Albums are important. Albums make you money and make your clients happy. Albums last forever. When you sell an album, you are sending your client home with a billboard that will advertise your business for years to come. You are sending them home with printed photos, which are becoming an endangered species. And you are adding to your per-client profit without adding a whole lot more to the per-client-workload. Album sales will increase your profits, expand your marketing, and frankly, your clients will love them for generations! Some of the experts argue that it is your obligation!
We asked a few of our friends (who happen to be very good at selling albums) to share a few of their most effective tips, and it turns out, many of them are saying the same things. We’ve sorted their tips, compiled them here in a tidy list. Scan it for the highlights, or dig in to learn the HOWs and WHYs from your favorite experts.
We learned several years ago that overall, our client’s weren’t printing their images. This generation seems to think that storing them on a computer or putting them on facebook will be enough. We know it isn’t enough, but no one knows what to do about it or simply won’t take the time. So we solve both of those problems by providing our client’s with a beautiful album of their own. Working on the perfection of album sales has increased our profit significantly. Nearly every bride walks away with a bigger album, parent albums and most importantly, a tangible product they will keep for generations! – Rachel Linnea Lank
Emotional connection – Create an emotional connection to the product that you want to sell. People make purchasing decisions based on their emotional connection to a product or service (Jack Trout). The goal is to tell powerful stories about clients you have worked with, and make sure that story lives inside of the album. Tell the story, then show the images to them in the demo album. Great Marketers are great storytellers (Seth Godin). – Zach Gray
Explanation – Explain why they’re important! If you speak to the importance of wedding albums, both in your initial meeting, and throughout the process, your clients will see why purchasing a big, beautiful wedding album is important! Post photos of other couple’s albums. Share album stories. Speak to the heirloom quality of amazing books and your clients will appreciate them even more. – Leeann Marie
Handle with care – When sharing the albums, place them gently in front of them. Handle them with care and love to relate to them how valuable and precious they are. Trust me, it makes all the difference in the world how you present something you want your clients to love and value and ultimately spend a huge investment on. – Kaitlin Hebert
INCLUDE AN ALBUM OR ALBUM CREDIT IN YOUR COLLECTION (Kaitlin sent this in all-caps, so we’re leaving it; read as shouting.) It’s easier for your prospective clients to fathom investing in an album when they already have a credit to put towards it, OR better yet, a collection you offer ALREADY has an album built into it. Yes, the collection face value may be a shell shock at first for them, but you must explain that so many REGRET not adding an album on. They say they will add one on after the wedding, and rarely does anyone ever do so. It’s hard to spend MORE money after the wedding/honeymoon is over and you both are focused on a new home, starting a family, etc. You have to encourage them to do all of their big purchases up front so that post wedding, they will not owe you anything—and if they do, they will be the ones in charge of deciding how much they WANT to invest to finish their album. If they have a credit and don’t use it, they will feel like they are wasting their money. If they pay for a collection that comes with it, they will enjoy the fact that they owe NOTHING and still are going to receive something from you….an heirloom that they will show off to many generations to come. – Kaitlin Hebert
Include an album credit – Another tip to selling albums is to include an album credit. When someone is getting the intro size to an album no matter what (with the credit), they pay attention to it. Then build a bigger book (letting them know you are going to do so) and communicate that their wedding story is INSIDE this book. They will then want to buy more album because their story is in it. – Zach Gray
Include albums as part of package – Including albums as part of packages has worked well for me. I offer a Digital Collection with no album, but for only $1200 more you can get the Standard Collection which includes $2400 of album credit plus I stay longer at the reception (which helps get more photos that they just can’t leave out of the album!). – Simon Bills
Include an album or two – Include an album or two in every wedding/event package you sell!
– Aaron Huniu
Every package includes an album – Each package includes an album credit large enough for our clients to walk away with an album. ie. 10 spreads, 15 spreads. That is all included in the package price. In the initial booking meeting we “educate” our clients on the importance of having photos in print. Not only print, but archival print. We call this album credit, “Their first family heirloom.” I let them visualize an old dusty laptop sitting in the basement, that you just “can’t get rid of” because it has all your wedding photos still on the hard drive. CDs/DVDs are already outdated, and that was fast! At this point, they are sold on the beautiful handmade KISS album I pull out to show them.
– Rachel Linnea Lank
Design your sample from one wedding – but not the album the couple ordered. This allows you to selectively pick the best photos for showing in your consultations. You want to pick images that you can tell a story about, and that people can connect with and see themselves in. Of course, you also want to fill it with tons of pretty details and stuff that will make the album look amazing! – Matt Kennedy
Bring samples to consultations – Bring along a sample album they can touch, smell, feel, hold in their hands. It’s human nature that once we touch something…hold it, we imagine it as ours. We somehow have a personal claim on it. We grow attached. If the consult is for a city wedding, I bring along a sample album from a city wedding so they can visualize their wedding on those pages even more. It’s hard to sell a NYC bride on a beachy wedding. No matter how gorgeous the beach wedding is, she wants to see the urban feel. The buildings in print. A bride in her shoes. – Kaitlin Hebert
Duplicate samples as parent albums – Have a duplicate album that is smaller so that you can show them what a parent album looks like. Parent albums can be the best sales increase in your post-wedding sales, so put some money into it and get a small duplicate of your larger sample. We have a linen 8×8 duplicate of our leather 12×12 so that we can show what a linen 8×8 looks like, and so they see that the duplicate copy still looks great. – Matt Kennedy
Diversify – Have plenty of sample albums in your studio, clients aren’t going to buy what they can’t touch & feel. – Aaron Huniu
Have more than one sample album, and make them BIG! – People almost always buy smaller than what they are shown, but have one that is exactly what you recommend for size and number of pages, and one that is bigger.
