Keeping It Candid - Wedding Photography Unfiltered with Sandra Henderson

042 Next Level Email Marketing Strategies with Candice Coppola

February 27, 2024 Season 2 Episode 42
042 Next Level Email Marketing Strategies with Candice Coppola
Keeping It Candid - Wedding Photography Unfiltered with Sandra Henderson
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Keeping It Candid - Wedding Photography Unfiltered with Sandra Henderson
042 Next Level Email Marketing Strategies with Candice Coppola
Feb 27, 2024 Season 2 Episode 42

Let's be real - showing up on social media is exhausting and the return on investment isn't worth it. Candice Coppola joins me on the podcast today to talk about how photographers can use email marketing in an almost passive way to start generating more sales from new and existing clients. 

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Show Notes Transcript

Let's be real - showing up on social media is exhausting and the return on investment isn't worth it. Candice Coppola joins me on the podcast today to talk about how photographers can use email marketing in an almost passive way to start generating more sales from new and existing clients. 

Show Notes:

Support the Show.

Let's be friends!

The Unfiltered Photography Community -
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Today I am joined by Candice Coppola, author, podcast host, business coach, and entrepreneur have to do business or happy hour alone. Call me biased, but I can confidently say that she is the best business coach out there. I’ve been working with her since 2021 and it’s easily one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

I absolutely adore this woman. I could sing her praises a million times over. I’m a little bit of a fangirl, but it’s okay.

As a successful entrepreneur who grew a business from the spare bedroom of her home into a multi country multi six. figure company. It’s safe to say that Candace has navigated the bumpy road of entrepreneurship.

She started her first company Jubilee Events during the great recession in 2008 with no experience and no contacts. She grew it into a recognizable brand and team over 12 years. She worked with clients from all around the world and produced events in excess of a million dollars. [00:01:00] She launched the Power In Purpose podcast in 2008, a show that explores how to build a profitable business with purpose and the stories behind the successful entrepreneurs who have Candace and her audience have meaningful conversations about business and life as they explore the strategies and techniques that build profitable businesses. Her podcast is rated five stars and sits on the Apple podcast charts as one of the top 100 podcasts in the entrepreneur category.

Her work and voice can be seen in many publications, but most recently, and most notably in her two books, The White Dress & Color Inspiration for the Modern Bride and The White Dress Destinations, The definitive guide to planning the new destination wedding. Candace joined me for an interview to talk all about email marketing and how wedding photographers can utilize it to generate sales in their businesses and take some of the pressure off themselves to always be showing up on social media. Everything that Candace has to teach is absolute gold and she has no bullshit approach just like me. So I know you’re going to love it.

Transcript Of My Interview With Candice Coppola

[00:02:00] Sandra Henderson: (Intro Music) Welcome to Keeping It Candid. I’m your host, Sandra Henderson, an international wedding and family photographer and business coach. I help wedding photographers use systems to build out the backend of their businesses to gain control and continue to thrive no matter what life throws their way. And on a more personal note, I’m a strong Enneagram three-wing too who’s obsessed with tacos.

And my love for travelling combined with navigating chronic illness life are just two of the many things that drive my passion for all things systems, workflows and beating burnout as a business owner. Join me every week for a candid behind-the-scenes look at what it’s really like working as a wedding photographer, where I’ll give you actionable steps to take your business to the next level. Absolutely no fluff here friends, so go grab your favourite notebook and pen and let’s dive into this week’s episode.

(Music Fades Out)

Well, thank you so much for joining me for an interview. I’m so excited for the shoe or like our roles to be reversed and to be on the other side of this. But anybody who has been following me online for any amount of time over the last couple of years knows all about you because I talk about you all the time and how much I love being a part of your mastermind.

But for any listeners who are maybe new around here, why don’t you take a quick second to introduce yourself and let everybody know what you’re all

[00:03:12] Candice Coppola: about. Well, Sandra, thank you for having me on your show. It’s a great honour to be here. I’m so flattered that you wanted to have this conversation and the feeling is mutual in terms of love and respect and admiration.

