This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get as an Internet marketing expert in the wedding industry. Unfortunately, it is not a yes or no answer. Every business is different, every marketplace category is different, and you may have to take into consideration your local competition.
That said, here are my thoughts.
Do Not Put Your Prices Online
If you put your prices online you will likely get fewer inquiries from your website. This is a FACT. Having worked with hundreds of wedding businesses and having managed hundreds of websites (both in and out of the wedding industry), I have the data to prove it. And it does not matter what business you are in. Fewer inquiries = fewer sales.
Prices online often stop the sales process dead in its tracks. Why? Because the sales process never starts if there is no lead.
Stop Listening to WeddingWire and The Knot (and their bulls***)
When couples are asked in a survey from WeddingWire or The Knot if they prefer to see prices online at a website when they are searching for wedding vendors, the majority say “Yes.” Of course they do! But isn’t that like asking a kid if they want candy with their ice cream?
It is worth noting that both WeddingWire and The Knot do not put their vendor advertising prices online.
I do not believe people always buy based on price, and there are plenty of studies to support my thinking. That said, it is important to consider that price becomes an issue largely based on what couples see and “experience” at your website.
Trust me, no one goes to David Rothstein Music in Chicago and leaves the website because David doesn’t put prices online. No one leaves Hummingbird Bridal & Events because Mandy Connor doesn’t have prices on her website.
In my sales career I have closed a lot of sales after people initially told me my price was “too high.” Why? Because I sold solutions and value. But if I had put my prices online, I surely would have had fewer people in my sales system and fewer to speak with. Prices online adversely impacts sales for most wedding vendors.
If your website communicates the message “BJ’s Wholesale Club” instead of “Tiffany’s,” of course the primary focus is likely to shift to price. Maybe it is not the fact that your prices are not on your website; it is that your website is not doing the job it is supposed to do – generate inquiries and the desire for people to want to talk with you (and then hire you!).
On the other hand, what if your website clearly communicates that you are the “best-of-the-best?”
What if your design, marketing message, and social proof all work together cohesively?
These things will make couples WANT to know more about your wedding business and WANT TO TALK TO YOU. They will gladly fill in your inquiry to get more information and get the opportunity to speak with you.
If you want drink the Kool-Aid from WeddingWire and The Knot, and maybe keep the bottom-fishers out of your sales system, put a “Starting at…” price on your website. I have no problems there.
Still want to give prices and have issues with actually doing sales? No problem. Give them to couples immediately after their inquiry.
Get the inquiry from your website first, and on a post-inquiry landing page (PILP), include a downloadable sales sheet that has your pricing, packages, and additional details about what you offer. This is a win-win and allows you to get a lead and give someone your prices.
Now, follow up, get an appointment, SELL, and close the deal!