Email Marketing for Photographers: How to Do it Right?

Categories: Email marketing
Updated: June 18, 2021

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Email marketing is actually one of the most underrated promotion tools by photographers, even by people who already spend countless hours on trying to promote their work online.

However, a robust email marketing plan paired with a professional photography website can do more than growing your social media audience to hundreds, or even thousands of followers.

People choosing to sign up for your newsletter are prone to be much more involved in your work than anyone that sees your photos while scrolling over hundreds of other people’s feeds. Plus, email marketing for photographers is an awesome tool for building loyalty with existing clients and avoiding being forgotten several months after the gig.

Ready to expand your own business opportunities? Let’s get going!

Table of contents

Why does email marketing matter for photographers?

Why does email marketing matter for photographers?
Why does email marketing matter for photographers?

Think of a client who isn’t ready to book, but is doing some preliminary research. He might look through 10 or even 20 photography websites to get a feel for what to expect. If they subscribe to your email list as part of that research process, you are off to a head start. You can develop a relationship with that client through automated emails so that when they’re ready to book, you will be top of mind.

It is also a great move to try and convert your social media followers to email subscribers. You may have an engaged and active following on social media, but social media networks are in control of those subscribers. If Facebook or Instagram change their algorithm, for instance, could you still reach those followers? If you were locked out of these accounts, would you lose contact with your prospects or customers? With emails, you can own your contact list.

So, to be specific, as a photographer, you should consider using email marketing because:

  • You can reach your target audience
  • Emails feel personal
  • It’s cheap and effective
  • It can increase your chances of booking more clients

How to build your email list

1. Make your sign-up process noticeable

Growing your email list is the priority, and it deserves top placement on your website. You can use the following locations to promote your email list:

  • A pop-up window on your homepage
  • A box in the right sidebar or footer of your blog
  • An email signature
  • Social media tab
  • At the end of each post you publish on your blog
Make your sign-up process noticeable
Make your sign-up process noticeable

You are not legally allowed to send a mass promotional email to your clients without their consent, which is called an opt-in. Thus, you need to give your visitors an obvious way to sign up for your updates, if they really want to. Make it clear how visitors can sign up for your email list, whether it’s through a pop-up form or email sign-up page.

2. Offer something in exchange

This is the most effective way to build a huge email list. Many people don’t want to subscribe to more email lists. They even avoid signing up for too many things as they don’t want to get too much spam.

So, you need a little trick to get a hold of more people’s emails: a lead magnet. With lead magnets, you offer something as an email course, e-book, cheatsheet, a discount for your photo session, or another freebie that needs claiming via emails.

And voila! You can increase your email list in a short period of time.

3. Don’t rent or sell emails

As mentioned above, some people are afraid that they’ll get spam or lots of unwanted emails once they’ve submitted their email address to a website. Tell your visitors that you are not going to share their personal information, with a simple message right next to your sign-up form. And never rent or sell your email list, even for a huge amount of money!

8 tips to succeed in email marketing for photographers

1. Write captivating email subject lines

It all starts with an enticing email subject line. This element has a huge impact on the success of your email marketing campaigns, as it determines whether people open, ignore, or mark your emails as spam.

Below are a few quick tips on writing the perfect email subject line:

  • Make it interesting and attractive as it needs to stand out even in the most crowded inbox
  • Keep it simple, sticking to what the recipient can expect from the email itself
  • Give a sneak peek of your email content to get them excited and curious
  • Write a maximum of 50 characters so that your whole text will be readable from the inbox

Read more:

In the same vein, strong email subject lines require strong email content.

2. Create engaging content

In fact, you don’t need to be an amazingly talented photography blog writer in order to create an informative newsletter. This seems to be one of the main concerns of photographers who decide not to engage in email marketing.

While writing long chunks of text makes total sense if you’d like to create a blog, you can take many other methods when it comes to planning your photography newsletter.

Remember, stick to what you know and love. People who subscribe to your email list will do so because they’re interested in your photography career and expertise. Thus, focus on sharing your knowledge clearly, so that anyone with less technical training can understand.

If you are a food photographer, you can send out recipes for the meals you shoot. If you are passionate about post-processing, you can create easy-to-follow tutorials. Travel photographer? Your email subscribers will love some behind-the-scenes footage and stories.

Plus, there’s a lot of content you can add to your newsletter regularly, such as showcases of recent photoshoots, giveaways, promotions, and a long etcetera.

Create engaging content
Create engaging content

In addition, you should take the following things into account when creating your email content:

  • People generally have short attention spans, so your emails shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to read
  • Include an engaging CTA (call-to-action) that is short, clear, and stands out
  • Pick a safe email font, which fits your brand and the tone of your website
  • Don’t include images that are too heavy, because they may not load

3. Send regular newsletters

You should send regular emails, at least 1-2 each month, to keep your audience engaged. Try to keep your emails educational or entertaining.

You can add some posing tips, or ways to plan a wedding, or what to expect from a portrait session. If you talk about your latest photo sessions again and again, people will get bored quickly and stop opening your emails.

