By Mika R.
I’m a couple of years into my own wedding business and the type of inquiries I now get are quite different to the ones I was fielding in the early days.
When I was starting out, almost every inquiry came from a “price shopper.”
They had found me through Google ads, while shopping around online for a bunch of quotes to compare. These couples were highly price sensitive. They didn’t know who I was, and they didn’t have anything to judge me on other than my website.
In time my inquiries became less price sensitive. I had a bigger portfolio. I had more word of mouth referrals. I had social media pages full of comments and reviews from past clients. There was “social proof” – real people saying I was someone worth hiring.
The way I make a sale now is quite different to the way I made sales in my first 12 months.
But in those early days I was a nobody.
Here is the formula I developed that resulted in successful sales with these highly price sensitive consumers.
1. List a price in your ads.
For the first four months of running Google ads, my ad copy was quite general. I was getting a click through rate of 2.2 %. I tried different wording but the click through rate didn’t change much.
My experimenting paid off – the day I put a starting price in my ad copy. Divine wedding videos from $800.
That same day my click through rate spiked to 12%. As a stats nerd, I had an overload of happy chemicals in my brain while looking at that statistic. Over the coming months that click through rate evened out to 3.6%. Still a great increase.
The lesson here: if you’re working with price sensitive couples, be sure to mention a competitive price in your ad copy!
Others say that offering a special deal, such as a 25% discount for a limited period, has yielded a similar result for them. Experiment to see what works for you.
2. List a starting price on your website.
For the first four months, I had no prices listed on my website. The conversion rate of people who had clicked on my ad to actual inquiries was 6.3% in those first four months.
Once I listed a starting price on my website, the conversion rate to inquiry jumped to 13.7% (over the following four months). This meant 3 inquiries per month were now 9 inquiries per month.
My actual bookings increased 250%.
I had listed my starting price of $800 (to film a ceremony only). For pricing on my full day packages people were required to fill out an inquiry form, and I required everyone to leave a phone number.
A small number of brides inquired about my ceremony only packages, but most of them were actually wanting to chat to me about my more expensive packages. Because my starting price was competitive, they assumed my full day prices would also be competitive.
3. Be prepared to negotiate.
So I had people clicking through to my website. I had a website that made people inquire. And since I required people to provide a phone number, I got a lot of these customers on the phone.
So how could I convince price shoppers to go with me instead of the other five videographers they had received a quote from?
First of all, I was at an advantage because I was responding quickly and because I was following up with people.
Time and time again brides told me they weren’t receiving this level of service from others they’d inquired with. Many considered me seriously based on that alone.
But there was still the issue of that budget they’d set. Several times I was told, “I really like you and your work and I wish we could afford you! But I had this quote from someone else for half the price and our budget is so tight so we’re not going to be able to do it…”
I was hungry to secure sales. I needed to get a portfolio on my website. I needed to meet couples, who would refer me to their friends. I needed content for my social media channels. I needed reviews. I knew when I had these things the quality of my work would allow me to charge above average prices.
But as the new kid in town, I had to be prepared to negotiate. And by that, I mean, offer a discount.
Step 1: I would assess whether I REALLY wanted the gig.
(Was it a great venue that would be worth building a relationship with? Was it a bride I really gelled with, or who was so enthusiastic she’d probably tell all her friends about me?)
Step 2: I had to get comfortable talking about money. Role playing with my husband before negotiating for real was very helpful!
Step 3: I started asking brides how much they had budgeted – or how far they could stretch their budget.
Then I would either agree to do it for that price, or suggest a middle point. A lot of brides took me up on my discount, and I asked in return that they give me permission to use their video on my website or in any of my marketing.
Step 4: I didn’t always offer a discount.
For other brides, I found I could get them over the line by tailoring a package that fitted perfectly with their priorities. For example, I might offer to film only certain parts of the day, and I would charge accordingly. These brides were particularly happy because there are so few vendors willing to be flexible around the package they offer.
4. Don’t have preconceptions about price shoppers.
Many of my early bookings were with couples who had planned middle to high end weddings. And they have been brilliant for reviews and referrals. They just happened to have been price sensitive about videography, in my case.
So don’t assume all price shoppers are having budget weddings.
What strategies have you found to be effective with price sensitive brides?
Mika R. is a wedding videographer and analytics-obsessed business owner who loves writing, teaching and telling the love stories of her clients.