As a small wedding business, we need big results for the smallest investment possible.  We need maximum big bang for every buck.

Here’s what we’ve found to be the best investment for our wedding business and those of our wedding vendor friends and clients.

WARNING:  Before you start any new promotion, make sure you have a tracking system in place so that you can measure your results.  Set up Google Analytics for free comprehensive tracking of your website traffic.  You need to know where your leads are coming from, or you will waste money!

1) Increase your most effective marketing strategy.

Why reinvent the wheel?  Take a look at your current bridal marketing and advertising sources.

How much do you spend on each?  How much money do they make for you as a result?

Always build on what’s already working before you spend on something new that may not bring results.  If you’ve already established that a particular bridal show or wedding website yields a good return on your investment, spend more there because your results should grow with it.

2) Invest in your website.

Your website is critical for your business success.  Almost every bride is going to visit it, even if she finds you somewhere else first, because it’s part of her buying process.

A well-done website attracts your ideal customers, distinguishes you from the competition, proves your expertise, pre-sells your clients and acts as a FREE lead generator.

Areas that yield a big return on investment:

  • Convert your website to a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress.  

This gives you control of your own website so that you can track and test new ideas to optimize results.

  • Add a lead capture form to every page of your website.

Give brides a good reason to enter their name and email into the form so that you have permission to follow up with them automatically by email.

  • Add a call to action on every page of your website. 

Make sure visitors can easily find your phone number, email and tell them to contact you by your preferred means.

  • Set up a blog ON your domain.

You need more targeted traffic to get more leads, and to get more targeted traffic, you need more content. A blog is the easiest way for you to write articles and add images so that brides can find you in the search engines.  A website without regularly updated content is invisible.

  • Hire a pro to write your website copy.

Unless you’re a professional copywriter, DON’T write your website copy yourself.  It’s too critical for the success of your website.  You wouldn’t tell a bride to hire an amateur, would you?

  • Keep your design simple, clean and easy to navigate.

Again, hire a pro to do this for you.  Usually the cheapest way to design a professional website is to have a programmer customize a WordPress theme.  That way you can manage your own content at a lower cost.

3) Market to other wedding vendors.

You should spend at least as much time marketing yourself to other wedding vendors as you do marketing to brides.

Why?  Because each bride usually promises only one booked wedding; a relationship with the right wedding vendor, on the other hand, can lead to dozens or hundreds of pre-sold, qualified leads.

A few ways to market yourself to other wedding professionals:

  • Join your local associations and become an active member.  Active is key here; make yourself known by joining committees and participating in events.
  • Print a bunch of professional postcards with your photo on the front and a blank back.  Start a habit of sending personal notes to everyone you meet.  If you stay consistent this will generate dozens of referrals and powerful partnerships at a very low cost.
  • Help other wedding vendors out.  Volunteer your talents to build those relationships.

4)  Be everywhere online.

Do a Google search for your region followed by the word wedding.  (For example, “Washington DC wedding” or “Manchester wedding.”)

Consider buying advertising on every directory site that comes up on page one.  Many of them will have free listings, so take advantage of them!

Create listings on these 14 Websites to Get Free Marketing, especially the local business listings and Google Places.

5)  Buy Facebook ads.

If you want to try paid advertising, Facebook is a great place to start.  It’s much easier to learn than Google Adwords and you can set a daily budget that works for you.

CAUTION: Send traffic to your website, NOT your Facebook page.

Most Facebook pages do not have a lead capture or a call to action.  Getting more people to “like” your page does not equal more booked weddings; it’s just an ego stroke because you get to feel popular

Send Facebook ad traffic to your website where the visitor is more likely to contact you and book your services.  Don’t drive traffic to your Facebook page unless it’s already optimized to book weddings.  (It probably isn’t.)

These are not the only ways you can get your name out there at a low cost, but they’re some of the most effective we’ve found that give the most bang for your buck.

Got any low cost marketing strategies to add to the list?  Leave a comment!

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