On a large scale, you’d better send out themed newsletters on special occasions, like Christmas, graduations, and wedding season, when the demand for the photoshoot is higher. Ensure to adapt your offer based on each occasion, such as offering a discount for a couple’s photoshoot a few weeks before Valentine’s Day.

4. Build an auto-response series

Auto-response emails are typically pre-written emails that are sent to your reader in an order which you determine. As a rule, there should be a trigger, like when someone signs up to your email list, the auto-response emails start sending.

Build an auto-response series
Build an auto-response series

A portrait photographer may write 3 welcome emails explaining how to dress for a photo session and pose on pictures. Or a wedding photographer may share several practical tips on organizing the wedding and so on.

5. Avoid the spam box

Well, the spam box is the place dreams go to die. Once you’ve invested so much time and effort in putting a solid email marketing plan, the last thing you want is for your newsletter to get lost before reaching your subscribers’ inbox.

Take some methods to avoid hitting the spam box:

  • Let your subscribers know what type of content to expect and how often they’ll be receiving your emails. Ideally, they should know this clearly either before signing up or as soon as they do so.

  • Ask them to add you to their own contact list when they first sign up.

  • Avoid misleading subject lines.

  • Avoid WRITING AN EMAIL IN ALL CAPS or including spam trigger words, such as “Free,” “100%,” and “Click here.”

  • Balance the amount of text and images you include - it’s recommended to go for an 80:20 text to image ratio.

  • Add a visible “Unsubscribe” link in your emails.

For more information, read our following blog posts:

6. Add a nice email signature

Create an amazing email signature to tell people who you are and get your name out there. Promote your work and encourage them to book a photo session with your email signature.

Learn more: How to Create an Email Signature in Gmail?

7. Show that you care

We are not saying you need to pick favorites among your clients, but signing up for your newsletters should actually come with a feeling of exclusivity and some extra perks. Start building a connection with your subscribers right from the moment they sign up by sending a welcome email including a reminder of what they can expect from your newsletters.

Furthermore, your subscribers should be the first ones to hear about any new service or promotion you are offering, and maybe even get some free materials like tutorials and presets every now and then.

Another excellent way to strengthen your relationships is creating a calendar with your subscribers’ birthdays and then sending them exclusive discounts to celebrate the special occasion with a photoshoot.

Show that you care
Show that you care

8. Optimize your results

You’ve built a strong mailing database, curated captivating content, as well as written engaging emails. All that’s left is to effectively grow the reach of your photography newsletter.

And remember, don’t be afraid to try new things. Experiment with using different subject lines, CTAs, and templates to see which ones can perform better.

3 email marketing software for photographers

1. AVADA Email Marketing

With an intuitive interface and a number of outstanding features, AVADA Email Marketing won’t let you down!

AVADA Email Marketing
AVADA Email Marketing

You can take advantage of its:

  • Automation workflows. Premade automation email series help follow up your audience at any touchpoint. You can easily reach, engage, and convert them into your loyal customers and raving fans. The platform supports welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, order follow-up emails, cross-sell, upsell emails, and win-back emails.

  • Email campaigns. You can send mass emails to update your audience about news and deliver appealing promotions. The app also offers stunning templates that are prebuilt for various brands.

  • Segmentation. AVADA Email Marketing helps you send your messages to the right people with advanced segmentation.

  • Forms. In addition to collecting emails, the app allows users to deliver promo and useful content. Some forms include newsletter popup, Spin to Win, Add-to-cart popup, and Inline form.

  • Outstanding support & guide. You can use the app smoothly with friendly and professional help from AVADA Support team. Plus, the platform provides full guides and courses together with a huge resource of high-quality blog posts.

Amazingly, you can try AVADA Email Marketing for free right now!

TRY AVADA EMAIL MARKETING FOR FREE

2. Constant Contact

Constant Contact provides a number of tools for email marketing purposes. You can easily put together an email by using drag-and-drop tools to create visually-rich emails. Plus, contact lists of senders can be imported from Salesforce, Outlook, or by uploading a spreadsheet.

There are other features available, such as email automation and scheduling, with surveys, polls, as well as dynamic signup forms available to provide feedback. You can manage events and social media from your account as well.

3. Zoho Campaigns

Zoho Campaigns is the common email marketing platform from Zoho, a company that provides a number of software, from their office suite to CRM to IT helpdesk.

Zoho Campaigns offers a wide range of newsletter templates, covering everything from seasonal events to Black Friday sales. All are visually appealing for both clients and customers alike.

Another feature is email workflows for personal automation, which means using a simple drag-and-drop interface in order to set up automated actions and events.

The bottom line

Email marketing is still the number one tool that is used by most businesses to make sales. The main problem is that many business owners don’t have a plan or a road map to make this happen.

We hope our blog post has helped you a lot in crafting a successful email marketing campaign. By the way, which email marketing tactics proved to be the most effective for your photography business? We’re always willing to hear from you!

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