bridal show, etc.

      I’d say a Wedding Pages registrant who gets bombarded with emails from people she has never specifically requested info from is pretty cold.

      Your email has to be REALLY good to get a response from a cold lead. Your call to action has to be down right irresistible or…DELETE.

      A couple things jump out at me in this email:
      [list][*][b]It’s mostly about you.[/b] If I were a bride, I’d ask myself, “[i]Why[/i] should I go to her website? What’s in it for me?”[/list]
      [list][b]You have several calls to action.[/b] You ask her to visit your website, read your testimonials, read your packages, set a consultation making sure to read your articles first, then read 8 Questions to Ask. It’s a little overwhelming, which usually translates to no action.[/list]
      [list][b]There’s nothing specific to this bride other than her name in the subject line.[/b] If I were Jennifer, I’d think, “She doesn’t know anything about me or my wedding. She just wants to sell me.”[/list]
      [list][b]It could be ANY wedding vendor’s email.[/b] There’s nothing particularly interesting, funny or strange about it. She’s getting dozens if not hundreds just like this, so it doesn’t stand out.
      [/list]
      The good news: if this isn’t working, [i]anything[/i] you try has a better chance of getting results than what you’re doing right now. You’ve got nothing to lose!

      Here’s what I would try:

      1) Use as much personalization in that first sentence as possible in a natural way.

      For instance, if you know her date, comment on the benefits of having a wedding that time of year. “I love May weddings because…” If you know her location, mention an outstanding feature or staff member of the location. Show her you care and demonstrate your familiarity with weddings like hers.

      If you can send her directly to a link of weddings you’ve done at her location, that is super powerful. (A blog with tags makes it easy to do this.)

      2) Give her something helpful right away rather than telling her about you and what you do. If she likes you, she’ll click through to learn more.

      3) Determine the ONE action you want her to take and ask her to do it.

      Make a change to your response and try it out. Measure and track your response rate. Keep tweaking and measuring until you start to get some action.

      You’re doing great!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It was really helpful to see this layed out. Thanks both!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I enjoy reading your blog, as a Wedding
    Planner I get a lot of helpful information. My question is, where do I find these freebies everyone says you should be giving away.

    1. [quote name=”Gwen Long”]My question is, where do I find these freebies everyone says you should be giving away?[/quote]

      Hi, Gwen!

      There are many ways you can find your freebie:
      [list][*]Write it or video it yourself.[*]Hire someone to make it for you.[*]Find someone else’s freebie that you can use, for free (legally) or for a fee.[/list]

      The easiest way is to write a free report giving away your very best tip or strategy. The title is [i]really[/i] important because it’s the #1 thing brides look at to determine its value; make sure it sounds just as good as it is.

      If you’re not a writer, you can hire a college student or find a freelance writer on http://www.Elance.com or http://www.Odesk.com to write and even research it for you.

      It’s an effort well worth making!

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