Wedding venues are set for a busy few years, with many venues booked up until 2023. But with venues seeing their calendar go from zero to full-speed ahead, it can be difficult to find the time for marketing and new wedding venue sales. Increasing bookings and sales now is an essential way to future-proof the success of your business once the chaos of post-pandemic has quietened down. This article will explore the best ways to increase bookings and wedding venue sales.
Make Your Wedding Offerings Clearly Visible Online
Spouses-to-be need to be able to see all of your wedding services as quickly and clearly as possible online. On average people spend about 45 seconds on a website before they make a decision. Make sure you have a clear and quick access menu with a Weddings link, taking you to landing pages for all your key wedding services. Make your wedding pages visually appealing and as accessible as possible to entice your audience.
Showcase Your Wedding Services With A Newsletter
Almost 100% of email users check their inbox every day, making email marketing one of the best ways to showcase a wedding venue's services. Yet it can also be one of the most counterproductive if you don’t invest time in research, as spamming potential customers can put them off your business. Use sites like Sprout Social to research what your clients want to see, and limit scheduling to a weekly update so they’re not inundated. Making it as easy as possible to sign up and creating catchy email subject lines will keep your readers engaged and subscribing.
Build A Wedding Blog To Offer Added Value To Clients
Clients have a lot to plan for with a wedding. In a recent survey by online wedding registry site Zola, over 70% of people planning a wedding consider it more stressful than job hunting. As a wedding venue, you can take the lead as an expert on wedding planning and curate a wedding blog to offer added value to clients. A well-placed wedding blog can set you up as an expert and add even more credibility to your reputation. Create content that is meaningful, but also incorporate an SEO strategy to boost your rankings. Cover a wide range of topics that save couples time in their wedding planning while keeping it tightly relevant to your target market.
Make Your Visuals High Resolution & Quality
When looking at a wedding venue, clients want to be able to imagine themselves there on their wedding day. Curate a select portfolio of glossy and high resolution images on your website and print material to make this possible. A recent WeddingWire study revealed that photos of a wedding venue were one of the most important factors in choosing a location. Use a handful of photos from past weddings to show your clients how you can make their day as beautiful as possible.
Share The Reviews (Don’t Be Afraid Of The Negative)
The WeddingWire study also revealed that 4 out of 5 couples would consider a venue with both positive and negative reviews over no reviews at all. Use your social media changes to highlight positive reviews from clients, and ensure that negative reviews are acknowledged, responded to and actioned in a constructive way. The communication you use in responding to negative reviews will also add to your overall credibility as a venue.
Show How You Can Help Clients Plan Their Big Day
Showing clients how to manage their big day with bespoke wedding management software will give them confidence to arrange the wedding of their dreams with you. Giving them their own bride and groom portal as standard will make their decision easier while allowing you to better plan and manage your own scheduled weddings. A good wedding management software will also help you increase sales by letting them easily view their payment plan, organise and book their tastings and easily contact you directly. As a bonus, it will also tie nicely into your own backend so you can save time when managing pending payments and suppliers.
Create Good Wedding Supplier Partnerships
Develop good working relationships with your caterers, photographers, wedding planners and florists over time and share that list with your clients in advance. The fact you have worked with them in the past and have examples of their work will bolster confidence in your venue. While some venues only include selected suppliers, all customers appreciate flexibility in a venue so if you are also able to accommodate their own vendors this will increase future sales and bookings. In addition, offering advice on how to choose third party services can be an important factor to some couples.
Make Sure You’re Using The Right Social Media Channels
Create a social media presence for your venue and make sure you are using platforms that potential clients visit. Pinterest is the go-to for brides looking for inspiration on everything from wedding dresses to flower arrangements. Over 900 million pins about weddings take place on Pinterest every year according to wedding planning site The Knot. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube also rank highly for social media accounts visited by couples planning a wedding. Visual content is a huge draw for customers so focus on those glossy images and videos mentioned earlier in this article.
Make Online Bookings a Breeze
Conversion rate optimisation is all about removing barriers. In this context your goal is to make booking a breeze whether that is a viewing or simply a request for more information. Make sure you have an attractive form that is clearly visible on your front page and/or main menu. Use your wedding software to embed booking tools that automatically pull the data into your CRM. This will make it easy to keep on top of incoming requests, segment and respond in timely fashion. Some software even allow you to automate follow-ups for those frustrating enquiries that go cold before you've even had a chance to pitch your services.
Be Accessible To Your Existing Client
All of the techniques above are about adding value to your potential client and understanding them, but none of them will matter if you aren’t accessible to your existing clients via email, phone or social media. Communicate frequently with your client at set points throughout their wedding planning journey, from pre-sales to ongoing communications in the run up to the big day. It is their experience that will translate directly to glossy photos, positive reviews and word of mouth referrals, so prioritise them as well as your future wedding pipeline.
Understand That Flexibility Is Key
Flexibility in the supplier list is the top priority for a wedding venue, but offering a range of wedding packages, services and options for your client is also a huge draw to couples choosing a location. Couples can be demanding and witnessing the, change their wedding theme, menu or guestlist in the run up can be frustrating. However, although you have seen hundreds of weddings they are usually experiencing their first which means they will be reassured by offers of flexibility at the outset. The greater the magnitude of the event, the more the ability to change things down the line will be valued at the time of booking. Unforeseen circumstances inevitably crop up as well and being able to adapt well to these changes will boost your reputation.
Increasing bookings and sales for your wedding venue is possible with a mixture of clever marketing, targeted content and focusing on mutually beneficial relationships. Newsletters, blogs, websites and social media content should always leverage high quality images and positive reviews to truly showcase your venues to the client. Seamlessly interacting with your clients throughout their wedding planning will be an advantage, as will being able to adapt and customise your offer to the needs and demands of the market.
Do you need more time to grow your wedding venue sales and bookings? Sonas Events wedding management software will allow you to streamline many of your operational processes and transform the way you communicate.