– Matt Kennedy
Show it and sell it – If you don’t have an album demo to show, no one will buy it. – Boone Frenzel
Invest in samples! – We saw an increase in our Tuscan line sales as soon as we had a sample available to show our clients at their initial consultation. When we are selling a product that will last for multiple generations, we want a product that is timeless. Preach classic and timeless to your couples when they ask why you don’t do metallic covers, and KISS albums will sell themselves. – Zach Gray
Blog about it – The biggest tip I can give is to blog about the products you want to sell. We photograph and blog every album that we deliver to a client, so future couples know that when they hire The Youngrens, they will buy a gorgeous wedding album too! – Erin Youngren
Photograph, then educate them – One thing we took away from Jeff and Erin Youngren at WPPI this year was to photograph and educate your couples on the albums past couples have ordered. This lets them see what other couples they can relate to are purchasing. Nice, clean images of our albums will be displayed on our website and in our welcome magazine that we present to our couples. This will be helpful in the process of selecting colors and choosing engraving vs. non engraving later on, but it will also help them get excited about this new product they just invested in! – Boone Frenzel
Discount multiple albums – We offer a discount on duplicate albums ordered (usually for parent albums). It doesn’t require any more work on our end, and it gives our clients an opportunity to save some money and order more albums – so it’s a win win 🙂 – Troy Grover
Discount at a later time – If they are undecided at the sales session, remind them again in the fall when they are thinking of gift ideas for the holidays! – Aaron Huniu
Offer an incentive to buy – If they didn’t buy the disk of images, but are considering a $3,000 album, add the disk of images as a bonus if they get it. That costs YOU nothing but has HUGE value for them. Or offer them a 1 time 1 day only discount on the book price only if they buy that day. People buy because of reciprocity, bonuses, incentives or time constraints.
– Zach Gray
We aren’t pushy – We know clients are spending a lot of money when they are getting married. In some cases, if the album price is hindering their ability to book us, we will give them the option of purchasing the album within one year of their wedding for the package rate. Our clients have really appreciated this option – and usually always end up ordering an album. Being able to offer incredible quality to our clients, and still giving them options has been really great for our business. – Troy Grover
Simplify the options – Don’t offer a myriad of choices. Too many choices = confusion, and when people are confused, they shut down. Give them 3 options at the absolute MOST when it comes to albums (we only offered 1 choice – black leather). – Zach Gray
Simplify as much as possible – If your couples only have one or two decisions to make when buying an album, the easier the process will be!
– Erin Youngren
Simplify the pricing – Offer simple pricing. $50 or $100 a page or a small, medium and large sized album (based on amount of included pages and amount of story that gets told, and NOT on the physical dimensions of the book). If people are confused on cost, they won’t buy. – Zach Gray
Simplify the design – Make the Process EASY: Predesign an album, and then display it in a system that allows easy changes, simple editing, and beautiful display. The easier you make the process, the more likely your couples will be to purchase an album. – Leeann Marie
Design a larger album – Then once couples have got $2400 credit, I design a huge album and give them the option of purchasing additional pages. I’m extremely upfront about how this all works from the start (they are expecting a big album design as their starting point) so there’s no nasty surprises for my couples. This approach leads to addition sales of between $0 and $3000 with the typical amount around $1000. Selling more albums is good, but selling more BIG albums is much better. – Simon Bills
Design extra spreads – Design extra album spreads for an upsell during the sales session at the studio. – Aaron Huniu
Design a spread book first – Once the wedding is complete, we design a 40 spread book FIRST. They see their design before they even see their full collection of wedding images, which forms an immediate connection with the design and images. None of this “let the bride pick their favorite image nonsense” – that takes too long. We let them make changes after they view the initial design (change spreads, add images, replace images). The proofing capability using the KISSystem makes this entire process so EASY! – Rachel Linnea Lank
Sell parent & grandparent albums – Upsell parent & grandparent parent albums; they are the perfect gift ideas! Zach Gray makes parent albums easy to buy with fixed pricing. 10×10 for $1,000 is an easy choice to make (or whatever price makes sense with your current pricing structure).
– Aaron Huniu
No pressure – They obviously have the option of ordering the book as is, making changes, purchasing additional spreads, or simply keeping to their credit. The idea is that there is no pressure to spend money post-wedding, but most clients love their images and album designs. They simply can’t part with those beautiful spreads. – Rachel Linnea Lank
Sell non-wedding albums – Shoot other high-dollar events in the off season! We fill our dates throughout the entire year with non-wedding events that still demand high-priced album packages such as Bar Mitzvahs.
– Aaron Huniu
This blog from Zach & Jody is about having a process for sales–a system–that you use each time you offer something. http://www.zachandjody.com/blog/makemoremoney/19169/