Business + Marketing

Six-Figure Wedding Photography: The Undeniable Power of Email Marketing

May 31, 2019

By Ashley Beasley

© Luke and Ashley

Six years in business working hard and hustling to grow, learning and excelling, and while we thought we were doing awesome (and to an extent, we were), we realized that we were neglecting something, one of the biggest assets in any industry: growing an email list.

We might have contemplated our email list a few times in those six years. Heck, I think we even started up a campaign once or twice. But to us, it felt like a misuse of our time, and because we saw no value in it, we put little to no effort in this aspect of our business. 

In the end, this hurt us, and we have spent the last two years learning from our mistake.

One of the coolest things about an email list is that you truly own it. Everyone that opts in and becomes a subscriber is telling you that they find value in what you have to offer. They want to be there. Facebook, Instagram and all the other social media platforms out there have no say in who sees your content. You have full control. 

Speaking of social media, do you remember Myspace? What about Google Buzz, or Google+? They are long gone, and so are all those followers that users worked to get. Social media might be an excellent tool to help run your business, but you should never put all your eggs in one basket.

Since we began focusing on building an email list, we have seen significant results from our efforts in such a short period, creating more engagement, driving more traffic to our site and selling our courses. We immediately saw financial growth.

If you are like us and have waited to focus on it, or you are new and just starting to build your business, here are three steps to get you on track to growing an email list.

1. Look for your perfect email-service match.

Average email providers can work for you, but when they are not the ideal fit, it’s like walking around in a shoe that’s too big or too small: You will eventually have to go shopping again. 

Shop around for a service that provides templates, tracking, automation and mobile-friendly functions. These are must-haves when it comes to email marketing.

Don’t forget about your budget here, especially if you are just starting your business; you want to be able to have room to grow but also not break the bank. Email has a much higher rate of return in investment than social media. Putting your dollars toward growing your email list will pay off. 

After much research, we decided that ConvertKit was the best email service for us because it gave us room to grow.

2. Give stuff away for free.

We call these “content upgrades.” This is where you take your knowledge and expertise and package it with a pretty little bow.

When a user comes to your blog or website and wants more, you can use that opportunity to give them a “free download” in exchange for their email address. Content upgrades are a sure-fire way to build your list instantly with the right kind of audience. 

Figuring out what to give away can be overwhelming and hinder you from moving forward. Let me tell you, this is all trial and error. You are still discovering what your audience values, and that takes time.

To help speed up the process, you can grab our list of 20 content upgrade ideas to get you going. Create some opt-ins that have value, and if they don’t work, then try again. Once you find what your audience wants, it will be completely worth your efforts!

3. Provide value on a regular basis.

There is nothing that irritates me more than receiving emails from businesses only when they are ramping up for a big sale. It’s nothing but crickets for months until your inbox gets slammed with a ridiculous amount of emails pushing a sale on their product or service. It’s during those moments when I cannot get to the unsubscribe button fast enough! Do not be like those pesky businesses who only ask from their audience and never gives.

Take the time to warm up your audience and they’ll be much more willing to welcome your offer when you present it. Create a schedule—it can be weekly or monthly. Send out an email that only gives value to your subscribers without asking for anything in return. Doing this builds trust, and when people trust you, they’re more likely to buy from you.

Building and nurturing your email list is something that you do not want to put off. Even if you are not ready to sell or offer anything right now, your list is an audience that wants to hear from you. Even if it is slow growing, your list will eventually take off and be completely worth your time.

Ashley Beasley and her husband, Luke, are a photo duo based in Virginia who run their own education platform called Luke & Ashley Education. Each month, Ashley is breaking down the stepping stones to becoming a six-figure photographer. She last wrote about how to double your bookings with strategic blogging.


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