For wedding-related businesses, I happened to stumble upon some very interesting info on advertising with WeddingWire.com. This is one e-mail marketing tactic that worked on me, and I followed up on it. Turns out, they’ve got a lot to offer. Here’s why:
First of all, the most interesting to me was that I looked at the Google Analytics of a client of mine who had set up just a free listing with them. Previously, I also listed them in the Bridal Network directory and also got an article published on Canadianbride.ca. They had one visitor from Bride.ca and one from Weddings.ca in one month. The client was paying per click and per e-mail address for brides who contacted them through Bridal Network, but the amount was trivial. Ethicalweddings.com, which the client pays for, sent only 1 visitor that month. Probably because they are in the U.K., which is not a relevant market, even though they do ship there.
Interestingly, Wedding Wire had sent 11 visitors, on a free account alone.
The traffic numbers are small, but the client is not serving a hot need for weddings (they have a gift registry, which most people associate with big box retailers, not small, linen-only online stores). However, the numbers show what can be expected down the road from these advertising opportunities.
So for a free listing sending us 10x the amount of traffic, Wedding Wire seems like a better investment than all of the rest. Bride.ca (run by BridalNetwork.ca) is very cheap for advertising (since it’s based solely on pay-per-click, pay-per-contact and cost-per-impression), and still worth trying (in my opinion), but Wedding Wire seems to have a lot more traffic.
I got on the phone with one of the reps from Wedding Wire, and here is the info I got:
In the U.S. and Canada they are getting 8.5 million visitors monthly.
For BC alone they are getting 40,000 UNIQUE visitors per month (and she said users are actually typing in their region and landing on the BC page). In Ontario it is more, at 50,000 unique visitors per month.
Most of their visits from Canada are on Weddingbee.com at 70,000 per month.
Their network includes Martha Stewart, and other high profile sights (you can see on their web site, they list them).
And the neat part, is that an enhanced listing, showing at the very top of the page, with multiple photos is only $55 per month for a BC region. A listing would appear on all their sites for this price – not bad at all in my opinion. It is a year-long commitment though, so in total comes to $660 for the year. However, there is the option to pay monthly (this is an introductory offer they are having now). The way they bill is they take your credit card info (or PayPal info) and the amount gets deducted every month.
WeddingWire.com itself has a link that says “registry” where brides can start a registry with other vendors. It appears the registry page only appears on their site (not on sites in their network), and is available for advertising only at a national level, which would come to maybe $12,000 per year (not confirmed). Right now they have a lot of big box retailers in that section.
They also have a “deals” page where vendors can list their deals. They are testing emails in a few US cities with that. Listing a deal there is free.
To do a U.S. “enhanced” listing (one grade down from the “featured” listing, which is basically just showing at the top), their most expensive city is L.A. at $780/year ($65/month). That gives an idea of how much it would cost to advertise in the U.S. Lower traffic cities would be less money. A featured listing would be $1040/year (one grade up from “enhanced”, showing more photo albums).
For Facebook advertising, when a vendor pays to be “enhanced” or “featured”, they also appear on their Facebook app, where brides can go while they are on Facebook to search for wedding suppliers.
Unfortunately, they don’t have a wedding registry category (their “registry” page is different from their directory listings). They have “gifts and favours” and “unique services”. Gifts and favours is the closest, but this category really is about things the bride and groom would give their guests, not things that guests would buy for the couple.
The “Unique services” section is interesting because its gets traffic when brides say, “what else can I add to my wedding?” It has an element of mystery with it, as the rep explained.
To me, I think their offer sounds like a great opportunity for wedding-related businesses, and very affordable for the amount of traffic they are getting. They also get Canadian visitors.
The best would be to test both Bridal Network (Canadian-based) and Wedding Wire (US based), then do a comparison of what works better for your company.