Honeybook has been a popular option among wedding pros for a long time. Their marketing is fantastic, and they have a lot of big industry names shouting their praises. But are they really the best option? I've been using Dubsado for my own wedding planning business for years. Obviously, I don't think so. But today, I dive deep into the pros and cons of using Dubsado vs Honeybook for wedding pros. That way, you can decide what's right for you.
If you decide Dubsado is the best CRM for your wedding business too, use code ‘desiree' for 20% off your first month or year!
Why I switched from Honeybook to Dubsado (as a wedding planner)
When I was originally deciding which CRM to use for my luxury wedding planning business, I did a LOT of research. Most wedding planners do, right? I couldn't find any platforms with as many features as Honeybook and Dubsado so the two were my top choices from the beginning. I initially chose Honeybook and used it for several months. However, it didn't take long for me to start to resent some of the features that were supposed to make my life easier. Personally, I found it clunky and not user-friendly for my clients and potential clients. As a high-end wedding planner, I wanted to make the booking and payment process for my clients as easy as possible.
Easy for Who?
The biggest point of frustration with Honeybook is this: While it makes the client management process easier for the vendor, I find this makes it more difficult for the client. (This is ultimately the reason I left.) I believe that the right CRM for wedding pros needs to be a win-win. Even though I no longer use it, I find it incredibly frustrating when I work with vendors who use Honeybook vs Dubsado.But I will dive into that a little more below!
Honeybook vs Dubsado as a CRM
Let's jump right into an overview. When you use Honeybook as your wedding business CRM, you need to create a new project for each client or inquiry. It seems simple enough from the vendor side. However, as a client, in order to receive a proposal from a vendor, clients need to create an account on Honeybook “to view the project.” We all have too many accounts and passwords to remember. Do we really need another one? I completely appreciate this makes it easier to stay organized as a wedding vendor, but from a client's perspective, this user experience is disappointing.
With Dubado, I can view a proposal, invoice, or project timeline without having to log into a separate account or project. If you love the idea of a “portal” for your clients to log into, Dubsado does allow its users to create a new portal for every client/event, but it's optional. Everything can be done through email if your client prefers to access links to their proposal / invoice / contract this way. However, if they do WANT everything in one place, there's a portal waiting for them.
Email Management as a Wedding Planner
Let's be honest, as a wedding pro, it can often feel like a full-time job just to manage your inbox.
This was the most important factor for me when comparing Honeybook vs Dubsado. It's one of the most irritating things about working with wedding photographers and other vendors who use Honeybook. When a vendor responds to my email regarding a client, it starts a NEW email every time. This is a huge waste of time. I can't refer to our previous conversation unless I (once again) log in to their project on Honeybook. (This also changes the email subject, making it even harder to group our conversation.) This is a prime example of how using Honeybook as CRM makes it easier for the owner (you). However, this is a detriment to your client's experience. As a wedding planner, I'm planning multiple events at a time. It makes it more challenging for me to be added to different projects for different vendors for different events every. single. time.
Now let's compare that to Dubsado. Emails sent from Dubsado connect to my business email so I can still see all of my emails in one place. However, and in my humble opinion this is a big however, my couples and fellow vendors can still read and respond to email chains without ever leaving their inboxes. They don't need to sign into another platform to respond. On top of that, I can easily view and send invoices and contracts with just a hyperlink – no clunky projects needed.
Honeybook vs Dubsado Pricing
At best, this is another win for Dubsado. Even if you choose their premium plan, you are essentially paying the same monthly as you would for Dubsado annually.
At the time this post goes live, Honeybook pricing sits at $39/month or $390/year. For Dubsado, their starter plan is $20/month or $200/year. If you choose their premier plan, the cost is similar to Honeybook at $40/month or $400/year. (Also, when I joined Dubsado, they gave me a discount for coming over from another platform! Win!!)
Don't forget – you can save 20% off your first month or year with the code desiree.
I personally use the Premium plan because I love the robust automated workflows. While they take time to set up, I REALLY love them for nurturing new client inquiries and remembering to follow up with them. But if you don't need that, it's totally fine to start with the starter plan. You can always upgrade when it makes more sense for your business financially. I love when a platform grows with you!
Here's the full breakdown of what's included in the Dubsado Premier Plan:
- Automated workflows
- Public proposals
- Multiple active lead capture forms
- Video conferencing
- Time tracking
- Project sources
- Source tracking
- Bookkeeping integration
- Zapier integration
Depending on what services you're paying for already, you might find you can cancel them and end up saving yourself some money by choosing Dubsado.
