First impressions - You never get a second chance to make a first impression
You have an enquiry, they have enquired at several of your opposition.
Creating the best first impression comes from what you first send them. This first response may decide if they even bother contacting you further - so it is critical
What are you going to send that is different, that is better and will deal with the 60% of brides who skim their emails.
Response Email Options
Send a template not an email - using a response system you can send much more impressive and professional looking branded templates
Sign it off with your picture and your name and tittle and not "Events Team" even if there are several of you that answer emails - people book people not businesses, be personal
Short and to the point - Headline, context and info - the people who just skim through their emails will engage
Have a picture in the header - a cracker picture - a picture is worth a thousand words
Include all the information they might want - all of it and make pricing or indiction of pricing clear and transparent
Include a call to action, what to do next, tell the best thing to do now is...
Have your template set a reminder for you to contact them again and check they received everything
Have your response system load the enquiry automatically into your data base and follow up system
Have your follow up system give your conversion results and weekly reports
When you follow the same path, you end up in the same place, intend to get better at responding and getting ahead of your opposition, it is not just about your product, it is also about you...
Would you like to see how your responses could be turned into an amazing template Click
You will see a difference in your enquiry engagement instantly
You will be judged by what you send the first time
Don't you judge like that?
Opinions about quality, professionalism and value are made subconsciously in the first few seconds of reading an email. You are using this email as part of your sales process - is it good enough? Is it impressive enough, is it personal enough, is it professional enough.
Creating a template with images from the relevant team member, that is short, on brand and has what they are looking for, is how to make your best first impression.
What are your opposition sending when they email the first time? You can bet it will not be a long email with lots of words, no pictures and little information and you will see it will be signed off by a person, maybe even with their picture.
That is what you are competing with, so let's make yours even better!!
Oh my goodness - if your template just had a few pictures and links to your packages, you would already be miles ahead.
By having a header picture of the type of event they are having showcasing your work will already make you attention grabbing.
The old saying "A picture tells a thousand words" is still relevant today and people that skim over their emails will stop to look at pictures
Sign off from a person
Let's say you are a bride and you are enquiring with a venue that you may be going to spend $25k with for your reception and the response you get is signed of "From the Events Team at..." , seriously, that is just not good enough. People book people not businesses, so make the effort to be personal right from the start.
BUT WE HAVE SEVERAL PEOPLE IN OUR TEAM
Thats ok, but still sign off from one of them and if you like mention all the members of your team if you like but never ever sign off without a name. We get the from all the corporate "I don't care about you " type businesses, phone companies, electrical companies etc you will be subconsciously put into their category and thought less of trust me.
The KISS method
Keep it simple stupid - is the KISS method.
This means make your responses short and image rich. Headline, context, pictures, information links and a call to action.
Writing long informative emails will simply not be read, people are so busy and so stressed with all there is to organise and they just want the info now.
Friendly welcome and personal introduction, pictures, empathy about the planning they are doing, the information they might right now with options and plain and simple price indications and maybe an invite to ask questions or arrange a meeting or a tour or request more information
A template vs an email
Templates look so much more impressive that just sending back and email. Having the ability to create nice layouts with embedded pictures and a pleasant structure is so much more professional.
Strangely you event work will be judged by how good yoru emails look, really. Your photography and your photography business will be judged better if your emails look impressive and have great pictures in them.
Choose YEM or companies like Mail Chimp that have impressive template builders and a good CRM that you can send from your phone or computer from any where anytime - YEM Pro has a free CRM and template series.
Include the information they want
I hear all the time, "I don't want to send prices!"
People what to have an idea of your price range and what your options are. Businesses that get the most response include at least a price indication and a range of options in attachments they include.
If you are so secret about your price it must be too high - this is what people thing when you are cagy about price.
My prices start at xxx and average xxxx and here are a whole list of inclusions and options so you can be assured we will be able to accommodate all the wonderful things you want.
Large emails will often not be delivered
There are ways you can send emails with lots of information without them being emails
DO NOT send PDF's and pictures
People include actual PDF's of their information and attach actual pictures in their emails. These PDF's are either low resolution so the pictures in them look poor quality but the PDF is small enough to be emailed or they are good quality BUT too big to get delivered and stop your email getting to your enquiry.
Have you ever had an enquiry contact you and say they didn't get your response?
Good CRMs will have an upload area that allows you to load your high resolution beautiful PDFs and picture galleries into the cloud and then you simply add a link to the PDF in your response.
A link has no size and will always be delivered.
Example: Aim at less than 4Meg.
If your email says it is less than 4 meg then it shouldn't have any trouble being delivered. Your email will say it's size on the bottom and as you add attachments you will see this size increase quickly.
You can always send images in separate emails to ensure that they get though but that is also less elegant and less professional.
Call to action - what do you want them to do next
Every email you send has a purpose and that is always to move a step closer to being able to convert this enquiries into a booking.
After reading your response, what might they want do next?
YEM Pro templates have call to action buttons you can turn on in your template and this will prompt the reader to advance themselves, sending back to you their reply.
Each template can have 2 or 3 options for them to choose from and they can let you know what they would like to do next
Auto reminders and auto advancing
When you set up a response template you can set a default reminder period, say 7 days and 7 days later you will receive a reminder and a link to this enquiry. You can then call the enquirer or txt them or WhatsApp or message or send another template
When you send then the next template, when do you want to contact them again? add a reminder period to the next template too.
Each enquiry is at a stage, they might be a lead or and opportunity or availability or quoted or booked. You can add a status up date to a template too that will automatically update the status of your enquiry. When you send an email with your quote for example you can automatically update their status to quoted, this way you always know where you are up to with each enquiry.
Auto load them into a marketing database
With any good enquiry management system every record is automatically loaded into a database. Not just as a contact but as a contact with knowledge, this means you know they were a wedding enquiry and when they ere getting married +++ This allows you to do targeted marketing in the future even of you didn't convert them to a booking this time you might book them for a service for say their anniversary or at Christmas etc
It is important that every lead goes into your future marketing database for future sales opportunities.
You can not improve, if you don't know your numbers.
How your business is going, is not an adjective, like "Wonderfully" - it is a %, increases and decreases and in so many different areas.
A good CRM will list each week, how many enquiries you have received last week, how many have been converted to which stage and how many bookings you made and what your total bookings in advance is.
You can know at a glance how your business is traveling each week and how you are improving and where you need to make more advances.