One of the challenges in spin ensemble-based magnetometry and many-body spin physics in solid state systems is to enhance the spin concentration while maintaining long coherence times. In particular, for an ensemble of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond, high conversion efficiencies between nitrogen (P1) defects and NV centers are essential for quantum information and sensing applications. In this work, we study the effect of electron irradiation on the conversion efficiency of various types of HPHT and CVD diamond samples with different initial nitrogen concentrations. The samples were irradiated using a 200 keV transmission electron microscope (TEM). We observe an order of magnitude improvement in the NV concentration (up to ~ 10^11 NV/cm2), without any degradation in their coherence properties. We find that the efficiency of NV creation strongly depends on the initial conversion efficiency as well as on the initial nitrogen concentration. The achieved ~ 10% conversion efficiency from N defects to NV centers in the diamond suggests that such irradiation processes can improve the sensitivity of DC and AC magnetometry, and pave the way toward the study of many-body physics of ensembles of NV spins.