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014. Email Marketing for Photographers: Using Email Lists Effectively

014. Email Marketing for Photographers: Using Email Lists Effectively // Sustainable Freedom with Photography Podcast hosted by Tracy Lynn of Tracy Lynn Coaching and Boudoir by Tracy Lynn

When you think email marketing for photographers, you might think “Oh gosh, more work I have to do.”

The thing is, email marketing is the marketing platform with the best ROI.  If you have to choose between email and social media, always choose email marketing. 

I use email marketing as a way to nurture my audience into become great clients.  All year, I send information that they need to know in order to book a session. Two times each year I sell. That’s it. And those sales sell out in hours.

As a quick review of last week’s episode, there are three reasons you need an email list.

  1. Talk leads into becoming great clients.
  2. Answer questions the leads didn’t even know they had.
  3. Educate leads on things they didn’t know they needed to know.

In short, yes you need an email list, more than you even need social media. That’s not to say you need to ignore social media. What I’m saying is you need to focus on growing and nurturing your email list.

This week I want to talk about three ways to use an email list in an effective way that will actually help you book sessions.  I also want to talk about two ways you can get a quick boost to your email list growth. I know how discouraging it can be when you feel like you’re working really hard and writing all these emails, but they’re going to no one.

Nurture more than you sell.

Use email marketing for photographers to nurture more than you sell.  This allows them to warm up to you and become a GOOD client, instead of just a client on a whim. 

Think about it, when you check your email and see you’re getting an email every week saying from the same company saying “here’s so much money off. Please buy my thing…”  You’re probably going to just unsubscribe from that email list rather than actually buy from them or just delete the email.

If you’re getting mostly emails that give you good information about things you WANT to learn or know or that will help you do better at the thing you want to do, you’ll be more likely to OPEN those emails.

What I’m trying to say is we want to give, give, give as much as we can before we sell, sell, sell.

I’m going to use Victoria’s Secret as an example right now because they have been driving me nuts the past few months. It’s always “a panty party this, panty party that.”  I haven’t opened an email from them in months because the subject it always the same thing. 🤯

They always have a sale going, so there is no urgency to buy right now.  I’ll just buy when I need or want a new bra or underwear. If I wait, there will probably be a better sale tomorrow, anyway.

That’s how your email list will feel if you constantly send sales emails out to them. They are going to tune you right out. 

If you panic and run a flash sale every week, then they don’t REALLY need to jump on the sale today. They can catch it tomorrow or 5 years down the road when they think about it again. 

Email Marketing for Photographers: A few ideas to send to your photography email list(that they will want to open):

  • 3 ways to prepared for your session
  • What to wear for your session
  • What to bring to your session
  • 5 tips for the week Of the session
  • Client testimonials/spotlights
  • Vendor recommendations for local areas

Run annual Sales ran in an effective way.

I try not to sell to my email list throughout the year. Twice a year I DO run sales through my photography email list. 

Why does this work? All year, I’m just giving them tons of good information all about how they will look in front of my camera, things they should do to prepare…, how the album will feel in their hand.

Then, I run these sales, and they finally bite the bullet.

I don’t like flash sales because they bring in really crappy clients. 

My clients that come from these sales are AMAZING. My sales average doesn’t go down with these sales sessions. In fact, it’s right at or higher than my regular sales average.

They’ve been on my photography email list for so long and have visited my website enough that they know my thing is albums. They know they’re leaving with a beautiful album, whether that’s a gift for themselves or their significant other.  

They, also, know they’re spending money AFTER the session so they come into the studio prepared. 

The sale I ran just nudged them in a direction they were already headed.

Email marketing for photographers: Sell out your bridal fair!

To hear more about how I’ve used this in the past, go listen to this episode.

Although I don’t love the actual booth set up and being AT the bridal fair, I think they are so worth the time, effort, and money you invest, specifically for the email list.  I rarely ever actually book sessions at a bridal fair, though. All of my bookings come after the show when I send out my special offer emails to the email list. 

I use a strategic email series, which prompts these new leads to book. 

The good thing about bridal fairs is that most brides WANT an album which makes album sales easier. 

A bridal fair is a good boost to your email list.

Depending on the size of the bridal fair, you can get anywhere from 50-2000 email addresses, which means if you’re ideal client is a bride, this is a huge boost to your email list. 

You’ll definitely get a few unsubscribes, you might get marked as spam because they can’t remember how they got on your list. The majority of them are qualified leads, that although they may not book you RIGHT now, if you follow my email strategies, a good portion of them will book eventually. 

Another possible way to grow your email list is Facebook Ads.

OMG. I said it. Facebook ads.

Now you guys all know by now that I am Anti-Facebook ads.  And I am, for booking sessions.

That being said, I *do* think there are good ways to grow an email list with a Facebook ad that will work for the long term.

I don’t think you should spend a ton of money on these ads, but a few dollars a week can give you a boost to your email list to warm these leads up to become good clients. 

What I would recommend is an ad that asks for them to download a ‘How-To Prep For Your Session” guide to get them on your email list.

A cold ad to a cold audience is going to bring in those hard-to-please clients.  

If you send them to your email list, you can turn them into your *dream clients* with your nurture sequence.

Use Email Marketing for Photographers Effectively.

Both of my businesses are built around my email list.  In everything I do, I think about prioritizing email marketing for photographers in a strategic way. Because these leads trust me enough to hand over their email address, I want to serve them in a totally different way than. I do with my social media presence.

In the TLC Boudoir Photographers Mastermind, I focus THREE breakout sessions specifically on building a strategic email list!

  1. The TLC Effective & Sustainable Annual Sales Strategy
  2. Booking Photography Clients with Email Marketing
  3. How To Book Out Your Schedule At Your Next Bridal Show

That’s not all you’ll get with the Mastermind though, be sure to click here to find out all about the bonus trainings, group coaching calls, private call with me, and voxer access to me! 

I can’t say enough about the amount of education I’ve packed this mastermind is.  It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever created. Be sure to check it out before the doors close until 2023!


Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.

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