What you’re doing here is amazing. And I just think the world of you. So thank you so much for having me on this show. For those of you guys who don’t know me, I’m Candace Coppola. I’m a business coach for wedding pros, and I help you build a profitable business with purpose in a former life though. I was a wedding planner, so I understand all the weird things about the industry firsthand because I lived it myself growing a business over 12 years.

Uh, I help clients all over the world celebrate moments that matter in their lives. And in 2019 I [00:04:00] decided to sell my business and to go all in on helping wedding pros build their business. And that was like a long time coming. I had slowly started to not love my job as much as I used to when I started and in those growth years, my lifestyle had changed pretty dramatically, which definitely played a role.

And I just loved doing stuff like this, talking to Sandra, talking to you guys and just exchanging ideas and helping people build a business that really supports their life.

[00:04:32] Sandra Henderson: Well, I, for one, am very grateful that you’ve made that change because it brought us together. So sorry for everybody who’s missing out on you planning their weddings, but we love having you over here.

[00:04:43] Candice Coppola: And I’m happy to be here. Trust me.

[00:04:45] Sandra Henderson: So I wanted to connect for this interview to talk a little bit about email marketing. I would love to kick things off by just hearing your thoughts on why you think that email marketing is so overlooked in the wedding industry as a whole, especially for wedding photographers.

[00:05:01] Candice Coppola: You know, I think wedding pros are just getting by with the marketing that they can muster. You know, we’re really focused on Instagram. That’s kind of like our place where we focus and network. I like to call marketing for wedding pros this holy trinity of Instagram, networking and blogging/SEO.

I think those are the three things that work best for wedding pros, but I feel like email marketing is one of those things that wedding photographers might find to be scary. Maybe you tried it before and it didn’t work and I can understand why because it is something that you have to be very strategic about and you can’t just, you know, throw something on your website, ask people to sign up for your newsletter and then expect to be Making thousands of dollars from your email list. It requires that you understand how email marketing works, but once you get the gist of it, then you can see the opportunities and the possibilities. But it needs to be better described for wedding pros because my email marketing is a lot different than what a wedding photographer would do, right?

Email marketing is like the backbone of my business, to be honest. Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing. Before there was email marketing, there was direct mail marketing, which everybody remembers getting catalogues in the mail as a kid, you know, and like just getting direct mail, which still happens.

I don’t get a lot of it, but I know a lot of people’s mailboxes are full of bullshit. Well, email marketing is the new generation of direct mail marketing. It’s one of the oldest forms of marketing and it works for a wedding photographer. You need to think about it differently than what I would do as a coach and maybe what a store would do that’s selling products or something like that.

[00:06:51] Sandra Henderson: Yeah, I totally agree. And it’s so true. That was kind of like the, the key that flipped everything for me was just kind of thinking about how it’s different than the average businesses, email marketing. And something triggered my thought process to go this way. But my husband actually the other day was like, could you please stop spamming our family email address with all of your email marketing?

And I was like, no, how am I supposed to test it out? I need it.

[00:07:16] Candice Coppola: And also PS, you should be encouraging me to send it so that you can see what I’m doing.

[00:07:23] Sandra Henderson: I’m going to bring that back to him. It’s his birthday, so I’ll wait until. tomorrow.

[00:07:26] Candice Coppola: That sounds like, that sounds like a fair thing.

[00:07:28] Sandra Henderson: He gets a day off from me giving him a hard time.

So why do you think that email marketing is so important when it comes to making sure that your business is sustainable long term? Like I know a lot of people start to feel so burnt out when it comes to social media, and especially Instagram. I feel like I’m saying this all the time more and more as the years go on. But it’s never been harder for businesses to get their info out there on Instagram.

[00:07:54] Candice Coppola: Yeah, it’s true. Instagram has become more difficult to stand out because everything kind of looks the same over there. And Instagram has moved in the direction of serving creators. And let’s be honest, we didn’t open our businesses to become creators.

It’s sort of a byproduct of having a business these days; you need to create content, but what you really want to do is photograph weddings. You want that connection with your client. That’s where you want to spend your time. And so Instagram has evolved into this almost unsustainable channel for marketing. We have to be there. It’s sort of a necessary evil. And I think that if you can diversify your marketing channels and really make that top of funnel broader where you’re bringing people in…

So think of your marketing – and just for somebody who’s like, what the heck is she talking about? I want you to think of business sales like a funnel and you have your top of the funnel and that’s what’s feeding in all of these potential leads.

