Expert advice from WedPro to bust the ghosts and boost your sales
As a wedding coordinator or venue manager, you know how frustrating it can be when a potential couple goes silent after showing interest in your venue. You’ve invested time and effort into marketing your venue, sending brochures, and following up, only to be met with radio silence. This phenomenon is known as ghosting, which can harm your sales pipeline and conversion rate.
Ghosting is common in the wedding industry, especially in the digital age where people can easily ignore emails and phone calls. The reasons for ghosting can vary, from couples being overwhelmed by too many options to changing their minds or budgets, to finding another venue that suits them better. You might wonder, “How can I determine our ghosting rate?” If you use email tracking software, like WedPro, you can gauge your ghost rate by analysing your open rate. The portion that remains unresponsive and doesn’t engage with your emails can be considered as those who have ghosted you.
However, ghosting is not inevitable. There are strategies that you can implement to lower your ghost rate and increase your chances of booking more weddings. In this article, we will share some of these strategies and how WedPro by WeddingDates can help you with them.
Qualify your leads
Only some couples are your ideal customer. Couples may ghost you because you were selling to a couple who weren’t the right fit for your venue. One of the most effective ways to reduce ghosting is to qualify your leads before investing too much time and resources into them.
Qualifying your leads means identifying which ones are most likely to book with you based on their needs, preferences, budget, and timeline. By doing this, you can focus on the brides and grooms that have a high potential of booking and avoid wasting time on the ones that are not a good fit.
To qualify your leads, you need to ask the right questions during your initial contact with them. Some of the questions you can ask are:
- When are you planning to get married?
- How many guests are you expecting?
- What is your budget range for the wedding?
- What are the most important features or services that you are looking for in a venue?
- How did you hear about us?
Their answers will help you determine if your venue matches their criteria and if they are ready to decide soon. You can also use these questions and answers to segment your leads into different categories based on their level of interest and urgency, such as hot, warm, or cold leads.
WedPro Feature: Our software allows you to set your lead temperature depending on the couple’s level of interest. In the enquiry manager section of your dashboard, it will give you a visual guide to how keen your couples are. This allows you to focus more on those that are considered a ‘Hot Lead’ and can be extra helpful when forecasting and assessing your sales pipeline.
Communicate your unique selling proposition
Couples might disengage with your venue if you haven’t effectively showcased your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is what makes you different from other venues and why couples should choose you over them. It answers the question: why are you the best option for their wedding?
To emphasise your USP, you need to:
- Identify what makes you stand out from your competitors, such as your location, experienced staff, scenery, facilities, services, packages, prices, reviews, awards, or guarantees
- Communicate your USP clearly and confidently in your marketing materials, website, social media, emails, and phone calls
- Demonstrate your USP with evidence and examples, using photos, videos, testimonials, real weddings, or statistics
For example, if the couple is looking for a venue that can accommodate a large number of guests, you can spotlight your spacious ballroom and flexible seating arrangements. If the interested couple is keen on a venue renowned for its outstanding cuisine, you can incorporate details about your diverse catering and menu offerings. If they are looking for a venue that offers exceptional value, you can highlight your competitive pricing, discounts, or package deals.
By underlining your USP, you can show your value and convince couples that you are the perfect venue for their wedding.
To communicate your value proposition, you need to understand what couples are looking for. Download our 2023 Wedding Industry Report to find out the latest wedding trends and set up your venue for success.
Personalise your communication
A third reason why couples may ghost you is because they feel like they are just a number. Couples want to feel special and valued when they are planning their wedding. They don’t want to receive generic or impersonal messages that make them feel like one of many. They want to receive heartfelt messages that let them know that you’ve heard them and that you care about them and their wedding.
Our research found that while couples are enquiring at an increasingly select number of venues, most between 1 and 5, less than 25% felt venues succeeded in making them feel special during the enquiry process.
To personalise your communication, you need to:
- Use their names and other personal details in your emails and phone calls
- Refer to their specific needs and preferences that they shared with you
- Send them relevant and helpful information that matches their stage in the buying journey
- Add some personality and emotion to your tone of voice and word choice
- Avoid using jargon, acronyms, or formal language that can make your messages sound cold and impersonal
Making the online enquiry process simple, delivering brochures immediately, and personalising communications are all key moments for personal connection. By personalising your communication, you can create a connection with couples and make them feel more engaged and interested in booking with you.
In part two of our three-part webinar series on The Wedding Lifecycle, we discussed the top 6 reasons why prospects may ghost you. Check it out here! If you have a copy of The Wedding Lifecycle eBook, turn to page 15 for more expert advice.
Stand out from the competition
Couples have many options when it comes to choosing a wedding venue. They may be comparing several venues at the same time, looking for the best deal, or waiting for something better to come along. If you don’t stand out from the crowd, you may lose their attention or interest.
To stand out from the crowd, you need to be creative and innovative in your communication and marketing. You should use different formats and mediums to showcase your venue and catch your leads’ attention. For example, you can:
- Use video calls or virtual tours to give them a live preview of your venue
- Create blog posts to share advice, trends, and stories related to weddings
- Host webinars or workshops to educate couples on how to plan their wedding
- Launch contests or giveaways to reward them for their engagement
- Use referrals or testimonials to leverage word-of-mouth marketing
- Spotlight your awards or guarantees that demonstrate your value
- Offer something unique or exclusive that other venues don’t have or can’t match
- Create a sense of urgency or scarcity that motivates them to book with you sooner rather than later
- Delight them with surprises or gestures that make them feel appreciated and special
Using these tactics will help you create a memorable impression on your leads and make them more curious and excited about your venue – and it will help you lower your ghosting rate.
For more ideas on how to WOW your couples take a look at our three-part webinar series on The Wedding Lifecycle. By standing out from the competition, you can create a memorable impression and make couples want to book with you.
Follow up consistently
The last, but most important strategy is to follow up consistently with your leads until they make a decision. Following up is important because it shows that you care about them and that you are interested in working with them. It also helps you stay on top of their minds and remind them of the value that you offer.
According to the WeddingDates Ultimate Couples Survey, 9% of couples in Ireland and 7% of couples in the UK anticipate receiving a response to their enquiries on the same day they send them, with nearly half expecting a reply within 48 hours. Given that couples are now contacting five or fewer venues, it’s essential not to miss out on this opportunity.
However, following up can be challenging and time-consuming, especially if you have a large number of leads to manage. You need to keep track of when and how often to contact them, what message to send them, and how to personalise it for each lead. You must also avoid being too pushy or spammy, which can turn them off or annoy them.
This is where WedPro by WeddingDates can help you. WedPro is a sales pipeline management software designed to streamline operations for wedding venues. It helps you organise and manage your leads in one place, automate your follow-up process, and optimise your conversion rate.
One of the features that WedPro offers is WedMail, an automated email sequencing and template tool that allows you to create and send personalised emails to your leads based on their stage in the sales funnel. With WedMail, you can:
- Choose from a variety of pre-written email templates that are proven to generate responses and bookings
- Customise the templates with your tone of voice and call-to-action
- Track the performance of each email campaign and measure its impact on your conversion rate
Ghosting is a common problem that wedding coordinators and venue managers face, but it can be overcome with the right strategies. If you want to learn more about how WedPro by WeddingDates can help you with these techniques and more, request a demo or introductory call with our team today. We would love to show you how our software can help you bust the ghosts and boost your sales.