Opt-in sign-up box, front and center!
Create a quick opt-in process.
Use motivating call-to-action copy.
Thank each new subscriber.
Many, if not most, professional photographers are prohibited from using mass media to market their businesses, primarily because of cost, plus most pros couldn’t serve the mass of customers that may respond. The most effective marketing strategies and media for professional photographers are those that can be targeted to a much smaller, but highly qualified, group of prospects. One of these media is email marketing.
Many factors determine the success of an email marketing campaign, but the quality of the prospect list and the methods used to keep it up-to-date and constantly refreshed are a few at the top of the list. The following 4 insiders’ secrets about growing and managing lists should help you maximize the effectiveness of your email campaigns and the revenues they generate.
One of professional photographers’ (and many other business) biggest mistakes is to make it too difficult to find the opt-in box on their Web sites. If your opt-in sign-up is buried deep in your site, then you can’t expect too many registrations. Your best strategy is to place it prominently on the upper part of the home page as well as an easy-to-find location on the site navigation. Then, think of your photography business as an advertiser on your Web site, and place a banner ad also near the top of your home page.
It only makes sense that the less time needed to complete your opt-in process, the more visitors are apt to opt-in. Create an opt-in form with as few required fields of information as possible. Limit it to the most basic information: name, email address, phone number and maybe a pull-down menu from which prospects can choose the best reason they are signing up. More detailed information can be obtained as you communicate with prospects through a set schedule of email informational and marketing campaigns.
Standard call-to-action phrases in your opt-in banner ad, such as “Join Today!” or “Sign-Up Now!” still have life, although their common usage reduces their motivational power. Try call-to-action copy that is more compelling:
“Learn the #1 secret to hassle-free wedding planning…sign up today!”
“Free e-Book with the latest looks for high school senior portraits…join today!”
An offer or a solution to a possible problem of your Web site visitors is much more likely to drive a larger number of them to register as an opt-in subscriber.
Your free offer or information is your first opportunity to communicate immediately with each new subscriber and thank him or her for opting-in. After all, they will expect an email from you to receive whatever you’ve offered. You start to build a rapport without wasting any time. Since new subscribers are more likely to open the email with your free offer, you can ask them for more personal information, which they will be more willing to provide than during the initial opt-in process.
Your #1 goal for your opt-in list of prospects is to keep it dynamic. The list should never be stagnant: Develop a strategy to add new subscribers constantly. Segment those that haven’t responded after a set number of attempts into a new sub-list to which you send a reminder every 90 days, 6 months or a year, depending on your comprehensive email marketing plan.
Image credit: violin / 123RF Stock Photo
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