Now that you have your list built to start emailing people, it’s time to find a email marketing service to create great looking emails. I’m a fan of Mad Mimi, which is one of the free services out there that you can utilize. Mad Mimi works great for small lists or for someone who might not be very savvy at using these kinds of platforms. The free service does not have all the features as their paid service, but you can always upgrade to their monthly plans once you find it limiting . It has lots of great tutorials that will lead you step by step through how to create an email marketing campaign. Once you create these campaigns you can save them and re-use them for different purposes such as monthly emails, etc.
Visualize your ad: Once you decide what you are going to offer, begin to think about how that ad copy is going to read. Relax. You don’t have to think of becoming the next great Nike “Just Do It” campaign. You just have to have a clear offering to the clients. Your copy should include
- The name of the sale and dates the sale is being offered
- What you are offering
- Pretty pictures to tie into what you are selling
- Any fine print/limitations
- A call to action
Add your contacts and compose your email: import your emails into Mad Mimi, creating a list. Then on your Dashboard, start creating your first email campaign. There’s easy to understand video tutorials right on the very first page showing you how to do this. Basically, you’re going to be creating modules of text and photos to build your email campaign. The video will lead you right through how to add headlines, bold your text, add in photos and hyperlink to outside web pages.
Create a Compelling Banner Image: The Banner image is the first thing people see when they click on your email so make sure it’s eye catching. Create a 590×320 px image and add in photos or even text if you wish. However, be aware that if you add text in your banner people may not see it if they don’t enable photos in their email service. So if you add text into the banner, make sure it’s repeated somewhere else in the email campaign.
Spell it Out For Them: Don’t make your clients guess at what you are offering. Keep it clear, simple and concise without a lot of flowery words, testimonials or other distractions. People tend to skim more than they read, so use bold text and page breaks to draw their eye quickly to what you are offering.
A Call to Action: Give them a reason why they should spend money. Ever get hooked into an infomercial? They are the masters of this. They show you 400 ways you can use that Ginsu knife until you start imagining yourself using one. But wait, there’s more! Order now, operators are standing by! Your call to action should make your clients want to purchase what you are selling because it benefits them.
Make it Easy For Them to Buy: Sounds like a no-brainer, but if you make your clients jump through hoops to get money to you then they won’t do it. I set up mine so it’s as easy as clicking a Buy Now Link that leads them to their PayPal account to check out in two clicks.
For my promotion I used PayPal. To set up the payment hyperlinks, I went to the Merchant Services Tab and “Create a Payment Button”. (Note: I used hyperlinks rather than copying and pasting the code for the Buy Now graphics, because Mad Mimi in the free version does not support all HTML code such as drop down menus. The hyperlinks might not be as visually pretty, but again you’re not relying on people having their images enable in their email service)
After you click Save Changes your will be taken to this page. Click on the Email Tab on top and copy and paste the code there.
My promotion that will be going out looks like this. Feel free to click on the links to see how the interface works! Notice the “Having a Baby this year?” and similar questions? Those are calls to action, just worded very slightly differently than the in your face BUY NOW approach. Again, think like a consumer: Sell them things by showing them the benefit to them…mine is “you’re going to buy this anyway, why not save money?”
Promote, promote! Another great feature of these campaigns is you can create a duplicate copy of the promotion and tweak it to go out a few days later with different wording. You can copy and paste the code right into your Facebook account to draw people into it. Make sure you ask people to forward it to people they think would be interested in the offerings too!
Get ready for questions: Because I don’t have pricing built into my email campaign I will have some savvy clients who email me asking “Well how much are your portrait sessions anyway?” so I am prepared with several different responses for my wedding, portrait and senior photography questions. If you prefer, you can include a link to current pricing in the email. So make sure when you run the promotions you are not out of the office a lot because by not answering an email with questions you can lose a sale.
Say Thank You: When I get the notice from Pay Pal that a client has paid, I send the following email to them:
” Thanks for your purchase! Your payment and contact information is duly noted and you need to do nothing more than to schedule your session with me. To do that simply call, text or email to check on availability.
I offer the sessions in your home, in the studio or an outdoor session in Metro Milwaukee. Just let me know what kind of session you are interested in and we’ll get it on the books. Plan for about 1-2 weeks lead time for week days, weekends may be slightly longer at 4-6 weeks. If you’re thinking of a summer session please note that due to my wedding schedule Saturdays are not often available.
I’m excited to work with you and create some gorgeous photos that you’ll be proud to showcase on your walls and with friends and family!”
The great thing about having this in place now is it can be used for promotions in the future. To set up this Cyber Sale this year took me about 30 minutes and most of was that was because I was dithering about what photos to use. I changed the text around a bit, changed the format to be different from last year and it’s ready to go. I didn’t even have to recreate the payment hyperlinks because they were saved in PayPal.
Now, go get yourself some Cyber Sales!