Photography Business: How To Generate Leads

By: visionofsuccess
Sending out a postcard to a mailing list can be risky business. Whether you send out 1,000 or 10,000 postcards, statistics show the most response you can expect is 1 to 2 percent. And that's being generous.

There is a way to increase your odds, and have better luck with your mailings. In fact, I've seen response rates in the area of 10 percent and more, simply by changing a few things with your mailing.

Start with your message. As a photographer, you're probably use to showing images and using a small amount of text. Photographs are important, but it's also important to communicate with your readers.

Your prospects need to understand why you are contacting them. What is the purpose of this postcard? If you can define your purpose in a sentence or two, it becomes easier to communicate that message on your postcard.

Build your postcard around that message. Use several photographs to showcase your ideas, and use your copy to describe your offer. If you have trouble creating a dynamic postcard yourself, use a graphic artist. Your local printer can recommend some to you if you don't have a good one in your files.

You may also want to work with a marketer or copywriter if you aren't sure of how to word your message in an effective manner. A copywriter can create motivating text that drives your prospect to take action.

All good mailings have two things in common. First, they ask the reader to take action. You can do this in a number of ways.

- You can offer a discount on a product or service, such as half off a sitting fee.
- You can offer a buy one get one free offer, such as two 8x10's for the price of one.
- You can offer a free sample, such as a free holiday card.
- You can offer a limited membership. This works effectively if you have a club to join, such as a baby club, and let them try the first portrait session for free before they join.

No matter what your offer is, make sure you provide a deadline. A deadline makes people take action, and keeps the offer fresh in their mind. It creates the need to buy in your prospects mind, and keeps the offer fresh through your deadline.

Second, they take advantage of online marketing.

When you create your postcard, drive people to your website in order to take advantage of the special offer. When you combine this with a deadline, you'll create statements like:

- Receive half off your next sitting fee when you download our special coupon by "date".
- Receive two 8x10's for the price of one when you order your images online.
- Want to see one of our new holiday cards in person? Visit our website and choose your style. We'll send your first one to you for free.
- To receive your first sitting for free in our baby membership program, visit our website and choose a time that's convenient for you.

By driving your prospects to your website, you can request an email address for further information, and have a new way of communicating with your prospects. Online marketing is much more cost efficient, and provides you with a way of communicating as much as you desire for a limited cost.

Whichever method you choose, make sure you drive your traffic to specific pages on your website, not just your home page. You don't want your prospects to become lost or confused. If you offer a half off sitting coupon, make sure the web address you give them takes them immediately to a sign up box for the coupon, such as ABCPhotography.com/sittingoffer.

The easier you make the connections for your prospects, the easier it is for them to buy. And isn't that your ultimate goal?
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