The right way to add a bonus to your promotion

Running promotions can be a great way to fill your calendar and get people in the door during a slow time. One way to increase the number of people who book an appointment is to offer a bonus, but this can be tricky. There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to offer bonuses to your clients, and I’m going to go over both with you to ensure that your next promotion is a success.

If you’ve ever taken my online class, HOW TO GET $1,000 FROM EVERY PORTRAIT SESSION, then you’ve heard me say “The goal is not to get everyone to book you, the goal is to get the right people to book you”. This means price-shoppers need not apply.

However when you offer a discount in your session free, or worse (*gasp*) NO session fee, that is exactly who you are attracting. Your bonus needs to be on the back end of your promotion, not on the front end.

You want people to make the commitment to your process up front, and then offer them something extra after, even if the bonus has the same dollar value.

Let’s say you’re offering special sessions for Easter photos (with faux chicks because we’re animal friendly like that). And let’s also say that normally your session fee is $150, but for your special Easter Promo you want to take off $50 to entice more clients to schedule. Here’s what that bonus looks like on the front end (the wrong way):

Limited Edition Easter Sessions

And here’s what it looks like on the back end (the right way)

Limited Edition Easter Sessions
Receive a complimentary 8×10 (a $50 value)

The value to the client is exactly the same in both scenarios. She could pay 100 bucks up front and then purchase an 8×10 for $50 OR she could pay $150 for the session that includes a free 8×10. Either way it’s the same for her, BUT what’s different is that with the second option, you will be weeding out a few price shoppers and only attracting the best clients. By making the buy-in rate higher, you are pre-qualifying clients so that you only book the best, which means more $$$ in your pocket later on when it’s time for your client to order her photos.

Let me give you another example. Let’s say you’re in the portfolio building stage. You’re ready to start charging but you can’t get booked without a portfolio to show people.
Bonus on the front end:

Portfolio Building Sessions



And on the back end:

Portfolio Building Sessions
includes time and talent of the photography + $150 credit towards your purchase


Samey-same deal for the client, but YOU end up with a more qualified client who will invest more in her photos. When a client is willing to invest more on the front end, they will almost always invest more on the back end. It also gives you a higher perceived value. When people see a higher price tag, they almost always equate the product or service as being better, and FREE is perceived as not being worth anything.

Marketing and sales is all about subtle little tweaks like this one. Lots of tiny tweaks mean big changes in how many clients you attract AND how big your orders are. If you’re committed to seeing big changes in your photography biz, sign up for my email list and you’ll be the first to hear about all my marketing tweaks.

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Halina Minkiewicz - March 13, 2016 - 4:57 am

In the process of getting a website

Johnb704 - May 4, 2016 - 10:58 am

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Sabrina Cain - June 10, 2016 - 1:57 pm

Your pricing end on the back versus the front and wedding out the price shoppers has really helped me already. Immediately I feel saved. I’m on the verge of closing my studio. Now, I’m hopeful and driven to making these changes right away & new beginnings to rising up in the industry so I won’t have to close. I know my work is amazing. However, I need to get jumping high and get moving in the right direction on the marketing & business end fast. THANK YOU!!!!
I know this will set me apart.

heather - June 11, 2016 - 5:18 pm

That’s great to hear Sabrina! Keep me updated – I want to hear all about your business and the changes it goes through. I know you can do this!!!

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