Using Lead Replies to Unlock Sales

You’re not alone in struggling to transform the marketing magic you’ve managed to bottle up into bookings—and there is a way for you to increase your conversion rate. You just need to better understand (and execute) your lead replies to unlock those sales. This report will show you how!

Woman and man smile at a laptop, excited to plan their wedding

There are more than a few things that need to happen before a couple snags one of those coveted spots on your calendar. First, they need to find you. Then, they need to have done enough internet sleuthing to have their interest piqued. Lastly, they need to actually reach out—and then it’s time for you to seal the deal. 

The thing is, aside from the fact that your wedding business needs to be visible enough for them to find you (and your marketing consistent enough to draw them further into your funnel), nearly half of wedding pros have told us converting their leads into booked weddings is their top challenge.

First things first—what are lead replies?

Before we dive in, it’s important to make sure everyone’s on the same page (there’s a lot of jargon #IYKYK).


Generally speaking, it is someone who is looking for your product or service.

Lead Reply

Your response to an inquiry, which sets the tone for any potential relationship moving forward.

Qualified Lead

In our industry, it’s someone who is engaged, soon-to-be engaged, planning a wedding and/or has submitted an inquiry.

Quality Lead

Someone who not only needs your product or service, but is also a good fit for you (read: their budget, location, style, and date are great for your business).

Pro tip: Following up with all your leads is really important if you want to convert more total leads into bookings. This is because you don’t always know if a lead is quality or not right off the bat—so you need to reply to find out!

Your lead replies are important because they aren’t “just another email” you need to send—your lead replies are the first impression you’re making and kicks off your sales process and client experience. That means how you reply to leads is your first official opportunity to build trust and rapport—building blocks of a positive relationship. It also helps convert a couple who is interested in your services into a booked wedding on your calendar by showing them what it’s like to work with you.


Your lead reply is a way for you to start setting yourself apart. Couples reach out to 5 vendors per category, on average, which is why standing out is important. You can do this by showing off your personality, your style,  your expertise and being prompt with your reply. Plus, couples inboxes might face an influx of messages , so pay attention to your subject lines too.

The couple’s journey from ring to reply

We’ve talked a lot about couples as “leads” so let’s pause for a moment and put ourselves in their shoes as excited, newly engaged people:

Graphic showing newly engaged couple journey
How this translates to WeddingPro Storefronts

Couples look at vendor Storefronts to browse the photos and read through the reviews. They use filters to narrow down their key attributes, like price range, style and more.

We encourage pros to keep their Storefronts updated, so there’s a better match between you and the couples who find you. This should give some peace of mind that when you receive an inquiry, it’s likely qualified. Keep in mind, pricing is the number one thing couples look for when researching pros.

Pro-tip: Learn more about why upfront and transparent pricing is important to couples and how to display your pricing in this report.

As mentioned, couples reach out to five vendors per category, on average. This is where your lead reply strategy comes in—because The Knot and WeddingWire help get you the leads but it’s your job to convert them into bookings.

P.S. Don’t have a Storefront on The Knot and WeddingWire yet? Talk to a member of our team to get started.

Animation showing a couple and a wedding vendor text conversation

Why do couples ghost?

Most of the time, you’re responding to an inquiry a couple sent. Sometimes after the initial inquiry, the couple never responds to you. Sometimes they do, and after you build rapport through a few exchanges, the couple’s responses inexplicably cut off, ending any relationship you might have had. These are both examples of “ghosting.”
We’ve all been there and there’s no denying that getting ghosted is really frustrating, especially when you’re taking the time to thoughtfully respond. While there’s no single reason that causes a couple to ghost, there are a few common factors—like responsiveness and not being able to find information like price and availability easily. So, how can you minimize ghosting? We’ve seen that using personalized responses and including the important information the couple is looking up front for will help you get a reply.

So, what makes a good lead reply?

Our best advice and mistakes to avoid based on what we’ve seen happen millions of times

It’s not a brag, but we see 29 million leads get sent to pros every year, and it’s impossible to not see what the best practices are with that many conversations happening on our platforms. With decades of connecting couples with pros under our belts, we’ve identified the top do’s and don’ts to help make sure you have what you need to turn your lead replies from a top challenge to cha-ching-money-maker!

Best practices for lead replies

Early bird gets the worm

There is no such thing as being “too quick.” Ideally your lead reply goes out in less than 3 hours from receiving it (making couples 2.2x more likely to reply) and definitely reply before the 24 hour mark.

Start a conversation

It’s not about just replying, it’s about starting a conversation—and the best way to do that is with personalization. Include the couple’s names in your response and any important information and end your email with an open-ended question (it makes them 2.7x more likely to reply). Keep in mind that a more conversational approach to lead responses resonates with couples.

Keep ‘em short and sweet

Everyone is on the go these days (44% of wedding planning is done on smartphones or tablets), so it’s very likely your lead is going to read your reply on their phone. Keep your responses to fewer than 250 words to avoid things reading like a novel.

