“How Should I Follow Up After the Wedding Show?”
“I would really appreciate it if you could help me with an email to send to people that visit our booth at bridal shows and follow up emails after.
“We are a full service travel agency – and for the past year we have been trying to specialize more in the honeymoon and destination wedding business. I have a lot of testimonials from happy customers – but not many yet from weddings!
“I send out a 1 page letter after the show–your email is very short. How should I shorten mine, but yet still give the info to all of the brides? Should we include it in their bags at the booth instead of emailing it and then just send a short follow up email after the show?”
The Crazy Thing About Wedding Show Follow Up
The Price Shopper Email is meant to be used with people who email inquiring about your services. It’s short because it’s designed to get them to the next step, the phone call, so that you can book them.
The email for bridal show follow up needs to be crafted differently. That’s where we’ll put on our thinking caps. 🙂
Let’s separate your leads from the show into two categories so we can address them effectively:
1. Those you meet and talk with in person at the show.
2. Names, emails and addresses on the list delivered after the show.
Each requires a different approach to get results.
A good thing to remember:
Email follow up will be the least effective follow up you can do.
Email is free – which means all your competition is going to do it – and the bride’s email inbox is going to be crammed with offers immediately following the show, most of which will be ignored or deleted. Add that to the fact that many savvy brides register for a wedding show with a specific email address they don’t check often, and your email is likely to be invisible.
Both telephone and direct mail will be more effective in terms of getting results. Be sure to include alternative forms of follow up in your strategy as well.
With that said, the best wedding show follow up actually begins before the show even starts.
Be Easy to Remember at the Show
Couples typically see dozens or even hundreds of wedding pros at a show, so you need to stand out.
Include something in your booth that makes you easy to remember – or impossible to forget. For example, one photographer displayed a huge portrait of a poodle in a wedding dress. It helped that the dog was a male. 🙂
Or you might offer couples a memorable gift, such as bobble head toys.
Then when you follow up, you can say, “Hi! I’m Stephanie, the photographer with the photo of the bride surrounded by bikers in Speedos. We met at the bridal show…”
Create Your Own Lead List
First, you should definitely collect your own leads right at your booth. Host a contest or giveaway, and collect the following information:
• The wedding date
• Whether they’ve booked a honeymoon or not
• A description of their ideal destination
Another question to ask on your entry form is: Will you be booking your honeymoon Now / Soon / Later?
This lets you prioritize who to follow up with first.
These will be your warmest leads, since you had a chance to speak with them face-to-face. You’ll also beat the competition to following up with them, because there’s no need to wait for the list to be delivered.
Jot down the name of every person you speak with and a quick note about your conversation if you can. This will come in handy later for your follow up.
Follow Up With Couples You Meet
You’ll have a special connection with couples you meet in person, so follow up with them first.
Turn to those notes you made at the show and use them for your follow up. Write a personal email to them referencing your conversation.
I’m so happy we met at the Bella Bridal Show. Your ideas for a hiking excursion on your honeymoon are phenomenal!
Here’s a sample itinerary I put together for another couple… [INSERT LINK]
The next step is for us to have a phone chat so I can learn more about what would make your honeymoon perfect.
Are you available for a quick chat on Thursday at 4pm?
As you can see, this email is still quite short. I’d recommend you keep it that way.
You’re much more likely to get a response from these leads because you’ve already established a relationship.
Follow Up With Couples You Didn’t Meet
These leads are much colder. They haven’t spoken to you and you don’t have as much information about them, since you didn’t collect it at your booth.
An email requesting a phone call is not likely to be effective.
Instead, try one of two approaches:
• A special, limited time offer. If couples are currently booking a honeymoon, this will encourage them to respond asap.
• Valuable information that positions you as an expert. A great way to win over couples who don’t yet trust you is to become an expert resource. Send them an email tip they can use in planning the honeymoon, along with invitation to contact you for a free consultation.
Special Considerations For Travel Agents
Most couples attending a wedding show are at the beginning of the planning process. That means they won’t be booking the honeymoon for some months.
A long-term follow up strategy for wedding pros who get booked later in the planning process (honeymoon specialists, videographers, makeup artists, etc.) is absolutely essential.
Invite these leads to sign up for a free report containing tips and information that will be useful for planning the wedding and honeymoon.
I highly recommend that you DON’T simply add these leads to your email autoresponder. Even if the bridal show producer tells you everyone who registered has given permission to be emailed, the couples won’t remember it. You’ll get spam complaints that can get you kicked off your email service provider and, even worse, the couples will consider you a spammer.
Once they’ve signed up for your email list specifically, follow up with them weekly or monthly.
Each email should contain both tips and a call to action in a ratio of 90/10 – 90% tips and info, 10% invitation to contact you for a consultation or other offer.
These couples will come to associate your emails with value, and when they are ready to book a honeymoon, you’ll be the first one they call.
The promise of easy promotion through email is enticing, but doing it effectively requires a well-thought out strategy. You’ll need to test and track your results over time to see which emails yield the best results.
What do you think about bridal show follow up?
About the Author
Stephanie Padovani and her husband, Jeff Padovani, are the dynamic husband-wife duo behind Book More Brides, the #1 online resource for transformational marketing, business and motivational strategies for the wedding industry.
Stephanie and Jeff Padovani met and fell in love in the corporate world, and have been working together ever since. They are famous for entertaining and empowering wedding professionals with low cost, effective marketing strategies and powerful “anti-price shopper” communication techniques…that don’t require sleazy, high-pressure sales tactics or competing on price.
Want more wedding business tips? Visit BookMoreBrides.com to get your copy of the free report, “The Price Shopper Email: How to Immediately Convince Brides of Your Value So They’re Primed and Ready to Book.”
Filed Under: Weddings
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