As photographers, we often think of email as a way to communicate with clients or potential clients. Really, email is a tool that can be utilized in several different ways, including marketing.
Starting to build an email list is important as your business grows. And while I’ve discussed creating personalized emails for your current clients, sending out more generic, regularly-scheduled emails can help to boost your workload as well.
Starting a List
Every client I gain immediately goes into my CRM tool. There are several out there — everything from a basic CRM like HubSpot to a management platform like Picr and StudioNinja. You can also set up a mailing list signup form on your website, through an email system like MailChimp or MadMimi, which would help attract potential clients.
It’s important to entice people to join your email list as well. You might do this with a popup on your website, where you talk about what people will get with your emails. You might give away a coupon for a photoshoot, or a free desktop wallpaper each month.
What Do I Send?
You want to cater your content to your audience, first and foremost. To some, this might mean one giant list. To others, this might mean a few different lists of clients, depending on your photographic specialty.
From there, look at the content you can send out. At the top of the email, you’ll want to write a greeting, with an attractive photograph. You’ll want your logo somewhere near the top as well, and you’ll want to talk about any specials going on, or anything you’re looking to get clients for. If you’re a family photographer, you might advertise your upcoming mini sessions towards the top.
From there, look at other content you can include. If you have a blog, that’s a great place to start. You can include some samples from a recent shoot or two or some tips you’ve written for clients. But don’t limit yourself to just your own created content — if you find something on the web that you think would be beneficial to your list, share it. And if you do share content that isn’t yours, write an introduction about what’s beneficial to your audience about the link.
For instance, if you’re a wedding photographer, you might talk about the top venues in your area, what to plan for on your wedding day, your favorite DJs…even your favorite songs to jam out to. It doesn’t necessarily have to be photography related, but ideally, you want to push people full circle and have them come back to your services.
One last thing — don’t forget to include links to your social media. Make them obvious and try to push people to click on the links with a short tagline. Something like “follow my adventures this winter on social media” is a great place to start.
Depending on your content, you might send out a newsletter every other week, monthly or quarterly. If you have an active blog, you might find yourself needing to send out a newsletter more often.
Regardless of what schedule you choose, it’s important to stay consistent. If you send the first of the month, always send the first of every month after.
Email is just that — written communication that we have with our clients. But by taking that next step and generating an email list and regular newsletter, you can help to keep in touch with your client and make sure they’re thinking of you on a regular basis.
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