When it comes to marketing your photography business I’m sure at some point you’ve either offered or had gift vouchers requested. This campaign aimed at either studio portrait photographers or weddings photographers is a little different. Not only is it effective but it’s great for building relationships with other businesses.

The Offer
Free photography gift vouchers offered to local businesses. The chosen businesses can then offer these vouchers as part of a purchase incentive or just as a thank you to their valued customers.

What you need
Firstly you will need some gift vouchers. It’s all about the packaging so don’t skimp on these. You could go for plastic iTunes style cards. These packaged with a nice thank you card and envelope all add to the perceived value. You’ll want these cards to be properly branded, include your contact details and don’t forget the terms and conditions!

The Businesses
If you’re a wedding photographer then bridal shops are an obvious choice. If you’re a baby photographer then a children’s clothes shop should be your first port of call.
The value of vouchers you offer really depends on how much you think you’ll make from each shoot.

What you offer the businesses
A free way to say thank you to their customers and a great sales incentive (spend more than £xxx and receive a £xxx photography voucher).

All the businesses have to do is note down the customers details. This will make it possible for you to contact the customers when their voucher is close to expiration, or sooner!
Phone numbers therefore would be an essential part of that data collection. Email address are also desirable.

Visit the businesses or at least make contact regularly not only to receive feedback but to pick up those all important leads!
The hardest part is convincing businesses to take up your offer, but it does tick a few boxes….. the most notable of which is that it’ll cost them nothing!

What to do with the data collection
A follow up courtesy call is essential
“I understand you have a gift voucher for our services, when can we book you in for a shoot/meeting?”
A follow up email outlining your services/price lists in more detail would also be helpful so have this prepared to send shortly after your call.
“I’m sending you some examples of our most recent work and some of our wonderful products we have on offer”

How much do you make the vouchers worth?
It’s important to give value both for the businesses and the customers. If you’re a wedding photographer I certainly wouldn’t go lower than £100 if your price mark is around £1000 That’s a 10% discount but £100 sounds a lot more appealing than a percentage.

The same goes for portrait photographers. If you normally offer a portrait session for £50 then make the vouchers worth £75. This way they client not only gets a free shoot but they have money to spend.

Play the numbers game
You’re not going to get much back by sending out 10 vouchers at a time so play the numbers game and get as many of these out there as you can. You might have to take a few misses (people who don’t buy anything) but this is the nature of speculative marketing. Keep in mind that a typical take up rate for a voucher someone has actually purchased is something like 70%. A very good take up rate for this campaign would be about 30%.