There are many hard and fast rules when it comes to designing an effective mailing piece and I know many of them work. And you will find some of the rules such as headlines and a call to action in my own marketing materials but what you will find even more prominently is what I like to call “The Mom Factor”.
The Mom Factor is the response a mom might have when she views one of our postcards. It is the design elements, wording and the session example images that tug at her heart making her feel that she absolutely must have her child’s portrait created by my studio. As a mother myself, I know what tugs at my own heart and I transfer that feeling to my own postcards to send out to other moms. If the post card doesn’t make the mom feel this way, it doesn’t have the right amount of Mom Factor ingredients. If you aren’t sure if it’s enough, just ask a mother with the age appropriate child and see how she reacts to the postcard.
I have used 2 marketing strategies to effectively marketing Limited Edition sessions. First, a well designed website and second is a 4×6 postcard.
If you don’t have a web site, I can’t stress to you enough how important it is to have one. Not only to attract new clients from search engines, email or advertising but also so that when they receive one of your postcards or business cards they can review your work in their own home before calling.
A website can also be an important tool to keep parents up to date on when the next Limited Edition session will be occurring. I prefer to have an entire years worth of Limited Edition sessions with dates listed on the web site and believe me, parents print this list off and refer back to it. I was in a client’s home once, and on her fridge was my LE session calendar! They and new clients can also refer to this calendar of LE sessions and view a sample image from each theme.
Work on your marketing calendar for the next 12 months and post it on your website. You must give people advance warning on these so they know they need to call you!
My second and most effective marketing piece for Limited Editions is the 4×6 postcard. Each theme of course changes but the basic layout and information contained on the card are generally the same. This makes it so much easier to keep up with and quickly design your postcards for the whole year.
Here are my top tips to make sure to include in your postcard mailings for Limited Editions.
Headline – Something to grab the reader’s attention as it is usually the first thing they may read. A headline can be as simple as the name of your session or a catchy and emotion invoking phrase such as “Don’t let time slip by”. The goal of a headline is to get your reader to quickly see what this is all about and make them want to know more.
The Offer and Call to Action – Sounds simple doesn’t it? I was at the local mall a few weeks ago and a photographer had a display there with cards for people to take with them. Amazingly there was no offer; nothing to make people want to call. No special pricing or event was made aware to the reader. It was just an over sized business card with a pretty picture. No reason to feel compelled to call the studio. It was a complete waste of money in my opinion.
Every postcard or sales letter that you send out needs to have some sort of offer or reason to make the person reading it want to call you. An offer could be as simple as “Call by 6/15 and receive a framed and matted 5×7 for just $99”. That’s an offer and I’ve given them a deadline.
Contact Information – Please, whatever you do make sure your contact information is somewhere on your postcard. I know you’re thinking “well duh!” Believe it or not I’ve seen designs and I have seen photographers mail their postcard out to a mailing list with no contact information anywhere on the postcard! Your studio name (or logo), phone number, website and if you have enough room, your address needs to appear on every piece you send out.
Sample Image with Testimonial – Nothing speaks the truth more than a real testimonial from a client who has loved your work. Once you have the program going and have past customers from a theme contact them and just ask them how they felt when they saw their portraits. Tell mom you would like to feature her child in your promotion for the next LE session and they will most likely be thrilled to give you a testimonial.