One of the most frequently asked questions I get from my clients is how to “nuture” their email lists.
And, whenever I get a question more than 5 times, I know it’s worth creating content around because someone else out there is probably asking the same question, too.
So, today we’re going to cover not only how to nuture your email list, but how to keep them engaged, what to send them, and how to continue growing it.
First, let’s chat about why you should nurture your list in the first place.
Why nurturing your email list is important for your photography business
Before we dive into today’s topic, I thought it would be important to know why nurturing your email list is important in the first place.
Let’s start by defining what a Nurture Campaign even is as it relates to email marketing. That’s right, you’re an email marketer now.
A Nurture Campaign is an ongoing series of emails that introduce people to your brand, adds value to their lives, and helps them trust you as their go-to expert and authority by building a relationship with them.
Your email list is made of up real people who have said, “I’m so interested or curious about you, that I want to make sure your brand or your content shows up in my life beyond an algorithm.”
In marketing, we like to call this a micro-commitment, and it’s the first sign that your audience wants to keep building a relationship with you by exchanging something that’s valuable to them (their inbox) for your content.
It’s a pretty big deal, so when someone “joins your list”, it’s important to follow up by nurturing them with valuable content so you can continue to build and sustain that relationship.
Think about it the same way you do Instagram. You wouldn’t dare gain new followers and not crank out any amazing content for them so they’d stick around, right?
It’s the same way for your email list, except you “own” your email list, where your Instagram platform is more like building a brand on borrowed land. Both are beneficial, but an email list is brand insurance.
How to nurture your list and keep them engaged
Hopefully, by now I’ve done a good enough job convincing you why it’s important to nurture your audience and why your email list is important in general — even if you’re booked up aka your client roster is full, etc.
Now we’re going to dive into how to nurture your list and keep them engaged.
When it comes to nurturing, there are two things to strive for when sending emails:
– be helpful
– be interesting
In other words, provide value in a way that isn’t boring. I know you might think of emails as an old school way of communicating, but you’ve got to get out of that mindset and have fun.
In fact, if you need a permission slip to do so, it’s right here. Have fun with your emails. Show your personality. It’s just another extension of your brand and a way to build relationships with your audience.
In order to nurture, you have to have to create content. In order to create content, you have to know what kind of content to create.
The 3 types of nurture emails:
3. Free resources
1. Let’s start with announcements.
When it comes to brainstorming content for this category, you want to think of blog posts, podcast interviews, publications, partnerships, etc.
Do you publish a weekly blog post?
Share the summary of that blog post in your email, send it to your audience, and drive more traffic to your website.
Have you been featured on any podcasts lately or in the past?
Let your audience know. Get them excited by telling them a little bit about the episode and how it will benefit them, then give make it easy for them to click and listen.
Have you been featured by a brand or your favorite publication?
Same thing. Rinse and repeat.
This is a great way to gain authority by showing off your social proof and expertise by repurposing content and driving traffic to places like your site so your audience can continue to binge your resources.
2, Next up is the “tips” category.
What problems can you solve for your audience that they’d love to gain access to?
Are you a photographer who teaches moms how to use their fancy cameras to snap quick shots of their kids?
Are you a photographer who helps other photographers start businesses?
No matter what you do, you solve a problem whether you know it or not.
Take the next 15 minutes after this blog post and break your tips up into 2 sections and jot down at least 5 answers for each one.
You know the ones that pile up in your DMs? Tell people to join your email list to get the answers instead of always doing it on the ‘gram!
Myths that people believe about your industry. For photographers it could be that editing has to be this long, excruciating process that all photographers hate.
Come up with 5 answers for each category and boom, that 10 email topics you have to write about.
3. Lastly, we have free resources.
Could you giveaways a piece of content weekly or monthly that is exclusive to your email list? If so, this is gold.
Maybe it’s a round-up of make-up dupes. Maybe it’s an inspirational graphic that they can use as their desktop and iphone background.
Just like instagram, think of content that is highly shareable – that they’ll be proud to use and promote so more people find out about your brand and your email list grows.
Speaking of Instagram, you can repurpose that content, too!
All those posts you’ve created, turn them into emails.
Pro-tip: do not send an email about the Instagram post you just published on the same day or preferably the same week.
Spread the content out. Remember, your email list is supposed to be exclusive, and although it’s highly unlikely that someone will read and email and see you Instagram on the same day – we don’t want to take any chances.
Add your nurture list to your content calendar
Now that you know the top 3 categories for nurture campaign emails, don’t leave this blog without scheduling in time on your calendar to create it.
Batch your work and schedule it ahead of time if possible that way you’re not scrambling last minute to get an email out.
Don’t have an email marketing provider? I highly recommend you check out Flodesk and their incredibly aesthetic and user friendly platform.
They have pre-made email templates that you can customize with your branding and unlike many email providers, they never penalize you for a growing list.
If you’re just starting out, you can use my code JVPHOTO for 50% off your monthly subscription. It’s pretty much a steal.
Build your list on Instagram
Last but not least, let’s talk about how to continue growing your list with Instagram.
Just like anything else, you have to talk about your email list in order to get people to remember it exists, that you serve up some amazing content, and that they should join.
So, here’s my tip for you: schedule it in.
At least once a week, remind your audience that you have an email list with exclusive content just for them.
Whether you let people have first dibs at a free weekly resource, access to a blog post before the world knows about it, or whatever it might be – give them a good reason to join and stay engaged.
And, make it easy for them to sign up. Pop the link in your bio, give it a swipe up in your story and invite new followers via a DM quickly reply.
If every time you talk about your email list on Instagram, you get 25 new subscribers and you do it every week, that’s 100 new subscribers per month.
And that’s an amazing start.
Some last thoughts to leave you with
Your nurture campaign is one of the best ways to build a sustainable and stronger relationship with your audience.
Keep your content helpful and interesting, and your subscribers will stay engaged.
Don’t forget to “market” your email by promoting your freebie or the exclusive content you send out.
Challenge for you: try to send at least one email every week. Gone is the day of the “monthly newsletter”. You wouldn’t post on Instagram once a month and expect people to remember you, right?
If you’re really struggling in your business, book a free clarity call with me, (no strings attached,) for me to help you pinpoint your biggest roadblocks.
Then, if you decide it’s a fit and you NEED us to work together stat, we can totally proceed with mentorship and get this education party started! 🥂
I wholeheartedly believe that if you’re here and reading this page, it’s not by accident, girl. I’ve been praying for this years mentoring clients, and for God to truly equip me with the knowledge and resources, tailored just for you, to project you into your next season and help you to be more confident – because THIS is your year.
It’s time. No more excuses. Let’s do this, and rise up to who God has called us to be in both our lives and businesses. 🙌🏼
Looking for more helpful photography tips? Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼
If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.
Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