Some people call me an OG of wedding business marketing, but deep down I'm just another person wearing PJ bottoms on Zoom. I swear a lot, I share my struggles, and I don't pretend to be better than anyone else.
You’ve probably heard of email marketing but if you’re like most wedding pros, you don’t use it. Most of our industry doesn’t use email marketing and as a result, those businesses are missing out on tons of revenue.
Shannon (wedding photographer and now total email nerd) went from “email marketing doesn’t work for me” to $13,000 in additional revenue pretty quickly. Email marketing can absolutely work for wedding professionals and it’s a really powerful tool.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never used email marketing or if you don’t see yourself as a techy person, this podcast episode will take you through just how simple it is to start using email marketing to sell more and improve your client experience. If you’ve ever thought that email marketing can’t work for your wedding business, listen to this episode and see what you think by the end.
In this episode we’ll cover:
In 2020, COVID wiped Shannon’s calendar clear and she needed some additional work. Her friend who was running an email marketing business asked her for help and that’s when she started to see what email marketing could do.
At that point, Shannon thought email marketing just didn’t work for her business. She finally decided to just try sending an email to her list despite it not working well in the past but this time, she made $2600 by offering a print sale to past clients. Thinking it was a fluke, she tested it again and again and by the end of the year, she had made an additional $13,000 from email marketing alone.
Shannon went from “email marketing doesn’t work for me” to $13,000 in additional revenue pretty quickly. Email marketing can absolutely work for wedding professionals and it’s a powerful tool.
Like Shannon says, how long have you been sitting on this asset making no money from it when it could be generating revenue for you? Missing out on this revenue for 10 years was a huge wake-up call for her.
Email marketing is an incredible asset to build in your wedding business because it provides you with a direct connection to your past, current, and potential clients. There is no algorithm getting in the way.
A tiny percentage of your social media followers see your posts, while 30% or more of your email subscribers open your emails. That’s a huge difference!
Email marketing also allows you to run really effective promotions where you can turn the revenue tap on when you need it. Being able to create revenue on demand like that is a powerful thing and Shannon and I teach you exactly how to do it in the Run A Profitable Black Friday Promotion (Without Discounting) workshop. You can use those promotions any time of year, not just Black Friday.
Email marketing puts you in the driver’s seat of revenue creation in your business and it allows you to better serve your customers. It’s direct and creates a more intimate relationship.
Shannon loves to look at email marketing as a way of building relationships with people so that when you want to sell them something, they’re excited to buy from you. Think about how you can add value using email.
Shannon mainly sells her prints via email marketing so her email content includes things like why they should buy prints from her and not just any photo lab and tips on making your walls look beautiful with prints.
If you’re a DJ, you could address why they should hire a DJ instead of just creating a playlist to play at their wedding.
If you’re a planner, you could address why they need a planner and how to avoid common mistakes.
What value can you share that positions you as a valuable resource and not just someone who only reaches out when they want something?
We have a very long research period in our industry. Someone is probably coming across you months before they’re ready to book you because they’re excited to start planning their wedding. If you can get that person on your email list and show up in their inbox regularly delivering valuable information, they’re going to think of you when they’re finally ready to hire someone. Seeing your name consistently show up in their inbox keeps you front of mind.
Not everybody is ready to hire you when they find you. It’s just the nature of an industry that has a long research period. Email marketing gives you a way to nurture those leads so that when they are ready, they buy from you.
By using email marketing to nurture potential clients, you can educate and provide value to leads which makes you stand out. Most of your competitors are just telling people to buy and not providing any value in their marketing or sales communications. Building a relationship with your leads by being helpful makes them want to work with you above your competitors.
Email marketing is massively underutilized in the wedding industry so this can be a competitive advantage for you! It’s simple, it can massively increase sales, and 90% of the wedding industry isn’t taking advantage of it.
It’s very common to worry about what to say to your email subscribers but we typically overthink it. If you’re trying to build a personal relationship with your subscribers, you can share business things as well as personal things.
Shannon talks about her dogs in her emails, recipes, and other things that make her relatable. We do business with people we like so it makes sense to let people see who you are. It’s a great way to develop connections with your potential clients.
