confetti church

Do you ask before you pitch? Do you have an arrangement with your clients and potential clients that allows you to market to them?

No? Maybe its time you did.

Steph and I spoke at a wedding business marketing conference recently and I asked our audience who has a lead capture on their website. A few hands were raised, less than 10% of the group (I’m being generous). Ouch!

Why is this important? Because they are missing out on a powerful tool to grow their businesses.

When a bride checks out your website, she might be in the early stages of wedding planning. She could be trolling for ideas with no plan to buy in the immediate future.

She moves on and…Well, that’s that. The odds are pretty lousy she’ll make her way back to you.

You need to connect before she gets lost in the sea of choices. You need a way to continue the conversation.

Permission marketing to the rescue!

Permission marketing is a phrase coined by marketing guru Seth Godin. It’s a pretty simple but powerful concept. It’s built on an agreement with your customer; you give them something and in return they let you continue the conversation with them (translation, market to them).

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, take a look at the top of this page and you’ll see a place to enter your name and email to receive a free report. That’s a “lead capture form,” a type of permission marketing.

Isn’t it much nicer to be able to send information and not have it considered spam or junk? It shows that you respect their time. You’re sending what you told them you going to. No surprises, no sharing their email with other businesses. No BS.

Building a relationship with prospective customers this way leads to better prospects and more sales. It puts you front and center when its time for her to pull the trigger. Your odds of converting her into a paying customer just got a whole lot better.

So what do you have to give to get? This is where it can get a little tricky for some.

Remember: it’s not about what you want to give them…you know, something documenting the wonders of you, I’m so awesome, everyone loves me, buy my stuff!

It’s about giving them something they actually want. This “bride bribe” or “ethical bribe” should be something that grabs her attention. Like a free report with insider tips or a report of the biggest pitfalls of wedding planning, super creative decorations, secrets to awesome wedding pictures, how to avoid wedding night disasters, etc. Get it?

It’s got to be compelling. “Sign up for my newsletter,” is about as compelling as asking them to come watch paint dry. Honestly, when’s the last time you were anxiously waiting for the next addition of someone’s newsletter?

You can do so much better, and you’re going to have to, if you want to make an impression and get them to take the first step.

If you don’t have an opt-in or lead capture form on the front page of your website then its time to get with the program.

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