7 compelling stats you need to know to convert more weddings
The last few years have seen a monumental change in the wedding industry. No other qi has been quite subjected to the famine and feast that COVID brought with it, going from zero weddings one year to double or triple the usual number in a single 12-month period. This has inevitably changed the way in which couples think about, consider and book their weddings. Drawing on the insightful findings of the 2022 wedding industry survey produced by WeddingDates, in which 1,200 couples from both Ireland and the UK were quizzed about every aspect of their wedding planning, we reveal some of the key statistics that will drive more leads, secure more showarounds and convert more weddings.
- Nearly two thirds of couples aren’t made to feel special
Some 63% of respondents felt that ‘nothing stood out’ or that they ‘felt like just another number’ when they enquired with the majority of wedding venues. This in itself represents a huge opportunity for wedding venues to go that extra mile to deliver the personal touch when responding to enquiries as it will instantly put your venue above your competitors in the minds of your deciding couples.
- Handwritten thank you notes can be the rocket your sales need
47% of couples said they would be ‘blown away’ to receive a personalised, handwritten note from a venue. Whilst this might seem an impossible task when you are fielding hundreds, if not thousands of enquiries each and every month, there are lots of great alternatives to sitting down with a pen and paper yourself. At The Wedding Method we use an incredible tool that has robots holding fountain pens (I know, we couldn’t believe it either!) to produce personalised, handwritten notes at scale. Adding some form of automation like this could give your venue the stand-out it needs in a very crowded marketplace.
- Most couples will only go to view 3 or fewer venues
This has been an increasing trend in recent years, even before the pandemic – where once couples would happily pop along to six or seven venues over a few weeks to get a feel for what each offers, today 73% of couples will view no more than three venues. This stat demonstrates just how important those first touch points are after the initial enquiry. By standing out with a personalised, non-generic response, you give your venue the best chance of securing that all important showaround appointment. And let’s face it, most venues we speak with almost always say things like, ‘once couples see it, they love it’ – if that rings true in your venue, do everything you can to create that perfect, personalised first impression.
- Nearly 8 in 10 couples make up to 10 enquiries
The wedding listings websites like Hitched and BrideBrook provide a fantastic resource for couples searching for different types of wedding venue in an easy-to-navigate online directory. The drawback for hotels and wedding venues is that it has become almost too easy for couples to enquire and request a brochure. At the click of a few buttons the average couple can send an enquiry to a dozen different venues and that’s reflected in the WeddingDates industry report in which 79% of couples said they enquired with up to 10 venues. So how do you offer personalisation when there’s a tidal wave of enquiries coming from these sites and no way of knowing how qualified the leads are? At The Wedding Method, we adopt a simple two-step approach to our enquiry process that helps us pre-qualify where the couple are in their venue-booking journey. Typically we’ll ask for no more than a first name and email to download a digital version of the wedding brochure, but as soon as the bride or groom has pressed submit, they’re presented with a second form asking if they’d like a physical brochure sent in the post. This simple, but effective approach asks more information from the enquirer, and gives us a reasonable way of seeing how serious they are. It also sets things up nicely to post them one of our automated handwritten notes too.
- Fast responses are essential
Of the couples surveyed, 16% expected a response within 24 hours, and a whopping 68% expected a response within 24-48 hours. To put another way, if you were to respond three days or later after the initial enquiry, you will have disappointed 84% of your enquiries at the very first touch point! Responding swiftly and in a timely manner is an intrinsic part of securing more wedding bookings because after all, this is the most important day of their life that they’re planning and they want to know they can trust their venue to be on the ball.
- Hotel weddings are on the decline
In 2020, 32% of weddings happened in hotels. That figure in 2021 was 31% and by 2022, it’s down even further at 28%. It’s no secret that barn or purpose-built venues have been an increasing trend in the industry in the UK and Ireland over the last few years, so if you’re managing weddings for a hotel, it’s worth noting that you will need to work ever so slightly harder (or smarter) to secure your weddings. This could include adding in personalised touches throughout the enquiry process, being more selective about where you advertise your venue and getting very clear on what your competitors are doing to secure the showaround appointments. Do everything you can to make the enquiry process as slick and as personalised as possible.
- 35% more viewings convert to bookings
Our final stat shows just how big an impact the personal touch can make on a venue’s sales. 35% is the average uplift clients of The Wedding Method see after they start using it in their wedding business. The mix of the handwritten notes, the professionally-shot video FAQs and the automated email responses mean each and every enquiry has a truly personalised, enquiry experience, delivered in a timely manner.
To find out more about how The Wedding Method could improve your leads, save you time and convert more sales, email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a demo.