Personalized Studio Marketing


Photos are personal. Why not make your marketing just as personal?

I recently worked with a professional photographer who was looking to promote his studio and impact his senior-portrait sales for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. In today’s business world, a gamut of marketing services and resources are available, so choosing can be difficult. This particular photographer was intrigued by variable-data printing and marketing and embarked upon such a campaign.

Not only was he amazed by the ease of use and customization of variable-data marketing, but his marketing efforts reaped added interest on behalf of high-school seniors and, ultimately, a greater return on investment (ROI). And we’re only into the month of May!   Professional photo labs such as Apollo Photo Imagizing are unique because they provide standard photo services, but they also possess capabilities to produce press-printed products.

What does this mean? Direct-marketing materials such as mailers can be printed with ease, meaning Apollo is a one-stop source for photo and marketing needs.   In terms of variable-data marketing, it’s an easy-to-use program that adds a little personalization and interactivity to each outgoing e-mail or print piece. In a nutshell, this is how it works:

Develop an e-mail and/or mailing list based on previous customers, or purchase one from a list vendor. If you purchase a list, be sure to ask about single-use versus multiple-use fees. Purchasing lists can segment your target audience even more because you can specify the demographic information of your recipients. Oh, and be sure to ask for e-mail address so you can create a cross-channel marketing campaign that hits your readers from multiple angles.
Once a list has been secured, write a short e-mail about your photo products or services (remember, content is king, and less is more). Address each e-mail at the top with something like, “Dear [John Doe].” That’s the beauty of variable data! You can swap in and out all the names in your list, so each recipient gets a truly unique piece. Then, include a personalized URL address: __________/JohnDoe. With an e-mail, recipients can simply click on the link that drives them to a web page tailored to their interests.
Couple the personalized e-mail with a direct-mail postcard summarizing the same content. In your call-to-action line, include the personalized URL address and write “Visit _______/JohnDoe for exclusive savings…” (or whatever your marketing objective might be). Both the e-mail and direct mail will drive your target audience to customized landing pages. What’s more is you can get really creative and segment your mailing list by high school, zip code, etc. and include high-school logos or special offers for different zip codes. Or attach to each piece specific images from your database.
With landing pages, the sky is the limit. Be creative. But follow the basic structure of 1.)welcome page with a click-through to a web form, 2.) web form to collect data or update profiles, and 3.) a thank-you page with an optional coupon or special offer for registering. (You can use the collected data for future mailings.)
By driving customers to online pages, companies like Apollo can track and monitor the progress of variable-data marketing campaigns. Be informed of who visited and how far they clicked through, who signed up or updated their profiles, and more.

With this type of marketing, imagine how much more effective you could be at reaching out to seniors or other customers in your area. You grab their attention via mail, e-mail and the Internet. Plus, you can follow up with a phone call or subsequent mailings.