Lead Nurturing With Drip Emails, Part 1: The Know-Like-Trust Principle

drip email

Lead Nurturing With Drip Emails, Part 1: The Know-Like-Trust Principle with Jeff & Lori Poole

Attracting Leads With Magnets

In last month’s The Business Corner, we talked about attracting leads to your studio using a special kind of bait called a lead magnet (September 2019, How to Get More Leads in Your Sales Funnel With Lead Magnets). Lead magnets are simply bits of content your ideal client may find useful and educational. For example, you might target wedding couples with helpful tips for wedding planning or getting great photos. Or, you might target headshot clients with networking tips. The idea is that these magnets are less about selling you, and more about helping your target client. If the prospect is interested enough in what you have to offer, they’ll gladly give you their contact information in order to get your magnet. Now that you have their information, what do you do with it?

A Refresher on the Sales Funnel

Whether you know it or not, you have a sales funnel. Your funnel is a representation of the path that people take from “lead” to “client.” Since literally every client was once a lead, every client came through your funnel.

At the top of your funnel, prospects are in the Awareness phase. They are learning about photographers, and they are getting acquainted with you and your competitors. As they move into the Interest phase, they are trying to determine what distinguishes you from your competitors. In the Desire phase, leads start to want you more than they want anyone else. And in the Action phase, they book you.

Your lead magnet alone is usually not enough to move a prospect from Awareness to Action. Neither is any one ad, image, or website visit. Most prospects need to know more about you before deciding to book. How can you help them move through the funnel stages? Enter the Lead Nurturing sequence.

What Do I Do With Their Contact Information?

Remember that thus far, you’ve tempted your prospect with a tasty lead magnet. This can be marketed several ways: posting your magnet on social media, using targeted ads, or putting links to your magnets at the bottom of every blog post. Just get it out there.

The prospect visits a special page on your website, called a landing page, and enters their contact information into a form in order to receive your magnet. They have opted into receiving emails from you. They are now a lead.

On the back end, that contact form should then port the lead’s information to your email CRM of choice. There are lots of options on the market: StickyEmail, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Mad Mimi, Get Response, and more. The next few steps will need to be set up as an automated drip within your CRM. It takes time to set up the first time, but the process is automated from then on. Here’s what the process should look like:

  1. From the contact from, the CRM drops the contact information into your mailing list in a sub-group, or segment, for that specific lead magnet.
  2. Each time a lead is added to that segment, it triggers an automated email to that lead, delivering the magnet.
  3. Once the magnet has been delivered, the lead is added to a new segment for nurturing.
  4. Adding a lead to the nurturing segment triggers a series of pre-written emails, sent at specific intervals, known as a drip campaign.

Nurturing Leads Through Your Funnel With a Drip Campaign

The lead you’ve attracted with your magnet is most likely in the Awareness stage of the funnel. They’re browsing around for photographers in your niche, and your magnet looks like just the information they need to help them on their journey. You can now use carefully crafted emails to help nurture your lead from “looking for photographers” to “I want that photographer.” To do so, we will use the Know-Like-Trust principle.

Bestselling author and motivational speaker Bob Burg says, “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.” You might argue that you are not equal to or the same as your competitors, but the point is that being known, likeable, and trustworthy gives you a leg up over them. Not surprisingly, the progression from know to like to trust mirrors the progression from Awareness to Interest to Desire!

Awareness > Know

During the Awareness phase, leads are getting to know you and your competitors. In its most basic form, being “known” is about your visibility in the market. Try to be everywhere—social media ads, guest blog posts, attending or sponsoring local events, and networking with other business owners are all methods to help you become more known. But this is merely helping them know of you.

Beyond that, how can you use the power of email to help your lead get to know you better? For this stage of your drip campaign, open up to the reader about your “why.” Share why your heart is in your specific niche, and how you got there. Do not say it is because you like capturing moments or memories. That’s what every photographer says. Dig deeper. Get personal. Use your unique voice to help them feel like you are more than a faceless company.

Interest > Like

Once they start to see you as a little different than your competitors, it’s time to gain their Interest by helping them like you. In this stage, it’s important for you to be authentic—even if it might turn some people away. It’s more important for you to become unique in this stage. Share a personal story. Talk about a client you worked with, a project that really got to you on an emotional level. Dig deeper into your “why.” Be vulnerable. If it fits your brand, use swear words. Let them see the real you. Grow your tribe.

Desire > Trust

They know you. They like your unique quirks. Now show that they can trust you. They want to know before booking you that you aren’t going to screw up the job, or take their money and run. Share client testimonials and reviews. List awards you’ve received. Display badges you’ve been given from other sites (such as Wedding Wire’s Couples’ Choice Awards). Talk about any product or service guarantees you offer.

Desire, Part 2 > The Benefit of the Benefit

While not officially part of the Know-Like-Trust sequence, an additional email you can include to increase desire is referred to as the Benefit of the Benefit. This is the dig-deep reason your clients hire you, and it’s not to have photos. Think of this as your client’s “why.” How will photography with you bring them closer to the version of themselves they want to be? How will photography with you change their life?

It sounds heavy and overdramatic, but there is truth in this. If your photography doesn’t in some way make your client’s life better, why would they buy it?

Let’s analyze what the Benefit of the Benefit is with an example. I’m a boudoir photographer, and my “why” is helping women love themselves. I convey this message by talking about boudoir photography’s features, its benefits, and the benefits of its benefits.

  • Features: Skillful posing and lighting to accentuate your best features.
  • Benefits: The best photographs you’ve ever had of yourself, with or without clothes. See yourself in a new light. Self-love.
  • Benefits of the Benefits: Wear a bikini without fear. Play on the beach with your kids. Be more present in your life without worrying about your appearance.

Do you see the progression? Are you still trying to sell yourself on features alone? Or did you stop at the benefits? The benefit of the benefit is the hardest to convey into words. No one but you can convey your “why” or the benefit of your benefit, and that is exactly the reason it is crucial in ramping up your lead’s Desire for you alone.

Getting to the Bottom of Your Funnel

With an automated drip email sequence, it’s possible to nurture your lead from Awareness to Interest to Desire. Help them get to know you, like you, and trust you, and share with them how your photography will improve their lives. At this point, they should have no choice but to Desire you above all the competition! Join us next month as we explore continuing this drip sequence to help the client through the conversion (Action) and beyond.

Get the full story

To read the full article, launch the digital version of the October 2019 magazine.

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