Any successful endeavour requires a number of ingredients. An award winning cake recipe will have more than one ingredient, and an Olympic gold medal swimmer didn’t just swim their first lap that race.
There’s a process, there’s time, goal setting, and multiple resources being in the right place at the right time.
In the wedding industry there is so much focus on advertising and marketing, getting the enquiry, but less focus on winning that enquiry over, and worse, delivering an exemplary customer experience from woah to go.
Here at the Celebrant Institute we’ve written numerous articles about the value of creating and delivering a customer journey but today I wanted to hone in on one single aspect that apparently is really lacking in the wedding business: email.
Reply to emails
This one is simple. Reply to emails. When you receive an email, reply to it. Don’t worry about having a robotic auto-responder saying that you reply to emails. Instead, just hit reply. If you know the answer, tell them. If you don’t, tell them you don’t know.
Replying to emails is the number one way to build trust and relationship with your clients.
Letting an email sit there and fester isn’t good for your mental health, or their’s.
Reply and let them know you’re on the case, add it to your task management system to do what’s required, and find a workflow that suits your personality and brain.
Check your spam/junk folder
If you don’t check your spam or junk mail folder daily, you’re in for a surprise. Every day enquiries, real emails, replies to your replies, are all sitting in your junk folder. Check it daily, check it often, delete what’s spam, move what isn’t spam to your folder.
If you get email you don’t want: unsubscribe. Don’t let your inbox overwhelm you, unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t want so that your inbox is a place of focus and work.
Separate your lives into inboxes. I have a personal email inbox, a wedding clients inbox, and a Celebrant Institute inbox. I can go to each one to plow through emails on that topic and not be overwhelmed by others.
If a friend emails email@example.com, I move it to firstname.lastname@example.org and reply from there so that they get that email address and I get the piece of mind of sorting through my inboxes. If a celebrant emails email@example.com I move it to firstname.lastname@example.org … I need to be able to silo emails because most emails in my email@example.com inbox are not requiring a same-day reply, but wedding couples need an urgent reply, and Celebrant Institute emails require a swift reply. Whereas I subscribe to lots of newsletters – by choice – to firstname.lastname@example.org and will read them when I get time, probably not today.
One extra level of separation can be using different email apps for each context.
Look at who has been Cc’d in on an email to you, and reply all so the others get your reply, as long as it’s in context to your email. If you were cc’d in and you’re replying it’s respectful to CC everyone else in with a reply all. A good example of this is CC’ing in both people getting married instead of just replying to the one person, when the context is that it’s their wedding, not “her wedding”.
It’s no longer “brides”
If you’re the kind of wedding vendor who thinks that “brides” book you instead of “couples” we won’t be able to change your mind in this article, but if you’re dealing with couple things – like bookings, invoices, plans, etc – email both of them. Don’t just email the “bride” or the one person you’ve been dealing with. If you want both people bought in on the value and the joy of your ceremony, copy both of them in on the email. You need to put out into the world what you want to get back, and I want to marry a couple, not a bride.
Call them to action
If your email needs a reply, end with that call to action.
For example, if I wanted you to comment on this article, I’d ask you at the bottom so it’s the last thing you read, much like an email. End the email clearly communicating what you require of them, and when and/or how. Leave a comment on this post if you think I missed anything about email others should know.