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There’s a lot of buzz around social media marketing right now, and for good reason. But did you know that email marketing is still one of the best ways to build a loyal client base and promote your brand?
That might surprise you since so much of modern communication is instantaneous. Even for business purposes, we video chat, message, and text as often as anything else. So much so that services like Upwork host their own client-to-freelancer messaging platforms. But email is still king for several reasons:
Have I convinced you yet?
If you’re ready to jump into email marketing or just want to learn more, here’s how to get a strong start with it in your photography business:
Email marketing is great for the same reason a lot of people find it intimidating: it is incredibly versatile. You can use it pretty much any way that works for you. So if you haven’t started yet because you just don’t know how, the first step is to decide what you want to get out of your email marketing experience.
Think long term on this.
Are you trying to attract new clients? Stay relevant to your existing ones? Maybe you’re hoping to release some products in the future that you can promote with your newsletter. Find a direction to work toward as you construct the basic template you’ll be sending out. This will help you determine how often you really need to communicate with your email audience, how much you should send at a time, and what you should include when you do (more on this in a moment).
It’s okay if your goals shift or change a little over time, but you need to start with a basic vision so that you’ll know what direction to take this endeavor in. Otherwise, your communications will be scattered, inconsistent, and off-putting. You want to bring value with your content, not just add another chore to your client’s list.
There are several different platforms you can choose from as you get started. This is where knowing your goals will really help you, because each service has its own strengths and disadvantages. Here are three of the top contenders right now:
Start for free with limited features
I’ve used this in the past and although I ultimately switched, it definitely got the job done. It’s a great option if you’re just getting started since there is a free plan that you can use forever, up to a certain number of subscribers and/or emails per month. It’s packed with advanced features and they’re always adding more.
Plans start at $29 per month
Here’s a great option for “creators” who are trying to sell their wares. It seems to be geared more toward advanced users, so there’s a little bit of a learning curve. There’s no “forever free” plan, but there is a 14-day free trial. You pay based on the number of subscribers, so your features are essentially the same at each level.
$38 per month
This is what I have used for the past several weeks now. I personally find it to be the most appropriate platform for visual content. It’s very easy to set up, which is a huge plus! I love how easy it is to integrate my brand colors and fonts. Even though the starting price is a little higher than with some other services, I’ve found this to be the most photographer-friendly email marketing service. Oh, and if you use this link, you get 50% off your entire subscription… You’re welcome!
Don’t see one you like? Just make sure the platform you choose has these features:
Now you’ve got your plan and you have the platform to execute it. It’s time to look at the details.
Here comes some of that versatility we talked about earlier! Just about anything goes with a newsletter, so leverage your goals into information that will be useful to your subscribers.
For example, if you’re wanting to get your latest work in front of new clients (or keep existing clients interested) then you’ll want to include some optimized images in your newsletter. At the bottom of mine, I sometimes include a section that visually promotes my most recent Instagram posts.
Maybe you’re getting ready to promote an upcoming online course or an ebook you’ve written. That’s a great opportunity to share some behind-the-scenes stories or start a Q&A about your process. Here are some starting points as you decide what works best for your goals:
Whatever you decide to share, make sure the tone is unique to you. Your voice should be as recognizable as your brand colors! Email marketing is a great way to connect with your followers on a more intimate level. I’m so excited to help you get started! If you want an example of the newsletters I send out, be sure to sign up here.