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Brand Your Emails!

December 14th, 2010  |  Published in Featured, Shoot  |  2 Comments

Almost any business guru will talk to you about the importance of branding.  However, while many of us have branded our websites, our blogs, and even our packaging, many of us ignore one of the most traversed avenues of communication with our clients: our emails.  Do HTML emails intimidate you?  Even your smartphone can handle pretty emails these days, so it’s time to catch up with your gadgets!   Fortunately, there are several options if you want to take your email presentation to the next level.  I’m going to start by talking about some full-service email companies and then I will show you how to create your own email templates in Mac Mail.

Email Services. There are a few wonderful email marketing companies that offer a full range of email-related products and services.  Mad Mimi and Constant Contact are two companies that are easy to work with.  Both offer a number of email templates and allow you to manage lists of client emails.  They are both fairly simple to use and have a decent selection of simple drag and drop templates that can be customized with your logo and the colors in your brand.  I actually use Mad Mimi for my Studio Newsletter- it is a perfect solution for me because it helps me manage different email lists and it allows my clients to opt-out of future studio newsletters.  While I wish the templates were a bit more sophisticated, I am happy with the drag and drop functionality for my newsletters and sale notifications.  Here is an example- this is a small piece of my holiday newsletter (sent with Mad Mimi):

Email Marketing for Photographers

Email Templates. I am going to focus on Mac Mail, since that is the program that I use, but you can also create beautiful templates in Windows Mail and Outlook Express as well (as I have heard from my PC colleagues).

Step One.  Take a look at the stationery options that are built into Mac Mail (open Mail, click on New Message and then click “Show Stationery” in the upper right corner).  It is easier to find a template that you can modify rather than starting from scratch.  If you want to put photographs in your theme, the Doodles theme and the Vacation theme can be cleaned up to offer a simple, multi-photograph presentation.  If you are looking for a simple email without photographs, Sand Dollar, Butterfly, and Fun are all easy to manipulate.  I like simple presentations, but your style may call for a more complex layout, so poke around and find what you like.  (There are also several companies that offer email templates that you can buy and install.)

Step Two.  Once you have chosen the theme that you would like to modify, go to your hard drive and navigate to Library>Application Support>Apple>Mail>Stationery>Apple>Contents>Resources.  Find the group where your template resides (for example, Doodles and Vacation both live in “Photos” while Butterfly, Fun, and Sand Dollar live in “Stationery”).   Choose the group, then select Contents>Resources and select the theme you would like to customize.  In the Finder window, select the icon that looks like a wheel/cog on the upper left, and choose “Show Package Contents”.  (I would suggest that you make a copy of the files somewhere so that if you need to go back, you can.)

Step Three.  Pull out the image files in the folder that you have just opened.  For example, in the Butterfly theme you will need to pull out bg_letter.jpg, bg_pattern.jpg, bottom.jpg, and top.jpg.  The next part is the fun part- simply customize the email based on your brand!

Step Four.  Save everything.

Step Five.  Open Mail and find the template you modified (click on Show Stationery and select your template).  We didn’t modify the thumbnail, so don’t worry if the thumbnail looks wrong.

Step Six.  Check your template.  Does it look okay?  I usually have to go back and forth several times before I am satisfied.

Step Seven.  Send it out!

Here is what one of my modified templates looks like- I have configured it to look just like my blog.  I have others that include photographs, but this is my favorite template to use in my email correspondence when I choose to send an HTML email:

Email Template

If someone wants to leave a comment with a good online tutorial for our non-Mac friends, please do so!  We would love to hear from you!

Post by Maine Wedding Photographer Michelle Turner.

About Michelle Turner

Michelle Turner has written 19 post in this blog.

Michelle is a professional wedding photographer who splits time between Maine and Puerto Vallarta.

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Responses

  1. Andree says:

    December 14th, 2010 at 10:32 pm (#)

    Nice!! I love how you write in Latin to your clients, pretty swift! ;)

    Thanks for sharing, that’s great stuff!

  2. April Bennett says:

    February 21st, 2013 at 3:00 pm (#)

    This is great! Thank you!!

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