Welcome back my elopement photographer friends! We have built out the ULTIMATE guide to book the elopements you want. Get ready as we drop some knowledge on part 2: stop getting ghosted. If you haven’t read part one yet, make sure you check it out. It’s everything you need to know about the what / why / how to be able to automate your elopement business.
This is part 2 of a 5 part series for the Ultimate Guide to Book the Elopement You Want
Our second focus point is how to perfect the inquiry funnel for your elopement business to stop getting ghosted! Ghosts on pac man, super cute. Ghosts stealing your time and energy in the real world, not so much. Below are the steps to perfect the inquiry funnel for your elopement business and stop getting ghosted!
Why are people ghosting you?
Ghosting is rude. You are thinking it, we are saying it! However, people have their reasons. There are a lot of choices out there and couples aren’t inquiring about one place at a time. They are going on a godzilla esq rampage and inquiring to 10s of elopement photographers at a time. The earlier they are in their elopement planning process, the less likely it is that they know what they want so they inquire everywhere. This seems like a great idea for the couple at first, but then they receive a barrage of responses and then don’t know how to decide. So they don’t. They close their laptop and decide to start the process over on another day. These choices could have the couple feeling overwhelmed so they ghost. Our goal in our four email process is to re-engage slowly so they don’t feel so overwhelmed.
Another common reason couples ghost is that icky feeling people get when they have to give bad news (this is also the feeling that can arise when people ask how much an elopement costs). Couples don’t want to tell you they changed their mind or found someone better suited for them so instead of telling you no, they tell you… nothing. With that being said, it’s important to not let it get to you. They have their own reasons why they are ghosting and you don’t need to lose any sleep over it. On to the next wonderful couple who is committing to you!
The last common reason we see for ghosting is when a couple reaches out to you and they have NO idea what to do next. Hint: this may be your fault if you are sending out one inquiry response email and nothing else. But that’s why we are here! Stop getting ghosted by making a connection with your leads. Follow our steps to learn how to guide your prospective couple so they go from inquiry to I Do with YOU.
our secret to stop getting ghosted – The Four Part Inquiry Email Flow
While our secret recipe consists of four different, structured e-mails, the secret sauce is really where it’s at. The sauce is being direct without being saucy! By laying out for prospective couples what they need to do, it helps guide them through the process and makes them less likely to ghost you. It’s not enough just to send pricing, you need to tell them to book a call or send an email back to you. Stop getting ghosted by by having a multi step follow up process.
You can make it easier for couples to respond back to you.
It’s good to take control. Be the head honcho! Couple’s aren’t living and breathing in this industry like we are. They don’t know what to do next. How to decide. We talk about being the elopement experts and guiding them through their elopement day, but that guiding starts right out of the gate. We have developed a four part inquiry e-mail flow that helps guide them through this process. Using this framework, we book more weddings.
Their first question is almost always about pricing. We get it, weddings of all kinds are expensive and the photography budget being one of the top line items helps dictate what they spend in other areas. But, it’s not just pricing. It’s vibe. The couple will be your BFFs for the day, especially for elopements. Prompt them to schedule a call with you. Get to know each other off paper. When you’ve had these in person (or over zoom!) conversations, they are less likely to ghost because you are a real person to them now, not just a website.
Create inquiry email templates
When creating your four emails, make sure your branding is consistent. Remind them who you are, and what you can do for them. What makes you special! Why they should commit to you! Being consistent in your marketing also helps you stand out. For instance, we are Kelsey and Jake – your photo & video team, elopement guides, and location matchmakers. Every single email we are reminding couples of these three points so if they know if they are looking for photo and/or video, that’s us. If they want someone to guide them during their elopement process, that’s us. If they want help matching who they are to where they should elope, that’s us. Now, who are you? Tell them loud and proud!
