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I’m super excited about today’s topic—all about the number one email funnel your venue needs. It is a very simple and attainable entry into building your email list. If you have been following The Venue Podcast for any amount of time, you know that we are big advocates of building your email list. It is one of the best ways to sell, stay in touch with, and serve your audience. Here is Kinsey’s process for creating the most important email sequence for venues!
I want to preface this by saying I am not a complete email list-building expert. I’m still learning along with you. But what I do know is a very easy way to get started and it’s not going to intimidate you. This is the next step from having a “join my newsletter” form! And if you don’t even have that in place, trust me—this is going to be very easy. It’s just a few quick steps, and once the funnel is built and your list begins to grow, that funnel can start to serve your couples without you actually having to physically answer them.
The number one email sequence for venues is called a “welcome sequence”—a short series of emails you create and write one time that begin to introduce the couple to you and your venue.
These emails are automated to be “triggered” when someone signs up for your email list and will send on the schedule you set. These emails are short and add value. You don’t want to make them too long—I don’t think we need that in this industry.
Start with five to eight emails. Make the series as long as you need to get the information across, but keep it as condensed as possible.
The main benefit is an automated way for couples to get to know you without you actually having to physically spend the time sending emails to every person who joins your list. It’s working for you in nurturing relationships, even when you aren’t working.
The second benefit is it’s a soft-sell and a service-sell. I will show you this when I walk you through my welcome sequence—I use five emails within my sequence to soft-sell and service-sell to the couples as they read each one.
The third benefit is that you are growing your email list so you can utilize it later when introducing new products and/or services your company will offer. Once the welcome email sequence for venues has been executed fully, you can move the email subscribers into new campaign sequences down the road.
When you build an email sequence, you will do this within an email provider that allows you to create a funnel of emails, also known as an email sequence.
Some of the most common email providers that people use for an automation sequence are MailChimp, ConvertKit, AWeber, GetResponse, and Flodesk (affiliate link). I personally use Flodesk for my email sequence building.
I’m going to quickly walk you through what I call my “planning checklist nurture sequence”. We created this nurture sequence one time. It has a lot of content within each email and took a couple of hours to create, but now it has been running on autopilot. I don’t actually sit down to send these emails individually. In my welcome sequence, they get one email every day for five days, and that’s it. It’s a short sequence and we have found it to be successful for us. I think it’s good for you to develop a short sequence first—you can always add on later, if needed.
I am encouraging my potential couples to opt into my list with a 12-month wedding planning checklist. So that is the freebie—also known as the opt-in or the lead magnet. Those all mean the same thing. You need to have something that you’re giving away for free to be more successful at getting people to opt into your welcome sequence. Just saying, “Join my newsletter,” or “Opt in to our welcome sequence,” is not a good idea because it’s not giving them any value, they don’t understand what that means, and you’re not really encouraging them to give their precious email away. So you do need to have a valuable resource—like a 12-month wedding planning checklist.
The first email that they get is an instant email that congratulates them on their engagement and thanks them for opting in to get our planning checklist.
Now that the potential client has the checklist, I introduce her to my welcome sequence. I say, “Listen, over the next few days, I’m going to send you my very best tips for planning your wedding. This is stuff that’s taken me years to figure out. We’ve hosted over 60 weddings at our venue, and I’m going to fast-track your planning process. So before we do that, I just want you to get your planning checklist. Again.” Here, I add the link to the planning checklist again. I host the checklist in Google Drive and they can click a link to download it.
Next, I say, “I’m excited to give you access to your checklist. It’s going to guide you through the 12 months leading up to your wedding so that you don’t miss anything important. Wedding planning shouldn’t be stressful. It definitely doesn’t have to be. And I’m here to help you make it fun. Happy planning!” And then I add my email signature.
