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 sizzling web copy for an oriental cookery company

The client: Pamela Chen’s Asia, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

ChenMoore Chopsticks – now rebranded Pamela Chen’s Asia – provides oriental cookery demonstrations and cultural talks at events and shows, and for audiences on board luxury yachts and cruise liners.

The need

Like many small business owners, Pamela had written her own web copy and it wasn’t performing hard enough to attract customers. The copy was too long, the navigation around the site was confusing, and the key messages were lost.

Though Pamela’s English is great, the fact that she isn’t a native English speaker came across in the copy. I wanted to communicate her wealth of experience and love of oriental food while telling her story in a compelling way.

The solution

I wrote Pamela’s web copy following a face-to-face brief, in which I made lots of notes about her approach, personality, and the way she spoke about her business. She emphasised a number of issues she wanted to avoid, and things that weren’t working for the business, and I suggested a number of improvements to the current layout, keywords for SEO, and the structure of the site.

I created an informal, friendly and welcoming tone of voice that reflects elements of Pamela’s enthusiasm and personality. I pointed out inconsistencies and opportunities to introduce calls to action throughout. The resulting site communicates clearly and persuasively, and lets Pamela’s story shine through.

In the client’s words…

“Sarah’s experience and knowledge in how texts work in this digital world has been quite an eye-opener for me. Yes, she edited and wrote the content for my entire website, but she does much more than writing the words: she thinks about the way the website will be used, taking SEO, the user journey and user experience into account.

“Having seen the difference her careful crafting has made, it has really made me realise the importance of using a good copywriter. Sarah took the time to understand my business and needs. She’s clear thinking, thorough and consistent. Above all, she’s put the sparkle in my website content! I love it.”

Pamela Chen Moore, Owner, ChenMoore Chopsticks