As photographers, so much of our business is about relationships. Whether it’s capturing relationships on camera or building them with families and clients behind the scenes, people matter in this business – and so does how we communicate. Email marketing for photographers is an essential tool. It allows us to keep in touch with clients, maintain relationships, and encourage future bookings. Sure, social media is a great way to stay present in a client’s world. Still, emails can target specific behaviors, needs, and interests.
Great email marketing allows you to call your clients to action, offering discounts or rewards for booking based on their previous purchases. For example, offering a back-to-school photoshoot discount may not be right for a former boudoir photoshoot client, but it is perfect for the clients who booked you for their holiday shoot last fall!
Finding the right email marketing platform is important, particularly based on what you would like it to do for you. Are you simply looking to send emails? Gather data? Encourage website sales? Create automated emails based on customer behavior? Whatever you’re looking for, the right platform will make email marketing easy, not more complicated. If you’re considering a new take on how you engage your customers, I suggest starting with reading about these three fantastic email marketing platforms for photographers. But first, let’s talk about the why!
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Email Marketing for Photographers – How Can It Help You Grow Your Business?
Email marketing can be hugely beneficial for your photography business for a variety of reasons. Let’s talk about a few of our favorites:
Marketing through emails gives you a direct line of contact with your customers! By sending them regular updates, sharing any new projects you may be working on, or providing exclusive content, your relationship with your customers will grow with every email they open. That’s why sending them consistently is key!
Promoting Special Offers and Events
Let your customers on your mailing list be the first to know about any discounts, specials, or openings on your schedule. This helps to build loyalty and trust and incentivize them to take you up on a great offer before it’s gone!
Showcasing your Portfolio
Emails are a great way to share some of your favorite photos and projects with your clientele. It provides them a good look at your signature style while allowing them to envision all the ways that you’ll gorgeously capture their own family, wedding, or even themself!
Generating leads and inquiries
Whether you grow your email list through signups on your website or lead magnets, you can capture contact information of potential clients and convert those leads into bookings or inquiries with some well-planned marketing strategies. Clients may not be ready to book while they’re perusing your website, but a timely email can be just the thing to get them to finally reach out about scheduling a shoot!
Platforms Photographers Use For Email Marketing
When it comes to finding the right email marketing tools for your photography business, you’ll want to find something that meets your needs and makes life easier. After all, the objective is to spend more time behind the lens and less time thinking about marketing strategies. These three email marketing platforms are great options for photographers, and we’ve taken the time to outline the pros and cons of each of them.
Flodesk was created to empower small businesses, particularly those in creative industries. They make it easy to design stylish emails representative of your brand to engage potential and current clients. They’ve created an intuitive and design-centric platform that helps nurture connections with your audience in order to grow your business and increase sales.
When you create a Flodesk account, you’ll get a 30-day free trial, no credit card needed. For your trial, you’ll have access to all of their features to try them firsthand. So, if you’re on the fence about which platform is right for you, you can give Flodesk a fair shot with no upfront commitment.
Features For Photographer’s Email Marketing
Sending a marketing email through Flodesk is straightforward and simple for photographers! All you have to do is choose a ready-made template, customize the design to reflect your brand and messaging, select the audience to whom you want the email sent, and then simply send it! It’s that easy, and you don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to create emails that are beautiful and eye-catching.
Having organized audience email lists through Flodesk allows you to target specific groups, easily sending marketing content to the people who need to see it most. You can create groups of new or repeat clients, those with children, engaged couples, and even clients grouped by their geographical location. This allows you to send those successful Back to School specials to families who may be interested while still letting others who live in a specific area about specialty pop-ups or mini sessions.
From a business perspective, Flodesk is also fabulous when it comes to delivering analytics. You’ll be able to track important data so you can keep track of how your marketing campaigns are performing. You’ll be able to see how subscribers are joining your list, which days (and times of day) are the most successful for sending emails, and track which of your content your subscribers like best. This allows you to make smarter marketing choices and to specifically target the interests and needs of your clientele.
