When looking at the success of your marketing efforts as a wedding professional, you need to always be looking at three different but related and important statistics: inquiry numbers vs. meeting numbers vs. booking numbers. As you can probably figure out, your inquiry number is the number of couples who inquire with you about your services. Your meeting number is the number of couples who have an initial meeting with you (whether via phone, an online meeting, or in-person). And of course, your booking numbers are of those couples that actually hire you. Now, I understand that some of you reading this may not do an official meeting before booking, but I figure that most of us in the wedding industry do. If you don’t, then you would be just comparing inquiry to booking numbers.
To know your numbers, you need to ask couples inquiring with you where they found you. The easiest way, and the way that will get the most responses, is to ask as part of the initial contact form, or in your initial emails. If your contact form does not have this functionality, it is usually worth it to add it. I actually ask on the initial contact form, and then I ask again after they have booked me (as part of a vendors and details questionnaire), because I find that sometimes I get a different answer the second time I ask, and I find this second answer to be as important as the first. For example, it is possible they inquired through WeddingWire, so I record their referrer as WeddingWire, but when I ask the second time, I find out they were initially referred by their wedding planner, but ended up inquiring through WeddingWire after searching my reviews, so I add that to my notes and statistics as well.
By properly tracking these numbers you can do two key things –
1) Evaluate your marketing. Is a marketing method returning large numbers of inquiries but they are not moving on to the meeting stage? Is a marketing method returning smaller numbers of inquiries, but every one of the couples that inquire ends up meeting with you and booking you? Understanding which marketing tools are returning the best inquiry to booking rate helps you allot your limited marketing dollars to get you the best ROI.
2) You can evaluate if your marketing messaging and your meeting approach are working. If you are getting lots of couples to meet with you, but are converting lower than you should, it could be that you need to work on what you say and how you interact with the couple during the meeting. Or it could mean that something you are telling them at the meeting is not what they were expecting based on your marketing messaging (e.g. your price is way higher than they expected, or they weren’t expecting the process that you’ve just described).
By properly, and consistently, tracking and analyzing your inquiries vs. meetings vs. bookings, you will improve your marketing return and improve your business.