Lately, we’ve been talking (writing, video-ing, eating, drinking, sleeping) about the power of using EMAIL to capture leads and follow up with them automatically.
(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the videos here to get all the juicy details.)
We’ve related our success with this strategy and how it’s also worked for our wedding vendor friends and clients. At a certain point…maybe because we’re so outspoken about it…a few people have started disagreeing with us.
Here are some common arguments:
- Brides are extremely busy. They don’t have TIME to read my emails!
- They contact me on their own schedule, not when I want them to, so sending them emails is a waste.
- I’ve tried this type of marketing and it DOESN’T WORK.
A good debate only makes us stronger! So I’d like to address these very good arguments because we can all learn from it.
Brides Don’t Have Time to Read Emails
You are absolutely right. Brides are swamped.
Between working a job or finishing school, buying a house and moving in with her fiancé and planning a wedding, she has very little time to do anything else. Your emails in her inbox are junk that only wastes her time.
But wait a minute…why does she spend HOURS reading wedding blogs, watching Bridezillas on TV and commenting in groups on Facebook?
The bride won’t sign up for your email list or read your emails unless they specifically address the pain or desire she has right now.
Even though she has no time, she MAKES time for what is important and valuable to her.
She spends hours obsessing over details of color and décor, surfing the internet for the latest real weddings, and gossiping over celebrity weddings in forums and chat rooms. It’s addictive; that is why they call it “wedding porn.”
Some quick stats:
- Planning a wedding takes 2–15 hours per week, an average of over 120 hours of total planning.
- There are 1,503,000 engaged females aged 21-32 on Facebook in the US at the time I’m writing this.
- The average user spends 55 minutes on Facebook each day.
Oh, yeah. She makes time for wedding planning.
If brides aren’t jumping onto your email list or reading and responding to your emails, it’s because they just don’t find them interesting.
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but most brides don’t care about photography, entertainment or being a wedding planner. They only care about what’s in it for them.
On the other hand, brides spend hours reading about and looking at these things:
- Real Weddings.
- Unique wedding ideas.
- Wedding drama.
- Wedding planning advice.
If brides aren’t reading your emails, your content needs to change. Try out the topics above for starters.
Remember: it doesn’t matter if YOU know your emails are valuable…all that matters is if SHE thinks they’re valuable. If she’s not opening and reading them, they’re not valuable to her and you need to do a better job.
Brides Contact You on Their Schedule, Not Yours
So true! Unfortunately, we don’t get to tell her when to contact us; she decides when she’s ready.
However…if she receives regular emails from you because she’s on your automated follow up list, you will be the first one there when she IS ready to book.
And if your emails are full of valuable, interesting stuff, (again, stuff that is interesting to HER, not you) you’ve already started to build a relationship with her that makes it even more likely that she will book you.
6 Reasons Why Email Marketing Doesn’t Work
Saying that email marketing doesn’t work is an inaccurate blanket statement. It works for our wedding business and continues to work for many other businesses. It’s kind of like saying, “Advertising doesn’t work,” or “Commercials don’t work.”
Email marketing works, but only if you work it right.
- A free offer compelling enough for a bride to give you her email address.
- A sequence of valuable follow up emails interesting enough to make her want to stay on your email list.
- A gentle call to action in each email so that when she’s ready to act she contacts you.
With all of that said, there are certain times when this marketing strategy DOESN’T work.
1. Your offer is, “Sign up for my email list.” No one wants a newsletter; they want a benefit or result. Offer the benefit, not your newsletter.
2. Your “Bride Bribe” free offer is invisible. If she can’t see it, she’s not going to go for it. It needs to be prominent, eye catching and displayed on every page she visits.
This also won’t work if you put a lead capture form on your website and you have ZERO people visiting your page. You still have to drive traffic to your offer somehow if you want brides to get on your email list.
3. Your “Bride Bribe” free offer is boring or uninteresting for a bride.
“Wedding Planning Tips” or “Why You Should Pay More For a Professional Photographer” is NOT compelling enough to make a bride give you her email.
4. Your follow up emails are boring or sales pitchy.
If she signed up for your email list to get a special report, you better give it to her. If you promised a great series of valuable follow up emails, you need to deliver or she will unsubscribe.
There is no room to be uninteresting or selling her before you’ve given her enough value to prove your worth.
5. Your website is a turnoff. If a bride encounters a great offer on a crappy website, or a website that’s all about you instead of her, she won’t go for it.
It’s sort of like reading a gourmet menu in a restaurant with peeling paint, grimy floors and spots on the silverware. I wouldn’t order, either.
6. Your marketing, product or services are a turnoff.
You can lose her at any point along the way if your stuff is ineffective, unprofessional or if you don’t communicate your value clearly in terms she understands. ‘Nuff said.
An email marketing and automated follow up sequence will not work for everyone…but it does work for those who make it work for them. Like anything else, it requires time, effort, and a willingness to learn and change.
It takes trial and error to get it right. That’s why we’re sharing the Automatic Expert System that’s worked for us, so that you can short cut that process.
If you want to learn more about how we made it work for us, click to watch the videos here.
What do YOU think?