And for most photographers, the top of their funnel is going to be word of mouth. Okay. So you’ve got that networking vibe, you’ve got Instagram and then hopefully you’re blogging. If you’re not blogging and doing SEO, that’s a separate conversation that I’m sure Sandra will have with you, but those are the top of your funnel.

We’re looking for interesting ways to add to that, that don’t take too much of your time or don’t require you to be front and center like Instagram does daily, multiple times a day. So email marketing is great for wedding pros in the sense that it’s something that you can, you can kind of set and forget. You can’t set and forget anything. You have to pay attention to all areas of your business, but you don’t have to pay attention to it. Even closely though, even what you do with blogging, you don’t have to pay attention to email marketing the same way you could essentially set up a funnel, an email funnel that you create and that automatically.

It helps to bring in leads, helps to nurture those leads to help them go through that know, like, and trust and that leads to bookings. But you can also use it for the very same purpose on your existing clients. Here’s it’s something that wedding photographers really mess up – product sales. You guys, like I’ve coached so many of you and we go through your pricing and we go through your revenue streams and I’m like, okay, so how much are you making on products? And everybody’s like, Oh, I don’t make anything.

[00:10:27] Sandra Henderson: I remember when I was first starting my business, word for word, I was like, I literally don’t care where people print their photos. I’m just giving them their digitals and be on their way. And Oh, do I regret saying that.

[00:10:42] Candice Coppola: it’s a missed opportunity, right? It is one of the fundamentals of sales, is it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one.

And so if you take anything out of our interview today, out of our conversation, aside from email marketing, I want you to really get serious about how you can increase the value of every customer you already have. And you might be doing this by having shoots beyond weddings after the wedding. So offering yourself up for family or portrait sessions, things like that.

That’s great. But product is something that a lot of photographers fall short on, and you can easily sell products and even add-ons to your services using email marketing in an automated way. So email marketing adds a layer of sustainability to your photography business marketing and when used well and when used strategically can really help to increase your revenue.

[00:11:40] Sandra Henderson: Yeah, that’s so true. Now, what are some ways that you think that photographers can actually grow that list and gain inspiration for those top-of-funnel steps? One thing that I see a lot of photographers doing that are in my little network, is doing like tips for engagement sessions and things like that. So is that the right kind of like path that photographers should be thinking along?

[00:12:02] Candice Coppola: Right. This is a great question. And this is where I think email marketing gets, it’s a make-or-break situation because how you bring people on your list really matters. And we need to be very strategic about this. Think about it like this.

You have this funnel. You want people entering the top of your funnel at or around the point where they’re ready to buy and if they’re entering your funnel with, you know, 10 things to have on your wedding day to get ready or how to prep for your engagement session, they may be entering your funnel with a photographer already.

It’s guaranteed, right? Somebody is Googling engagement session ideas. They’re looking for ideas to use with their photographer who P. S. is not you. So, it’s kind of like you want to think strategically about getting somebody on your list at or around the point where they’re going to be ready to buy a certain product from you.

And for this instance, we’re going to talk weddings, but we can also think through a variety of other shoots that you may do during the week or to diversify your income. We also want the opt-in or the way that we’re bringing them into the funnel to be location-based. The locations in which you serve if you’re a destination wedding photographer, cool. There’s a lot you can work with on that. Speaking to the destinations that you are known for want to be known for, but if we just throw out an opt-in, like how to get ready for your engagement session and you’re based in Connecticut, anybody can download that across the world and then what you’re doing is you’re bringing in leads who are in your area.

It just doesn’t make sense to support them. Right? So when you’re thinking about your opt-in, I want you to think, okay, first, what are some topics that somebody might be searching for using Google that I can rank for? The questions that they have or things that they’re looking for that are around the time that they are going to buy from me.

And what do I want them to buy? Is it wedding photography or is it something else? And then how can I tie that to my location that acts as a filter and makes it very location-specific, which honestly is fantastic for people who are searching in that location. That information is like insider information based on where you’re located.

