Whether you’re a freelance photographer or running your own team at a photography studio, having a well-rounded marketing strategy is as important as having the right camera bag.
It’s not enough to set up your own Instagram account (although the platform is perfect for use as a growth channel) and post regularly on Facebook — it’s vital that you incorporate email marketing into your plans as well.
Email marketing is an extremely powerful marketing tool for photographers, boasting a higher click-through rate than social media, and the best ROI for your business of all the marketing tactics.
In the post below, we’ll be giving you some top tips on email marketing for photographers. Read on for the ultimate guide to email marketing: photographer’s edition.
Build a list to reach your target audience
If you want to reach your followers, then building an email list gives you the best chance of getting noticed. After all, you’re sending something directly into their line of sight, rather than relying on Facebook algorithms (which can be notoriously unfriendly to small businesses) to show up on a crowded feed.
But how do you build this list in the first place?
Well, the best way is to focus on your interested customers — people who have actively signed up for email updates.
One of the best ways to do this is by adding a “subscribe” button to your website, whether this is on landing pages or blog posts. Alternatively, you can use pop-ups to grab people’s attention while they’re visiting your site. Both options are relatively easy to integrate into your website using various plugins to collect addresses for your mailing list.
It might be that some visitors need a bit of encouragement to sign up, which is why offering an incentive — like an ebook or some form of discount for a photo shoot or prints — will nudge them in the right direction.
Reel customers in with compelling subject lines
Now that you’ve gathered a list of interested subscribers, you need to capitalize on this interest and reel them in. The best way to do this is with an eye-catching subject line.
Subject lines are a huge factor in whether your email is read or not; boring ones will simply be ignored in an inbox as the competition for your reader’s interest is just too high.
If you want to write a subject line that converts, then you should follow these tips:
- Keep it snappy — around 50 characters or less — so that your subject line isn’t cut off
- Use power words to stand out, and trigger a psychological or emotional response in your reader
- If you’re writing about an offer or sale, add a time limit into your subject line — this will add a sense of urgency that will incentivize readers to take action
- Keep your subject line slightly mysterious to pique your reader’s interest and compel them to open your email (while giving them a sneak peak).
Once you’ve crafted a compelling subject line that will make your subscribers click into your email, you can focus on the main body and all the great things you’re going to put into that.
Offer value with your email content
Offering value in your emails is the best way to engage with your subscribers and prove that you have something that they want and that you’re worth paying attention to as a brand.
There are all sorts of different emails you can send to your mailing list to capture their attention and increase those click-through rates:
- Promotional emails: treating your customers to exclusive deals shows them that you care. It also rewards them for subscribing in the first place, and for clicking into your email. You can decide on what these promotions are, whether it’s offering deals to get money off your photography services or adding on a free extra like additional prints or a photo album.
- Showcase emails: emails are a great opportunity to show off your latest photography projects. You can highlight your favorites, tell a bit of the story behind the photos, and leave your readers wanting more (which should lead to them clicking through to your website).
- Newsletter emails: regular newsletters are a brilliant way to build meaningful relationships with your readers. You can keep them updated on your latest blog posts, any exciting photo shoots or trips you’ve just come back from, and celebrate milestones like your business’s birthday. Sharing achievement and exciting news invites your readers to celebrate with you and creates an emotional bond between you.
Using a combination of all of these email types in your marketing will help you to engage with new and old customers alike — building a community around your business that your customers feel connected to.
Avoid spamming your followers
Keep your customer community in the loop is one thing; spamming them is a whole other.
If you’ve spent all this time building the perfect email list, crafting powerful subject lines, and coming up with engaging content that your audience will enjoy, why throw this all away due to spammy behavior?
Although it’s tempting to make the most of these marketing opportunities and send out a bunch of emails to try to reel customers in, put yourself in their shoes. If you received four emails from a business a day, would you pay attention? Or would you relegate them to the spam bin?
Sending too many emails makes you look desperate, needy and insincere; it suggests that your main focus is sales, rather than adding value to your reader’s life with relevant content. And not only will this cause your engagement rates to plummet, but it will also lead to readers unsubscribing — which you definitely don’t want.
If you want to be liked, then stay away from spamming.
Email marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow our guide for photographers to wow your audience with engaging emails that they will want to read — which will ultimately lead to meaningful consumer-brand relationships, and increased sales.