How do you pick the right CRM as a wedding planner?
You know why you became a wedding planner. Perfectly executed timelines. Coordinated design that fits the couple's vision just right. Hearing a client tell you that you made their wedding dreams come true!
Then there are some parts that you probably didn't dream about when you first started your business. Hounding vendors to call you back. Dealing with family members who have spent a bit too much time at the open bar. And, of course, running the backend of your business.
Unfortunately, we can't be there to help you manage drunk uncle Tom. But we can definitely offer our advice for what apps and services will make your business run smoothly and let you get back to the fun parts of wedding planning!
So with that in mind, we're making some recommendations for CRMs that will make your life as a wedding planning entrepreneur a whole lot easier.
what is a crm, and why do I need one?
Before we get too deep in all the pros and cons of the various CRMs, let's make sure everyone is on the same page. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) is what gets your projects from start to finish. From capturing leads to asking for reviews after the wedding, a CRM can keep information about each of your projects in one neat place.
Now, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of CRMs out there, each with different features setting them apart from the rest. There are CRMs built for solopreneurs and for giant corporations. Some focus on commercial ventures while others specialize in non-profits. Simply searching "Which CRM should I use?" on Google will yield over one and a half million results. So how do you make a decision about which to use when there are so many options?!
To help make the decision a little easier, we're highlighting four of our favorite options for wedding planners:
Rock Paper Coin
Each one of these four platforms excels over the others in certain areas. It's important to understand their strengths (and weaknesses) in order to make a decision that works best for your business, your processes, and your customer relationships.
In this post, we've picked out some of the core feature categories that might be most important to you. We'll rank the top 3 CRMs for each category and explain why we made our choices. By the end, we hope you have a better sense of which CRM is the right one for you!
Raise your hand if you're a busy entrepreneur 🙋🏼♀ Yah, I thought so!
In the digital age, today's entrepreneurs are busier than ever. It used to be that if you were out of the office, there was no business until tomorrow. Now, new leads can come in at any hour of the day, clients expect near instantaneous responses, and it seems our to-do lists are growing at least twice as fast as we can check things off! What can you do when it feels like you spend more time responding to inquiries than actually planning weddings?
Luckily, most CRMs can actually do a lot of the work for you. No more typing out the same "thank you for reaching out to us" email twenty times a day or sending people reminders to pay you! If you'd love to save hours of your life and focus more on your clients, automating your CRM workflows is one of the best places to start! For the best CRM automation, we recommend:
Rock Paper Coin
If it can be done, Dubsado can do it automatically. If you wanted it to, your entire client onboarding process from initial inquiry to payment, and beyond, could happen without you lifting a finger (of course, we do still recommend having a consultation with a couple to be sure you're a good fit for each other before they sign a contract and pay you).
Similarly to Dubsado, Honeybook can also be automated, but the workflow options aren't nearly as robust.
Rock Paper Coin and Aisle Planner both have some automation capabilities, but both still require manual touches throughout, so if you want a completely automated process, we'd stay away from these.
You won't be the only person who uses your CRM. Your clients might interact with your systems too. From payments to playlists, from seating to speeches, the client portal in your CRM is an important part of the overall client experience working with your business.
You want your couples' experience to be smooth and simple. We think these CRMs provide the best overall experience for your clients:
Rock Paper Coin
Of all four CRMs we're looking at, Aisle Planner is the only one that includes a full suite of planning tools alongside a traditional CRM. Built by wedding planners for wedding planners, collaborating with your clients on Aisle Planner really makes wedding planning a breeze and is sure to be one of the highlights of working with you as their planner.
Dubsado isn't wedding planner-specific, but what it lacks in planning tools it makes up for in beautiful and customizable client portals where all of your contracts, invoices, questionnaires, and other forms live.
Rock Paper Coin comes in at a close third here, since it is truly a breeze for your clients to use (you can even use it to sign contracts and pay other vendors for them, so they don't have to lift a finger...which makes for a pretty great client experience in my book).
No two wedding planners are the same. You may offer day-of management, full service planning, rentals, design, or a combination of multiple services. Your brand may be all about clean lines, or maybe it's about bright bursts of color. If the ability to customize every aspect of your CRM, you've come to the right place!
Check out which ones let you customize what your business does and how it works:
Rock Paper Coin
Dubsado ranks first here because with the ability to add code to all of your form templates, you can literally make them look and behave however you'd like. The sky is the limit on colors, fonts, layouts, and more!
Rock Paper Coin literally lets you bring in your own branded materials as PDFs and work directly from those. Have a contract template you love and don't want the formatting to be adjusted? Just upload it to RPC with blank spaces where you want unique information written for each client.
While Aisle Planner offers hundreds of options for customization throughout the platform, most items (especially when printed or saved as a PDF) still always have a uniquely Aisle Planner vibe to them and there's no way to make materials completely on brand. Unless your brand looks a lot like Aisle Planner's, I guess!
