Stop being a slave to your inbox! 7 Photographer E-mail Templates You Need in Your Workflow!
We’ve all heard the expression work smarter, not harder. But how can you, as a photographer, do that, exactly? One practice to start implementing as soon as you hang your shingle as a professional photographer is using photographer e-mail templates. Spending a few minutes crafting on-brand messages now will save you hours and hours of time down the road, and potentially lead to more sales.
Think about it…no more staring at the computer screen wondering what in the heck to say, how to say it and stressing that you’ll forget a detail.
No more copying and pasting from old e-mails and accidentally forgetting to change an important detail like a client’s name (yes, I actually did this. I was horrified!).
Build e-mail templates from scratch you’ll save yourself ALL kinds of hassles.
So how do they work? Today we’ll cover what photographer e-mail templates are, how they work, what templates to draft and give you an idea of what to say. Ready to start saving time and increase sales? Let’s go!
What are photographer e-mail templates?
Photographer e-mail templates are pre-written e-mails or responses you draft once, then send to all future clients. Essentially you write the e-mail once and you’re done!
Not only are they a HUGE time saver, e-mail templates for photographers help improve the client experience and make sure no information falls through the cracks. Think of these templates as touchpoints. Each one helps usher your clients through their experience with you and provides an opportunity to communicate expectations, allay fears and provide information. Photographer e-mail templates also help improve your branding and ensure the information you give each client is clear and consistent.
How do they work? How should I set it up?
Create your templates in whatever software you like. They can be Word documents, actual e-mails you save as templates or even graphics you send as e-mails (Canva.com and Squijoo.com can be great resources for graphic-based templates). Gallery hosting services like Shootproof or Pixieset offer the use of templates, so you could write them there as well. What software or format you use for your templates doesn’t matter so much as that you actually get them written!
I like to start by writing a response to an actual client or customer. I find that if I’m writing to a real person instead of just a general template, my voice comes easier and the e-mail sounds more authentic. Once I’ve finished, I review it several times to make sure I’ve covered all the pertinent information. Then I highlight the areas that are personal and need to be changed from client to client. Make sure those areas stand out so you know some editing is required. You can put them in bold, all caps, a different color or use the highlighter tool. Anything to set those items apart.
If you really want to wow clients, set up e-mails to include some images!
Then, when you need the template, simply pull them up, personalize it for a specific client and send it out. What once was a ten or fifteen-minute job for each client becomes something you can accomplish in under a minute!
What Should I Write in my Templates?
Each e-mail template varies by it’s purpose and your workflow. Your writing should also convey your personality and brand identity. But here are some general guidelines of what to include in templates!
- Create a sense of urgency. You want clients or potential clients to act now, not let the e-mail linger in their inboxes for weeks. Set deadlines and limited time offers to encourage prompt action.
- Educate clients and set expectations. Use your templates to start laying the foundation for a positive client experience. For example, if you use IPS and don’t offer digitals, that information needs to be presented upfront and repeated at in some form a few times in your communication process.
- Ask questions. Make your communication more interactive by asking your client questions. I often put a question at the beginning or end of the e-mail to invite a conversation instead of just static information.
- Create a call to action. Each e-mail you send should have a clear call to action, or task, you want your client to complete. Do you want them to book now? Complete a questionnaire? Leave a review? Clearly communicate what you want them to do. Provide links where appropriate!
- Pricing and payment information where appropariate
- If you’re an emoji person, use them or other graphics to break up the text or provide emphasis!
The Big 7 – Photographer E-mail Templates You’ll Use Again and Again
Wedding photographers, newborn photographers and family photographers vary in exactly what kind of templates they need and when in the process they should be sent. But here are 7 photographer e-mail templates you’ll use with just about any kind of client-based photography session!
The Welcome Email/Inquiry response
The welcome email/inquiry response is what you send to a potential client introducing you and your business. This could be in response to a specific inquiry you’ve received through your website contact form. You may also want to introduce yourself to new acquaintances you want to convert to clients.
This template will look different for each photographer. Some photographers prefer to send a full welcome packet straight away. Others prefer a simpler e-mail until after the client books. Regardless of your preference, ensure you answer the lead’s questions, give them a deadline for limited time offers (if applicable) and provide a clear call to action. Don’t forget to provide clear instructions on what’s required for booking (deposit, contract, etc.)
Once clients book a session, its time to send them a confirmation e-mail. In addition to confirming time, date and location, use this opportunity to further wow your client. Send information on what to wear, tips to prepare for the session and what kind of products you offer. Add links to questionnaires or Pinterest inspiration boards for clothing or pose ideas. There are lots of different ways this template can clarify expectations and add value to the client experiences.
What’s Next (after the session)
If you don’t have a physical What’s Next card to present your clients after a session, send an e-mail version. Or give both!
Thank your client for an awesome session. Remind them when and how they can expect sneak peeks, final images and blog posts about their session. If your clients asked any specific questions during the session, reiterate those answers here. In the heat of the moment, answers are easily forgotten!