[00:14:20] Sandra Henderson: Oh, that’s such a good point about being insider information. Do you think that it matters if photographers create something that other photographers in their area have already done? That’s the one hindrance that I hear a lot of people say, ‘Well, I don’t have a unique idea and this person and this person have already done this.’ What are your thoughts on that?

[00:14:40] Candice Coppola: It is absolutely not a problem to create something that somebody else has already created because first of all, if you see a lot of people using a certain type of opt-in the likelihood that they’re using it is because it works. And so that’s validation. It shouldn’t be something that, you know, that you feel restricted by like, Oh, I can’t do that because she’s doing it.

See it as validation, but what you’re going to do is you’re going to put your brand on it, your approach on it, your thought process process on it. You know, maybe you see another photographer doing like the 10 best wedding locations in insert your area and you do the same. You may not mention the same locations.

I wouldn’t even download the opt-in. I would just be like, okay, I’m seeing that a few people are doing this. That must mean it works. Let me just take that concept and then do it with a fresh set of eyes and not see what anybody else is doing inside their offer. But no, that, that to me says, ‘Hey, this is viable. This means like, it’s been vetted.’

[00:15:38] Sandra Henderson: So when wedding photographers are creating these opt-ins and thinking about how they’re going to lead people through their funnels, what are some ways that they can make sure that that exchange is profitable for both sides, like both for the client and for them?

[00:15:52] Candice Coppola: I think one of the biggest hang-ups around email marketing is that we don’t want to bother people, right? This is what detracts people from getting into email marketing because, and even I, sometimes I’m like, ugh, hitting send on this. I’m like, I hope I’m not bothering anybody. This is kind of ridiculous because it takes this mindset shift to say, you know what? Maybe I’m helping someone. Maybe sending this email and whatever I’m saying in it or whatever I’m telling them in it or sharing or giving them information about is actually being of help and of service to them rather than being a nuisance.

So I think first before we go any further, you need to recognize that when people opt-in to hear from you when they download a freebie; when they say, ‘Hey, I’m actually searching for this information. I’m interested in it,’ that’s them telling you that they want to hear from you and they’re interested in this subject. So you have permission to speak to them.

There’s also an unsubscribe button. So at any time, people can tag out, they can be like, you know what? I don’t need this anymore. And then you don’t have to pay to have them on their list. So it’s a benefit for everybody. They can self-filter themselves.

When we think about email marketing though, I want you to think of it like this, and this is something that I heard somewhere, maybe in some Clubhouse room or maybe, I don’t know. I heard it somewhere, maybe on a podcast. It was from a copywriter and they were like, ‘Write emails that people want to read.’

And when you think about the best emails that have come across your inbox, they tend to do a bit of storytelling. They have humanity behind them, probably a bit of humour, the personality of the writer. It doesn’t feel formulaic. It doesn’t feel like, you know, some of those emails. I don’t need to describe them, but you know what I mean? Emails that just feel detached. And they’re speaking to the crowd as well. They’re like, Hey guys, or Hey everybody. But. The best emails are ones that tell stories, they show your personality, they’re relaxed, they’re not too professional or corporate in any way, and they speak to the one person reading.

[00:18:00] If you’re not on Sandra’s email list, you should be because she writes great emails. And I’m not just saying that. Sandra understands how to write and she also understands how to write an email that people want to read. They’re engaging with their storytelling. They offer support and knowledge. There’s a point to it. You kind of get lost in the story she’s telling. It makes sense to what she’s sharing with you. And it’s just a pleasure to read. If you want your email marketing to be successful, you need to do it with strategy. And I want you to feel comfortable writing. In a tone and in a way that connects people to you.

[00:18:41] Sandra Henderson: I think that’s so, so important. And thank you for those kind words about my email marketing. It’s one of my favourite things to do now that I’ve kind of learned some of the things that you’ve been talking about in this episode. And the one person that I was thinking of that I know you love getting these emails to is Jen from Tonic Site Shop. That’s another email list, if you guys aren’t on it, you definitely want to go and sign up because even just her subject lines are so funny. They’re a major inspiration for me, for sure. Now, we’ve talked a lot about opting in and things that people can do to get people to opt in comes next. What are some things that wedding photographers should be keeping in mind in those other steps of the funnel?

