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In 2021, SMS marketing is as important as social media marketing. But, so many photographers don’t have an SMS marketing campaign at all and every day that passes by means lost revenue.
I started my SMS marketing campaign a couple of years ago when I noticed that my mechanic had an SMS marketing campaign. I figured that if my mechanic was jumping on the trend, it was obviously no longer something that only luxury brands were participating in.
If you haven’t started an SMS marketing campaign yet, you may be a little overwhelmed at the prospect. After all, it takes me at least 10 minutes to craft important text messages to one person. It can feel a little overwhelming to send out a text to hundreds of people at once. It almost feels more intimate than an email campaign and it’s stressful for that reason.
However, since SMS marketing is so critical to the success of your photography business, you need to stop procrastinating and get started. Here are some easy ways to learn how to grow your SMS marketing campaign.
Offer Deals for Clients Who are Willing to Sign Up
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All effective marketing techniques for photographers rely on offering something to your clients that they need. This could be a cheap photo session, some sort of photography education, or simply a friend. You should create your SMS marketing campaign with the same thing in mind.
You should offer your clients some sort of deal if they are willing to sign up for SMS marketing. The easiest way to do this is to create a pop-up on your website, where you can offer 15% or 20% off a client’s first photo session with you if they give you their phone number.
Whenever I see these sorts of pop-ups on websites I always blow right past them, but if I actually decide to buy something off of that website, I will typically reload the website in order to get the deal, and I don’t think I’m alone in my thinking.
Just make sure that whatever deal you’re offering is enough of an incentive for people to actually join your SMS marketing campaign. I’ve seen some businesses offering something like $10 off of a $200 session and, at least for me, those numbers don’t add up. This may take some trial and error as you figure out what is enough of an incentive for your particular clients.
Aim Your Texts at Your Ideal Client
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Since SMS marketing can be so overwhelming to learn, it’s easy to forget that you should be thinking about it like any other marketing campaign. So, you should be aiming your texts at your ideal client. It’s the best way to ensure that you only end up working with perfect clients.
Keep Your Texts Under 160 Characters
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Another huge part of your SMS marketing campaign is that you don’t want to annoy your clients. Sending texts too often throughout the week or sending texts that are too long are great ways to get people to unsubscribe from your texts.
As a good rule of thumb, you should aim to keep every text you send to your clients under 160 characters. If you can manage to do it, under 100 characters is even better.
You want people to be able to open your texts during their work day and actually have the time to read them. This means that your messages need to be pretty short. They also need to be spaced out appropriately. Don’t send one huge body of text and expect anybody to actually take the time to read it.
Essentially, you’re crafting your text messages for an incredibly busy audience. Respect their time.
Keep Some Deals Exclusive
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If you’re offering your clients 20% off on their first photoshoot if they’re willing to sign up to your SMS marketing campaign, then don’t give your clients an easy way out by also offering the same discount any other way.
Your clients need to be properly incentivized to join your text messaging campaign. This also means that you should send out deals via your SMS marketing campaign regularly and don’t offer them to anyone who isn’t a part of this exclusive club. This will help to create some word of mouth buzz about your SMS marketing.
Only Send Texts at Reasonable Hours
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This may seem like a tip I don’t need to explicitly outline for you, but the amount of times I’ve signed up for a text messaging campaign with another business and received a text at 5am is far too high.
While you’re learning how to market your photography business, one of the biggest things you need to keep in mind is that your marketing will ideally not only help your business, but it will help your clients as well. Don’t bother them with unnecessary offers and don’t bother them in the middle of the night. Ideally, only send out texts between 9am-9pm during the week and between 10am-10pm on weekends.
Automate Your SMS Campaign
SMS campaigns are super overwhelming. Thankfully, you don’t have to keep all of these photography marketing tips in your head because you can automate your campaigns with Podium.
Podium Campaigns is an easy way to keep your SMS marketing on track. Podium Campaigns naturally adds more and more clients to your SMS campaign by allowing clients to opt-into your campaign when they leave a review for your business or when they pay your invoice.
Podium Campaigns also takes all of the stress out of crafting your text messages for your campaign, since they have easy templates that you can build off of. These templates, unlike some, actually sound like a human wrote them so you can build better rapport with your clients.
Plus, Podium Campaigns tracks a ton of information about these text messages that you can’t on your own so you can maximize your results.
If you’re serious about taking advantage of the fact that 98% of text messages are opened, you need to jump on an SMS marketing campaign. Let Podium help you do so!