You could also ask people on social media what they want to hear about. Ask people to send you questions and address them in your email.
You’ll definitely want to think about the questions people ask you all the time and address those in your emails. You could even make this something you provide for clients once they book so they get the information they need, delivered directly to them before they think to ask about it.
Email marketing is not something that requires you to be present at the time of sending an email. You can write a batch of emails ahead of time or create an email series that automatically goes out to people once they download your free checklist or after they sign their contract.
You can make these automated emails very personal so they feel like they’re coming from you and not a robot. If you focus on writing to one person, your emails will come across as though they were written only to the person reading them.
Tapping into email automation also allows you to provide a consistent experience for all of your clients. It doesn’t matter if you’re super busy or have all the time in the world, your clients are getting the same thoughtful experience via the email sequence you’ve crafted for them.
Email marketing can be used to make more sales as well as create a killer client experience. It’s a really versatile tool.
Shannon sends weekly emails in her business and most of her email clients have weekly emails as well. If you can’t do weekly, do biweekly or monthly. Consistently showing up in someone’s inbox less often is better than not doing it at all.
Shannon makes sure to set this expectation at the end of the initial email sequence so people know what’s coming. Let people know what they’ll receive from you and how often they’ll hear from you.
Shannon often hears from business owners who are afraid to “annoy” their email subscribers by emailing them but those people raised their hand and asked for your emails. They get value from them and if they don’t want to receive them any longer, they can unsubscribe with a click.
People who join your email list want to hear from you more and in a more direct way so they don’t miss out. They don’t want to miss your latest content and they’ll likely miss it on social media. Give them what they want!
Let’s stop making excuses and start sending emails and see how people respond. We both think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how effective email marketing is.
Shannon wondered why no one is offering email marketing as a service for wedding and creative businesses so she created The Email Club to fill that gap. She and her team write weekly emails for multiple different types of businesses so she gets to see what works and what doesn’t across industries.
Shannon also helps wedding pros get set up with email marketing and create their initial email sequence. She also has a template shop in the works so wedding pros can buy emails and use them in their business quickly and easily.
Shannon doesn’t want people to make the same mistake she did by ignoring email marketing for 10 years so she’s looking to make it easier and faster for wedding pros to harness the power of email marketing.
You can get set up in less than 1 hour with an email provider like Flodesk (get 50% off here) or ConvertKit. MailerLite is another great tool and it’s free. Just pick an email provider and get started.
You’ll need to create a way to collect emails via a form or a landing page and then you just need to start promoting that. Extra credit if you set up a welcome email sequence but don’t let that stand in your way of getting started.
You don’t have to be super techy to do this and it’s time that scales. You only have to create an email series once and you can use it over and over again forever. You can repurpose content from your blog or social media to create your emails. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to reach so many people directly.
If email marketing takes you 1 hour per week, that 1 hour will have an insane return on investment for your business. That’s one hour very wisely spent.
Shannon, aka Mrs. Vondy, is a former 12 year wedding photographer who coaches wedding vendors on how to book better clients and run more successful, profitable wedding businesses. After sending one email to her list and earning $2600, and going on to earn $13k from email alone, she’s also on a mission to bring that you’ve got mail feeling back to email by sharing how easy, fun, and profitable email can be! She fell so head over heels in love with email that she’s now opened a done-for-you email agency to help busy business owners take the overwhelming tasks of managing their email lists off their plates. When she’s not photographing, emailing, or coaching you can usually find her binging Netflix with her hubby and rescue huskies, Jon Snow and Betty White.
Join us inside The Wedding Business Collective!
Run A Profitable Black Friday Promotion (Without Discounting) – use this to run promotions any time of year!
Start your email list with Flodesk in ONE hour Mini Course
Episode 202: How To Use Email Marketing To Weed Out Price Shoppers & Nurture Leads with Cristina Barragan
Episode 89: Ninja Email Marketing & Getting More Website Visitors With Michele Botnick
Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes (You’ll just need to click the blue “View In iTunes” button and then click the Subscribe button when your iTunes opens.)
And please take 2 minutes to leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes immensely! Thank you – I appreciate it!