As a photographer, you know your website is important. You invest and invest and invest in improving it, so potential clients are delighted by what they see. But did you know that’s only step one is a looooong written client experience?
Think about all the points of contact you have (or wish you could have) with a client. From responding to their inquiry to finalizing their booking, from sending session tips to delivering their gallery, you are constantly sending emails to clients! And the emails you send are just as important to your client experience as the content of your website or the way you direct them on shoot day!
Every single touchpoint is another little building block in your client experience! It’s an opportunity to build confidence, showcase expertise, and prepare your client for an unforgettable session. But great service providers know the best way to ensure a consistently breathtaking client experience — even when you are extra busy or overwhelmed — is to systematize it. So, what systems do you have in place for client emails?
If you didn’t immediately answer, “I’ve got email templates aplenty,” I have questions. So many questions.
Email templates not only improve your written contact with clients; they also save you hecka tons of time! So, photographers, if you want to begin dabbling in the world of email templates for your business, here are the top five emails you should create right now!
1. Inquiry Response
When a client submits an inquiry form on your website, what happens next?
Do they receive some standard, two-sentence response expressing that you value their email and will be in touch shortly? Are they sent a pricing guide and asked to select a package? Do they receive an intimate, individualized, heartfelt response you personally took half an hour crafting while you should have been editing?
While each of these approaches has its merits — from efficiency to personalization — none of them are ideal. Despite the reassurance that you’ve received their inquiry, a receipt confirmation email just needlessly clogs up a potential client’s inbox. An unexplained pricing guide can be read as cold. And as you receive more and more inquiries, you simply won’t have time to craft a customized response to each person without going freakin’ whackadoo.
So, what do you do? The answer lies in a well-crafted, true-to-you inquiry response template! By flooding it with warmth, joy, and your unique brand voice, you avoid sounding “all-business” despite the use of a template. And by sending it immediately, it serves as a read receipt while also delivering helpful information!
A word of warning, though! It can be tempting to pack too much information into this template. So, make sure you don’t needlessly repeat information already shared on your website or say something better covered in your upcoming consultation call. It’s also important to move your client to a single, central goal. Don’t ask them to explore your pricing guide, fill out a form, book a call, and follow you on social media in your first email! Instead, clearly detail the SINGLE next step in your process and usher them in that direction. The rest can come later or in a P.S. at the bottom of the email.
Just because a client has signed on the dotted line and paid their deposit doesn’t mean you can stop delighting them! If you want a client to feel calm and confident, create an onboarding template that goes out immediately after booking.
Begin by thanking them for their trust in you, then reassure them that you’re going to accompany them on their journey from booking to gallery delivery. Follow that up with a comprehensive list of the steps in your process (don’t forget to tell them when each step will happen), and you’ll not only leave your new client feeling cared for, but you’ll also cut down on those incessant “Sooooo…should I be doing something now?” emails! Truly, a gift that keeps on giving.
3. Session Prep
I’m just gonna give it to ya straight: you should have at least one session prep email template designed and ready to roll for every single session style you offer.
If you’re a wedding photographer, that might mean templates for engagement sessions, boudoir sessions, pre-wedding bridal portraits, wedding days, and anniversary sessions. For family photographers, that might mean templates for studio sessions, outdoor family sessions, mini-sessions, maternity sessions, and couples sessions. And the lists go on! But if you offer a session style to clients, you should have a session prep email ready to send for that specific session.
In this email template, consider linking to any informational blog posts you’ve written that might be helpful to the client, like “How To Choose The Perfect Wardrobe For Your Family Session” or “20 Things To Pack In Your Wedding Day Bag For Flat Lays.” Then, detail the most important tips in the email itself. This way, you can make sure clients show up prepared for their session.
And what information is more important than the time and place of your session? I recommend reiterating the date, time, and location of your session in this email, then highlighting it, underlining it, or writing it in bold! You can’t have a session, after all, if your clients don’t show!
Depending on your process and how much information you have to share, you might find a series of emails per session is the best way to go. Your goal is to ensure that clients feel prepared but not overwhelmed. So, use your judgement as you create these emails.
4. Gallery Delivery
You’ve just spent hours upon hours culling and editing a client’s gallery to perfection. But do you deliver it with the same care? Or do they receive some auto-generated email from your gallery host? Oof. No, ma’am! Let’s keep that client experience alive by creating a gallery delivery email that rewards them for their wait and reminds them why they loved you so dang much!
This is the time to remind them to tag you in the images they share, instead of getting frustrated that they aren’t up on photography etiquette. But the most important thing you can do in this email is give extremely clear instruction on preserving their images! Clearly explain when their gallery expires and how they can ensure their images don’t disappear. Maybe even give suggestions on reliable external hard drives! Showing how much you care about their images longterm is just one more way you can add that extra little something-something to your client experience.
5. Follow up
But the adventure doesn’t end at gallery delivery…or at least it shouldn’t! What about those requests for reviews and invitations to join an email list so they can be notified first about upcoming opportunities to work with you? Toss all of that in a short, joyful email thanking them for working with you and expressing your hope to work with them again soon!
And don’t forget to introduce the idea of prints and albums! If you provide those services, mention that here! If you don’t, simply share some of your favorite services with them.
And believe it or not, these five email temp[ates are just the beginning! The world of follow-up emails, check-ins, tips, invoice delivery, and so much more await! But start with these five essential templates and you’ll be on your way to a more professional and delightful (not to mention less time-consuming) client experience!
Have questions about your email templates? Drop them in the comments, come say hi on Instagram, or send me an email! I’d love to give you a hand!