[00:19:25] Candice Coppola: Right. So I also want to say, do not put up a form on your website and say, subscribe to my newsletter. Nobody wants to subscribe to you. Literally nobody, unless your newsletter is about gossip or something juicy, you know, nobody’s interested in your newsletter.

And also you’re never going to send the fucking newsletter. People are going to be opting in for this newsletter that never gets sent. I’ve been there too. And I’ve also been on the other end of opting in for something from somebody and never hearing from them, and then suddenly they email me a year later and I’m like, who is this?!

[00:20:03] Sandra Henderson: Right?! Oh, that happens to me all the time. I’m like, why are you in my inbox? I don’t even know your name and unsubscribe.

[00:20:09] Candice Coppola: I know. I know. So when somebody opts in to hear from you, what I want you to do is think, how can that opt-in be connected to a product or service that I offer?

So let’s just take the 10 best wedding venues to get married in Connecticut as an opt-in, right? The person is looking for a wedding venue, which means they definitely haven’t hired a photographer yet. So they’re like in the right moment to know about your services.

They download this guide and you’re sharing with them your favourite venues from a photography perspective. Why they’re so great, images of your work that are throughout this guide are fantastic. You deliver it to them and then through a series of automated emails over several days and even weeks, you’re going to email them related to the opt-in and then related to your services. So you’re going to think first, okay, this person downloads this opt-in. Maybe I check in with them three or four days later and ask them if they had a chance to review it, or if they have any questions about the venues that are in the guide, and just be of service, right?

So you’re going to serve them. And then a few days later, you might be like, Hey, I have some cool blog posts that I want to send this person in case they want to kind of check out some other options. Maybe let me serve them again in another email, direct them to some of my work and maybe say like, Hey, you should really check out Candice and Jason’s wedding at this venue.

Or, check out my work there, just check out how they designed it. Blah, blah, blah. So you’re serving, you’re serving, and then the next email you send, you might say, Hey, why don’t you schedule a consultation with me? We can talk more about my photography services, and I can maybe answer some of your questions about the venues you’re looking at.

So do you see how we are serving them information? We’re guiding them. We’re guiding them to more resources. Maybe we’re even answering some frequently asked questions that your couples have before they book a venue or before they find a photographer. We’re trying to raise brand awareness. We’re trying to kind of leave an imprint on them, and we’re trying to help them get to that date so then they can get to us and book our services. So we talk, I talk about this model of serve, serve, sell. And so in your emails, just think about how can I serve, serve and then sell. How can I serve, serve and then sell? How can I offer support and value and feel really good about doing that?

But then also give them an option of something that may help them it. Get to where they want to go faster, right? Which is booking a photographer, and maybe shouting out some of your favourite planners that can help. Like all of that is just goodness for the client. So to me, that is what email marketing is not sitting down on every Tuesday and having to think about like, what the fuck am I going to send these people-

[00:22:56] Sandra Henderson: – talking about the weather at the beginning of the email, which is what my go-to was.

[00:23:02] Candice Coppola: hope you’re doing well. You know, these automated emails, everybody who downloads it goes through the funnel and then you can start to get feedback from people and you can maybe even get on a call or two with people and you can feel out some things and then add to your nurture sequence. And that’s what this is called. It’s called a nurture sequence.

Now in your nurture sequence, you should definitely introduce yourself. You should share more about yourself and invite them to come follow you on Instagram or wherever it is that you would like to draw their attention to. Instagram is probably going to be one of those places.

And don’t be afraid to share with them about you. Why you do what you do, your photography style, and then information on how they can book a consultation with you. Information on how they can connect with you multiple times throughout your nurture sequence. And you can have many nurture sequences, so you can have different nurture sequences for different opt-ins.

And that kind of makes sense because if somebody is opting in for the 10 best venues in Connecticut and another person’s opting in for a checklist for hiring your Connecticut wedding photographer, they’re in two different stages. So it makes sense to have two different nurture sequences that speak to the problem they’re experiencing that led them to your opt-in.