Under my signature, I add a PS with the soft-sell/service-sell: “Here’s two ways I can help you. If you don’t know what to do next, book a free 15-minute planning strategy session with me. Or, you can follow me on Instagram where we share even more wedding planning content”. Super soft, right? Easy. They can make the choice.
Our second email is sent one day later, and this is us inserting our know, like, and trust factor. The subject line is “Tell me more,” and I tell them about myself and my business partner. I just give them 10 quick fun facts about me. Next, in bold letters to capture their attention, I ask them to reply and tell me one fun fact about themselves and (here’s the kicker) one struggle they’re having with planning their wedding.
Why do I ask this? Because it helps me understand where their roadblocks are so I can reply to them and help them get an answer to that question. I reply personally to those emails, and their answer is a piece of content that I can use for my blog, for my podcast, for Instagram, and for any video that I do. Their responses are all content topics that I tuck away on my spreadsheet, and I can come back to them. It’s a dual-use—good for them and good for me.
And then at the end again, I ask those same two questions I did in the first email. This way, I’m building the following on Instagram and encouraging people to reach out to me.
Email number three is super short and sweet because I am directing them to a piece of content I’ve already created. That is key for us. I am not recreating the wheel within this email. It says, “Hey, there. Are you on track planning your wedding? Let me help you. I hope you’ve had a chance to download the wedding planning checklist. If you haven’t, here’s the link again [insert a link to checklist].” Then, I tell them about one of my most popular blog posts—exactly how to build the ultimate wedding website.
I love this post on our blog because it takes them through not only how to build a wedding website, but what they should put on it to actually make it valuable for themselves so that they don’t have to field 600 questions within their text messages. I link to that blog post within the email, and I don’t add a PS at the end of this one.
In number four, the subject line is, “Have you answered the two toughest wedding planning decisions?” And for me, two tough wedding planning decisions are hiring your venue and hiring your photographer. Those are vendors that are usually booked first. This email doesn’t have a ton of information—it just says, “Listen, here’s what I think two tough decisions are. These are what my couples tell me. I want to give you some cheat sheets of questions to ask when you’re making these important questions.” Then I give them a link to my customizable vendor questionnaires. They can print it out and take it to every single tour and take it to every single photo consultation so they find and hire the right people.
Now you might be thinking, “Why are you giving them questions to ask other venues?” Here’s the thing: what we really want is for them to find the best venue, even if it’s not ours. We want them to have the best wedding. And if that’s not with us, that’s great. I feel confident enough in my business to say that. But providing them with amazing service will keep me top of mind when it comes to them referring my business to a friend!
This brings us to our very last email. I love this email because this is what helps me get into the mind of my ideal client. And it’s just calling out one thing. I want them to know that I’m here for them. I want to know what’s going on. It’s good content for me, and it also helps me get into their mind.
So my very last email’s subject line is, “Quick. I need your help,” The last email is three sentences long. It just says, “I have a quick question. I need your help. What’s your number one struggle when it comes to planning your wedding? Can you hit reply and just share it with me?” That’s it.
I want to know what my couples are struggling with so that I can be the one to answer those questions, whether it be through my free education via blog, podcast, video, or me replying directly back to them and saying, “Thanks so much for emailing me. I totally understand how overwhelming it can feel to pick a caterer or to pick a bartender. Here are three ideas for you to make the decision easier. Here are three super easy questions you can ask your caterer to see if they’re a good fit for you.” How easy is that? That wraps up the welcome email sequence for venues that we built once but runs on autopilot.
Creating a welcome email sequence for venues is the number one email sequence you need to have. It’s easy, attainable, can help you build a know, like, and trust factor, and can help you start selling when you’re not working. If you don’t have one yet, just know that in order to achieve this automation, you will very likely have to have a paid version of any email system, but do your own research.
Join us over on Instagram (we are @The Venue Podcast) and share how you’re using your email sequences. Let us know when you set up your welcome email sequence for venues and Lindsay and I will both opt-in and just cheer you on! We’ll be your first subscribers!