“The best time to create an email marketing plan was the day you started your business. The second best time is today.” This wonderful ancient proverb, slightly adapted to our current times, perfectly sums up the essence of this article. Email is one of the most underrated marketing tools by photographers, even by those who already spend countless hours trying to promote their work online. This might come as a surprise, but a strong email marketing plan paired with a stunning photography website can do more for your business than growing your social media audience to thousands of followers.
Think about it. People who choose to sign up for a newsletter are prone to be much more involved in your work than someone who sees your photos for a few seconds a day while scrolling over hundreds of other people’s feeds. Also, subscribers are likely to be located relatively near your business, rather than all over the globe. In addition to reaching out to potential clients, email marketing is also a great tool for building loyalty with previous ones and avoid being forgotten a few months after the gig.
Ready to expand your business opportunities? Here are the tips you should follow to build a successful email marketing plan:
Let’s start by making something clear: you don’t need to be an amazingly talented writer to create an informative newsletter. This seems to be one of the main concerns of photographers who have decided against the idea of engaging in email marketing. While writing long chunks of text makes total sense for a photography blog and to improve your portfolio’s SEO, there are many other approaches you can take when it comes to creating your photography newsletter.
Stick to what you know and love. People who subscribe to your emails will do so because they are interested in your work and expertise, so focus on sharing your knowledge in a clear way, so that even people with less technical training will understand. If you’re a food photographer you can send out recipes of the meals you shoot. If you’re passionate about post-processing, create easy-to-follow tutorials. Travel photographer? Your subscribers will sure love some behind the scenes footage and stories.
Additionally, there’s a lot of content you can add to your emails regularly, such as your availability, showcases of recent photo shoots, promotions, giveaways, and a long etcetera!
In order to distribute your photography newsletter, you will need to build up an email database. Keep in mind that people who receive these emails should actively sign-up for them; automatically adding every customer you ever had into your newsletter list will only result in upset people who will probably call a different photographer for their next photo shoot. So how are you supposed to put together a killing subscriber list, if you can’t just send it out to all the people you’ve already worked with? You can start by reaching out to your existing contacts, offering them to join the mailing list. Depending on how many clients we’re talking about and how long ago you last interacted with them, this might result in a nice number of subscribers to begin with.
Your main goal, however, is getting every single visitor to sign up to your newsletter. So how can you get more subscribers to your mailing list once you’ve already contacted former clients? The first step is to include a catchy subscription button on your site. You can use Wix Get Subscribers to easily add a signup form, send emails, and manage your subscribers from a single platform. Because nobody wants yet another newsletter clogging their inbox, you might want to offer an incentive for visitors to give yours a try, such as a free booklet of tips on your photography genre, or a small selection of processing presets.
It all starts with a stunning subject line. This will have a huge impact on the success of your email marketing efforts, at it will determine whether people open, ignore, or mark your messages as spam. A third of recipients open emails based on the subject line alone, even if it’s a service they signed up for. Here are some tips on writing the perfect subject line:
You got them to open your email! Now what? The ultimate goal of these marketing campaigns is to guide people to your website, whether it’s to read your latest blog post or to book a holiday photo shoot. These are some of the things you should take into account to achieve this final conversion:
The easiest way to build a powerful email marketing campaigns is using Wix ShoutOut, which allows you to use beautiful templates, share the content on social media, get new subscribers from each email, and track each campaign’s stats.
The spam box is the place dreams go to die. After investing so much time and effort in putting together a strong email marketing plan, the last thing you want is for your messages to get lost before reaching your subscribers. These are some of the things you can do to avoid hitting the spam box:
We’re not saying you need to pick favorites among your clients, but signing up for your newsletters should definitely come with a feeling of exclusivity and some extra perks. Start building a connection with subscribers the moment they sign up, by sending an automated email to welcome them with a nice reminder of what they can expect from your newsletter and how they can ensure they’ll receive your emails.
Your subscribers should be the first ones to hear about any new service or promotion you’re offering, and maybe even get some free materials like tutorials and presets every now and then. A great way to strengthen these relationships is creating a calendar with your subscribers’ birthdays and sending them exclusive discounts to celebrate the special occasion with a photoshoot.
Time is money and also one of the main factors on your email campaigns’ success. On a large scale, you should send out themed newsletters on special occasions (such as Christmas, graduations and wedding season), when people tend to want photoshoots. Make sure to adapt your offer based on each occasion, like offering a discount for couple portraits a few weeks before Valentine’s Day. When it comes to your regular schedule, send at least one email each month to ensure subscribers don’t forget about you, and figure out the best day and time to send out your newsletter, based on the outcome of different tests.
You have built a strong mailing database, curated captivating content and written engaging emails. All that is left is to grow the reach of your photography newsletter! In addition to tracking your messages’ stats with Wix ShoutOut, you should be using a tool like Google Analytics to learn more about your subscribers. Knowing details such as their location, age and gender can help you create better-targeted content as well as figure out what time of day and which days of the week are the best to send your emails.
Finally, don’t be afraid to try new things! Experiment with using different CTAs, subjects and templates to see which ones perform better.
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