Email Marketing for Photographers – 8 Reasons Email Marketing Should Be A Priority!

WHEW. This one is going to be a doozy, so grab a cocktail or a cup of coffee and let’s get to it – there’s a ton of information to cover!

Straight up: when I was creating the list for this photography business help blog post, I actually had a list of over 15 reasons that email marketing should be a priority to you. Email marketing for photographers is one of the most overlooked marketing strategies that we have available! Seriously, I could have gone all day. (I will save the that’s what she said jokes for a few minutes, this is important stuff!)

I believe wholeheartedly that email marketing is the most underused but effective marketing strategies available to small businesses.

SO many small business owners, especially photographers, skip over this marketing tool. We have this attitude of “if we build it, they will come” when it comes to marketing, right? Set up the Facebook page, Instagram page, Twitter account, and website and the clients will just magically appear. After all, I’m taking really pretty pictures, and I’m really growing my skills. But the clients still aren’t lining up. But damnit, I’m growing and getting so much better, look at this picture from yesterday against one from two years ago – WHY AREN’T PEOPLE SEEING THE DIFFERENCE AND TRYING TO BOOK ME?!

Truth: 2009, I was there. I get it. I built a website that I was so proud of. Facebook was still relatively new to the public, but I was working it. I was PERSONALLY emailing friends and family to see if I could meet their photography needs. But still, people weren’t booking. It is so frustrating to feel like you’re doing everything right, and failing still.

There are so many marketing avenues, so many techniques and different options that you can try, and chances are you’re wondering what to invest in. Not just money, but time as well – some of these marketing avenues can take forever, and when you see nothing in return? You feel defeated. Plus, email marketing for photographers can seem really overwhelming and scary – how the heck does it all work?

It can feel like you’re drowning in things to do, and things to learn.

If you already KNOW that email marketing for photographers is important but have no idea where to start, click here to get my free 5-step email course on how to start with email marketing. So you can talk with your clients one on one, and send them bad jokes like I do.

So why should email marketing for photographers be a priority, why bother? More time and effort spent to be marked as spam? Not necessarily. Check it out, some straight up photography business help – why email marketing should be a top priority for you and your business!

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1. Get in the {in}box. (That’s what she said!)

Seriously though – there are more than 3.2 billion email accounts today – holy moly. 95% of consumers use email, and 91% check their email at least once a day. AT LEAST once a day. I was recently interviewed by StickyAlbums for their podcast to discuss top of mind marketing – this is so, so important! A recent study found that 34% of Americans check their email throughout the day – which means that if you’re not in the inbox, you are missing out. There is an opportunity every time your clients and prospects open their inbox, several times a day. You need to position your business and your message where your clients look, and statistically email has been at the top of that list consistently.

2. It’s cheap! (That’s NOT what she said…)

Email marketing can be one of the least expensive marketing tools that you have in your arsenal. If you have a smaller list, there are several awesome options that are 100% FREE. Wait, read that again – COMPLETELY FREE. As your list grows, the cost to maintain it and send out to them will grow as well, but even with a rather large list, the cost per month can be very inexpensive. You can also track the cost and the return on investment PER USER with some math skills. While that’s possible with other avenues like social media, it is VERY difficult to track!

3. It builds your brand and promotes brand continuity.

Say that again? Yep – your brand is so much more than your logo. This is a really hard concept for a lot of newer business owners, but when you have been in business for a few years, it is something that you begin to understand and embrace. Your brand is your message, it is how you communicate that message, it is your imagery, your logo, and oh so much more. It is the way that your clients FEEL when they work with you, the experience that you offer. Email marketing can continue that brand conversation, and remind leads or potential clients that haven’t booked with you yet WHY they should be booking with you!

4. Making it last! (That’s what she… wants. HA!)

So you’re using social media to promote your business – fantastic! But did you know that 75% of Facebook post impressions happen in just two hours and thirty minutes, and 75% of that “reach” only happens in just under two hours? The lifespan or “reach” for Tweets is WAY lower. So you have to hope and pray that your ideal client is just sitting on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram at the VERY MOMENT that you post, or within two hours. You can do constant research on the best times to post, OR, you can use a marketing platform that requires action. Email doesn’t die, it doesn’t disappear in a feed. It just sits there, waiting for attention – whether that attention is reading it, archiving it or deleting it, it requires action on the part of the user. It doesn’t just get lost in the never ending social media feed that clouds our brains – the recipient must take action.

