Recently for my internship I had a project to complete in which I had the opportunity to see how certain wedding vendors responded to inquiries for my wedding date.The email included the basics: our names, date, guest count, preferred time, and request of their services. It was sent out to: DJs, photographers, caterers, florists, photo booth professionals, beauty specialists, videographers, bakers, and several different venues all from my area. It was literally a three sentence email…
Let’s start with the Disc Jockeys of course, because they’re the most important part of the wedding right? Well that’s up to you, but some of them definitely think they are with their two page responses to my 3 sentence emails! It’s great to know all about you, and if I choose your services I would love to learn all that comes with them, but I just want the basics right now, not a page of what you’ve done and a page of testimonials. Some gave me everything I asked for and more, and some wouldn’t even give me a price point. I understand it’s MUCH easier to talk in person and know what I am looking for before you give me a price but ya gotta give me something to work with! And please DJs if I don’t reply to your email within a couple days, please don’t keep sending them…7 times!
Photographers and Videographers by email…you’re all the same! My “wedding” was on a Friday in March, so discount discount discount! Thank you for doing your job, you did give me exactly what I asked for, but from FIVE different photographers I pretty much received FIVE of the SAME responses…spice it up! Instead of attaching files, add some of those pictures or videos in the email. I have 10 million other vendors I have to contact, make my life easier…please!
Caterers, I emailed three of you and only one response….I know you’re busy cooking but take the oven mitts off and check your email! For who did reply, thank you for your response but I asked for prices and didn’t quite get them. I understand you have a website but I emailed you for a reason, I wanted to learn more from YOU. Afterall, I FOUND you on your WEBSITE!
Can you guess where the best responses came from? Florists! One individual florist I could feel the excitement and friendliness through the computer. I got their personal information, prices, pictures, and happiness…you win!
I obviously want the best and coolest photo booth out there right? Sell me in your email! Maybe you have black and white, maybe I like black and white pictures more than photo magnets, don’t you want me to know what you have if the other person I emailed doesn’t? “Thank you for your email we have dates available” is all I got from one of you! Tisk tisk.
Beauty….you girls did great! Everything I asked for, friendly, not overload, and you gave me reasons why I should pick you over someone else. One of you no longer does wedding hair but you gave me referrals and told me the other services you did offer so if I ever want a massage? Hmm, they were nice maybe I should go there.
I saved this one for last….bakers. I am blown away by this response “I’m not sure what you're looking for, please check my website” WHAT?! Even if my email was confusing (somehow everyone else understood it) at least act like you know, and give me some information of your services. Another one told me to check the website; people I emailed YOU for a reason. Another one of my favorite responses, told me everything I asked for, with great information, and actually made me think “wow I want some cake!” even without seeing pictures, pictures wouldn’t have hurt though ;).
Five emails went out to venues, and only received four responses. Two of the four explained they don’t have set prices for the 2016 year yet. Most weddings take over a year to plan right? Doesn’t that mean you should have next year’s pricing? Right. Not one of the four even gave me a price range….which was exactly what I wanted! One very popular venue sent me out some other things they offer as well, which was well appreciated.
50 emails later…..what really grabbed my interest, was three things, QUESTIONS, HAPPINESS/ SINCERITY, and DISCOUNTS…
-When people asked questions, and wanted to know more about ME...after all it’s my big day right?
-What is the first thing you say to a newly engaged couple? CONGRATULATIONS!… where was my big congrats from some of you? Not in the email that’s for sure L . I hope whoever I chose will be just as happy as me to share this amazing time of love with my fiancé and I!
-Lastly discounts, well just because who doesn’t love a discount? Oh you’re going to give me 2 free hours? PERFECT.
Overall….after lots and lots of emails later only a couple really made me turn my head and say WHAT? I’d say it was a success! Now when my real wedding comes the initial step is already done (oh wait this wasn’t a real wedding?) ;) ;) ;) ~Molly
(Mark's note: So many regional wedding vendors really are missing the mark on how to respond, how to do sales, how to 'connect' with people from behind the computer. I often hear things like "I have a high closing rate, once I can get the appointment.' Many of us do, but getting there is half the battle. In today's day and age, people want answers fast and efficiently and don't want to be puked on. They also want personal service. They want to hear from YOU as Molly said above. How can you learn more ways to better connect with potential clients? The answer is simple...training. We have been producing educational events for wedding pros for many years all around the area, and sadly as evident in the blog, many have not come. Maybe, it's time... Here's your next chance this November 2015.)