[00:24:24] Sandra Henderson: Yeah, that is such a good point. And I love what you were saying about serve, serve and sell. That was really the key thing that flipped my approach to email marketing and helped it feel a lot more authentic was just removing that. And I think that whether you’re in the education space or in the wedding industry, in the photography space, there are ways that you can help your clients out or help potential clients out without just constantly selling to them over and over again.

Sandra Henderson: Friends, I am interrupting this interview because I am so excited to tell you that I just launched a brand new quiz called Let’s Talk About It, What Your Taco Preferences Reveal About Your Wedding Photography Business.

When I was growing up, I loved nothing more than taking quizzes in the back of teen magazines. If any of you listening were born in the 90s, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They were in the back of teen magazines, they were in the back of Cosmo magazines. And now if I’m being totally honest at 36 years old. When I see a quiz pop up on my Buzzfeed, there is no better way to waste a few minutes of my day than to take that quiz. I just love them.

So if you are like me and you love taking quizzes or you’re just interested in finding out what your taco preferences reveal about your wedding photography business and what the hell the two of them have anything to do with each other at all, I want you to head over to my website, and you can find out, and then don’t forget to pop over to my Instagram – @SimplySandraYvonne – and let me know what your results

[00:26:01] Candice Coppola: Yeah. I mean, listen, it’s about the human connection, the experience, so make it authentic to you. But what I want you to know is there’s nothing wrong with asking for a sale and you have to recognize that you’re in business to solve problems for people. It’s why you opened your business with folks who are getting married and who want a photographer. That’s a problem that you solve. And maybe you even have more of a niche. So maybe you serve the LGBTQIA+ Community. And that’s you so you are friendly to that community. Or maybe you understand a certain culture or background for certain types of clients, and so you serve them at understanding that nuance. Either way, you’re in business to solve your customers’ problems. People are coming to you with this problem and you’re in business to solve it. Don’t feel bad about saying, ‘Hey, I can solve this problem for you. It’s why I opened up my business.’

I feel like we have to be more comfortable and confident in our sales. You know, we need to feel more empowered that we’re here to help people. And we do that by having a transaction, which is when money gets deposited in your account and then you help the people, right? But you can also help people by just being supportive in your email nurture sequence. You write it, you might test it and pay attention to it, and then you can kind of forget it.

Another thing that I want you to think about too, and this goes back to the product sales. You can create nurture sequences that trigger for your clients at certain stages of their wedding planning or post-wedding where you are gently trying to get them to purchase albums and prints and other things that you might sell.

And they might even bring awareness to the fact that maybe you only shoot things outside of weddings for your past wedding clients So if they buy a new home or they maybe they decide to start a family; those are things that you can come in and photograph for them. But this nurture sequence raises that awareness

The problem is, we’re all so busy and this is what I hear from photographers all the time. I’m too busy to worry about the products. I’m just trying to edit and get things out in a timely fashion. Well set up an automated email sequence at certain stages of the client journey that helps them buy additional hours for their wedding. Add an album on before the wedding, give them a print credit. I don’t know. There are so many fun things you can do that help to increase that value per customer with email marketing, too. And you don’t have to sit at your computer every Tuesday and type out some email. It’s already banked, it’s there, and you schedule when you want it to go out.

[00:28:47] Sandra Henderson: Yeah, that’s such a good point. And I think it’s important for photographers to remember, and this is something that I was so guilty of, is that you can’t just expect people to know. So if you’re offering other services outside of wedding photography that are exclusive just to your clients, or even if they’re not exclusive just to your clients, you can’t assume that people are going to know. I get emails from past clients all the time asking me, do you do family photos or do you do maternity photos?

And like, even with me posting that and having done it the entire time I’ve been in business, they still don’t know. So there’s so much opportunity to just continue using your email in a way that can increase your revenue without you having to do all that extra work. I know I am all about more money.

[00:29:29] Candice Coppola: Yeah, and sustainability, right? So I mean, that’s something that I know is really important to you, Sandra, for a variety of personal reasons and also professional reasons, you know, we need to be looking at how we can safeguard our business for life circumstances that may arise that are outside of our control.

