Guest Register starts referral contest to reward bridal consultants

Mary Grant, a marketing expert who started The Guest Register in 2003 to handle responses or RSVPs for brides, likes to build relationships in which she returns the favor of a referral. That’s difficult in this case, because a bridal consultant is typically hired early in the wedding run-up, more than a year in advance, while her service comes in toward the end.

Grant planned to launch in April her solution: a contest that will run for a year and a half and offer rewards to the bridal consultants that refer the most clients. First-place prize is a pair of half-carat diamond earrings.

The idea is the latest in her arsenal of marketing techniques, including a heavy schedule of the traditional: she buys ad space in bridal magazines and booths at bridal shows.

This summer she’ll launch a third branch of the Bloomington-based business, an RSVP service for meetings and events (she also handles responses for reunions). Grant was invited to a large corporate reunion by a company in Nashville. She contacted the organizer and explained how her service could help promote the event online, and collect the RSVPs and credit card payments.

“Given that over 30,000 people across the U.S. and abroad will be invited to this event, we will gain a tremendous amount of exposure” to launch the new service, she says. “Landing key clients that bring broad exposure to our ideal customer” is a staple of her marketing plan.

Her firm charges brides and grooms $2 per invitation sent plus a $35 set-up fee, and contacts all the guests who haven’t responded. They’ll even handle the family whose children aren’t invited, but who respond they’re bringing the kids anyway. “We can deliver messages more easily for the bride than they can,” Grant says.

Mary Grant, The Guest Register: 952.835.2233; mgrant@theguestregister.com; www.theguestregister.com

Beth Ewen