How to Craft an Email That Clients Will Open
Question: What are some tips for effective email layout and design? And does the design of the email – just images versus images and text – affect whether it is delivered or bounced?
There’s no replacement for doing your homework and creating highly targeted emails for clients and art buyers. If you ask any given photo buyer, they’ll say that very few photographers work hard to tailor their email promotions to the right audience. Taking advantage of this is an easy way to stand out from the crowd!
Once you’ve researched who to reach out to and what they’re interested in, you’ve actually already done the bulk of the work.
Top 5 Things That Photo Buyers Love to See in an Email
- Simple and direct subject. The most important thing is write a direct subject line that clearly states what’s in the email and why it should interest the recipient. In the actual email, avoid long-winded stories about your background and get straight to the point. Leave a link to your website where they can find more information.
- Relevant copy and images. Make sure that the images and story you’re emailing about is clear and appropriate for the recipient. Art buyers will say that the biggest turnoff is receiving promotions that aren’t relevant.
- Emotionally riveting. It may seem obvious that you should include striking and high-quality images, but what’s less obvious is that you’re incapable of being an objective judge of your own work. Get someone else to play editor for you and help choose your best shots.
- Share work used in other campaigns. People want to see how your photography has been used before. Plus, it helps give your work credibility.
- Note your location! This may determine whether you get the job, but many art buyers have internal filing systems based on photographers’ location. Don’t be vague and make sure you get put in the right place.
Successful Emails Have Both Images and Copy
Most clients and art buyers want to see images embedded in the email. If they have to click on a link or open an attachment to view your work, they might decide that it’s not worth their time and move on.
Start with a short introductory sentence about why you’re reaching out, include two to three images and say what they’re from, and list important details. Finally, include a link to your website and your contact information.
Send Test Emails Before You Send the Real Thing
The last step in creating an effective email is to test it out. See how your email looks in different email clients such as Gmail and Outlook. If you use HTML text and web-safe fonts, then you shouldn’t have problems with your email bouncing. But since some email clients block images by default, you may also want to attach them as separate JPEGs in addition to embedding them in the email.
As with any communication, it’s a good idea to follow up. Give it a few weeks before sending a follow-up email to remind the client or buyer that you’re still alive. Remember, the newcomer rarely gets in on the first attempt.
Learn more about how to leverage email into a marketing and sales tool with PhotoShelter’s Free Guide: Email Marketing for Photographers.
Allen Murabayashi is Co-Founder and Chairman of PhotoShelter, the leader in photography portfolio websites, photo sales, marketing, and archiving tools for photographers. Allen is also an avid photographer and frequently speaks on how photographers can use online marketing to grow their businesses. PhotoShelter
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