Documentary photographer and photo book connoisseur Dan Milnor spoke with…
The 2012 Survey: What Buyers Want from Photographers is all about lifting the veil between what photographers do and what photo buyers actually want. Perhaps the most ambiguity falls around how buyers like to be pitched – and today, more often than not, photographers are doing so via email. So we posed the following question to our 1,000 survey participants: “Do you accept unsolicited marketing pieces, email, etc. from photographers, reps, and stock libraries?”
70% said yes, they would look at any materials relevant to their needs. But the main issue that buyers shared with us is that relevant pitches are few and far between because photographers often don’t tailor their email promotions. This means taking the extra step to research the buyer before you hit send can be an easy way to stand out from the crowd.
So we followed up and asked, “Please describe the qualities of photographers’ email promotions that capture your attention and elicit a positive response.” Direct from photo buyers, here are 8 tips to get their attention in an email:
1. Less is more.
“Use one striking image with minimal text. If the image grabs my attention and I want to learn more, then I’ll click through and check out your site.” ~Art Director, Design Agency
2. Be a marketer.
“Send an email that’s designed well with creative copy. If your creative marketing is not up to par, I don’t trust you’ll be able to carry mine.” ~Creative Director, Marketing Agency
3. Relevant subject lines.
“Subject lines that are relevant to the projects I’m working on will always grab my attention. This means you need to do your research.” ~Art Director, Advertising Agency
4. The right tone.
“I don’t like being spoken to like you already know me. At the first stage, be formal. We haven’t even dated yet.” ~Creative Director, Marketing Agency
5. Develop a campaign.
“One food photographer we’ve used sends a monthly recipe that is seasonal, has simple instructions and is delicious. The photograph always gets my attention and gets my taste buds going, too! None of his competitors do anything like this.” ~Design Director, Design Agency
6. Attention to detail.
“Show me that you have attention to detail and great quality photographs with design and text that match. Make sure there are no typos and the contact information is easy to find. This shows me that you care about presentation.” ~Art Director, Editorial Agency
7. Be diverse.
“Show us a breadth of your work. It helps us understand the different ways your photography can be used.” ~Art Director, Advertising Agency
8. Be efficient.
“Be short and sweet – catchy, not cute. To the point. I also don’t like it when I’m directed to a Flash website and have to wait for something to load. I get impatient and I just want to see your photos!” ~Editor-in-Chief, Nonprofit Organization
Want more insights and tips to help you get hired?
The 2012 Survey: What Buyers Want from Photographers surveyed over 1,000 photo buyers of all kinds to find out how their likes and dislikes so you can get hired – and then get hired again.