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My Photography Email Marketing Strategy(And Why It Works So Well)

In the early days of my photography career, I attended marketing workshops recommending mailers as a foolproof form of advertising. Yes, mailers! Can you tell I’ve been doing this for a while?

Times have changed; now, photography email marketing strategy is all about your online presence. But maybe you don’t want to use a strategy that requires Facebook ads or wastes time. The good news is, you don’t have to. An organic marketing strategy is possible to get you in front of your ideal client and get your schedule booked out. I’ve done it!

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Create a Resource that People Want

I’ve seen a lot of free photography resources for clients that explain how to pose, or what lingerie to wear at a boudoir shoot, or how to feel confident before a session. Like, a lot of these resources. (I’ve made them myself!)

While they’re well-intentioned, they’re not really what your potential clients want because so many photographers have created their own versions. You need something special that sets you apart.

Instead, I encourage you to create something with tons more value that will get people to join your email list and stick around. (And eventually, turn them into amazing clients.)

That something is called the Ultimate Guide to a Boudoir Session. In your free guide, you can explain to your clients:

  • How to prepare for a session
  • What to wear
  • What outfits or accessories to bring
  • How much time to set aside for a session
  • And more!

This type of free guide works because it warms up cold leads and sets expectations for clients who book a session with you. It’s a win-win.

Plan Your Email Welcome Sequence

Once people subscribe to your email list, you’ll need to welcome them to your brand and business. Let them know what to expect in your newsletters with an email welcome sequence. 

The moment after someone opts in is when they’re most excited about your offer! That means this is the best time to introduce yourself, explain how you can help them, and even invite them to book a session with you.

My email welcome sequence includes five emails, but you can do as little as three if you want your sequence to be more casual and laid-back.

Just make sure your email welcome sequence includes the following:

  1. Download instructions or links to their free guide, plus a quick introduction
  2. One to three emails that invite them to get to know you and your biz
  3. A final email that invites them to follow you elsewhere, like on socials or your podcast

Don’t forget to set up this automated email sequence because it bridges the gap between someone subscribing to your newsletter and getting nurtured.

Provide Value with a Nurture Sequence

What we’ve covered up until now is pretty standard regarding photography email marketing strategy. An exciting lead magnet and email welcome sequence are necessary but don’t necessarily change the game in terms of marketing.

This is where my own email marketing strategy veers off course. (But it works!)

My nurture sequence includes 52 emails. That’s right, 52. One day per week, I send an email. I have never missed a week throughout my career. The sequence is 100% automated now, but before, I would sit down one day a month and write out all my content. And even then, the work only took about four hours a month! 

But back to how the nurture sequence works.

Once someone opts in, they go through my welcome sequence, and then they get dropped into my nurture sequence. It’s a year-long sequence that tells them everything they need to know: how my sessions work, how they prepare for one, things they may need, and so on.

What happens if they run through the entire sequence? They get removed for a day and then dropped right back in for another year. Or, to be honest, they unsubscribe. Unsubscribes happen; you can’t totally avoid them. 

Your number of unsubscribes will go down if you have a strategic nurture sequence, though. My nurture sequence works because I am giving all the time. I’m providing tons of value before ever asking for a sale. That’s the key!

P.S. I’ve been asked if swipe files for my email nurture sequence are available to buy. I don’t sell swipe files for them, BUT I walk you through the entire sequence step-by-step in my Forever Booked Out program. You get my entire organic marketing strategy, too!

Ask for Bookings (Sparingly)

Speaking of asking for sales…when is a good time to do that in your email nurture sequence? You don’t want to be too pushy or sound desperate. But you also want to convert leads!

A good rule of thumb is to ask for bookings 10% of the time. Personally, I ask for a sale 13% of the time. Every year, I send 60 emails in total, 8 of which are sales emails. These sales emails are a larger part of the strategy for the sales I run twice a year, by the way.

You’ve warmed up these leads for a long time, and now you’re asking for bookings in a few simple emails. That’s why they work — because you’re not asking people to buy in every single email in your sequence!

Plus, you’re positioning it as a deal for them. “Hey y’all, I’m running a sale, so save money and book now!” See how it’s more enticing than, “Please book me for a session because it’s the slow season!”

Focus on Nurturing Over Selling

If you take away only one thing from what we’ve talked about, it’s this: nurture more than you sell. 

If you’re constantly selling to your email list, you will push people to unsubscribe. And why shouldn’t they? If you ask for their money before you show them your worth, they’ll feel annoyed and leave.

But if you constantly provide value in the form of session prep, client testimonials, and recommendations for other businesses…they’ll like what you have to say. They’ll stick around to see what else you have to offer.

You’re probably thinking that this advice sounds great and all, but how on earth are you supposed to write the entire email sequence and an amazing lead magnet? I’ve got you covered in the TLC Shop!

The TLC Email Marketing Bundle includes my Ultimate Guide to a Boudoir Session template, plus my email welcome sequence. And the TLC Annual Sale Bundle has what you need to plan your own successful sale! These two bundles will set your email list up for success.

tracy

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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