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Does WeddingWire advertising really work to get leads?

I interviewed Chris Whitehead, Atlanta wedding and corporate events entertainment specialist at Atlanta DJ Online, to learn the unconventional strategy he’s been using to get high quality leads and book weddings with WeddingWire.

The Challenge

Chris’ WeddingWire featured listing was competing with dozens of other DJs.  He needed to stand out and get noticed to earn those bride clicks.

He turned to website conversion specialist, Brian McGovern for help.  Here’s the strategy they came up with that turned him into a WeddingWire advertising superstar success story.

The Strategy

THE GOAL: Get bride off WeddingWire and onto the Atlanta DJ Online website.

The WeddingWire website is designed to keep brides on the site, searching for vendors, reading inspiration and hiring their advertisers. That’s great for WeddingWire, but not so good for Chris because he’s right next door to the competition.

THE BAIT: A compelling headline and thumbnail image designed to look like a playable video.

Brian McGovern urged Chris to remove his business name from the title of his listing and use it as an opportunity for a call to action instead. Brides and grooms really don’t care about the name of your business, and using your listing title as a headline is an effective way to get more clicks.

They choose the headline, “Watch This Video Before You Book Your Wedding DJ.”

Wedding Wire ads

Instead of displaying a typical wedding photo as his featured listing image, Chris and Brian created an image designed to look like a video that plays on the click. This takes advantage of the conditioning website visitors have to click on videos.

THE HOOK: A special landing page and dynamic video with a compelling call to action..

The battle isn’t won with the click. The next challenge was to turn that click into a real lead.

To pull this off, Brian and Chris created a unique landing page just for people who clicked through from the WeddingWire ad. It was branded with WeddingWire’s logo, creating the impression that Atlanta DJ Online had WeddingWire’s special endorsement.

When a bride or groom lands on the page, a video begins playing automatically. This video contains footage of non-stop dancing, gorgeous uplighting, monogram gobos and the other high end features Chris offers, as well as the powerful video testimonials from his happy couples.

landing page 1

The video includes a call to action encouraging the visitor to “Check My Availability” that’s reinforced by the big red “Click Here!” button below. This instantly lets them know if Atlanta DJ Online is available and invites them to fill out a form for an instant quote.

Once Chris has the name, date and email address of the couple, he’s able to follow up with automated emails, phone calls and more.

The Results

This unconventional strategy for WeddingWire advertising was a slam dunk.

  • WeddingWire is the #2 source of leads for Atlanta DJ Online.
  • His first month advertising on WeddingWire booked enough weddings to pay for the entire YEAR! He got 13 leads and booked 4 of them.
  • The WeddingWire approach results in better quality leads because it presells them; they watch the video and already know what they want.
  • Chris had to hire 3 more DJs just to keep up with all the work coming in.

The Winning Difference

Chris’ controversial advertising strategy on WeddingWire didn’t go unnoticed. Competing DJs complained that he was “going negative” and getting an unfair share of clicks.  But everything he was doing complied with WeddingWire’s advertising guidelines.

Chris has recommended this strategy to another DJ and photographer who are seeing similar results.

One interesting side note: this identical strategy doesn’t work for him on the Knot. This is likely due to the site’s unique layout and differing market.

Advice If You’re Considering WeddingWire Ads

Chris has several tips if you’re considering advertising with WeddingWire:

  1. Call up a sales rep and ask for the click through numbers of competitors who advertise there.
  2. Crunch the numbers considering the cost of the ad.  Would this number of leads be a good investment for you?
  3. Use this unconventional strategy to create your listing and landing page. It works!
  4. Be sure to include reviews and testimonials wherever you can, especially video reviews.

Chris Whitehead Atlanta DJ“A bride told me she heard about me from a friend, but later on I found out she watched all my reviews and just didn’t want to admit that she’d hired me based on that.  Brides get mad at me now if I don’t do a video review after the wedding!”

– Chris Whitehead, Atlanta DJ Online

What do you think about WeddingWire ads?

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Posted By

Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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15 thoughts on “WeddingWire Advertising Review: Wedding Pro Success Story”

  1. Wedding says:

    Magnificent web site. A lot of hepful information here.
    I am sending itt to some friends aans also sharing in delicious.
    And obviously, tanks in your sweat!

