I have created a tool for wedding couples' to use at their wedding which has been live for a few months now. We've run a couple of giveaways on small wedding blogs and the feedback from the readers so far has been really great - it is something they need, but so far they are all giveaway accounts.
I'm looking for some advice on how to really spread the word - I've tried sending emails to some of the wedding magazines, but they haven't replied. Facebook ads didn't work at all, maybe I'm getting something wrong with them though?
The service is paid - one off fee. So far, the only users have been from giveaways and once they use it for their weddings, their guests' will see it and hopefully we should start to spread. But many of their weddings are a long way off and so I'm looking to start getting users with weddings' in the next month or two.
Anyway, so if anyone has any good advice, ideas, original ideas etc. that would be much appreciated!
Edit: For some reason, I'm not able to add comments or select a best answer? Anyway, just to say thank you very much Joseph for your advice and thank you Chris. I never realised quite how hard it was going to be to get these first users and get people to listen. I'm going to have a look at what Joseph said in full detail and work out answers to the questions I haven't already so far and maybe soon I'll post some more questions with the website linked!
Thank you, much appreciated.
There are a lot of great wedding applications and tools -- many of them are free. Google even has a marketing position in the space. Without know a lot more about your product, it's target market and unique value proposition it will be very difficult for someone to provide you meaningful feedback and advice.
The wedding market is a well developed market. There is a well established vendors, publishing, blogs and websites. To break in you will need to have a targeted and strategic effort.
Who is the target market? Is the target market DIY'ers? Or is it people that are working with wedding planning professionals? Are they people who are spending considerable money on their wedding-- or just the basics? Are they young first marriages where they have lots of friends who are also considering getting married or are they older couples?
Knowing who the target market is will allow you to choose marketing and advertising platforms which target your specific market.
When is the purchase decision? For your target market-- when do they decide that they could use the service that your company provides? Is it when they are choosing other vendors? Is it when they pick the date? is it when they are putting together the invitation list? What other decisions are they making at this time?
Knowing when the purchase decision for your service would be made will allow you to choose potential marketing partners or channel partners to bundle your services? If it is early in the process you can offer access to resources they will need later increasing the value proposition, if it is later it will likely come from a referral of an existing vendor and marketing must be planned accordingly.
Knowing the end-game Knowing our end-game will be very valuable. is this a business you want to grow and own and run for years to come? Or is your product a missing component of another companies overall strategy, and properly positioned you will be a prime acquisition opportunity. Based on the desired end game, different marketing strategies will be more or less appealing.
Understand the Core Value Proposition You know your product and the markett. You understand the core value proposition. The question is do your users -- and do they share your perspective. It would be worth your time to listen to your current users and ask them what value they found, and what would have convinced them to upgrade to the paid version. See if they share your understanding of the core value proposition.
These are the types of framing questions that a marketing professional would ask in order to develop a marketing campaign that would work for your business.
Marketing is a full time job for a reason. It's work.
I think you have underestimated the amount of effort that may be required for it to work. You could consider an affiliate program and try partnering with wedding photographers, videographers, djs, wedding planners, bloggers... and the list goes on.
You can also do what is popular right now and offer a limited "closed" Beta that requires people to invite a certain number of their friends.
I wouldn't give up on the approach you have taken, I would double down on trying to have a magazine feature my service. Perhaps you could offer a coupon to the bloggers/magazine for their subscribers.
Just a couple of quick thoughts.
I don't know without a link, but it helps if you can make part of your site social.
So if couples are signing up you need a way for them to post updates and others to follow those updates onto your site. If it is all closed then its hard to get traffic to come along just for a sneak peek.
Even better if people can be involved on your site without having to make a purchase. Could you expand the site to have some sort of discussion forum. E.g. discussing best place to purchase rings or a wedding dress.
You could then reach out to potential advertisers to pay for advertising in those spaces.