Success Guide to Responding to Venue Enquiries & Leads

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Success Guide to Responding to Venue Enquiries & Leads

The initial enquiry made to your venue via phone or email results in the first contact you make, get this right and optimised and you can convert more wedding bookings along with increasing your wedding turnover.

Converting Enquiries into Bookings

This guide looks at how to respond to venue enquiries and ways of maximising conversion. We have focused on wedding venues however many of the action points and practices are applicable for all venues and other wedding industry professionals such as wedding planners, photographers and musians.

Act fast to Increase your Conversion Rate

Responding to a couples enquiry is your first contact with them and also their first impression. They may contact by phone or email, they may have a query about the venue, wish to view a brochure or request a quote, or perhaps a viewing.

If an enquiry is made through your own website, social media or a wedding directory, it is important to monitor all these sources and ensure all are responded to. To give a great first impression it is crucial to respond to these enquires as early as possible, ideally within a few hours or at least 12.

It is likely that a couple may have contacted a number of venues, so it is important that you resend quickly, answering their queries and inviting them for a viewing. If it takes a couple of days to respond, then it doesn’t set a great impression, they may not think their enquiry is important to you, and they could worry the slow response may reflect the service they would get on their big day.

By not responding swiftly you are also giving other venues a head start. Couples browsing social media at the weekend expect a swift response. Initial contact, viewings and even bookings can be performed during just one weekend. By the time other venues respond on a Monday they have missed their chance.

Get into a routine and set aside time throughout the day to respond to enquires, make it an important item. Try to respond to email leads in the morning, this way you can reply to people who have sent a message yesterday evening. Perhaps another option would be first thing after lunch and then close of play that day.

Action step: Reply fast, make it a routine and stick to it.

Responding to Venue Enquiries

To ensure you can quickly respond to enquires, it is a good idea to have things set up to make your life a little easier, printed enquiry forms for people that may call up, so you know what information you need to help and get back to them, allowing you to send a quote or a brochure over to them. This is a good time to review your enquiry process, ensuring it is streamlined and effective.

Wedding Venue Email Template

An enquiry could be made for a number of reasons, to check availability of a date, to get a quote and brochure or to book a viewing. Having an email template ready to use and send is a great idea and makes the process quicker and simpler however it is important to keep it personal and ensure you answer the couples actual questions.

It is a good idea to have templates set up for different types of responses:

  1. Initial inquiry follow-up
  2. Sending a proposal/quote
  3. Following up on inquiry
  4. Arranging a viewing
  5. Following up after viewing if applicable
  6. Following up on a contract

Keep the prices relevant, don’t just send them a price list of starting prices. If they have included details of what they would like such as the number of guests and food requirements, create a bespoke price based on this, unless you have a set package price which meets their criteria.

They may ask for a quote and brochure and have some specific questions regarding food, make sure you answer these instead of just sending a standard brochure and price list email. It is crucial to have that attention to detail, combining friendliness with professionalism.

Email Template:

Hi {clients name},

Thank you for your interest in {venue name} for your wedding.

I’m pleased to say your preferred date of {insert date} is currently available, the barn is beautiful at this time of year and is exclusively yours for the day or weekend. 90 guests is a great number and still allows plenty of space.

{Tailor your response to their enquiry}

I would be delighted to schedule a venue viewing, and an opportunity to discuss your vision for your dream wedding, and how we can help make those plans a reality. We do have some availability over the next week, so please do let me know what day and time would be convenient?

Should you have any further questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to get in touch.

We look forward to welcoming you to {venue name} and discussing your vision for your day.

Warm regards

If a date they are enquiring about is not available, make sure you make them aware of dates that are. For example ‘I am sorry to say, we do not have the {insert date} available however the good news is, we do have {insert available dates} available if these are suitable for you.’

Don’t forget your email signature, this is an important part, here you can add links to reviews to build confidence and establish trust by displaying your phone number.

If adding an attachment make sure it is compressed and not a huge file size, no one wants to download a 12mb PDF.

Another part that is often overlooked is the email subject line, instead of just hitting reply and having a subject line of “RE: Website enquiry”, make your subject line personable and unique, for example “Congratulations {their name} from {venue name}”, or “{their name} Wedding at {venue name} in 2020/2021/2022″.

Finally, make it your own, this is just a guide. Adjust the text to suit your own writing style and your venues approach, you may wish to make it more fun and relaxed and remember to add your own personality into it.

Call to Action

When responding to potential leads, it is important to have a call to action, you may have sent over a brochure or quote but you want to keep the conversation going. The best call to action is to invite them for a venue visit, elaborate on this by explaining you will personally show them around. Arrangement of a phone conversation is also advantageous.

Action step: Don’t just send a brochure and leave it at that. Include a call to action and next step.

Following up with Potential Clients

When you have responded it is important to follow up, planning a wedding is stressful and hectic, your email can quickly get lost with other emails from other suppliers, a polite follow up can help bring you back to the top of the pile.

Keep it simple and to the point.

Email template:

Hi {clients name},

I am just following up the email I sent you on {insert day}, I wanted to see if you had any questions about our venue and your requirements.

When would be a suitable day and time to arrange a meeting for you?

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

Warm regards

It is important to keep following up, just because they don’t respond does not mean they are not interested or have booked another venues, they could just be busy or not had a chance to review or respond. Keep following up until you hear otherwise. Be persistent, remember they contacted you first, so assume they’re interested until told otherwise.

When following up keep it friendly and personable, with a light personal tone they are likely to respond to. A harsh strong email would certainly put them off responding and definitely booking you.

Action step: Make sure you follow up! After a few days ensure you follow up on all responses you have sent.

You will be sure to have couples who simply don’t have the budget for your venue, and that is fine, treat all enquires the same and maintain a professional and friendly attitude. Whatever the reason couples don’t book a viewing or book you as a venue, ensure to note down any reasons so that you can review at the end of the year.

The key steps to increase your lead conversion are simple yet effective. Time is key, so ensure you respond to enquiries as soon as you can, don’t make it a ‘will do it when I can’ job, make it a must do now job.

Keep your emails personal, but have templates set up ready to use depending on the nature of the enquiry helping to make it quicker and easier to respond. Review your emails, ensure there is a next step to encourage a response and also an action, such as booking an appointment to visit.

Finally make sure you follow up, don’t be afraid to send a follow up email a few days later. Review the emails you are sending, keep tweaking to see if you can improve them, or answer common questions people email about or want to know when they enquire.

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