Review: “The Go-to Guide for Client Emails” by the Modern Tog

cover of Go To Guide for Client Emails Photographer Email Templates: Every photographer needs email templates to run an efficient studio. Why waste hours responding to email questions when you could use templates instead?

Looking for photographer email templates? Do you stress out about how to respond to client emails? Especially when they are asking something that makes you uncomfortable, like how come your prints are priced higher than Costco or why can't they get products for free? This is a special problem that most businesses don't experience. I mean, can you imagine walking into a Macy's, and after purchasing a handbag, becoming absolutely irate to learn that the matching pair of shoes are not included??

But as photographers, we face these kinds of situations all the time. The lines between personal and professional, friends and service providers get blurred. It's hard to stand your ground about your studio policies when someone else feels adamant that you are wrong. So how do you deal with this? How to prevent these kinds of things from ever happening?

Here's the thing-it's up to us to establish the ground rules and manage client expectations from day one. If we don't do that, we get into trouble, and our clients get upset with us.

What does “managing client expectations” actually mean? It means explaining to clients exactly what they can expect from you, when they can expect it, and what's going to cost extra. If you deliver finished prints in 6 weeks (but you never mention this), and the last photographer they met with just explained that he delivers them in 1 week, it would be easy for clients to get confused and upset if they are expecting prints a week after the session but haven’t heard from you for three.

Explaining your policies and procedures up front gives clients a chance to ask questions or let you know if something is especially important to them. This is so, so critical for having a great relationship with your clients.

One trick to getting all this info to clients is using template emails. Since so many of the same questions come up, or you are sending out the same information, it makes sense to save yourself hours at the computer by using pre-written email responses.

I had the opportunity to review a complimentary copy of a new product out on the market for busy photographers. It's called The Go-to Guide for Client Emails, but it's actually much more than just email templates, it's also a great guide to customer service.

The guide is set up in three sections: the first section covers customer service in depth and explains how to set up your studio policies and communicate with clients to prevent misunderstandings from happening.

Photography Customer Service

What I loved most about the material is that is really helps you to understand the mindset behind customer service in photography.

Once you understand what potential problems are and how to avoid them, it becomes easy to adopt and implement a professional attitude towards your clients who might also be friends. Photography is a very personal service, and weddings are very highly charged with emotion, so if situations are not handled properly from the beginning, it is easy to turn a happy client into a dissatisfied one.

This is the kind of training many photographers need since most lean more towards artists than business people. By having a solid foundation of policies that protect you, your work and your personal life, you will be a happier artist and your clients will also be happier because they will know what to expect.

Email Templates for Wedding Photographers

The second section covers email templates for wedding photographers. These emails felt very familiar to me, as I have spent many hours writing emails just like that over the years. Eventually, like many photographers, I wrote my own templates so I would not be overwhelmed by emails asking the same questions over and over every week.

Email is a huge time suck, and having template responses is a major time saver. It also allows you to not get caught up or emotional (read unprofessional) in your responses. (Do you know how many times I wanted to explode when someone insisted they could only meet on a Sunday because they worked during the week-do I not deserve a day off too?!?!)

Email Templates for Portrait Photographers

The third section covers email templates for portrait photographers. Again the real value here lies in the time savings. If you are not using email templates to respond to common questions and provide basic information to your clients, you are probably spending a lot more time at your computer than you need to be. When a good chunk of your day is spent answering emails, you are working in your business instead of on your business. And after a few late nights like that, the fun starts to wear off, let me tell you!

If you don’t have them already, eventually you will want email templates, so it's up to you whether you spend hours writing them yourself and figuring it out over the years or you would rather just have them done for you and move on to the next stage in building your business.

One thing to note that is not covered by the email templates are situations that truly call for you to pick up the phone. When a client is angry, crying or is basically expressing some seriously strong emotional response, it's time to pick up the phone immediately. Email is not the best thing for handling delicate conversations, as tone and meaning can be lost or misunderstood. Also, it is much easier to feel free to let loose and be rude in an email, and you don’t want to allow a client situation to get to that point, believe me.

If you don't have photographer email templates for your business, I recommend these from The Modern Tog. It's priced at $147 and represents many, many hours of saved time. I'm a big believer in automating your business as much as possible, so you can focus your time on the things you truly care about-shooting more, spending time with your family, creating gorgeous works of art. Sunday picnics…you name it. Learn how to have a stress free photography business with clients who can’t stop raving about you. Get “The Go-To Guide For Client E-mails” today and spend more time doing the things you love. This is THE guide to follow up email, wedding photographer and portrait photographers will both save themselves many hours with this guide.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth July 9, 2012 at 12:04 am

Hi, I love the idea of having emails all ready to go! I looked over your sample emails and thought they were great, and would love to buy them! I did notice that you had them on sale a while back and because we’ve just started to put ourselves out there as a business, we don’t have much to spare! Would you be able to tell me if you’ll be having a sale going on again this year? If not, no worries 🙂 I love all of your information you provide here, thank you for being such a wealth of knowledge, and sharing with us!

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Chris Werner May 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Hi Lara,

Thank you for sharing so much of your hard-earned knowledge! I just clicked over here from today’s email newsletter. It looks like the guide is no longer on sale, and I’m now noticing that this post is from 4/29. Was this guide mentioned in an earlier PhotoMint newsletter?

Thanks again,
Chris W.

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Lara White May 10, 2012 at 8:50 am

no Chris, I was sick last week and did not get the newsletter out 🙁 but we do have a coupon code available to save $30 until 5/16/12 by using the code photomint30.

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Lara White May 1, 2012 at 9:21 am

I agree 100% Ariel. Customer service is so, so important in this business. You are relying on lots of word of mouth and referrals, and so it critical to keep your clients informed and happy. However, with weddings especially, it can be an emotional roller coaster, and sometimes clients will have strong reactions to things because of outside experiences and emotions. So anything you can do to prevent those flare ups is really key.

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Ariel Cohen April 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Thanks very much Lara,
Your review is very helpful. I, too, think that costumer-relations is one of the most important things that every photographer should keep in mind.
Having a resource dealing with that and gives you tools to cope is most welcome.
Plus, there’s even a free-sample to download.
Thanks again,
Ariel C.

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