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Marketing or Advertising to Brides after the Bridal Fair, Bride's Show or Wedding Expo
The Bridal Fair season is finished. The booth items are stored away and everyone has rested up from those long days standing on hard concrete, greeting hundreds or even thousands of brides. The future is looming and, unless you are lucky, you need to bring in additional business for those last few open weekends. Sitting on your desk or work table is the lead list the producers of the bridal fair provided you. The list has the names, addresses, phone numbers, email address and additional important information about each bride that attended the bridal fair. How do you use this list to its fullest potential?
Step One-Where To Begin
Create a database or spreadsheet with the lead list. Hopefully, you were able to receive the list in a digital format. If this is the case, follow the instructions and upload the list into the database or spreadsheet program. Microsoft Excel is the most common program used for this type of work. If the lead list was unavailable in a digital format, enter the information directly from the list into the program. If you do not have the time to do this, it is worth hiring someone, either through a temp agency or a family member or friend, to enter the information for you. Please make sure all information is entered correctly and properly. Many vendors are not hired because they misspelled a bride’s name or failed to capitalize the name of the bride's hometown. Remember details are important to brides.
While entering the information or after you have uploaded, there are a couple of columns you will need to add. One is an active or inactive column. The other is a bridal fair column. If possible, it is best to enter all brides onto one spreadsheet or database file. The bridal fair column will allow you to sort by which bridal fair the brides attended. Many times brides will attend multiple fairs. Excel has the ability to delete multiple entries of the same name. Just confirm all information is provided on the entry that is to be kept before deleting the other entries.
Sample Advertising Post Card
Step Three-Quick Advertising
General mail out or email. As soon as all brides have been entered, send out a letter or email thanking the brides for attending the bridal fair. Be sure to mention an upcoming sale or a discount, if they contact you before a certain date. If you chose to use the regular mail, a post card works best for this. It is cheaper to mail than a letter and does not have to be open. A well-done, brightly colored post card will attract attention quickly.
Step Four-Lead Time
Determine, for your customers, the typical time between booking and the actual wedding. For my industry, at that time, it was 4 to 6 months. This translates to 4 to 6 months before the wedding brides were booking my type of service, a disc jockey. This time will vary for each industry. For example, venues, caterers and photographers are typically booked first; therefore, there is a greater amount of lead time. Once this has been determined, every month send something to each bride on your list. Your main, and most expensive, advertising should be to the brides within that time frame. Sort your list by wedding date and determine the brides that fit within that time frame. Focus your sales force on these brides. It may be phone calls, email or regular mail, which ever advertising plan works for you and your industry.
Step Five-General Advertising
Brides outside of the target time line should receive monthly advertising. A postcard or creative email emphasizing or promoting a sale or a discount works well at this level. Always provide an incentive to contact or visit within a time frame. Once the bride’s wedding date has passed be sure to mark them inactive. This keeps unwanted advertising from annoying the couple.
Step Six-Social Networks
If you have not already, start social networking. Create a Facebook page, along with a Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts. On all your advertising, promote these accounts. Post often about your upcoming sales, discounts, or special products. Create contests such as “Bride of the Month” to keep brides and their helpers coming to your sites often. Include a photo clause in your contract allowing pictures of your services at the bride's wedding to be used for advertising purposes. The week following the wedding post a few of these on Facebook or on Pintertest. Millennial brides are very tech savvy and will love interacting with you and your company in these formats.
Create an “advertising book or spreadsheet”. Place each advertising piece in a physical or electronic binder with a tally report attached. Record the date and number of pieces sent on the tally report. If a wedding is booked off that piece of advertisement, log a tally mark on the report and the booking price. This provides a quick and easy way to determine the effectiveness of that particular advertising piece. By the way, a typical response to a direct mail advertising piece would be around 2%, whereas an email response rate would be lower (but more cost effective).
Advertising to brides after a bridal fair is the best way to receive the most out of your bridal fair experience. No matter how wonderful your booth was or how great your cakes tasted at the fair, brides can easily forget you. Do not rely on that one event to bring in all your weddings.Thank you for reading. Dusty Snoke spent 14 years growing two disc jockey companies from small one system companies to 12 events a night in multiple states companies. During this time, she continued to perform as a disc jockey and emcee. Feel free to comment or add ideas on marketing to brides.
Other links to check out
- Bridal Shows: Getting the Most from your Bridal Fair or Wedding Expo
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- Vistaprint - Sample Post Cards
Four-color business cards, marketing postcards, invitations and letterhead custom printed at amazingly low prices. You can even get FREE business cards! Easily personalize and order your products online in no time.