And when it comes to marketing, if for some reason you couldn’t get on Instagram or you couldn’t blog; if you couldn’t continue doing the same thing you’re doing right now, wouldn’t you like to know that there’s something working for you behind the scenes to help your funnels still gather leads? I think that’s really important to consider when we think about sustainability for our business and what life has in store for us, you know, because it’s, there are some years where things are really rocking and rolling and things are great and we’re able to keep all of our commitments and we feel good about the work we’re doing.

And then something happens in life. You no longer are able to keep that frequency, but with something like email marketing, SEO, and blogging, those things live on despite you not tending to them like you would have to with Instagram.

[00:30:39] Sandra Henderson: And I think everybody, regardless of what your life was like in 2019, like we’ve all learned that lesson in 2020 and 2021, like having those backup plans for when we just physically and mentally don’t have the capacity to be posting on Instagram and things like that. Those are key for sustaining your business through those rocky times. So I’m so glad that you brought that up.

Do you have any final takeaways that you would love to share or that you hope that like, if there’s one thing that you take from this episode, this is what I hope you walk away with?

[00:31:14] Candice Coppola: Oh, wow. I hope you walk away with a few things. Don’t be scared to sell. I want you to know that the easiest way to make more money is to sell to the people who already have bought from you.

And I also hope that you consider email marketing and you consider it doing it strategically. And trying to come up with an opt-in or more than one that helps to bring the right customers to you. The opt-in needs to be something that people are searching for or a problem they have, a question they have that you can then answer.

And then all you need to do is create a nurture sequence that shares with them more resources and more support, answers more of their questions and leads them to book a consultation with you or leads them to learn more about your brand. So when they’re ready to buy, you’re one of the people on their list.

[00:32:03] Sandra Henderson: One thing that I have loved since I implemented an opt-in funnel sequence for my business is the amount of people that actually reply to these emails. So I wrote these emails, I think the end of 2020 or spring 2021.

Basically, whenever you released The Client Cocktail, a little slight plug guys, if you have not checked out Candice’s Client Cocktail, and you want to get into opt-ins, a hundred percent go and check that out because it was such a game changer for me. But when people are going through that sequence, I actually get emails from them as they’re going through it, where they’re emailing me and thanking me for answering questions that they had not even asked me yet, or telling me how helpful the information was and they’re excited to book a consultation. So that’s been a really interesting after effect that I’ve noticed from implementing my business.

[00:32:54] Candice Coppola: And I love a good chance for conversation. I get so many people responding to my origin story email. It feels weird saying origin story. But you guys know what I mean? That’s like a business term of this how I started my business, being on the couch with appendicitis. It’s a very relatable story, you know?

And people respond to that all the time; telling me their story of why they might be getting into wedding planning or wedding photography. Like what was the catalyst? It’s so great to read those stories and you actually glean a lot of information and insights that you can leverage in your marketing and in understanding your ideal client sort of frame of mind.

So here’s a bonus thing to think about. I’m actually speaking about this at the Book More Weddings Summit coming up probably after this airs. But anyway, maybe I’ll make this presentation available in some form or fashion, but It’s data mining. It’s looking at information and allowing that information to help you make better decisions in your business.

And those emails that you get back with people responding, saying, ‘Thank you so much for answering this question. Here are some other questions I have,’ that gives you information that you can then use to sell, to serve, to post on Instagram for the next email you write. We don’t just take it at face value. Take it as information that you can use to get inside your client’s head to better understand what they’re thinking and the challenges they’re facing.

Boy, wouldn’t we love to know more about why it’s been so quiet this year directly from the source, not from gurus? You know, I see people talking about the wedding gap and all this stuff. And like, okay, but you’re not economists. Like, you don’t really know what’s going on here. I don’t know what’s going on. I just know a lot of people aren’t getting married right now. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could talk to some people and really understand why. We have our theories, but we don’t know. When people respond to your emails, you’re getting in their head and you’re starting to kind of unravel things that maybe you hadn’t considered.

So when people respond to your emails and really with any interaction you have with an ideal client, see it, not just at face value, but also ask yourself, what are they trying to tell me in their questions? What are they trying to tell me about the conversation that we’re having? But that’s a whole other podcast episode.

