Do you like Don Draper? (Don’t we all?) Then you’ll love David Ogilvy. The founder of Ogilvy and Mather, he was a marketing pioneer and creative genius who was often called “the father of advertising”. A university dropout, Ogilvy helped shape the ad industry when it was in its infancy.
He was a straight shooter – “Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating,” he once said. “You know you can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.” Soooo… how does this tie into email marketing for photographers? We’ll get to that soon!
Ogilvy cut his teeth in something called Direct Mail Advertising – adverts delivered to people’s houses. “Direct response was my first love, and later it became my secret weapon,” Ogilvy said. Today, Direct Mail Advertising isn’t as prominent as it once was, but Ogilvy would be besotted with another form of directly engaging with potential customers: email marketing. It’s the digital world’s version of direct mail. And that’s why email marketing for photographers is so powerful – it contacts people directly in their personal inboxes.
It’s an incredibly potent marketing method, because when a potential client grants you permission to email them, they’re saying they want to hear from you, and they’re permitting you to regularly pop up in their inbox. These are the people who are most likely to convert into a client (and it’s all about conversion, baby!).
Let’s dive in and find out more.
These days, there are loads of different ways to advertise your business, but email marketing for wedding photographers remains one of the cheapest methods for connecting with your audience.
It’s pretty inexpensive (or even free – look into Mailchimp for photographers!) to use an email provider to build awesome emails and reach a list of people who are specifically interested in your service.
Unlike social media, where only a tiny handful of your followers will see your posts (thanks for nothing, algo), photography email marketing allows you to reach every person who has signed up for your mailing list. It’s no wonder that 64% of small businesses continue to use email marketing to reach their clients.
By growing your email list, you’re creating a community that isn’t reliant on any other platform – and that’s super powerful when building your photography business.
Email marketing can be used to attract new photography clients, but also to keep your current clients engaged so you’re top of mind when they next need a photographer.
Through emails, you can build and maintain a relationship with your email subscribers where you can keep them updated with your news and promote additional services. If you take advantage of some clever features, you can also create targeted offers for segments of your audience.
By providing valuable content to your subscribers (e.g. handy how-to guides), you’re establishing yourself as an authority in your field. This can boost your professional credibility and help you stand out from the competition.
The key is to always provide value in your emails. People love free stuff, and great content will also go a long way towards positioning yourself as the expert you are.
Consistency and regularity are key with email marketing for photographers. The best approach is to pick a date and time that works for your audience and stick to it, rather than emailing at random times.
As a photographer, your workload will vary from week to week, so utilise the scheduling tools in your email service provider to deliver ongoing emails consistently without having to stress about each one last minute.
The purpose of consistent email marketing is to win the trust of potential clients, converting them into paying clients. I’d recommend emailing only fortnightly or monthly to avoid coming off as spammy, though.
You might need to come up with a plan to generate email marketing ideas for photographers, but don’t be intimidated by this – the web is chock-full of photography email marketing examples. Go on, get googlin’!
Regular newsletters allow you to demonstrate your skills, style and work ethic, and regularly improve your subscribers’ perception of your business and you. This can be an important factor when those subscribers need to decide on a wedding photographer for their big day.
Choosing a photographer is a huge deal for most couples, so it’s not an impulse decision. It can take months to pull the trigger – and it might just be those regular emails from you that swing their decision in the end.
Email marketing is just one of the approaches you’ll need to take to win over new clients. The secret is to embrace a 360-degree strategy with your marketing. This can seem daunting, but that’s exactly where I can help you!
I offer special one-on-one photographer courses and workshops for photographers to help you establish yourself in this fulfilling and exciting field. If you’re looking for photography coaching, drop me a DM and I’ll tell you more about what I offer. I’d love to hear from you!