Respond to all leads

You’ll find us standing on this soapbox until the end of time because every lead that lands in your inbox deserves a response! There are tools out there, like WeddingPro’s Quick replies templates, that can help manage your time and lead reply strategy.

Use inclusive language

Even though you’re running a business, it’s important to treat people like people. Avoid using words that are gender-centered (i.e. bride and groom vs. couple or partner), biased, or non-inclusive and always ask for people’s preferred pronouns.

Mistakes to avoid with lead replies

DON’T pressure them into a call

Unless the lead has asked for a call, don’t back couples into a high-pressure sales situation. Even though you might just want to be getting more information, it might feel like too much, too soon to them.

DON’T overload them with information

You don’t want your lead to feel like they’re drinking out of a firehose, so avoid sending attachments unless they specifically asked for something.

DON’T say “ball’s in your court”

Your goal is to keep the conversation going rather than making the couple feel like they could or could not reply to you. So instead of closing out emails with “Let me know!,” close with an open-ended question that encourages a reply.

DON’T say you’re not available

The quickest way to close a conversation is by saying you’re not available on a particular date and leaving it at that. Try to keep the door open by asking if there is any flexibility in dates and including a few options. Especially for venues, while you may be booked for the date on the original inquiry, that date might not yet be set in stone.  Keeping the door open with a reply asking about flexibility and some of your open dates may help you win the couple!

What a good (but simple) lead reply looks like

Feel free to copy, paste, and customize

Subject Line: Your Wedding Venue
Congratulations and good news, we are available for your wedding on [DATE]!  We are honored and excited that you are thinking of hosting your guests at [VENUE].

Our package prices range from [YOUR PRICE RANGE]

Packages include:

  • [Detail]
  • [Detail]
  • [Detail]
  • And so much more!

Your wedding should be unique to you, so we can help create a package that fits your wedding! 



35M Couples love us!A man and woman look smile and look at a laptop

P.S. Looking for open-ended questions? Here’s some we have seen work well! 

  • What are the most important things you want for your wedding?
  • What are the colors and themes you are thinking about?
  • What kind of experience do you want to give your guests?
  • Why are you interested in getting married here?
  • How do you want to feel when you walk into your reception?
  • What are the top three things you want at your wedding?

Imagine your lead replies powered by The Knot and WeddingWire

Tools built based on decades of experience to help you level up your lead replies and increase conversions

Increase visibility and get more leads with a Storefront

Before you have the chance to reply to an inquiry you have to get it—and advertising with WeddingPro helps you get in front of couples at the right time as well as share the information they need in order to make an initial decision.

Pro-tip: 69% of couples say pricing is the most important factor they consider before contacting a vendor. Include upfront pricing information (even a range will do) on your Storefronts to get wedding leads from more of your ideal couples.

WeddingWire Storefront profile of Bright Bay Ranch and The Knot Storefront profile of Fourteen Photography

Centralize communications in your WeddingPro Inbox

When you’re busy running a business, efficiency is key. So, you can have everything you need to streamline your lead replies and communication with the WeddingPro Inbox. From a messaging hub to Quick replies templates, get your inbox organized—and be the early bird that gets the worm!

Optimize your lead replies strategy

Tools like Read receipts in the WeddingPro Inbox help you know when to follow up by showing when a couple has seen your reply. Plus, lead tags that show couple activity on our sites and with your Storefronts enable you to gauge intent and prioritize higher-intent leads.

Need some guidance on how to respond to a couple’s initial outreach to maximize your chances of booking? WeddingPro’s got your back. When a couple’s first message hits your inbox, you’ll see a banner with a rating of your drafted reply, based on our data-backed guidance. Click on it to access top tips to get couples to engage back, courtesy of our WeddingPro Educators.

Searching for inspiration?

The importance of lead replies, check. The do’s and don’ts for improving your lead replies, double check. Tools that can help you implement these strategies into your daily work, triple check! But there’s one more tool in your toolbox that pros are starting to explore more: AI (artificial intelligence). 

The most common AI tool wedding pros are using is Chat GPT (it’s free to use and requires just an email to sign up.). Once you have an account, you can ask questions or submit a prompt for the tool to respond to—just like a chat. 

AI can help you save time and jumpstart brainstorming if you’re unsure about finding the right words—here’s a sample prompt to try:

Customize this prompt:

“You are a helpful sales assistant for a [TYPE OF BUSINESS] and your goal is to reply to a couple inquiring for [TYPE OF SERVICE] for their wedding. Write an email response to their inquiry and include these details [INCLUDE DETAILS FROM THEIR INQUIRY]. Write it in a voice that is [INCLUDE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR BRAND VOICE]. Keep it under 250 words. End with an open-ended question.”

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to review the response to make sure it aligns with all the tips we’ve shared above!

Read on to take your lead replies from good to great!

Photos: Kir Tuben Photography

Let WeddingPro make getting and replying to leads easier—way easier!

We know landing leads is the most important thing when it comes to growing your wedding business. Fill out the form below, or call 1-877-331-7752 to get all the tools and support you need to connect with couples who are ready to book.