Another great perk to Flodesk is that your membership includes unlimited signups, meaning you don’t pay more as you acquire more subscribers and clients. You have total motivation to grow your email lists since you don’t have to worry about paying additional fees as you garner more attention. Whether you have 2,500 subscribers or 100,000, your monthly fee will never change.
Flodesk also includes the option to include checkout tools in your subscription, making it easy to sell anything online. Entice them with exciting discounts and offers, and then make it simple for them to take advantage of such a great deal! Plus, you can deliver any digital products (master classes, PDF files, photos) with total ease.
When it comes to functionality, Flodesk definitely serves primarily as an email marketing platform. Other platforms offer customer surveys and integrated social media tools. So if those features are important to you, you may want to consider another service. But if your primary focus is sending beautiful marketing emails, Flodesk is a fabulous option.
Flodesk makes it really straightforward to use their platform. After your 30-day free trial, you’ll have the option to choose between two packages, Email and Everything. Email gives you total access to all of their customizable email templates, data reports, and unlimited subscribers for $38 a month (if you pay once annually, you’ll get one month free!) You can also subscribe to their Checkout package, which is more about their checkout tools than it is about email campaigns. This will run you another $38 a month. If you’re looking for both checkout tools and email marketing, you’ll want to subscribe to the Everything package, which gives you full access to, well, everything, for $64 a month. You can get 50% off your first year by following this link!
The Bottom Line
Flodesk is a great tool for creatives who are looking for a simple, easy way to connect with their clientele through stylish, brand-appropriate email marketing. It may not be the most functional platform, but it’s straightforward, efficient, and doesn’t penalize you for growing your business.
Mailchimp is probably the biggest name in email marketing platforms and for a good reason. Since the early 2000s, they’ve been helping entrepreneurs and major corporate businesses learn how to best connect and engage with their customers. Today, they are one of the most trusted marketing tools with reliable service and an outstanding support team.
Features For Photographer’s Email Marketing
When it comes to creating a new email marketing campaign using Mailchimp, you can either choose to use their classic interface with customizable design templates, though they don’t have a particularly expansive portfolio of designs. You can also take advantage of their new email builder, which pulls in branding from your pre-existing website to match color palettes, fonts, and images. Plus, their AI tools can help you optimize content and boost engagement.
Mailchimp features over 80 automations, known as a customer “journey.” These journeys send email marketing to photographers’ clients based on a variety of customized settings, including whether they’re a new signup, have products sitting abandoned in an e-commerce cart, or have purchased specific products previously. This allows you to specifically target clients based on their behavior rather than treating them as more of a blanket audience.
You can also easily target your best clients and repeat customers in order to continuously engage them! This helps to reward their loyalty and help you invest in those who are most likely to support your business again.
Mailchimp is also known for their friendly and extremely accessible customer support. They offer 24/7 email and chat support, and if you are subscribed to their premium membership, you also receive phone support. Whatever help you need, a Mailchimp specialist will be able to help you find an answer to your question!
Last but not least, Mailchimp’s functionality is particularly advanced when compared to other email marketing platforms. Their marketing plans include a free website and commerce features, services like online booking and product management, and more. It’s a great way to integrate your online presence with your marketing plan, keeping everything centrally located in one place.
Mailchimp’s pricing is a little more complicated than other platforms because what you pay depends on how many subscribers you have. They do have a free package, but it’s very limited in what – and how much – you can send. It’s still a decent way to acquaint yourself with their platform, however.
Their paid packages include Essentials, Standard, and Premium, all of which come with a wide variety of included perks, data reports, and content optimization. Here’s where it gets a little tricky. If you start off with only 500 contacts, you’ll pay $13 a month for Essentials, $20 a month for Standard, and a whopping $350 a month for Premium (though you’re paying for all of those additional services and add-ons that may make it completely worthwhile, depending on your needs.) However, as soon as you reach the next bracket of up to 1,500 contacts, Essentials jumps up to $26.50 a month, Standard to $60 a month (Premium stays the same until you reach 15,000 contacts.) Basically, the more contacts and subscribers you have, the more you are paying. Mailchimp will give you the tools to grow your business, but they will also charge you for growing along the way.