Email 1: The Inquiry
The first email in our guide on how to perfect the inquiry funnel for your elopement business is the inquiry response. This little gem is the first point of response from you to your potential couple. Without it, couples are left wondering if they filled out the form correctly, if it was received, if they imagined the whole thing like a fever dream. This email is confirmation for them that you did indeed receive their information and they will hear from you!
always add helpful information in your first email
The most important part is to add value to this one and speak to your expertise about the specific time and location the couple is asking about. Pro tip – add these questions into your contact form on your website. You should also show a few of your galleries or blog posts that are similar to their location. Include your pricing guide because this is invariably one of the first questions a couple asks. If you are unsure of your pricing, follow our price your photography: 6 tips for profit guide. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: Call them to action! Tell them the next steps and guide them to book a call with you. Give them a couple times you’re available and insert the link to schedule a call with you. psssst. scheduling a call is just one way to save time and get your life back by automating your business!
pro tip: send them a text too!
Ready to wing it and make it your own? The goal is that when an inquiry comes in, you have an email response you can edit quickly so you can send it out as soon as it comes in. Such as, hey COUPLE, I see you checking us out. We’re checking you out too. Iceland sounds like a great elopement! Here is what else you need to know about that time of year and here is where you book with us. With love and adventure, your elopement photography dream team.
Ready for a few sample examples? We have your back, baby! We are rolling these out for our friends like you, so subscribe to be the first to get them.
Email 2: The 3 Day Follow Up
Just like dating, wait three days before you follow up. This gives the couple a few days to recover from their inquiry marathon but not forget you. If you haven’t heard from them in three days, this automated inquiry email will go out. This second email will ask if they’ve gotten the info you sent a few days ago (they did, but it’s nicer to ask them if they got it instead of asking why they haven’t booked you yet!). The follow up email is the pivotal step to stop getting ghosted.
This email will also resend your price guide so it’s front and center for them. Include a line in this second email asking if they have any questions and tell them the next step is to book a call. Make sure you have a calendly link or something similar to make it easy for them. Work smarter not harder!
Email 3: The 7 Day Follow Up
So you haven’t heard from them after the first two emails. A little disappointing but not unforgivable. People are busy. Our couples have a checklist to Mars to plan their elopement. They may need a little nudge. We’re playing the long game, honey. We don’t count anyone out after only two emails! The seven day follow up looks like “heeey I know you’re busy, but just wanted to follow up!” With another line asking if they have any questions or if there is anything holding them back from moving forward. The question about something holding them back really opens up the communication.
This gives them an opportunity to say, “I LOVE YOU but I don’t see that you have done an Iceland elopement and that’s where my heart is set”. Then you say, ohmygosh did you miss this iceland elopement at reynisfjara? We LOVE Iceland, and YOU. Let’s go make your elopement dreams come true buddy! Some people may not want to ask a question so that paired with the statement approach casts a wider net of responses.
Email 4: The 14 Day Follow Up
The final email in our queue to stop getting ghosted is the fourteen day follow-up. So, even after following all our steps, you may have been ghosted. Bum bum bummmm. It’s a bummer. This is your goodbye email. Sayonara, adios, arrivederci. We make this email direct, but also funny! Along the lines of “if we haven’t heard from you, we’re assuming you’ve changed your mind on your elopement (or you’re getting attacked by a wild animal). If you’re still interested, we’re still available, so contact us soon”.
This gives them one opportunity to chase you. Best case scenario we get a “wait! I haven’t forgotten about you. I have been busy with XYZ. Please be my photo & video team, elopement guides, and location matchmakers!” Worst case, you’re ghosted. But you won’t take it personal because you are AWESOME and there are more couples out there who want you to join them on the biggest, most adventurous day of THEIR LIVES!!!
TLDR: After 14 days, you can close their account.
Don’t forget to give yourself grace and self love after you have lost a lead. Not every couple is “your couple” and that’s ok! It’s not because you’re not SUPER talented or anything personal. The #1 reason why people turn down elopement services is because of budget constraints. So PLEASE FOR THE LOVE… try not to take losing a lead personally. Your couples will find you, promise! It can feel lonely, and it can feel like nobody is finding your site.
Have we convinced you to follow our guide to perfect the inquiry funnel for your elopement business yet? It’s about damn time you stop getting ghosted! Drop us a line on your thoughts. SUBSCRIBE to be notified of when we release part three of our five part series on the ULTIMATE guide to book the elopements you want! Also subscribe so we can get you our opening inquiry email for you to tailor and roll out to your brides and grooms who are just waiting to book with you.