Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means Photography Awesomesauce receives commission if you make a purchase using affiliate links.
Whether you’re a print based photographer or a digital files types of photographer, who doesn’t want to sell more prints? Selling more prints = more income, so I’m assuming everyone is on board with this idea. There are tons of ways to structure your business to increase sales, increase bookings and sell more prints, but I think one of the most underutilized tools that I’d like to hear more about in the photography industry is Shootproof’s automated email system. In general, I feel the power of automated emails is underutilized, but if you’re a Shootproof user, or just someone who uses online galleries this tool can definitely help you sell more prints.
Automated emails are basically a system of pre-written email templates that you can schedule to go to anyone who has entered their email in the gallery based on when the gallery’s expiration date is or another date. There are tons of great ways you can utilize an automated email workflow in your business, but Shootproof’s tool is the one we’re specifically talking about today. If you’re not familiar with what Shootproof is, they’re an online gallery system for photographers that allows you to connect with a professional print lab to offer prints to your clients, or self fulfill print orders, or sell/allow digital file downloads to your clients. There are tons of other great features they offer and I recommend reading about them in this blog post if you’re new to the online gallery world or are thinking about making the switch.
Below are a few ways you can use Shootproof’s automated email system to help you sell more prints. If you decide you’re interested in using Shootproof, use the code: SWAILS25 to take 25% off any annual plan when you sign up!
- Discount Codes – There’s a concept that photographers talk about where when you initially deliver a gallery to clients you also provide them with a discount code for ordering prints. The discount can start out at whatever percentage or amount you want, and over time you can actually lessen the discount to give clients incentive to purchase prints sooner rather than later. Shootproof’s automated email system can be a great way to utilize this type of selling tool. You can have automated emails go out reminding them of the discount, or that the discount will go down on a regular basis after the gallery is delivered. It’s so much easier than trying to remember to email your clients yourself. The best part is that you can attach the gallery link to these automated emails so clients don’t have to go back and look for it in past emails or somewhere else.
- Gallery Expiration Reminders – You can’t keep your client’s photos up forever, okay well you probably can, but one way to encourage print sales is to set a gallery expiration date after your clients photos are delivered and send out emails to remind them to order prints before the gallery expires. You can set the date whenever it best suits your business model, but using Shootproof’s automated email system you can send out those expiration reminders on a regular basis so your clients know exactly how much time they have left to order prints. A lot of times after you deliver an online gallery, especially if you’re a digital files kind of photographer, your clients will download the files and forget that they wanted to order prints or they will plan on doing it later. Gallery expiration reminders let them know that it is “later” and they should order their prints soon through you before they lose their chance.
- Send Out More Info – I’m a really big fan of diversifying your income and at the same time providing extra resources for your clients. One of the things I do in business is become an affiliate for companies I like. When you’re an affiliate for a business you get a custom link and can provide it to other people. When they purchase something through your link, you get a small percentage of the sale. A great way to diversify your income streams as a small business owner is through affiliate opportunities. I used to really love creating my own newborn announcements, or save the dates for my clients, but when I really focused on what I loved to do in business I found those things weren’t one of my favorite tasks to do. Often clients ordered their own anyway, so now I’ve taken advantage of that and become an affiliate for Wedding Paper Divas (wedding save the dates, invites and thank you cards). You can even become an affiliate for Minted or Tiny Prints. If you’re not interested in selling and designing your own card or press products, and you’re already referring clients to services like these, you might as well become an affiliate and get a little kickback for sending your clients their way. I use Shootproof’s automated email system to provide clients with links to these kind of resources. I’m open and honest that I’m an affiliate and I get a commission when they use the links, but I’m happy to ask for the sale and let them know that if they appreciated working with me and are going to order through these services anyway that I always appreciate the kickback. Clients love it and so do I. There are also other sources you can include in automated emails, like links back to blog posts you’ve written about why clients should order prints through you and not through Costco or Walgreens, or blog posts about the difference between professional and consumer print labs. You could also link back to blog posts you’ve written that showcase your wedding albums, or canvases or talk about any other products you sell. Write a blog post about cropping ratios and how they work when ordering prints so your clients have that resource when choosing sizes, and then include a link to that blog post in an email to clients, or just write an email about it and work it into your automated workflow. There are so many great ways to use this resource. I also know that there are going to be a few naysayers out there reading this bullet point and thinking I’m nuts for sending my clients to places like Wedding Paper Divas to order press products when I could do it myself and make more money or provide a higher quality product. I know this and I’m not advocating my way is the right way or that everyone should do that, but it is what works best for my business and my workflow and it makes me happy. I always advocate that you do what works best for you and your business, I’m just here with ideas that have worked for me and you can take them or leave them. 😉
- Templates – Shootproof’s automated email system lets you create templates in advance and then assign those templates to a timeline of when they will send the email. Instead of always writing something brand new, you can work off templates when you deliver the gallery and you can always go in and personalize it a little bit before you send the email (if you’re not automating it and just using a template to manually send it through Shootproof). Templates can help you cut down on time too!
This option on Shootproof is one of my favorite tools they have. We all know I’m a fan of automation, and why not do as much as you can to increase print sales and provide resources and information to your clients? One thing about these emails in Shootproof is that they send to everyone who has downloaded a photo in the gallery – so that means the emails will go out to anyone in there and not just the client. At first I wasn’t so sure about how I felt about that, and I’d love an option to send an email to just the assigned client in the workflow, but I figure sending it to everyone the clients shared the photo with (and specifically those who have downloaded or ordered photos before) is a good way to maximize print sales and profits. These people always have the option to unsubscribe to the emails if they don’t like them.
The links to Shootproof in this blog post are my referral link and I do get a commission if you sign up with them, but I wouldn’t send you somewhere I didn’t love and I really truly love Shootproof and everything they have to offer the photography industry. They’re an amazing company that really loves on their customers, so if you’re looking for an online gallery who is as invested in you as you are in them, these guys are the place to go!
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