The wedding planning season
Just as there are wedding seasons, there are wedding planning seasons. 25 percent of engagements happen between Christmas and New Years, and another 12 percent happen on Valentines Day. There are certain times of the year where lots of newly engaged brides are entering the marketplace.
Thanks to some combination of tradition, advice, books and magazines, most brides follow a similar timeline when planning their wedding. You’ve seen the lists that tell the bride what needs to be done 12 months out, 6 months out, etc. Some decisions are made early on and some are made closer to the wedding. To successfully sell to the bride, you need to find out where your business falls in the wedding planning timeline and time your sales efforts accordingly.
Where does your business fall on the timeline?
Do a little bit of research. Determine when the typical bride first contacts you. Is it 8 months before her wedding, 6 months, 2 months? We sometimes get panic calls from brides two weeks before their wedding. We sometimes get brides who are two years out, don’t have the fiance yet, but want to get a head start. Look at the typical lead time, and then you will know the best time for you to reach the bride.
Here’s how most wedding pros do it
After a bride attends a bridal show, or after the bridal magazines send out their monthly lead list, the bride usually gets a bunch of mail and email at the same time, and most of it looks as if the business rushed to get it out as quickly and as cheaply as possible. A lot of businesses take a shot at marketing to bride lists, but they get overwhelmed with the process, don’t do it right, don’t get results, and then they give up.
There’s a better way
There is a much more effective way of marketing to a bride list.
- Take all of the bride lists you receive and compile them into a single database or spreadsheet.
- Sort the list by wedding date.
- Take out the duplicates and your sold out dates.
- Each month, contact only those brides who’s weddings are 8 months away, 6 months away, 3 months away, depending on the lead time that is typical for your business.
By dividing your prospect list into manageable pieces, you can then concentrate on making a great impression on a smaller number of brides. By reaching the bride at the time that she is most likely to be ready to buy what you sell, your efforts will have the greatest impact.
Timetables are changing
Keep in mind that the wedding planning timetable is shorter than every before. Why is that? The shortened planning timetable represents a permanent shift of the typical bride’s buying habits. Today’s bride has grown up doing lots of things online. She’s used to doing quick research and making quick decisions. You can go to Zappos, look at thousands of shoes, place your order, and have the shoes on your feet the next day. It’s simply not in the brides mindset to purchase things months and months in advance. You might think that she is calling at the last minute, but she doesn’t see it that way. To be successful, you need to adjust your wedding marketing so you are prepared to sell on the brides timeline.