  2. Adam cotton says:

    This is a great way to stand out. Really puts a perspective on how saturated the market is.

  3. We’ve really enjoyed working with Wedding Wire and we have received many leads through their website.

  4. Harlan Ellis says:

    Thanks for the article. We advertise on WeddingWire and have retained a free listing on the knot after bartering magazine and online advertising with the knot for performing at their annual gala in New York for two years. We have well over 200 reviews on each site. Interestingly, we’ve been getting more leads from the free listing on the knot than we did with the previous paid/bartered advertising. We continue to get frequent leads from WW as well. One correction on WW is that they no longer are tied in with Martha Stewart Weddings. Martha separated herself from WW after making a deal with a new publisher, who already has called to see if we want to advertise there, hi how we won’t be doing. As far as quality of leads are concerned in the NY market, neither light the world on fire in terms of client budgets. I do agree with you that their reviews are a great support system and really drive people to call and are a great backup for our roster of over 20 bands. I have even seen clients who look up reviews in the middle of an appointment! And yes, the WW site is a much snappier looking site and much more user friendly, less cluttered than the knot.

  5. Wow, this was quite an eye opener. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing. Gives me a lot more to think about!

  6. We are currently looking into strategies for lead generation but with all the possibilities that are available to us, we are feeling overwhelm. A decade ago I used Google Ads to generate leads. It was expensive but easier to use and understand compared to todays Google Ads. I would imagine that buying ads on a site like Wedding Wire would be more beneficial to wedding vendors because they will already have a pool of leads interested in wedding services as oppose to Google where the pool is like an ocean and is less define. I think I will be looking further into the Atlanta DJ strategy. Thanks for sharing.

  7. David says:

    Honestly, I am hesitant to do wedding wire and have looked at wedding.com and the knot as an alternative. I just don’t have unlimited money to put out for small or no return. Are you guys really seeing that much business from wedding wire?

    1. We were on wedding.com for one year without a single inquiry or meeting. We did everything right on their site, had lots of cold leads come in but not one warm lead. I responded to every cold lead–used lots of different responses to try to get a response and still got nothing. Since going on weddingwire.com in April we have booked about 10 weddings and have several more in the pipeline to get booked. We have a free listing on the knot and have received one or two leads from it and are meeting with one couple tomorrow.

  8. Nice insight really brings some new ways to maximize advertising that is working for us as wedding professionals and take it to the next level!

  9. Fantastic actionable post! Love the landing page. How is he shooting all the videos from the weddings?

  10. G.E. Masana says:

    In your article you made this observation: “One interesting side note: this identical strategy doesn’t work for him on the Knot. This is likely due to the site’s unique layout and differing market.”

    I’d say, you bet. It’s a mismatch of the message to the market. What works for one crowd may not work on another. To get a sense of what type of wedding couple any particular site may attract, take a look at their audience demopgraphics on a site such as alexa.com, which can tell you about their average visitors’ age, income, ethnicity, education level and family status.

  11. Lisa Zaro says:

    This is a wonderful idea! I am frustrated with WeddingWire, but it is too big of a contributor to my leads list and actual bookings to drop them. I have been a top spotlight ad customer for a few years. Now they have doubled the spots, so I have to stand out even more. Before, I had one competitor. Now, I have 2 officiating groups competing with my 1 officiant business. Because they have more staff, they have more reviews. Although I have a 5 star business listing, I need to stand out even more. Guess what I’ll be putting in my image? Personal attention will be included someow, for sure!

  12. After a year of spending thousands on WeddingWire and receiving NOTHING in return, I left to go to higher ROI advertising spots. Now I see the difficulty. Nothing I did really had me standing out from my competition.

    I need to get creative in my approach to get a bigger piece of the spotlight. If my current idea works, I’ll share. 🙂

  13. Kya Rose says:

    Talk about thinking outside the box. That’s brilliant! Filing this idea in the back of my mind as a great way to make the money I’m already spending to advertise on wedding wire work harder for me!

    Thanks for sharing this!

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