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If you are writing an email or a letter to a friend, do you know your friend well enough to write a meaningful letter or email? Yes, because you know your friend, you can write a message filled with information that they want to hear or have an interest in hearing.
It is when you don’t know someone very well that you may struggle with what to write. Not knowing your prospects and clients well enough may be what is paralyzing you from writing effective marketing copy.
If this is a thought that has you scratching your head, then it is probably the truth. After all, how can you possibly write a message that speaks directly to someone when you have no idea who that someone is!
Even if you think you know who your dream wedding clients are, you may not know them as well as you think you do. In addition, clients transform and change. Conducting periodic research to keep up with the changing times of your clients only makes you a better marketer and helps you to refine your marketing messages to fit their current needs and desires.
Understanding that you have to know your clients, who they are, where to find them, how they think, what they need, and how they feel are all the roads that lead you to write marketing messages that speak directly to them. If you simply write to write, your messages are disjointed, misplaced, and miss the intended target altogether. Getting this first step down is the key to taking the rest of the steps that creates compelling copy.
How to Locate Market Segments & Identify Target Markets
It always makes me laugh when a client tells me that anyone and everyone can use their wedding planning service. While this statement may hold some truth to it, it is impossible to market your business or service effectively to everyone. Narrowing down and really determining who your dream clients are is the key to creating marketing copy and content that speaks to those who are most likely to hire you.
So, then the question becomes, how can you identify who your ideal clients are?
Consider the Service
The best place to start is with the wedding planning service you are selling. Stop looking at it from your point of view as the business owner/wedding planner and start looking at it from the point of view of the client. Get specific on the types of brides and grooms that would use your service.
For wedding planners with an existing client base, you can do it one better because you can review these existing clients and draw lines between the characteristics or habits that they have in common. You can even ask your existing clients questions about themselves, families, professions, households, or about any other areas of their lives that have to do with why hired you.
Two tools you can use, especially when you have a database of clients to work with include:
- Data tracking
The best way to find out more about your clients is to ask them questions. You can take a formal approach to questioning them by creating and sending out a survey. You can also choose an informal approach such as simply asking them a couple of quick questions while you’re on the phone with them or when they are standing in front of you.
If you take the written survey approach, compose 10 to 12 questions. Avoid creating questions for the sake of creating questions, but, instead, determine what the purpose of each question is. For example, if you are wedding planner that targets high net worth executives that plan big-ticket weddings, then asking the household income, profession, and title may be appropriate.
Keep the survey short, simple and easy to complete. Mix up the amount of multiple choice questions with a few open response questions, where survey takers can answer freely. Survey Monkey is one resource for creating and sending out free online surveys. You can also create a paper survey on your computer and mail it out to your list. You should include a self-addressed stamped envelope to help ensure the return of the surveys.
You can search for surveys from market research firms, your competitors, and other organizations that cater to the wedding industry. These resources are all free and provide you with some high level and detailed information about the client segment you’re looking to penetrate. The key is to use the information you uncover about your wedding couples to write, craft, and disseminate marketing messages that speak directly to that audience.
You may think you know how your clients feel and what they want and need, but do you? You may receive unsolicited comments or complaints from clients, but this may not be enough information to really provide you with what you need to know to continue doing what you’re doing right and change what you’re doing wrong.
Conducting surveys with clients is a great way to gather information that can help you up your marketing game. Surveys also allow you to do some market research of your own without having to hire professionals to do it for you. Analyzing the responses allow you to get inside of the minds of your brides and grooms. Once you see their point of view, it is much easier to write marketing content that interests them.
7 Reasons Surveys Are Great Marketing Tools
1. It’s free
Using online survey sites such as SurveyMonkey.com allow you to create, disburse, and tally the results of a survey for free. There are some limitations, of course.
2. It’s easy
Assembling a survey is an easy way to interact with your clients. Almost anyone can create and publish a professional looking survey online. In a few minutes time, you can get your survey up and running, and it may only take a few minutes before you start getting feedback.
3. Everybody has an opinion
When you ask clients for feedback, expect to get it whether it’s good or bad. It’s important not to take any of the feedback personally, but rather as a learning experience. Sometimes you don’t realize your service stinks or needs adjustments unless someone who has used it tells you. You’d rather have an opportunity to correct it now than to continue to offer a not-so-great service to new clients.
4. It puts you in a new pair of shoes
OK, so you are not going to get a new pair of shoes out of it right away, but conducting a survey allows you to see your service or entire company from your client’s point of view. Gaining a new perspective is the perfect way to attain a fresh and unbiased opinion. These opinions allow you adjust your business and your marketing. These adjustments can lead to earning enough additional money that you can use to buy your own new pair of shoes!
Client opinions open a viewpoint to your service that you may have blind to previously, which provides you with the opportunity to alter marketing messages that fit both your service and the brides and grooms who hire you.
5. Further engagement
You can use your survey as a survey and leave it at that or you can use it as an opportunity to further engage your clients. Offer a coupon for a discount on a service or encourage them to subscribe to your free online newsletter at the end of the survey. Remember, the point of marketing is to get the opportunity to start and continue a conversation with DREAM clients and prospects. Only when you have this opportunity can you get your marketing content and copy in front of the couples who are most likely to hire you.