5. On the go! It’s mobile.

A Litmus study found that 66% of Gmail messages are opened in mobile devices – and that is an older study, so imagine what that open rate is NOW, when mobile devices are everywhere. Email is mobile friendly. It’s fast and easy to read, and doesn’t require scrolling through feeds to find. It is searchable, even on mobile devices. Facebook has improved their search functionality, but it is still pretty dismal. When one of your clients is talking with a friend and wants to recommend you, they can pull out their phones and VERY quickly search your name and find what they’re looking for. Especially if it’s a photo they want to show off!

6. Automation.

Oh man, this is a biggie. I know what you’re thinking when I say that dirty word – Brooke, isn’t scheduling emails kind of impersonal? NOPE. And here’s why! There are so many uses for your email list beyond the boring old newsletter. Yes, you can schedule a newsletter to be sent while you’re on vacation, but there is so much more! Shall we discuss? Welcome emails, onboarding emails, educational emails, email funnels, lead nurturing and follow up, and reminders. WHEW that was long. The fact is, there are even more than what I just listed. Having an email list allows you to communicate with your clients and potential clients in a way that they know and trust, instead of just being an ad that they scroll right past in social media!

7. Personalization!

With email you have the ability to be super targeted – you are only reaching out to people that have opted in, and said YES I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE GOING ON. It’s not a “Like” on social media that a friend does just to help you out. It’s not a “Follow” with a hope that I get to see what’s going on, let’s see how Instagram is feeling today. It’s a direct line to people that have flat out told you that they want to hear from you. How much more targeted can you get?

8. Ownership.

This is a BIG one. Most of my students have been in business for awhile, and most of you also have Facebook pages. So let me ask you – what has happened to your reach when Facebook has changed their system and algorithms? Did your reach improve? Do you have 3,000 “likes” but your posts only reach 200 people? It happened to me, and it really sucks. So here’s my next question – what would happen if Facebook disappeared tomorrow? I know I know, that is pretty end-of-world type stuff, but what if Facebook decided to CHARGE for business pages tomorrow? Would you pay, would you still be able to reach all of those people? Or should I say, the 200 people out of 3,000 that have “Liked” your page? The reality is that when you use a social platform as your primary marketing source, you are giving the control to someone else. If they suddenly decided to change the rules, are you going to be SOL trying to reach your clients? Not if you have an email list. Yes, with email marketing you still use an email service provider. BUT – that list can be downloaded and saved as often as you want. So you basically have a list of clients or potential clients that have opted in to speak with you, and regardless of what happens to an online platform, YOU STILL HAVE THE LIST. It is YOURS.

Okay so that was just a small part of the huge list that I have of all of the reasons that email marketing is so important.


I know it can be overwhelming. There are so many systems to learn, social platforms to master, and random shit you have to do as a business owner. What, I have to file another form?! Yep, been there. But in the long run, you need to be cultivating ASSETS for your business, and not just adding work for yourself. Your email list is a huge asset that can help to grow your business in crazy ways that are too many to list here.

Are your eyes crossing yet? My fingers are starting to hurt from all of this typing! BUT, I have another freebie for you.

Click here to figure out how the heck to start. You’ll get a FREE five day email marketing for photographers course that has your first five steps to email marketing. Super broken down, actionable, and easy to do.

EVEN IF YOU DON’T PLAN ON SENDING anything to your email list just yet, at least start building it.

It’s like that bottle of amazing wine that you have hidden way back in the fridge for after the kids are in bed. You may not be drinking it yet, but damnit it’s there for when you want it!

Start building this NOW. Even if you don’t use it for another year, or you’re too busy with your crazy season to actually do something with it – at least get it going and in the works! It will be worth it, I promise!

So now that you’re on board, and raring to go, check out my 5 Day Free Email Challenge! It will cost you ZERO and will help you to set up a framework for email marketing that can be used now, or later!


Some fine print, the sources for some statistics above:

CHEERS to making a decision to take action in your business! YOU CAN DO THIS, and you will kickass, I just know it!

I would love to know if you have used email marketing in the past or if it is just so damn scary to you – leave me a comment below and let me know! You can also join the private Business Straight Up Facebook community personally, and connect with some amazing business owners!