I started my business at the end of last year, and have been consistently busy with cookie orders, and more recently have had the pleasure of an increase in cake orders. Word of mouth has begun to work in my favor, but I am still sending out six to seven quotes for every booking that I make. I feel that the people I have been advertising to, are looking for a deal, and cheaper cakes. I am priced competitively for my area, so In an effort to increase my bookings versus quotes ratio, I am evaluating some new advertising avenues that I could take. I have a facebook page, and run a monthly giveaway which has brought 2-3 orders during each giveaway (with minimal time and cost for the item being gifted).
My question really, is what are your thoughts on purchasing leads? Does anyone have any experience with this, good or bad? Thoughts?
AWhere would you be purchasing leads from? What kind of customers would the leads consist of?
How much are you charging, and how does that relate to your cost and local market price?
The leads I am interested in purchasing are from a website called MiNeeds- specifically, they are for wedding cakes. Brides on the prowl for vendors in my area.
I charge $3 and up per serving for buttercream, and $4 and up/serving for fondant. These are base prices, and any added figures/flowers/etc are extra. My cookies are priced around $24 a dozen, and the cost on these cookie collections varies according to the design. I live in Houston, and have researched both home-based and bakery competition. I am right on point, according to my research. I am enjoying a nice profit, and a nice hourly wage on the work that I have been doing, but I want more orders! :)
Aside from wedding cake leads, what are some other avenues that you would recommend taking, in addition to my word of mouth customers?
I must add that I am home-based, operating under the Texas Cottage Food Law.
AThe first thing you should probably look at is improving your booking rate, if 85% of the leads you buy end up at a competitor anyway then it won't be very cost effective. What kind of feedback have you been getting from customers who book elsewhere? What are you offering that competitors aren't?
How much would you be spending on the leads on a per-customer basis, and how does that compare with, say, Google AdWords? Networking with venues and planners is another good marketing tactic.
I have considered buying a lead list, but not ones specifically looking for brides. I googled lead lists (or something like that and off the top of my head I can't remember what the company name was). For 1000 names and addresses, it was $85.00. You could set your parameters so I used income as my parameter. I kept adjusting the income up and moving the radius from my home until I had just a few under 1000. I didn't buy, but I think I might in the future.
Sending to all those people who have kids, whether young or old, who are the most likely to have the extra money to spend on a cake in my price range and quality, would hopefully drum up some business.
If I only got three cakes it would pay for the list, postage, post cards, etc.
I think the main deterrent for not buying it was the postage (it'd be around $400.00!!!!). The list was also only supposed to be used for a certain amount of time, like 6 months or something, and I think a one-time mailing. Sorry the deets are vague...it was a few months ago.
But I think the odds of recouping my costs are high.
Any opinions on that?
New site which will provide bakers with free leads, there is no catch . www.cakebroker.com