Bridal shop owners
can feel a bit left out of the wedding industry since they do not attend weddings and don’t participate in the planning process like so many of the other wedding pros on Book More Brides do. So, to all of you out there providing the amazing gowns the rest of us admire at our clients’ weddings…this is for you.

Most of these tips are from the Better Bridal Group forum, which I highly recommend.

#1 Marketing Hack For Bridal Shop Owners – Same Day Buying Incentives

Create a “First Visit Advantage Program” to encourage brides to buy a dress on their first visit to your shop.

No, don’t shop around! No, don’t sleep on it! No, don’t go to the 3 other dress appointments you booked for today! Right?

Your “First Visit Advantage Program” might offer the bride a free zip-up, opaque, water-proof garment bag (vs. a thin, clear, plastic dry-cleaning-type cover), a free cedar dress hanger (vs. an ugly, black, plastic, store hanger), and a free steam cleaning right before the wedding if she buys TODAY.

You know the odds of her returning to buy a dress are slim, so sweeten the pot for first-timers!

#2 Marketing Hack For Bridal Shop Owners – Post Visit Follow Ups

Have brides sign in when they come in the store or arrive for their appointments. After their visit, email them about your wedding gown preservation service, the accessories you offer, and some dress care tips like cleaning marks off the dress with white chalk or baby wipes.

As you know, it’s rare for a bride to buy everything she needs on the day she buys the dress, Make sure she comes to you for those additional purchases.

#3 Marketing Hack For Bridal Shop Owners – Charge a Storage Fee

Storage fees are pretty standard throughout the wedding dress industry. The gowns are bulky and need to be kept in moisture-free environments on hooks or racks 6+ feet off the ground—these are very specific requirements. Plus, today’s bride most likely lives with her fiance and doesn’t want to risk him seeing the dress before she walks down the aisle.

HOWEVER, a lot of bridal shop owners are storing dresses for free…on lay-away. Be sure brides are charged a fair storage fee for lay-away dresses since they are taking up your valuable, money-making space.

#4 Marketing Hack For Bridal Shop Owners – Track Your Slow Moving Inventory

You’re gonna love this! Every 3 months, hang all of your dresses on the rack backwards (so the open-side of the hanger is facing out…the opposite way we normally hang things). Then as dresses are tried on, you hang them back up the normal way (with the hanger opening facing away from us).

After 3 months, any dresses that are still hanging “backwards” go to the sale rack.

#5 – Marketing Hack For Bridal Shop Owners – Boost Your Bridal Show Leads

If you go to a bridal show, bring a rack with 10 dresses or 3 mannequins each wearing different dresses. Give brides passing by a slip of paper asking them to vote for their fave dress or top 3 faves. At the bottom of the paper slip, ask for their name and email.

They feel like they are entering a drawing this way, so they will automatically fill in their info. This is a much better way to boost your mailing list at a bridal show then asking them straight up to give their email addresses.

Added bonus: now you have some social media and blog content, too, based on which dress will win the votes. (And an opening line for that mass email you’re going to send them all.)

Bridal shop owners, what are some of your marketing hacks? Share them with us in the comments below.