The Bottom Line
Mailchimp is a big name in email marketing for a good reason, and it offers a variety of other services and tools to help your business be a success. However, you’ll need to plan on paying for your growth, as their prices increase considerably as your contact database grows.
ConvertKit gives creative entrepreneurs and small e-commerce business owners a simple way to amp up newsletter growth, deliver customized content, and reinforce a consistent relationship with customers. It offers plenty of automation flexibility and was designed to be user-friendly. Its simplicity may not be enough for quickly growing businesses in need of stronger and more aggressive marketing campaigns, but for photographers looking to connect with email marketing, it’s a great tool and value.
Features For Photographer’s Email Marketing
If you’re new to marketing and looking for a place to start growing your business, ConvertKit is a great option. One of their best features is their tagging functionality, allowing you to tag your clients in multiple categories, allowing you to easily target specific needs and interests in your marketing campaign. For example, if you have a list of clients who have previously booked newborn photoshoots, you can tag them as Newborn: Twins, Newborn: Siblings, Newborn: Girl, etc., allowing you to specifically market to those subsets. This makes your client database easily searchable for efficient, targeted campaigns.
ConvertKit also offers increased automation capabilities, allowing you to think beyond a standard email sequence and create automatic emails based on events, actions, and behaviors that apply to existing contacts, tags, and templates. That means that if a customer engages with your email in a specific way, you can rest easy knowing you’ve already anticipated their next move and have another automated email ready to go. Go a step further and integrate platforms like Facebook, Patreon, and Shopify to take advantage of their intuitive system.
When it comes to the actual emails you’re sending, you can use one of ConvertKit’s pre-made templates, customizing the text and images, but little else. You can use HTML to further customize their designs, but unless you’re particularly tech-savvy, it’s more work than it’s worth.
Another consideration is ConvertKit’s limited reporting options. They’ll deliver you basic metrics like open rates, deliverability, and click-throughs, but if you’re looking for more intensive data to inform your marketing and business planning, you may want to consider a platform with more in-depth data.
Similarly to Mailchimp, ConvertKit’s pricing is dependent on the growth of your business and how many contacts you’ve acquired. They do have a free membership for businesses with up to 1000 subscribers, and it’s one of the most comprehensive free packages of all of the email marketing platforms. They also offer Creator and CreatorPro memberships, both of which offer varying tools and integrations and are charged according to your number of contacts.
To give you an example, if you have 300 subscribers, the Creator plan would cost you $9 a month, and the CreatorPro would be $25 a month. Once you hit 5,000, you’d be paying $66 for Creator and $93 for CreatorPro. Unfortunately, it only goes up from there.
That being said, it’s a pretty solid value for what you get, and if you don’t need a lot of other bells and whistles in an email marketing platform, this can be a great, cost-effective choice.
The Bottom Line
ConvertKit gives you all the tools you need to send text-and-image-based emails to your subscribers. It isn’t the most customizable, and it doesn’t have the same in-depth features as other platforms, but it’s a pretty good value for a small business owner who is also a marketing beginner.
Email Marketing for Photographers
You know the importance of email marketing for photographers, so now it’s time to make it happen! If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, that’s totally normal. We’re here to help! Start by making a list of what you want out of an email marketing platform, compare it to your budget, and then begin investigating which of these three email marketing platforms for photographers may work best for your business needs. Your customers will love being able to stay in touch with your work and new offerings, and you’ll be better able to deliver them exactly what they’re looking for. It’s a win-win!
While you’re here, be sure to view more resources for photographers with the blog links below. And if you’re ready to start outsourcing your blogging so you have time for other parts of your business, let’s chat!