Your Gallery is Ready
If you use a gallery delivery service like Shootproof or Smugmug, an email with details on how to view the gallery is in order. If you use in-person sales, use this photographer e-mail template to confirm your sales appointment and clarify expectations of the appointment. Don’t forget information on limited-time offers for upsells, ordering timelines and gallery expiration deadlines.
Offer/Gallery is Expiring
Create a sense of urgency with clients by giving them a “last call.” Remind them of any savings they’ll receive by acting before the deadline expires. If their gallery is set to expire and they haven’t chosen or downloaded favorites, remind them of the deadline and any reactivation fees they’ll get need to pay if they miss the deadline.
This e-mail can work great to help push clients from viewing to buying. I find this e-mail is a great nudge for volume sales or events. Try offering gallery visitors one more limited time period to make an order. For example, my template reads something like this:
I know…you WANTED to place an order for soccer pictures. But then LIFE happened and you missed the deadline. I know because I do it too!
But I don’t want you to miss out on these moments by missing the ordering deadline! Complete your order by 10 p.m. tonight to have high quality prints and products delivered right to your door. But don’t forget…after tonight the gallery is expiring and you’ll have to wait for next season to snag images of your star in action!
I include a big “FINAL CALL” button at the bottom of the e-mail.
Not only does this template convert lookers to buyers, it creates a sense of gratitude with clients because you gave them warning and one last chance to make a sale.
Leave a Review
Send an e-mail reminder asking for honest feedback from your client on their experience with your business. You can direct them whatever source you’d like or need reviews on, including Facebook, Google, Yelp or your website. Give them the direct link to where you want the review!
Save More Time with Automation
Gallery hosting providers like Shootproof have automated e-mail options built directly into their services at no extra cost. Use them! You can also use other business marketing services like 17Hats, Honebook, ShootQ or Tave.
Automating photographer e-mail templates means you don’t have to think through when or who to send follow-up e-mails to. Your software will do it for you. For example, I can set up an automated e-mail in Shootproof to go out to clients 24 hours before their gallery expires. I don’t have to keep track of when that deadline is— I simply write my e-mail, set it and forget it. Automation saves you even more time and ensures you don’t miss a step.
If you find yourself answering the same questions over and over, make your answer into a template. I know how intimidating or frustrating it can be answering questions like “Can I get the RAWs?” Stop agonizing how to say it each and every time. Write it once and use it the next time and the next-next time.
One great tip I picked up was to create a FAQ document in Google Docs for my business. If I get asked the same question twice, I save that answer in my FAQ document so I have it for next time. I have responses like getting RAWs, best times to shoot, pets in sessions and more. If I see a photographer’s response in a forum that I really love, I tweak it to sound like me and add it to my FAQ document in case that question comes up for me down the road! I keep it in Google Docs so if I’m working away from my computer, I can access them immediately!
Other photographer e-mail templates or answer templates you might want include:
- Booking inquiry follow-up
- Vendor introductions
- Vendor links to the gallery
- Wedding timeline review
- Sneak peek is available
- 24-hour before session check-in
- Blog post is available/featured client
- Special sales
- Order sent
- Happy birthday/anniversary
- Payment reminders (deposit, session fee)
- Friend wants a discount
- Product options
- Lead isn’t a good match for your business
- Don’t offer those services
- Lifestyle vs. posed sessions
- I’m booked, but here are other area photographers I trust
- Comment contest is live
For instance, I’m not a boudoir photographer. In my internal FAQ document, I have an answer prepared for when people request boudoir services from me. It lists the services I do provide and links to three photographers in the area I recommend for boudoir shoots.
Should I buy photographer e-mail templates or write my own?
There are lots of places you can purchase photographer e-mail templates. Purchasing templates can save you the time and stress of writing them yourself. And if you really struggle with the written word, purchased templates provides a turnkey experience that can help you avoid writing anxiety.
On the flip side, buying templates isn’t foolproof. Your tone and style can vary wildly from the author’s voice, leaving your e-mails sounding fake or insincere. And template authors aren’t perfect…they can have grammar and spelling mistakes.
If you buy templates, be sure to review each one carefully and make sure it matches your business practices, style and branding. Don’t be afraid to tweak them, if needed!
If you write your own templates, try finding someone else to review them before you send them out. A fresh pair of eyes can help you find and fix mistakes you might have missed.
Save time, money and stress
Photographer e-mail templates really do let you work smarter. They can save you the stress of answering the same question more than once, speed up your client communication process and possibly increase sales.
It’s easy to put off creating templates when you are busy. But when you are busy (fall sessions anyone?) is the time when you need them the most! Make a list of what templates you want and need and start by creating one each day. After a week, you’ll have all your templates completed and ready to go. You’ll be amazed at how easy client communication becomes.
Stop working harder and start working smarter and get started with your photographer e-mail templates!