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Thread started 02 Dec 2009 (Wednesday) 23:24
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Improving lead conversion through e-mail

 
smakelijk11
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Dec 02, 2009 23:24 |  #1

I know that this question is mostly geared towards wedding photographers, but I would like anyone to answer if they have insight.

I have a hard time converting on leads that I receive through e-mail. I get a fair share of inquiries about my services, but very frequently I don't hear back from the future bride after the first e-mail. Are this any advice anyone could give me on what to say or do in the e-mail to keep the conversation going? I am very confident that I offer a great product, but it's been very tough to convey that if I don't hear back ever again from the client.

Thank you!


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tim
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Dec 03, 2009 00:44 |  #2

Use a contact form, require a phone number, and call people. On the phone ask about their wedding, maybe a little about them, tell you a little about your services, and arrange a time to meet if they want to. Follow up the call with an email.

Don't push too hard. No-one likes a pushy salesman.


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smakelijk11
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Dec 03, 2009 06:09 |  #3

Thanks Tim for the advice :-) Unfortunately though, quite often I don't even get to the first phone call. On my contact form, the phone number box is option. Is that something I should consider changing? I didn't want to make it obligatory for people to give me their number.


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sebmour
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Dec 03, 2009 08:02 |  #4

You should consider changing so that it's not an option. It's very much easier to get people excited about your service on the phone over email.

I require to have the phone number and I never share my price before the meeting. We can then discuss payment options and other details!

Good luck


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TheHoff
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Dec 03, 2009 08:24 |  #5

sebmour wrote in post #9126884 (external link)
I require to have the phone number and I never share my price before the meeting.

Don't you get lots of unqualified shoppers, then? People who aren't in your price range?

As a consumer, I would not agree to a meeting where I didn't know at least a price range of the vendor. I don't want to waste my time, either, in case you are twice my budget.


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smakelijk11
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Dec 03, 2009 10:48 |  #6

You both bring up good arguments. I really don't want to have a lot of unqualified shoppers. But I find that I am not even getting the chance to show them how great my product is. Is there anything that you do in the e-mail to "differentiate" yourself from the other photographers who might respond?


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Billo78
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Dec 03, 2009 12:18 |  #7

Get excited about shooting their wedding and if you have any experience at that shows you are familiar with their specific wedding then throw it in. I got a request about a wedding at a hotel I'd shot at before, this is how i replied (the guy I shoot with is called Danny):

"Hi xxxxx,


Good news, Danny and I are both available on 11 Oct and would love the chance of returning to the Montague, a beautiful venue. You can check out a slideshow of the last wedding we did here on my blog at http://billosphotos.bl​ogspot.com …07/wedding-slideshow.html (external link)


Our pricing structure is pretty straight forward, you get both photographers for 6 hours for £xxx, albums start at £xxx for a duluxe custom album (including design) and a DVD of the high res jpeg files is £xxx. Slideshow for the web (like the link) is free on purchase of either album or DVD.


If you want to get in touch for a no obligation chat and to see some samples please let me know and we'll sort out a meeting.

Regards,

Simon"

I think you need to keep it simple, personal and professional.

(we ended up shooting this wedding (external link)by the way and it was awesome!!)


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smakelijk11
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Dec 03, 2009 12:24 |  #8

I really admire your professionalism Simon. I agree that the e-mail should be kept simple. Should there be any urgency in the e-mail to respond right away? IE: I have had a few inquiries for that date? Or would that just turn people off?


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TheHoff
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Dec 03, 2009 12:50 |  #9

I'm far from experienced at this with weddings but I've been responding to email inquiries for a while with other businesses. As Simon said above, act excited, make sure it doesn't look like a generic response template, and give pertinent details.

My normal tact is to ask them questions to show interest and also encourage a response. Like, "Have you reserved the church or venue yet, or are you just getting started planning?" If they've provided those details I might ask about their style, themes, or colours.


