How often do you make contact with your prospects and customers?
If you simply have a website, and expect people to visit when they are ready, you’re missing a ton of opportunity.
Marketing statistics show that less than 1 percent of all people that visit your website will make a decision to connect with you at that point. The other 99+ percent drift away and eventually forget all about you.
To turn those odds around, an ezine (electronic newsletter or magazine) may be your answer.
Most people have access to email. And even if they aren’t ready to talk with you about your services, they may want more information. Your ezine allows them to do this with just an email address.
Once they supply their email, you have access to delivering them as much content as you see fit each month. Try monthly to begin, they shoot for weekly. Find out what people want, and deliver it in a timely manner. The top reason an ezine is successful is because of the relationship it develops. You can provide a ton of helpful tips, and keep your name in their minds at the same time. You can build up your rapport and your expertise with tips and with your images.
Here are suggestions for getting started:
1. Design your ezine template ahead of time. Use your same template again and again so your readers recognize your brand when it comes through.
2. Use an ezine service. Never attempt to send an ezine through your regular mail system. That’s the quickest way to get banned from your server. There are many different services – I’ve used aWeber for years and love them. They handle all the details, including list building and SPAM regulations, and allows me to manage it all in one convenient location.
3.Send a copy in multiple formats. If you’re like most people, you may worry about the effectiveness of email. How much goes through the SPAM filters? How much truly gets opened? Good questions. But the great thing about using email systems is you can send an ezine through in more than one way. Archive it directly to your website. Send it through to RSS readers. Or tweet it on Twitter. There’s a ton of options anymore to getting your information out there.
4. Set up systems. The biggest reason I hear for not sticking with an ezine is other things simply get in the way. Don’t make your ezine optional; make it mandatory. If it goes out the first and third Monday’s of the month, put it on your calendar. Collect photos in a file especially for your ezine as you complete working with a client. Add specials and tips along the way. Don’t wait for the day of release to arrive – work on it along the way.
5. Remember the goal of an ezine: to build relationships. It’s not to get immediate sales, though I guarantee you’ll get some every release when you have this implemented for awhile. What can you do to help build the relationship? What can you add to get people excited about your photography?
6. Have fun with it! By no means should this be a chore or something you dread. Find a way to make it fun to create, and fun to receive.