Email templates are nothing new at all, yet I find many professionals heavily underuse them. Especially under photographers, there’s room for improvement. So let’s dive in.
These days, most email clients support the use of templates. But it’s still up to you to think of the templates you need, write them, and put them in your client.
Why use email templates as a corporate photographer?
Let’s start first by thinking of why email templates are so helpful.
They’re easy to use; that’s a solid first. In Gmail, you can start a new email or reply and have your template imported with two clicks. You can reply to an email within seconds if you know which template you need.
If you write the same email too often, you can template it. And believe me, a lot of emails are the same.
Writing the email to send the invoice to my clients, for example. It’s always the same email, so why should I keep writing it repeatedly?
Another big one is that you won’t forget to mention some things. For example, sending over the photos to a client, I might forget to mention the feedback period of 7 days. I might say it to some, but not others.
Using a template makes sure I mention that information to all of them. Giving everyone an equal and complete service.
Tips for using email templates
Personalize your templates. Most of mine have a gap here and there (often marked with XXX). It makes sure that I add a note or mention their name there. It’s quick to add and makes the template more personal.
Easy things you can change to make it more personal are adding their name (duh), the company, and perhaps a note about specific photos you made for them.
Remember to give your templates an exact name, and make it easy for you to remember what each one is about and when to use it. This way, you don’t have to try several templates before finding the right one.
“Delivering photos to client” clarifies what that template is about.
And last, set reminders once every 6-12 months to update your templates. Your services might have evolved. Or some emails are too overused, and your recurring clients notice that your emails could be templated.
Email templates you need as a corporate photographer
You now know why you need the templates and how you should use them. So what templates should you write for yourself?
An introduction of yourself
You might find that you often get questions from companies and freelancers to meet up or hear about your services.
Templating a response with some of the basics about yourself could be a big timesaver already. Of course, it could still be necessary to add information to a specific question they have. But at least the general outlines are there; you don’t have to start from a dreadful blank page.
Delivery of your work/photos
You will deliver your photos to your clients at some point as a photographer. What gallery or storage you use for it is up to you. But you will have to provide the information on how to access the photos to your clients.
And generally, you deliver it to every one of your clients in the same way. So why not template the information?
Following-up on pricing
I regularly get emails from people asking for a price for their specific project. And then, after receiving it, they never reply. How rude you may find it could be that they simply forgot about it or got caught in some rush.
Sending them a friendly reminder if they received the pricing and if they have any more questions can go a long way.
More often than not, I get a reply back. Either confirming their booking, asking for more information, or canceling. The response is more valuable than letting it hang and never knowing.
Reminder for late payments
You will have a client who hasn’t paid their invoice. Often they forgot. Or they didn’t forward it to the accountant. It’s just humans humaning.
Sending the email is sensitive. You want to be firm and get your money, but you don’t want to burn the client. In my experience, they are just a bit unorganized and not malicious.
Writing a firm but friendly template for this will save you time, money, and stress.
Contract and invoicing details
At some point, you’ll have to send the client a contract and ask for their invoicing details. It’s a boring part of the work. But you have to do it, and you have to be clear about what you need.
Make a template asking for all the details you need so you remember to ask for all of them.
If you work with packages, it might be worth putting the information for each one in different templates. Clients might ask for information about a specific package. As those are mostly pre-determined, so can the template be.
Asking for a review
After delivering the photos and getting positive feedback, you can ask the client for a review. I have a template asking them for a review on either Google Maps or LinkedIn. Sending a clear message on how they can do it with URLs to both destinations ensures I get a review often.
What email templates have you added to your database? Let me know in the comments below!