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paying for leads

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've been reading up and it seems like a lot of you use sites like decidio and respond.com with good results. I have a question for you? Do you pay for/follow up on most/all leads? I just started using decidio and I've gotten a couple, but the "budget" provided in the teaser for both is $1-2 per serving for wedding cake. My prices start at $3. Do you ignore requests that seem to be below your range or do you assume brides lowball what they select? I don't want to waste time or money, but I don't want to ignore potential customers! icon_cry.gif

For those of you who use these services, what is your protocol? Thanks! icon_smile.gif
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by authress

I've been reading up and it seems like a lot of you use sites like decidio and respond.com with good results. I have a question for you? Do you pay for/follow up on most/all leads? I just started using decidio and I've gotten a couple, but the "budget" provided in the teaser for both is $1-2 per serving for wedding cake. My prices start at $3. Do you ignore requests that seem to be below your range or do you assume brides lowball what they select? I don't want to waste time or money, but I don't want to ignore potential customers! icon_cry.gif

For those of you who use these services, what is your protocol? Thanks! icon_smile.gif



If they want cake-only for 50 for $1-$2, then I ignore it. If it's a wedding cake for 100 or more, then I send them my info. My rate is also $3/servings.

My feeling is that they have NO IDEA what cake costs, so they raise their hand in the air, grab the first number they see flying by, and use that. My feeling is that when I, and other bakeries, respond to their request with real numbers, then they will see what the real going rate for cakes is, and their education is elevated a notch or two.

It's the cost of advertising. If you put an ad in the paper, lots of people will see the ad, but not everyone will call you. Same here. If you respond to the bulk of leads you get, not everyone will call you.

I keep a very close eye on my rate of return on these leads and I am WAY ahead on dollars spent vs. dollars booked. But I will offer the opinion that it's also a numbers game. If you only respond to one or two, it's not going to be a good ROI. I respond to 2-3 a day, so the ones that DO hit, are well worth the time and effort.

I have a pre-formatted email and about 12 attachments that I send to these inquiries. It takes me less than 2 minutes to cut-n-paste it and get it sent.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
THANK YOU DEBI! (I was crossing my fingers that you'd be on this afternoon and answer!)

My thoughts are in line with what you do--a big relief. I want to follow up on some of these leads (and the $1 price tag is hard to resist). I just didn't want to get carried away trying to drum up business icon_biggrin.gif

Oddly, there is only one other bakery listed on my local decidio site. I can't decide if that is a good or a bad thing. I guess I'll have to wait and see if any of these leads pan out!
post #4 of 10
debi - What type of information do you provide in your first contact email with a potential lead? The "12 attachments" has me intrigued. icon_smile.gif I shoot them a standard email, but it sounds like you provide a lot more upfront information, so I was just curious.

Thanks!
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2djb

debi - What type of information do you provide in your first contact email with a potential lead? The "12 attachments" has me intrigued. icon_smile.gif I shoot them a standard email, but it sounds like you provide a lot more upfront information, so I was just curious.

Thanks!


I want to tell them everything I can in that first contact. I give them all pricing and even a "Budget Wizard" so they can figure out to the penny what their recpetion will cost with me. I send a few non-food info sheets, like tips on setting up a reception room, tips on having an outdoor wedding, and how to get a marriage license in our county .... just a few little extras that make me look SO helpful!! I have a sheet on my delivery policy and a sheet on my payment policy, plus my Terms of Agreement contract they will need to sign. As I tell the brides:

"These forms are designed so you can easily print them out and put them in your 3-ring binder for comparison with other caterers. (You DO have a 3-ring binder, right?)"

By the time they call me, they KNOW if I'm in their budget or not, so my sales job is halfway done. Those who can't afford me don't waste my time calling me.
post #6 of 10
indydebi wrote: "These forms are designed so you can easily print them out and put them in your 3-ring binder for comparison with other caterers. (You DO have a 3-ring binder, right?)"

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

I thought that maybe you could re-word that as follows: "You do have a giant stash of wedding magazines, and a secret wedding planning binder that you've been working on since seventh grade and that you dove under the bed to retrieve the minute your fiance proposed to you, don't you?"

But maybe they'd say "yes" if you asked that!
post #7 of 10
Hey no kidding! Once in awhile I get the chance to tell them, "....because we've been planning our wedding since we were like, what .... FOUR YEARS OLD????" And they usually agree! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
post #8 of 10
I don't want to hijack the thread so this will be the last thing I add, but I told my 12-yr-old son (who is horrified by anything romantic at this point anyway,) that if he ever proposes to a lady who then whips out the giant notebook, he should just run the other way! You don't want to get involved in that!
post #9 of 10
I only respond to brides that are in my area, im not interested in ones 40 or more miles away. I did respond to a birthday one once who had listed $1 to $1.50/serving, but she ended up ordering a topsy turvey cake at $5 a servings, so that one paid off.
post #10 of 10
sweetcakes, I believe you can alter your profile to a mileage radius. This may not be available on all of them.
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