Gaining quality enquiries through marketing your wedding venue is vital, whether it be through social platforms, directories or your own website, dedicating time and money will result in potential leads.

The art of converting these leads into bookings is just as valuable as gaining them and there could be ways your wedding venue could improve your process to ensure the best conversion rate possible.

Ways to increase wedding bookings

Olivia Riddiford, founder of Host Venue Consultancy gives us her expertise on the topic, discussing her top 5 ways to increase your conversions, with over 10 years experience of working with wedding venues this is definitely her forte!

Talk to your ideal client

You might have loads of enquiries coming your way but are they couples that fall into your ideal client profile? Your conversion rates are going to be majorly skewed if this is the case.  Make sure that whatever marketing you put out there from social media posts, your brochure and your websites totally speaks to your ideal client.

You need to be completely and utterly laser focused on who you are serving.  I’m not talking about engaged couples who live within a 15 mile radius of your property.  I’m talking about Sarah who’s 29, an interior designer with a Dachshund called Bertie. I could go on!

Think about those couples in the past who really epitomized your venue.  Those who gelled with you as the owner, manager or coordinator, who didn’t negotiate on price, who dearly loved the property inside and out and shouted about their positive experience post-wedding.

I would suggest creating an ideal client profile that you have stuck up in your office as a constant reminder of who is a great fit for your business.  Why should you do this? It will save you time and investment in the long run. Everything you do from writing copy to posting on social media must be targeted to your ideal client.

When putting together an ideal customer profile, ask yourself the following 5 questions:

  • What style or ambiance is your couple looking to have at their wedding?
  • What millennial trends are they most influenced by?
  • What is the one thing they won’t compromise on when planning their wedding?
  • Where does the couple get their wedding inspiration from?
  • What is the selling point of your venue for this couple (accommodation, beautiful scenery, exclusive use, etc.)?

Get in touch quickly

Modern couples want information at the click of a button as quickly as possible.  I would strongly recommend automating the initial enquiry response.  So for example, when a couple enquires to find out more information, an autoresponder (that’s personalised), is sent immediately with all the details they initially require.

You can set this up on email marketing systems like Mailchimp, Active Campaign or Convertkit.  The bonus of this is that you then obtain their contact details (make sure you are GDPR compliant) in order to contact them in the future.  This also goes for any question answering at negotiation stages.

Build a relationship and a memorable experience

Although I’ve mentioned about automation and quick response times, nothing quite beats a phone call, video message or some form of high touch communication to make the couple feel special and not just a number.  We are in the business of hosting and making people happy, so this part of their journey and experience with you is crucial.

Once your automated email is sent, pick up the phone or send a personalised video message to the couple. Congratulate them on their engagement and make them aware that you are there for them during this exciting but sometimes daunting time.

Position yourself as an expert for them to turn to and make it your mission to book them in for an invitation only private viewing (with a glass of fizz waiting for them of course).  First impressions are everything in the wedding sector so start as you mean to go on.  Your main priority is to secure a show round viewing and in the process find out as much as you can about the couple in question.

Show round success

The most important part of the sales funnel process…without doubt! Chances are that the venue sells itself physically, but you will need to wow them with your knowledge.  The couple need to know, like and most importantly trust you before booking. You need to present yourself and the offering perfectly.  All the elements need to fit into place for the deal to be sealed.

To help with show rounds, Olivia is hosting a FREE 3 day challenge starting on 7th September called “Supercharge your show rounds” if you’d like to learn more about how to perfect this hugely important part of venue selling then do join in!

Fantastic follow up

Don’t let all your hard work up to this point go to waste.  You need to make sure you are consistently following up not just after show rounds but after the initial enquiry if you are getting a radio silence.  Using a CRM system is helpful in reminding you to chase or you could even use your digital calendar to set reminders.

Your priority is to book in a show round (at enquiry stage) and a provisional booking (at show round stage).  Ultimately, you want to encourage the client to book with your venue, so make sure they are armed with all the information they need to make the right choice!

Being organised, personable and ready with all the necessary details will certainly help convert but you must understand your ideal couple, respond quickly and excel on the show round to increase your potential of bookings.

For more information on gaining quality leads and business advice specifically for wedding venues, Wedinspire’s specialist Marketing advice & Ideas offers monthly actionable content.