Increase your venue’s conversion rates and WOW your couples with carefully considered incentives
Wedding venues face a unique challenge when it comes to converting leads into customers. Unlike other businesses, wedding venues sometimes have to deal with long sales cycles, emotional decision-making, and high competition. Because of the nature of the industry, there’s often a significant gap between the initial enquiry and the final booking. This gap allows nearlyweds plenty of time to explore other options, reconsider their decisions, or simply take a step back.
How can wedding venues reduce this time and increase their conversion rate and revenue? One way is to incentivise commitment by offering attractive and timely incentives that encourage prompt wedding booking decisions. In this blog post, we will explore some of the strategies that wedding businesses can use to achieve this goal. Let’s explore the pathways to capturing hearts and ensuring that the journey from “Yes!” to “I do” is as magical as can be.
Understanding The Psychology Behind Booking Decisions
Before we dive into the specific strategies, it is important to understand the common factors that influence couples’ decision-making process. In our 8th annual Wedding Industry Report released in February, we identified the top things wedding parties look for in a venue, shedding light on the changing trends and priorities for couples in the UK and Ireland.
- Location: The number one factor for couples in the UK is the location of the venue. They want to find a venue that either reflects their vision, holds sentimental value or is convenient and accessible for them and their guests.
- Food quality: In Ireland the quality of the food is a top priority for couples when choosing a venue for their big day. Couples are increasingly looking for exceptional catering services and customisable menu options that cater to diverse tastes.
- Value for money: Our survey found that due to the rising cost of living couples are becoming increasingly budget-conscious. Nearlyweds seek venues that strike the perfect balance between quality and budget.
Other important factors that might influence a couple’s decision include accommodation on-site, exclusivity, budget, availability, style and reviews. Knowing these factors can help wedding venues tailor their incentives and communication to address the needs and wants of their potential clients.
Why Incentivise Commitment?
Juggling incentives can be a bit tricky – you want to get those bookings rolling in and seal the deal without breaking the bank. Incentivising commitment is a powerful sales technique, but it’s not just about the special offers. It’s about understanding the roadblocks your customers might face. The challenges include:
- Price sensitivity: Weddings are a big investment, and customers are always looking for ways to save money or get more value for their money. By offering discounts, freebies, or upgrades, wedding venues can appeal to customers’ sense of value and make their offer more competitive.
- Lack of personalisation: Most nearlyweds seek a venue that resonates with their unique vision. If they perceive a lack of personalisation or the feeling of being just another client, they might delay their decision. To overcome this hurdle, venues can focus on making each couple feel special and emphasise their ability to tailor services to meet their specific desires.
- Fear of missing out: Couples may hesitate to book a venue because they are afraid that they might find a better deal or a more suitable venue later. By creating a sense of urgency and scarcity, wedding venues can trigger their fear of missing out and motivate them to act quickly before they lose the opportunity.
- Uncertainty about the guest list: With weddings getting smaller and more intimate couples often grapple with uncertainty about the final guest list. They might be unsure about the number of attendees, leading to hesitation in booking a venue. To address this, venues can offer flexible options and adaptable packages that can accommodate changes in guest counts, providing reassurance.
- Analysis paralysis: Something often not considered is that nearlyweds may struggle to decide because they are overwhelmed by the amount of information and options available. By simplifying the decision process and providing clear guidance, wedding venues can help customers overcome analysis paralysis and move them along the sales funnel.
Whether you’re offering discounts, creating urgency, or simplifying choices, remember, it’s not just about the incentives; it’s about connecting with the couple, breaking down those hurdles and helping them make their dreams come true.
If you are looking for more insights into what couples are looking for download our 2023 Wedding Industry Report today!
How To Incentivise Commitment?
There are many ways that wedding venues can incentivise couples to commit, depending on their goals, budget, and target market. Here are some examples of incentives that wedding venues can offer:
- Early bird discounts: Offering a lower price for customers who book early is a classic incentive that works well for both parties. The couple get to save money and secure their preferred date, while venues get to fill their calendars and generate cash flow in advance.
- Last-minute deals: Last-minute offers at a lower price are another incentive that can work for venues that have availability gaps or cancellations. They get to benefit from a bargain and a spontaneous wedding, while venues get to maximise their occupancy and revenue.
- Free extras: Free extras such as champagne, spa vouchers, accommodation, cake, or memberships are incentives that can add value and appeal to couples’ emotions. They get to enjoy more perks and personalisation, while venues get to showcase their services and quality.
- Upgrades: Offering upgrades such as a larger room, a better view, or a longer stay is an incentive that can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Couples get to experience more luxury and comfort, while venues get to increase their reputation and referrals.
In the second instalment of our three-part webinar series on The Wedding Lifecycle, we dished out some great ideas for gifts to offer the couple during a showround. Check it out here! If you have a copy of The Wedding Lifecycle eBook, turn to page 14.
How To Implement An Incentive Strategy?
Getting down to the nitty-gritty of putting an incentive strategy into action is where the real magic happens. It’s not just about offering discounts and perks; it’s about doing it right. To make sure your incentive strategy achieves the desired results, there are a few essential factors to consider.
- Timing: The timing of the incentive is crucial for its success. You need to offer the incentive at the right moment in the customer journey when it is most likely to influence the couple’s decision. For example, offering an early bird discount too early may not have much impact, as couples may just be shopping around and ready to commit. Offering it too late may also not work, as they may have already booked elsewhere. A good time to offer an early bird discount is when couples have shown interest in the venue, such as after an enquiry or a site visit.
- Communication: The way you communicate the incentive is also important for its effectiveness. You need to share the details of the incentive clearly and persuasively, highlighting its benefits and urgency. For example, instead of saying “We offer 10% off if you book within two weeks”, say “You can save €2,000 on your dream wedding if you book by next Friday”. To improve the efficacy you should also convey the incentive consistently across all channels, such as email, phone, social media, website, etc.
- Tracking: The tracking of the incentive is essential for its evaluation. You need to measure the impact of the incentive on your venue’s conversion rate and revenue, as well as on other metrics such as customer satisfaction and retention. Wedding businesses also need to test different incentives and compare their results, to find out what works best.
Already incentivising commitment and looking for more ways to increase your conversion rate? Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog post featuring 8 strategies to encourage prompt booking decisions.
How WedPro Can Help Increase Your Conversion Rate
WedPro by WeddingDates is an award-winning lead and sales pipeline management software designed specifically for wedding and event venues, big and small. On a daily basis, our software helps wedding teams in Ireland and the UK increase their conversion rate by providing features such as:
- Lead management: WedPro allows wedding venues to manage their leads efficiently and effectively, from enquiry to booking and beyond. Wedding venues can capture, qualify, and follow up with leads, as well as track their progress and status.
- Booking management: WedPro enables wedding venues to manage their showround enquiries and bookings easily and accurately, from confirmation to completion. Wedding venues can create, update, and cancel bookings all in one dashboard.
- Reporting and analytics: Our powerful software empowers wedding venues to monitor and analyse their sales performance and improve their results, from overview to detail. Wedding venues can generate reports and keep a close eye on data and trends.
If you are a wedding coordinator or a wedding venue manager looking to increase your conversion rate and revenue at your wedding venue, WedPro can help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to request an introductory call or demo of our software. Let’s show you what WedPro can do for you!
Incentivising commitment is a powerful sales technique that can help wedding venues overcome some common obstacles that prevent customers from booking their venue. By offering attractive and timely incentives that encourage prompt wedding booking decisions, wedding venues can reduce their sales cycle, increase their conversion rate, and boost their revenue.