Honeybook vs Dubsado for Payments & Payment Reminders
Dubsado uses Stripe and/or Paypal to process payments. For ACH / Bank transfers, Stripe only charges a flat $5 processing fee no matter the size of the payment, which as a wedding planner offering a high ticket service, I really like. I personally choose not to accept credit card payments, which would charge a percentage fee like other banks. On the other hand, Honeybook charges a flat 3% on credit card payments and 1.5% on ACH (bank transfers). That 1.5% would typically cost me more than the $5 flat fee Dubsado charges for the payments my couples are making, but it depends on your payment schedule and how much each payment is for your specific business.
As far as payment reminders go, I love that I can set up a workflow in Dubsado to send reminder emails to clients to pay their next deposit. It always feels icky to do it manually. I also love that I can send automated reminder emails if a client ever does miss a payment. As a wedding pro, I'm sure you can relate to being too busy for “busy work.” Payment reminders definitely fall under that category.
Steal my Dubsado Workflow!
I haven't even scratched the surface of Dubsado workflows yet. And these are a HUGE selling point for the platform. But while we'are comparing Honeybook vs Dubsado, I wanted to share how I use Dubsado to nurture new inquiries. Below is an outline of my Dubsado workflow. (Feel free to steal it and make it your own!)
The Initial Inquiry Process
- A Prospective Client fills out an Inquiry form (like this one on my contact page)
- Because the contact form was created in Dubsado, this triggers a new Dubsado workflow. This email sequence is customized to the service they're interested in (which they indicated on the form).
- Next, Dubsado sends them an email response automatically acknowledging I received their information and when to expect an email from me. This response is customized to the service they chose – even if they're unsure of what they want to book. This alone puts you ahead of your competition who don't have anything set up. This is an excellent way for you to stand out (you responded so fast!) and show your business's personality. ALL WINS.
- While the prospective client reads my autoresponse, Dubsado sends me the inquiry so I can look over it to see if they're a good fit. This allows me to tailor my response based on the information they included in my inquiry form.
Setting Up the Initial Consultation
- My first response often includes a link to schedule a consultation with me. Dubsado's scheduler links to my Google Calendar so it always knows if I'm free. This lets the new client pick a time that works for both them and me. This saves a lot of back-and-forth time finding a time to meet. It also gets them to book a call quickly before they get distracted and start looking for other wedding vendors.
- If the prospective client doesn't pick a time from my calendar within a set number of days, Dubsado sends them follow-up emails (that I've drafted) either automatically or with my approval. This helps so much with the prospective client follow-up process. I would NEVER remember who received what email and where they were in the nurture sequence without it.
- After they schedule a call, they receive an automatic confirmation with the date, time, and Zoom call details.
- We have the call. Afterward, I send different emails tailored to what we discussed during the consultation. Assuming it's a heck YES from both of us, I send the contract and proposal directly from Dubsado. It even lets me see when they viewed my email to make sure they received it. (Stalker-ish, I know, but so helpful!)
How Dubsado Stands Out
As a note, the “with my approval” option a game-changer for me. I haven't found ANYTHING on any other CRM (including Honeybook!) that offers a service like this. Listen, as a wedding planner, I LOVE systems and processes, but no matter how tech-savvy you are, you can't fully automate a wedding business. Knowing that follow-up emails won't accidentally go out without me knowing (or if a couple responds or books outside of the automation) gives me such peace of mind.
This really is only a quick snapshot of automation with Dubsado. With Dubsado, you can set up workflows so that as soon as they accept the proposal, they automatically receive a contract. When they sign the contract, Dubsado sends an invoice. ALL WITHOUT YOU. If you've been spending too much time “in the weeds” of your business, Dubsado gives you back a lot more time to do the work you actually enjoy. Instead of constantly doing admin!
Choosing Honeybook vs Dubsado as a Wedding Pro
As far as CRMs for wedding pros, Honeybook and Dubsado are often the top contenders. They really do both have robust features but I really believe Dubsado is ahead. I know how labor-intensive it can be to set up a CRM and transfer things over. I want you to feel confident in your decision. From wedding pro to wedding pro, if you have any questions about Dubsado, DM me over on Instagram and I would be happy to help. I'm not an “expert” but I am a huge fan and have been using it for my own business for many years now. I haven't looked back from the days I switched from Honeybook!
Be the first to comment