6. It’s not all about selling
If everything you send your clients or subscribers is always trying to sell them something, then they become annoyed. A survey, however, is an opportunity to communicate with the brides and grooms that are on your list, while indirectly promoting your business and engage them without trying to cram a sales pitch down their throats.
7. Fresh interest
If you don’t want to survey clients specifically about your company, but possibly about the wedding industry, surveys are a great hook to engage respondents. You can gather information on industry topics in general and simply act as the “sponsor” of the survey. This acts as a brand awareness marketing campaign, which can also be a highly effective marketing strategy. A wedding industry survey also allows you to gather information about your prospects and clients so you can get to know them better.
Surveys can offer a variety of marketing benefits to your company and respondents. Surveys can help you to gain a new perspective or to gather the information you need to create new services. Surveys spread brand awareness of your company at the same time and are inexpensive and effective ways to accomplish your goals. As they say, everybody has an opinion, so you’re sure to garner some sort of a response from brides and grooms.
Use this survey worksheet to help you assemble a survey to send out to your list.
- Start your survey off with a short descriptive paragraph. The introduction should briefly explain the purpose of the survey. Request that the bride or groom complete the survey and return it to you.
Write your introductory paragraph:
- Identify the information you are trying to learn about your customers. Each item you identify leads to a question that you should ask on the survey.
List 10 to 12 pieces of information you want to uncover with the survey results:
- Turn these 10 to 12 points into questions.
- Find out how the client or prospect first came to learn about your company or service. You should make this a combination question, where you list specific publications or places where you advertise (i.e., Google, XYZ Magazine, Referral, etc.). For general responses, such as Referral or Other, allow the brides and grooms to fill in a line that describes who referred them or what the other is that led them to your business.
- Make contact information optional.
- Decide if you want to include a special promotion, a bonus, a download, or some other offer to say thank you for completing the survey.
Another way to get to know who your ideal clients is to track data. You may be gathering data and not know it, or worse you may be knowingly gathering data that you are not using!
Let’s start by looking at the data that you probably have in your database or contact management system.
For example, if you send out your email marketing messages, campaigns, and e-newsletters using a contact management system such as MailChimp or one of the myriad of other options, all of these offer a reporting section.
These reports provide a rich source of information on your subscribers — rich information that you should be paying attention to because it can provide you with insight into who your clients are.
These reports tell you:
- How many recipients opened the email
- How many emails bounced (did not reach the recipient)
- How many remain unopened
- How many people clicked on one or more of the links in your email
- If anyone forwarded the email to someone else
- If the people who received a forwarded message opened the email
While this is some of the basic overview information, these reports all break it down a level, so that you can learn:
- Who opened the email (specific names and email addresses)
- Which links these people clicked on
- And even how many times the same person opened the same email
Wow! That’s a lot of information.
And, let me tell you briefly how you can use some of this information.
First, those who are continuously opening email after email that you send them should be on your “hot” list. These brides and grooms are itching to receive the next informational article, promotion, or announcement you are sharing with them.
Second, tracking which links are the most popular can help you identify two things. It can help you identity which of your services are the most popular and it can provide you with insight into client behavior. Both can help you adjust or mimic marketing messages to continue garnering the same positive results.
Let’s say you are promoting an ebook in your email. You can track the number of people that clicked on the link and then you can compare this to the book sales you made that day. It becomes easy to identify which of your subscribers clicked on the link and then made a purchase once they got to your site. This means that the clients who purchased the ebook have moved to the next level of your sales process. You can use this list to up-sell your next program or you can slide these buyers into an ebook list that you send special promotions to on future ebooks.
Consider the Competition
You can also get to know your potential clients by getting to know your competition. Watch how your competition is marketing to the audience they attract, how they word copy on their website, the layout of their marketing brochures, and how often they share informational articles on their blog (if they even have a blog). Gleaning information from your competition can help you to identify who your ideal customer is. It can also help you determine a niche in the market that your competition is not catering to, which may be an opportunity for you to target.
Use Readily Available Data
One of the primary resources for gathering data on your clients is using demographic and geographic data. Demographic data includes age groups, interests, income levels, professions, and more. The geographic data helps you determine where your clients live, work, and play. These factors play a huge role in how you word your marketing materials and even how you spread the word. One resource for finding this information is the U.S. Census Bureau.
In the end, identifying your dreamiest of dream clients comes down to identifying who it is that is seeking the solutions your services offer to their problems. Identifying the clients you cater to narrows down the focus of your marketing messages and content so that it speaks to the audience you are trying to attract or the group you have listening to what you have to say.
Once you have this information, you then have the information you need to start working on your marketing messages.
Want to write copy so swoonworthy that brides + grooms are standing in line to hire you? Grab my Writing Survival Kit for Wedding Planners.
I’m Kristie Lorette McCauley. I have a word addiction and I’m not afraid to use it (or admit it).
In my past life, I was a certified wedding planner. In my current life, I am the wedding planner content + copy writer.
I use my writing + wedding planning experience to turn your thoughts into words that land you DREAM brides + grooms + book your calendar solid.