We have increased our marketing efforts beyond Google AdWords, and it has already started to help. We signed up with an internet referral service, and almost immediately we booked two more weddings for the year, and a senior portrait. Each wedding and Portrait we are covering these days is leading to more and more interest in our service.
We also started a referral discount for our clients. For our better clients, we give them a "Thank You" card, which explains the program. It provides them a credit back with us for every booked client they refer to us. We have just started this program, so we'll have to wait to see how it pays back.
At the start of 2010, we re-designed our wedding packages. We created more value and variety in each of the packages as they progress up in price. The approach is meant to draw the clients into desiring the features of each package, so hopefully they will purchase a package at least one step above what they have been planning.
We have also started including features that most brides have not considered or seen before. One example is using shots from an engagement session to assemble a custom Guest Book for the wedding. We use Asuka Books to create a 7 or 8-inch book of 20-30 pages in length. The book includes 1 image on every other page, leaving lots of white space for guests to sign. So far, brides are loving this idea. All the brides we have discussed this idea with have purchased the Guest Book.
We have expanded our product offerings into new areas, such as jewelry:
Our jewelry is high quality, sterling silver. All our customers are very impressed with this product, and we expect it to be popular with our family clients. We have ceased providing any "discounts" for our services. Instead of discounts, we are providing incentives to encourage a more desirable client response. For example, we offer to throw in the engagement session if they book with us within 1 week after the initial interview. This provides the couple an incentive to make a decision and book with us quickly
. As we learn more, we are getting more advanced in our marketing techniques, and the results are already starting to show
Stay tuned for an update later in the year to hear how some of our other efforts are paying off!