Like it says on the front page of our website: "You signed up to be a wedding planner, not a tech whiz." You shouldn't need to have a degree in computer science to use your CRM. For any wedding planner who considers themselves tech-illiterate, try looking at these choices:
Rock Paper Coin
The last thing you want when you jump into your CRM is to be bombarded with information. RPC takes the cake here. It's easy to get started with and start using the platform right away. Most users can start accepting new clients the same day they open their account.
While Aisle Planner is rich with features and planning tools that can take some time to truly master, they make getting started pretty easy, with lots of tutorial videos and a well-organized navigation bar that makes it feel familiar from the first time you use it.
Because of the automation features in Honeybook and Dubsado and the extreme customization options offered by Dubsado, these platforms can feel pretty daunting for even the most experienced users. If you choose to use one of these platforms, we recommend watching lots of tutorials or getting help from a pro to get you set up and walk you through it all.
Who has time to sit at their desk all day? We barely do and we're guessing you might not either. For the wedding planner on the go, these CRM options offer the best mobile experiences.
Rock Paper Coin
Honeybook is the clear winner here since it is the only CRM of these four that actually has a mobile app, which you and your clients can use to do just about everything you can do on the desktop version of the platform.
RPC is a close second, because their simpler interface works well on their mobile site for both you and your couples.
The consequence of Dubsado and Aisle Planner having some more powerful tools than the other two is clear: these platforms work their best on the desktop versions. Some features will be a lesson in frustration if you try to use them on your phone, and some simply will not work at all. If you're doing most of your work from a mobile device, consider Honeybook or RPC.
Let's face it: cost is almost always the deciding factor when choosing between different service options. That makes sense-you started your wedding planning business to make money, not to spend it. Here are the ones that will be most kind to your wallet:
Rock Paper Coin
Rock Paper Coin offers the absolute best price as you get unlimited access to the platform for as low as $250 per year!
With Dubsado's standard annual plan, you'll pay a flat $350 per year for unlimited projects, but you should expect to pay more if you have a team with more than 3 people.
Honeybook may have the most affordable option overall at just $108 per year, but you will quickly run out of space for your clients if you don't invest in a better plan, which will cost you about $400 annually.
Aisle Planner offers several plans with prices ranging from $480 to $2500 annually, depending on the number of projects you have and whether you choose to have a paid listing in their marketplace. When considering the price, it's important to remember that AP is much more than a CRM; it's a full suite of planning tools!
One more thing to keep in mind is the transaction fee charged for credit card payments. Rock Paper Coin offers a discounted rate of just 2.5%. The other three CRMs all charge 2.9% or more plus a small flat fee per transaction. This may seem like a small difference, but it adds up when you're getting larger payments for your big packages!
Third Party Integrations
As a business owner, you probably don't use just one app to run your entire business. In addition to your CRM, you're probably going to need an email platform, accounting software, social media accounts, a website, an email marketing platform, and the list just goes on.
It can quickly become overwhelming and exhaustingly repetitive to get a lead in one place and send an email in another, or to receive a payment here and perform your bookkeeping there, or to copy and paste a client's name and email address in twenty different places!
Fortunately, most CRMs are able to connect some parts of your client onboarding and project management process to other apps automatically or by using integration tools like Zapier! If you need your apps to integrate, check these out:
Dubsado integrates with just about anything. It works natively with your email platform, video conferencing app, QuickBooks/Xero, and CloudSpot (for the photographers in the room). It also connects to thousands of other third party apps through Zapier.
Honeybook is a close second here. Like Dubsado, it connects natively to your email, QuickBooks, Zoom, social media, and Zapier. The only reason it doesn't tie for first? Honeybook's Zapier integration doesn't include any "actions", meaning that while you can send information FROM Honeybook ("triggers"), you can't send information TO Honeybook ("actions").
Aisle Planner only integrates with Zapier, but has a fairly robust set of both triggers and actions (though still not as many as Dubsado).
Rock Paper Coin doesn't offer any third party integrations at the time of this writing, but they're still fairly new and working hard to bring some awesome new features!
You probably noticed that each of these four CRMs ranked first in at least one category. And each ranked last. That is because there is no "best wedding planner CRM." However, there just might be the best wedding planner CRM for you.
Only you know the features that are most important to you in a CRM. With this guide, we hope you can pick the perfect CRM for your wedding planning business. And if you still need help deciding, we can definitely offer our assistance.
Try them Out!
Click the links below to try out one or all of these CRMs! And be sure to note the special discounts we have for you!
Aisle Planner - With this link, you will receive 25% off your first 3 months after a one month free trial! You must be a first time user to receive this discount.
Dubsado - With this link, you will receive 30% off your first month or year.
Honeybook - With this link, you will receive 20% off your first year.
Rock Paper Coin - Be sure to enter code WTBFF for 25% off your first year after a one month free trial!
About the Author
Madelyn came to Wedding Tech BFF because she loves helping people better their lives through technology. If there's a website, app, or platform she doesn't know already, just give her 10 minutes and she'll know how to make it work for you and your business! When she's not being a Wedding Tech BFF, she's probably begging her cat for attention or writing young-adult romance novels!
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