The Wedding Wire estimates 40 percent of couples get engaged between November and February, with the bulk occurring between Christmas and Valentine’s Day. And for wedding venue marketers who know the venue decision is the first newly engaged couples make, this means cramming your window of opportunity into an even narrower slot. No pressure. So consider this your to-do list to get your house in order. Here, we outline a few ways you can be ready for the onslaught of traffic and inbound interest and convert as many couples into happy customers as possible.
Remember that Mobile-Friendly Is Couple-Friendly
For many young, newly engaged couples, a computer is something they use at work. They may have a laptop or desktop at home, but for most, the smartphone is where they do their web browsing. For that reason, it’s crucial that your website looks as good on mobile as it does on desktop. If it doesn’t render right, you’re not even in the ball game, let alone in contention. If you’re not sure whether your site is mobile-friendly, it’s easy to check: just take out your phone and go to your website. Is it easy to read? Can you easily see all the important stuff without zooming in? If so, you’re probably all set. If not, it’s important to address it as soon as possible.
Get New Staff Up to Speed
Your staff is only as good as the information you arm them with, so make sure they’re equipped to represent your venue well and hit all its unique selling points when talking to customers. If you have new staff, it’s doubly important to check if they’re well-versed with the venue’s details and are able to fluently answer questions. It may be tough to book a couple, but it’s easy to lose them, and there’s perhaps no easier way to do so than by responding to an inquiry in an underwhelming way. Give your staff the tools to succeed.
Update Your Marketing Collateral
In addition to updating it with your latest contact information and current offerings, aesthetically speaking, the right brand collateral looks as good as the venue itself. And there’s perhaps no better time of year to update it than just before the rush of engagement season. Brand collateral can spark a thought after a site visit, and it’s a chance to leave the customer with something to look at and hold as they consider your venue. Make sure it leaves an impression worthy of your venue.
Establish A Finely Tuned Follow-Up Machine
Whether it’s software like Pipedrive, a shared spreadsheet, or a series of sticky notes on a communal whiteboard, you and your team need a system to methodically track and follow up with leads and outbound communication. If you have one, great! Too often we hear from clients whose site visit inquiry and follow-up system is scattered and haphazard. With your team, define the right frequency and timing of follow-ups as well as any core messaging or links to include, such as the digital version of your Hawthorn event brochure if you produce one with us.
Mind Your Site-Visit CTA (Call to Action)
Imagine you’re a new bride or groom to be. You’re perusing dozens of venue websites, trying to determine the perfect spot for your big day. Will you spend time poring through each page of every website? Of course not. In fact, you’ll look for reasons – subconsciously or otherwise – to simply “x” out and move on to the next one. Venues without a CTA – in other words, an obvious “next step” toward making a site-visit inquiry – are often thrown into that bucket of “no’s.” An effective wedding venue website doesn’t necessarily try to close visitors on a site visit right off the bat – it may walk them through information and graphics in a cleanly presented, engaging way before leading them to the form or “contact us” button. Just like if you were talking with a prospect in person, you’d make the person feel comfortable, answer questions, but also have a clear next step during every stage so things move along.