I’d like to share my personal experience with being a paying vendor on Weddingwire.com for the Hampton Roads, Virginia Area.
I did a 6 month try with Wedding Wire and ended up canceling because I was particularly skeptical about the leads I was receiving. My end result: a whopping 0 number of responses from any of these so called “inquiries”. None of these leads responded to my emails – and I make sure to always respond within 2 hours MAX. I follow up regularly until I deem the lead a dead end. Every. Single. Time. Defeated and frustrated, I reached out to my service rep and asking what I might be doing wrong.
“I know that you had mentioned you are not seeing results and no leads. I took a look over your account and noticed that you have only received 2 reviews since upgrading this past October. Reviews will be the biggest driver of traffic to your listing — how have you been reaching out to past clients to collect reviews? Keep in mind that anyone you’ve done business with can write you a review.”
– Xxxxx Xxxxxxx, Wedding Wire Representative
This didn’t really sit well with me. I mean okay, I understand that the vendors with the most reviews will have more hits, more leads, more clients. However, had I known that success in generating leads that lead to bookings is pretty much solely dependent on how many reviews I have… it works the other way too, does it not? No leads = no bookings = no reviews.
Suddenly — after recently complaining that I will be canceling my service at my 6 month “opt-out” mark — I received a particularly interesting Wedding Wire lead. A few hours later I also received a lead directly from my website’s contact form from this same individual. SAME email and phone number as well — I’m thinking “Now we’re talking!” This could be a real lead… Finally!
I responded with my friendly initial request for a consultation because the “bride” specified they would like to talk in person for a wedding photography package with a considerably large budget in my local area. I even looked up the lead by email address & phone number which both gave me a Facebook profile match. Viola! Or so I thought..
Here’s where it gets weird — after getting no response from email, I followed up with a phone call to try to schedule a consultation, and the woman that answered told me I had the wrong number. Hmmmm… that’s odd. This is the number that takes me directly to your Facebook profile? And just several hours ago you were requesting that I call you to set up a consultation? And not only that, this is the second time a Wedding Wire lead has been generated to me and the person I call says I have the wrong number.
So, I did some snooping on the lead’s Facebook page — unbelieving that I am actually stooping to this level. The profile has next to no organic posts besides updated profile pictures and posts from “Farm Hero Saga New High Score!” The profile pictures have all recently been updated, no photo comments, and only 80 Facebook friends. Not only that, but I started digging into my Wedding Wire analytics and seeing really big inconsistencies with what my website analytics show and what my Wedding Wire storefront’s analytics show. This was a HUGE red flag to me!
Apparently, I am not the only one having these issues. Reaching out to my peers, I found that there are actually a good amount of other wedding vendors dealing with the same sketchy, unresponsive “leads” generated by Wedding Wire.
My unfortunate conclusion is that most WeddingWire leads are fake. For my local area — Virginia Beach — it is very heavily congested with photographers and so these in-house generated leads were just a means to keep me paying the marketing fees and happily distracting the fact that maybe Wedding Wire just wasn’t the right fit for me at that time in my career. The problem is: not getting leads is one thing….faking leads to keep people paying you hundreds of dollars a month for a service that isn’t working for them is just outright ridiculous. Paying for fake leads means I am missing out on real potential business that I could be putting my marketing budget towards; and that’s really what leaves a negative impression on me when I review my time spent with the company.
I would love to see other experiences as well.