Towards the end of 2012 I started planning some large changes to my marketing plan and how I promote myself. I had two major goals for these changes: to make my blog a central part of my marketing plan, and to get away from generic promo e-mails that had little more functionality than a traditional print postcard.
I am lucky in that I get to see a lot of promos (both print and digital) from a lot of photographers, illustrators, and designers – I request them regularly from artists I respect or who I feel are exceptional marketers to share with local photo students and interns during a regular marketing seminar I host. I have formed a lot of strong opinions about what I like and don’t like in promotions (turn-ons: simplicity, bold design, to-the-point copy, relevance, and a variety of choices on how you want to interact with the material. Turnoffs: buzzwords, bad links, no depth of content when visiting the site or blog) The e-mails that have really been standing out to me lately are those that have a newsletter/digest format. Rather than featuring just one image they feature 3-5 stories from a photographer’s recent projects accompanied by short excerpts of text and link to more in-depth features on that photographer’s blog.
Over a few weeks before the holidays I worked with designer Shauna Haider from Nubbytwiglet.com (who originally created the identity elements that I use and is an all-around superstar) to transition from the e-postcards I had been sending out to a more versatile newsletter format that shares highlights of what I have worked on lately in a more specific and useful way. Shauna put together a wonderful and easy-to-implement template for me that lets me share stories from my blog with my readers, as well as providing direct access to my homepage, e-mail, and several social media channels that I am active on.
This sort of format just makes sense to me. It is easy to quickly read and understand, gets the point across without being overly obtrusive, features a range of current projects that recipients may find relevant, and gives them a choice of which stories they want to engage with and explore further. Last week I launched my first marketing campaign using this new format and in just the first day the positive response made it one of the most successful promotional drives I have undertaken yet.
I’ll be following these e-mail promos with a collection of simple large format postcards that feature the same stories from the e-mail campaign, like the ones below.