The Knot claims to be one of the most well-known wedding planning sites, used by millions of brides and grooms to ease the stress of planning a wedding. The site offers gift registry tracking, guest list and menu planning guides, space to store ideas for dresses and centerpieces and, of course, a guide to find the perfect vendors.
The Knot promises its users to help them find the best local vendors for their wedding by posting reviews from former clients and access to the vendors themselves to ask questions and get more information. Sounds like the perfect avenue to connect with a huge potential photo booth market, right? Well, maybe not, according to many disgruntled photo booth owners.
The claims of “millions” of couples may be technically accurate but certainly includes those casual browsers who are simply price checking/shopping, planning for a wedding in the very-distant future, or searching for competitor’s pricing. The Knot also requires vendors to communicate with potential clients through their messaging system rather than providing a direct email address or phone number to either party. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can hamper your ability to reach your client effectively or in a timely manner if he or she does not access her Knot account on a regular basis.
The lowest –priced, basic advertising account is actually free and offers potential clients your business details and contact information, allows you to post one wedding album for clients to check out your work, and give access to networking and education events. The Standard and Featured plans have varied prices, depending on your market, but offer many more advantages such as better placement on the site, unlimited photo and album storage, the capability to respond to reviews, and the advice of a Personal Strategy specialist. However, each of these plans require a full year commitment so if you are not satisfied with the service or the feedback, you are stuck with a monthly fee anyway.
Purchasing one of the more expensive packages will, of course, generate more leads than the free service, so you may be able to recoup your investment with diligent monitoring of the site and consistent communication with both potential clients and the customer service reps with The Knot. To solve the problem of the requirement to use the system’s messaging service, it might be beneficial to request contact information directly from a potential client upon first contact. This will give you a head start in communication and also give the client the message that you are serious about following up on leads and providing a quality service for his or her wedding.
Overall, photo booth owners don’t have anything good to say about advertising on The Knot. Complaints of pushy salespeople, long contracts, high prices, with low results abound. There are however, those that have had success with the platform.
Joe Spinello, owner of Family Ties Photo Booth had this to say about “The Knot”:
“When we first started our photo booth business a little over a year ago we knew we had to get our name out there. With so many marketing and advertising mediums to choose from it would be very easy to get lost or go broke. Although Google Ad words was driving traffic to our website, it was expensive and we were not converting those clicks into sales. We needed to have some solid leads as it would take awhile to build our business. We were first approached by The Knot after doing a large bridal show. While The Knot was expensive for our new business but after some discussions with the folks at The Knot we decided to give them a try. They also had an in-person “lunch and learn” business meeting with other vendors and a webinar that we also participated in. During our first year we have booked 5 out of 30 leads from The Knot. It has more than paid for itself! For us, The Knot has proven to be a very valuable marketing tool.”
Samantha Willis, owner of Party Pros Detroit offered this about “The Knot”:
“The Knot is a great way to reach many couples with their paid plans. Be prepared to invest $300-$600 per month to get good exposure on the Knot. The key to a successful knot campaign is quick communication. Knotees expect responses within minutes, not hours, definitely not days. Keep in mind, they can press one button to reach out to you and will likely reach out to several vendors. The vendors that respond instantly will likely be the vendors they continue to engage. If someone asks for information through the Knot app, we start a conversation, instead of just throwing all of our information at them – which brides tell me is overwhelming. By engaging in conversations, and using the information you can find about the couple on their Knot page; it’s getting easier to make connections with couples faster!”
As with all advertising platforms, there are both advantages and disadvantages; both good and bad reviews; and both positive and negative outcomes. In the end, your success on a site such as The Knot will depend on your local market, your ability to invest a proper amount of money and time, and, more often than not, pure luck.