Getting Started with Email Marketing For Photographers
This blog post may contains affiliate links. You may read my disclaimer here.
What is email marketing? It is a direct approach at gaining sales for a business. Social media posts disappear after a certain period of time whereas, email requires a physical action of deletion.
You are reading this because you are either ready to take the next step in your business to gain more clients and income, or you have already taken that step, and craving to learn more about how this process works. Congratulations!! I commend everyone that takes the time to learn and invest in themselves to better their business!!
I am NOT a professional email marketer. However, I am self taught, and want to share my knowledge and experience with you. I have a small business, therefore I know the struggle it takes to succeed.
Everything you read in this post is from personal experience, and many hours, days and weeks, of experimenting with what works, and what does not work. I encourage you to take this information, and apply it to your business, in your own way. Originality is what sells!
**Please note, I use Mailerlite email services. I cannot speak for nor provide examples for other email services**
Why Should You Use Email Marketing?
As stated before, Social media posts disappear after a certain period of time whereas, email requires a physical action of deletion. Social media posts are a dime a dozen. You read it, you might interact with it, and then continue scrolling. Its jumbled up with tons of noisy comments, tons of ad’s on the right side of your newsfeed, notifications popping up left and right for game requests, or the drama on Suzy’s post from yesterday that you are so ready to just not hear about anymore. Not to mention the fact that if people are not interacting with your business page posts...they just don’t get seen. And that’s a whole ‘nother topic for another day!
Then... there is email.
Go to your inbox and open up an email. That’s it. JUST the content of that one email. No distractions. Just you and the sender. Nice right?! This is your chance to get the message across with NO distractions.
Another reason to use email marketing is the connection you can build with your client. I have a list of opt ins called my VIP List. These are people that have opted into my newsletter because my photography VIP list gets notified FIRST of anything going on. If I have a model call, a special on photo sessions, or a special in my print store. The VIP list gets FIRST dibs. When you get special treatment, it feels good right? You feel like a...Very Important Person. And that creates a connection.
Connections = Sales
Where Do I Begin?
There are many newsletter services out there. It all depends on what is right for you and your business. What do you want to use it for? Just the occasional newsletter? Do you want to sell products? If you want to sell products, do you plan on selling a few, or high volume? And what about the cost involved in the service?
Here is a list and links to the top 10 newsletter services out there:
10. Mad Mimi
Side note: A lot of these services are free up to a certain number of subscribers.
How Do I Get People To Sign Up?
OK, you’ve signed up for the newsletter service you are going to use, now....how do you get those email address rolling in? This is SUPER important! You NEVER EVER, EVER want to add email addresses WITHOUT permission. EVER. Please don’t. It will only hurt you in the long run. It’s annoying to get emails from a place you did not sign up for. That’s why those emails get sent straight to the spam folder. I’m going to tell you the #1 guaranteed ways to get opt ins.......
Offer something for free.
Thanks for reading.
But seriously, offering something for free in exchange for a person’s email address is the NUMBER 1 way of getting emails. Everyone loves FREE!
The number #2 way... a DEEP discount on a product or service that you offer.
How to Keep People Signing Up Even When You’re Sleeping!
CALL TO ACTIONS on your website! Embed a signup form on your website. Have a specific page/tab dedicated to your newsletter opt ins. Even on other pages/tabs, link to that sign up page! Do you have an about me section on your website? Post a link on that page directing them to sign up. Do you have a portfolio on your website? Post a link on that page directing them to sign up. Everything should lead them to that sign up page.
What if you are out and about at an event and you want to get people to sign up right there, but you don’t want to deal with the hassle of handwritten emails that you have to try to figure out what they say and manually enter later? Create a QR Code! It is super easy!! Create the QR code in an app or online, once it is generated for you, add it to fliers! Or if you have the capability to do so, have your sign up page already open on your smartphone or tablet, and they can enter it in themselves!
If you are just starting out, you are more than likely using the free version of your newsletter service. Something to look into in the future as your business grows is automation. It is AWESOME! I love it! I don’t know what I would do without it! One reason being is, on occasion I might run a VIP Newsletter special. Sign up to my VIP list and get 15% off a session. Because this world is an instant fulfillment world, I have that coupon sent to them automatically. They sign up, and that triggers the coupon to go out. It’s just like making an online purchase, and you instantly get the receipt for that purchase, in your email.
Gathering the email addresses is one thing, the next thing is getting people to OPEN the emails. I mean, they should just know that you have something AMAZING to offer them right!?!?
Yes, Grandma knows, Mom knows, and your bff since 1st grade knows.
But the total stranger that you are trying to build a connection with, has no idea. The subject line is vital to getting them to open that amazing newsletter you have just sent!
Here are a couple tips for writing a subject line:
Me personally, I find it easier to write the body first, and then add in the subject line after. I have better ideas after the body is written. So I will write them out in my Google Docs that way I can spell check and then get a better idea of what I want my subject to be.
2. Keep it simple.
3. Eliminate filler words. What are filler words? Like, ya know. The way we um, pretty much all talk now. I mean, it’s good to have um, your personality come across in your writing. But ya know, not so much in subject line.
4. Be clear and specific about the topic of the email. Are you running a 20% off special? “20% Off Right Now!”
5. Create urgency. “Discount Ends Tonight!” “Flash Sale For One Hour!” “Only 5 Shirts Left!”
What The Heck Do I Say?
If you are not good at writing, newsletters can be so scary! You get stumped, writer’s block, fearful if what you are saying is going to come across the way you think it should in your head. Trust me I know!
I like to see personality in a newsletter. I think I can speak for most people on that. Stuffy and salesy won’t get my attention. BUT, you need to be careful. Keep your ideal client in mind when writing the body of the newsletter.
2. Check this out: BP4U Photographer products have made my life and business, 1,000 times easier! Think about the time you spend trying to come up with something to say in your newsletter. For me...sometimes that was an hour per newsletter. Not kidding. I would write something out, and get frustrated with it. Then, I came across these PRE WRITTEN newsletter and blog posts! Just because they are pre written, does not mean they aren’t customizable! Completely customizable! It’s just a little helpful jumpstart to get the writing going! So go check out NEWSLETTER & BLOG CONTENT ARTICLES FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
Want to have my blog posts go straight to your inbox as soon as they are posted? Just subscribe below.
Leave a commnet below! Don’t want to fill in your real name? No problem! Just type Jane or Joe if you want! Then click “comment as a Guest!”