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tim
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Dec 03, 2009 15:02 |  #10

smakelijk11 wrote in post #9126551 (external link)
Thanks Tim for the advice :-) Unfortunately though, quite often I don't even get to the first phone call. On my contact form, the phone number box is option. Is that something I should consider changing? I didn't want to make it obligatory for people to give me their number.

I have it optional, but I have a note in red at the top of the form telling people that spam filters trap a lot of my emails and to please provide a phone number.

sebmour wrote in post #9126884 (external link)
You should consider changing so that it's not an option. It's very much easier to get people excited about your service on the phone over email.

I require to have the phone number and I never share my price before the meeting. We can then discuss payment options and other details!

Good luck

I share my prices online, as personally I expect to find prices online. I think it's a generational thing - younger people expect everything to be on the internet. It also prevents people calling who can't afford me.

smakelijk11 wrote in post #9128317 (external link)
I really admire your professionalism Simon. I agree that the e-mail should be kept simple. Should there be any urgency in the e-mail to respond right away? IE: I have had a few inquiries for that date? Or would that just turn people off?

I would never advocate lying. I've been known to tell people that a date isn't popular so there's probably no rush to book, but that I have had people book dates while others were thinking about it. My policy is until a retainer and contract are returned the date's available to anyone.


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Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
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sebmour
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Dec 03, 2009 22:59 |  #11

TheHoff wrote in post #9126958 (external link)
Don't you get lots of unqualified shoppers, then? People who aren't in your price range?

As a consumer, I would not agree to a meeting where I didn't know at least a price range of the vendor. I don't want to waste my time, either, in case you are twice my budget.

I do get some but very limited. People who are referred to me know how much I approximately cost. I also get lots of people who we're not expecting such a price but I get them so excited about having me at their wedding that they cut down elsewhere just to get me. I know it's different, that's why I don't blend in like all the other photographers :D

You can always afford you just don't won't to spend it it's not the same. I have seen past clients cut their meal from steak to plain cold buffet to have me as a photographer. They understand the value of photography once I properly talk to them. Trust me it works. I get my 15 weddings a year at 3500-5000$ just for my photography no printing yet!


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TheHoff
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Dec 03, 2009 23:11 |  #12

Good points. I think the key is you're also getting referrals from other customers so the friends they refer are likely in similar financial situations. It isn't like you're getting cold referrals from Google.


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tim
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Dec 03, 2009 23:19 |  #13

As well as referrals, which are growing all the time, I get a lot of leads from google. Qualifying them is good.

I had a wedding the other day that got a last minute package with me, $1500. Their reception cost $20,000. The food lasted a couple hours, the photos will last a lifetime, but because they went cheap things had to be rushed and the photos aren't as good as the could've been. People have different priorities, which I don't always agree with, but hey it's their wedding.


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jonwhite
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Dec 04, 2009 02:55 |  #14

tim wrote in post #9125841 (external link)
Use a contact form, require a phone number, and call people. On the phone ask about their wedding, maybe a little about them, tell you a little about your services, and arrange a time to meet if they want to. Follow up the call with an email.

Don't push too hard. No-one likes a pushy salesman.

+1 for what Tim said

I have just changed my blog contact form to require a telephone number as well (had it on my portfolio site since day one) because the last few inquiries I received were through my blog and no telephone number = no ability to follow up properly.

Email is ok for some things but its much better to speak directly to people and engage with them than it is to send an email.


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Todd ­ Lambert
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Dec 04, 2009 03:06 |  #15

I wouldn't require the phone field, personally. It generally will cut down on people filling out the form, or they'll use bogus info anyways. Most people are very protective of their phone number and do not wish to give it out.

I'd leave it as an optional field, or at worst, mark it as required, but not actually require it in the form processing (meaning don't stop the submission if it is empty)

You have to realize that people use the web for its anonymity(or at least appearance of that) and you will often get lots of "looky-loos" - just goes with the territory. I'd make sure you respond in an informal way, and like the Hoff said, try to personalize the response and ask questions to try and get them to respond.




  
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