An alternative to email newsletters that saves hours

Most photographers include a subscribe link on their website without explaining the benefit of singing up, how often the user will receive communication, and what type of communication. There is no reason a potential client would want to give you their email address to simply “subscribe.” Even if they do, the first email they receive will be whatever you choose to send out that week without acknowledging that they are a new user. On top of this, I find it really difficult to come up with valuable newsletter content I can email on a regular basis. It takes tons of time to create, and users have no incentive to sign up for it. That’s why I use autoresponders.

An autoresponder is a scheduled series of emails that walks a subscriber through my most important information. My free email class is an example. Five pre-written emails get automatically delivered over time to give new website visitors valuable information. The content is excellent: stuff I normally charge for. Each email is an opportunity to expose my brand, build trust, and get someone to contact me. Benefits:

  • Subscribers have a reason to sign up (valuable information)
  • Everyone starts at the beginning
  • I only have to write five emails instead of an ongoing weekly newsletter
  • Grows 5-10 times more quickly than other email campaigns
  • People are excited for the next email (high open rates)
  • People refer their friends to subscribe

What can you offer new customers through an autoresponder? Perhaps tips on taking photos at home, preparing for a photo session, or ideas to hang portraits. You can see how this sort of information is written in the interest of the user and therefore captures more interest than an email newsletter that simply sells.

For return customers, I offer an email subscription to my blog posts. People who read the my posts like them are likely to sign up to receive them in email form.

over the benefits of autoresponder versus traditional email newsletters:

  • Huge time savings. It takes five minutes to email the text of a blog post and hours to create a newsletter
  • More readers to your blog
  • More comments on your site because you reach more people with blog content
  • Ability to upsell with promotional messages which you can’t do with RSS subscribers

I hope you enjoyed the quick tips.

Zach Prez

Photography Marketing Consultant

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Zach Prez is a dad and social cyclist who loves to talk marketing over a cup of Lipton tea. Connect with him at

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Kain is a co-founder, creative and marketing director at Fotomerchant. You've probably seen his template designs, blog posts and video content. His photography website is home to a collection of lomography, instagram and experimental photography.