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The 9 word email that is CPR for dead photo booth leads.

photo booth email marketingAs a photo booth business owner I spend my share of time and money chasing after new leads and customers, as we all need to and should be.  However, those “warm” leads who have already “raised their hand” by reaching out and asking for more information, but haven’t yet placed a deposit are still the most likely to convert.  These are people who were attracted by my advertising, landed on my website and felt compelled to engage with me.  Therefore these prospects are incredibly valuable and the most likely to rent a photo booth.

Think about your list of potential customers.  They can be broken down into 3 groups.
1. Those that book immediately.
2. Those that book later.
3. Those that are not going to book.

People (especially brides) start gathering information and prices for their events very early on, their event could be a year or two away.  My initial response email can get buried in a customer’s inbox among all the others or filed away in a folder.  After I send them the information they requested, many times there is just silence, with no response either way.  I don’t consider silence from a lead, a “no.”  Until the lead actually tells me they are no longer interested, the event has been cancelled, doesn’t fit their budget or they have hired another company, I still consider them a viable prospect.

The Email.
I have to give credit where it is due and this was definitely not my idea.  I learned about the 9 word email while listening to the I Love Marketing Podcast with Dean Jackson and Joe Polish, which is an incredible podcast.  Feel free listen to the episode here:

Email Mastery #130.

Here is the email:

Subject: Jennifer (customer name)
Body: Are you still looking to rent a photo booth?

           -Kari

I have also used this slight variation and it works just as well.

Subject: Jennifer (customer name) – Just Checking In
Body:  Are you still interested in renting a photo booth?
            -Kari

That is it! Don’t add anything to it, no signature, no phone number, no web address.  This email works because it is very conversational, demands a response and creates curiosity.  This email will get your silent customers jumping off the fence and giving you an answer.  Here are some of the responses I have received after sending this email:

– I’m still interested! what would the price be?
– Morning- our event originally was 8/15 but moved to 8/29.
– It would be nice to have a photo booth at our wedding. We wouldn’t want to spend more than $300-400 though.
– Unfortunately we don’t have the budget for it.  Thank you anyway!
– What are the pricing options? Thank you.
– thank you but no. but i’ll let people know about you.
– Hi, Thank you for your response.  It was a little out of my price range.
– Not at this time.  Thank you!
– We already hired someone for our event.  Thank you!
– Thanks for checking in. We are not choosing anyone yet since we don’t live in NY and can’t set up appointments      until our next trip. We have your info to review for now, Thanks.
– Sorry I didn’t get back to you. Thanks for the info but I’m going to have to pass. It’s much more expensive than I    hoped!
– we are we are just waiting to set a date before we do more planning thanks, we will keep you guys in mind when  we start planning!

And the responses go on and on.  As you can see, only a few of these replies are flat out “no’s”, the rest leave the door as they need to confirm a date or they initially object to the price.

So go through all of those old emails you have, those leads who went quiet and send them the 9 word email.  I guarantee you will receive responses, it doesn’t matter how old the lead is.  Send me an email or comment below and let me know the results.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Sean Garrity October 4, 2015, 11:02 pm

    I tried it and this is my first response—
    Hi, sorry for not getting back to you. No we will not need the photo booth this year but will definitely be using you soon for our upcoming events. thank you!

    • Chris October 6, 2015, 5:11 am

      Glad it worked for you Sean.

  • Kate Olson January 26, 2016, 3:36 pm

    This works!!! I tried it last night verbatim. I had a really hard time not leaving my Facebook link or phone number. But I trusted the process. I have been sending out mass emails for the past year, typically I get one to two responses. I tried this and already received 20 responses. The first 5 kinda bummed me out with “already went with someone else”…But at least I could cross them off my list. But then I received some positive responses as well.

    • Chris January 27, 2016, 5:17 am

      That’s great Kate, thanks for the feedback, so glad this worked for you.

  • Kayla Yestal February 17, 2016, 9:28 am

    Very direct! I’m interested to see how this works out for general photography requests!

    • Chris February 17, 2016, 8:43 pm

      Kayla, I think it will work out great, let me know.

  • Lindsay - Shrimp Salad Circus February 17, 2016, 9:41 am

    This is so smart and something we can translate to all our businesses I’m sure!

    • Chris February 17, 2016, 8:42 pm

      You sure can, let me know your results Lindsay.

  • Stephanie April 20, 2016, 1:19 am

    I would love to know more about how you are getting those leads in the first place, since in Utah Thumbtack.com is king and draining my resources as fast as I can generate sales.

    • Chris April 29, 2016, 10:19 pm

      Stephanie, I get my leads via Google Adwords, Facebook ads, organic search engine results, and referrals.

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