[00:35:22] Sandra Henderson: Yeah, we could dive in forever, but that was so amazing. Thank you! I know that everybody listening is going to have some amazing takeaways. I do have one last question in store, something that I am doing for season two of the podcast, a little fun ‘Would you rather?’ question, and I’ve been especially excited for yours.

So if you were to go out for dinner with one TV star, would you go out with Jax from Vanderpump rules or The Situation from Jersey Shore?

[00:35:57] Candice Coppola: Why are you making this so hard?

[00:35:59] Sandra Henderson: Which train wreck would you rather go out for dinner?

[00:36:05] Candice Coppola: Well, first of all, listen, I’m leaning towards The Situation, ’cause The Situation loves foods, right? Right. You know that you are going to order the whole menu, right? But Jax, he’s like, an absolute prick and I would, I actually kind of like him in some weird ways.

Like I can actually relate to him on some stuff.

Sandra Henderson: Honestly, me too.

Candice Coppola: And I would want all the Vanderpump Rules tea. Like I would want the real lowdown tea.

[00:36:34] Sandra Henderson: Yeah, and you know he’s gonna spill it like without any hesitation.

[00:36:36] Candice Coppola: He is. I mean, what do I want more? Food or tea? I want tea. So I’d probably… Surprisingly, I would probably pick Jax from Vanderpump Rules.

[00:36:48] Sandra Henderson: I have to agree. I would go the same. No matter which you chose, like you’d be in for a good time, but with The Situation, it’s like the food and the life quotes, and then with Jax, it’s all the tea, but yeah, I got to go with the tea. I love some good tea.

[00:37:03] Candice Coppola: I don’t know if I need the T-shirt quotes, you know, like, I’m good on all of that, even though I love Mike The Situation, but I definitely think Jax. Like I don’t even need to eat, to be honest. Like we can have a couple of drinks. Like I don’t even need to eat. Skip over the food. Yeah.

[00:37:25] Sandra Henderson: Yeah

Candice Coppola: Oh my God. What a fun question. I love that.

Sandra Henderson: Well, thank you so much again for joining me. I absolutely loved this interview and I’m sure we will talk more soon.

[00:37:34] Candice Coppola: Well, thanks for having me.

[00:37:35] Sandra Henderson: I cannot believe that I had THE Candice Coppola on for an interview. I know I’ve known her for a few years. We’ve had the chance to work together, but she is still is just like on a pedestal for me. Candice, if you’re listening, I love you. Thank you for everything!!!

Okay. Okay. I will get back on track. I’ve been using email marketing in my business for as long as I can remember, but I really started to lean into it in the fall of last year, and when I did, I honestly was mind-blown. More than 80 percent of my bookings for my fall mini sessions, and 90 percent of my bookings for both my tree farm and holiday studio mini sessions, came through my email list.

I sent out four emails. The initial open for booking, Some encouragement on why family photos are important because I want to build a know, like, and trust relationship with them outside of just selling. I sent a reminder just over halfway through, and then one last email with a last chance to book. And from those four emails, I was able to generate $5000 in sales.

Social media just doesn’t have that kind of return on investment. And in this scenario, your investment is your time. The time you’re using to create and post online versus the time you’re using to write and send a few emails.

For all my chronic illness friends, this is the secret ingredient you need in your business this year. It’s so hard to show up on all the socials when you’re dealing with another flare and trying to juggle so many things that are so much more important. So now that we’re in off-season, it’s the perfect time to set aside a day or two and draft up some emails for 2024 and schedule them throughout the year.

I use Flodesk for this and I have ever since it launched. It’s the perfect platform to easily create aesthetically pleasing and on-brand emails that won’t land you in people’s spam folders. If you head over to, you’ll find my Flodesk affiliate link there to save 50 percent on your first-year subscription!

Thank you so much for listening. You can find full show notes from today’s episode at In the meantime, let’s connect. You can find me on Instagram and TikTok, just search @SimplySandraYvonne. And if you love this podcast, I’d be so honoured if you’d go ahead and hit that subscribe button and leave a review. Until next time.