Survivial Skills for Freelancers

Increasing a DJ’s conversion rates with hardworking emails

The client: Midlands Wedding DJ, Birmingham, West Midlands

John Horton owns Midlands Wedding DJ – a professional wedding disco and entertainment service covering Birmingham and the West Midlands. He got in touch when his responses to emails from potential clients weren’t working hard enough to convert leads into customers.

The need

Being well known on the wedding circuit in the West Midlands, John receives lots of emails asking for quotes and availability, which he responds to promptly – but these enquiries weren’t getting him the bookings he needs for his business to be successful.

When John asked me for help with his email responses, he was frustrated with the number of enquiries that simply weren’t converting into business.

His costs are competitive, his reputation is good, and his service is professional. I’d already written his website, and this works hard to generate leads and raise awareness of his business. Something wasn’t working.

The solution

I asked John to send me examples of enquiries he’d received from potential clients, together with his responses. I could immediately see what the problem was. First, the emails contained spelling mistakes that could lead potential clients to think the business was unprofessional. Price wasn’t the issue. For a quality service to generate bookings, there needs to be a perception of quality, and the emails weren’t communicating this.

John’s responses contained none of the personality or warmth that’s so important for service businesses, so I changed the tone to make his replies informal, friendly and approachable, while maintaining a professional tone.

The emails focused on the technical features included in the price. I flipped this to focus on the benefits to the client, and kept the language simple and concise.

I added a question to find out where the enquirer heard about John’s business, as a way of opening up a dialogue and showing he cares – with the added advantage of giving him inside information on where his leads are coming from – a line about the need to book now as dates are limited, to communicate scarcity, and added a clear, compelling and persuasive call to action.

In the client’s words…

“Sarah is a true marketing expert. She’s written two websites for me, so I knew I could ask her to look at my emails. She puts herself in the customer’s shoes, and understood where I was going wrong and how to put things right. She just gets it. 

“In just a couple of hours, she wrote four email templates that I started using straight away and I’ve already seen results. I converted one enquiry within a couple of days, and lots of customers have called me to ask for more details after Sarah told me to make it easy for people to get in touch. Her work has paid for itself already, and I’m feeling really positive about my business again.”

John Horton, Owner, Midlands Wedding DJ

Creating effective CRM communications for college

The client: Gloucestershire College, Cheltenham/Gloucester

Based in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire College is a leading local provider of further and higher education. The college provides a wide range of courses, from GCSEs and A Levels to foundation degrees and diplomas.

The need

Gloucestershire College was implementing a major new CRM system to unify and bring structure to the way it communicates with students. They wanted a suite of clear, hardworking CRM communications that would form part of the new system.

The college had been using a range of letters and emails written by different people within the organisation. Some of the letters were wordy and confusing, and there was no consistent tone of voice to enhance and build on the Gloucestershire College brand.

The solution

Using a handful of existing letters and emails – and with a good understanding of the client’s need for clear, compelling and consistent communication suitable for a student audience – I wrote a total of over 60 letters, emails and SMS messages.

I also suggested simplifying the materials required where there was duplication, and creating new ones when I identified gaps in the communication process.

The new materials benefit from an approachable yet professional tone of voice, a coherent message, and a clear call to action.

In the client’s words…

“We worked with Sarah to fully review our complex application and enrolment communications. Sarah took the time to research and understand the process, enabling her to write clear communications with multiple audiences firmly in mind. We are delighted with the results – thank you.”

Michelle Cant, Head Of Communications, Gloucestershire College