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Question: How do I get bookings from free advertising and bridal lead sites?


Business & marketing, it’s ALL I study about nowadays! I honestly have a few questions pertaining to this Price Shopper email template and my particular situation 😉

First off, I use many free places for advertising – yelp, Angie’s list, Facebook, my own website,  etc. One really big place I get leads from is Thumbtack. I’m basically at the top of the list there for my state. People request quotes from various vendors and you pay for those leads per lead.

You get limited information from the bride’s to go on. I can’t see how your template could work without having more info from the bride in places like this and I lose out to the competition undercutting me there frequently.

I’m very personal in my emails. But they are emailing directly for a quote…is this like in the PDF where the bride is asking directly about price? Do I disclose anything about price in your opinion?

I use Thumbtack because I really am poor. I hate to say it, I didn’t use to be…but I have got to get outta this lifestyle of going to food banks for my kids to eat. I’m so hardworking and I’ve worked really hard to get my business where it is today. I’ve reinvested most of what I’ve made back into the business which has paid off.

I feel that I’m at the point to charge what I’m worth, but like everyone else, I gotta deal with extreme couponers, friends with camera’s, etc.

I plan to try out your techniques. From all my psychology classes and training, business, marketing, etc – your info is spot on correct!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of weddings under my belt to have photos taken at every venue here yet. What do you do then? Just send them examples of your work somewhere else at another venue?
How would you suggest I modify this to work with places like Thumbtack, Wed Plan, etc?

You just get very basic info from the brides. (I blame these lead generating services for not asking more from the brides). Still yet, I’m in a boat where I can’t pay for listings at The Knot (yet) and I know places like Craigslist are worthless for advertising.

I guess I just don’t have the resources to show brides I’ve worked at all the venues, is there something else I could put in place of that specifically? How would you approach this to ultimately stand out & shine?

I can see the power in the template, it’s a fantastic marketing tool. If you have time, I’d love some further insight into this.

Thanks so much!”


Answer: Use these strategies to qualify your leads, stand out and get a response.

Hi, Jennifer!

You can definitely apply the principles of the Price Shopper email template with these leads, although it won’t be as effective.

Here’s why:

  • Leads from services like Thumbtack and similar sites are typically not high quality.

They haven’t requested info from you directly, so they aren’t pre-qualified.  They haven’t browsed through your photos or heard about your business from a friend.  They are COLD as can be.

  • Couples who use services like Thumbtack to get quotes for the wedding are typically more budget-oriented.

They couples don’t value their photography as highly.  I can tell you without a doubt that our couples would never turn to a generic site to hire a wedding pro; they’re too invested in the wedding to take the risk.

  • You’re set up to compete primarily on price.  It’s right on the inquiry form!

You can get real leads from services like this, but you’re going to have to work much harder and spend more time on the process.  Most wedding vendors report only 1 in 100 responses from these types of bridal leads, in the best case scenario.

Not all wedding leads are created equal.  You’re actually attracting price shoppers when you use generic lead generating sites.

Since you’re tight on money and already using Facebook, I’d suggest very targeted networking with other local wedding businesses on Facebook and strategic local blogging for the best ROI.  You’ll get high quality, targeted leads without investing much more than your own time.

Check out this article for more bang for the buck wedding marketing strategies.

Now, let’s get back to those other questions…

But they are emailing directly for a quote…is this like in the PDF where the bride is asking directly about price? Do I disclose anything about price in your opinion?

Yes, it’s a  similar situation, except it’s even harder.  These types of leads are more price motivated than average and they’re completely cold.

To have any hope of winning them over, you’ll need to answer the price question, since that’s what these lead services are all about.  I’d give a realistic starting price or price range, then follow with a question to engage them and get them to phone call.

Even more importantly, you need to STAND OUT from the competition in your response.  More details on that in a second.

I guess I just don’t have the resources to show brides I’ve worked at all the venues, is there something else I could put in place of that specifically? How would you approach this to ultimately stand out & shine?

Hey, everyone starts out with no portfolio and no experience as a newbie.  Jeff and I were there, too.

What do you have that no one else has?  Your personality.

Weddings are all about emotions, feelings and relationships.  You need to create a relationship with the bride or groom on the other end of that lead inquiry and get them to fall in love with the idea of working with their friend Jennifer.  They will pay more for that experience.

Here are some ways to stand out from the competition with those cold bridal leads:

1. Send a video response instead of a boring email.  

Record a simple screen capture with Jing or a slideshow with Animoto (both with free options!) and narrate a welcome that shows off your best images.

Connect, be friendly and let your personality shine.  It’s WAY more compelling than a boring email response.

2. Do your research about those venues so that you can respond intelligently with questions, suggestions and feedback.

Familiarize yourself with the features of the most popular venues and the people who work there.  Visit the venues and take some photos to introduce yourself, then feature them on your blog.  Use what you learn in your response to be helpful and stand out.

3. Be interesting and surprisingly different in your response.  

Don’t respond with, “Congratulations!  I specialize in…”  blah, blah, blah.

Tell a story.  Share an interesting tip.  Be quirky or show off your sense of humor.  Respond with something, anything that makes you stand out.

Whatever you do, don’t be like the competition!

4. Give them a good reason to respond and be specific.  

What should they do and why should they do it?  Most of your competitors are going to write, “If you’d like to learn more, give me a call.”

Boring!  Generic!  It doesn’t get a response.

What if you wrote something like this:

I’d love to have a 7 minute phone call to find out if I’m a good match for your wedding.  (Yes, my super secret Ninja Formula will reveal our compatibility in only 7 minutes!)  

Are you available for a quick phone chat tomorrow at 4pm?

Sure, being quirky is going to turn off a few people.  But it’s also going to attract the type of personalities who will love working with you.  And it sure as hell is different!

The important thing to remember: if what you’re doing right now isn’t working, anything else you do is more likely to get you results.  

Experiment with different approaches and track your results.  Think outside the box.  You literally have nothing to lose.

Stop focusing on what you DON’T have and think about what you DO have to offer.  I can already tell that you’re a good written communicator, which is a huge advantage.  I’m sure you have other strengths in your personality as well.

Show them off and let yourself be who you are.  Come up with some ways to showcase your brilliance and you will see a response.

Be the wedding superhero you are.

What do you think?

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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. :)

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