The American Society of Media Photographers provides this forum to encourage the development of critical skills and to foster new ideas. Our goal is an informed and savvy professional photography community.
Among the many traditions surrounding Thanksgiving, my favorite taking the time to focus on all the things we’re thankful for. My heartfelt thanks go to you:
Our readers, for making this work meaningful;
Our contributors, for sharing your hard-won knowledge and experience;
Our members, for recognizing the critical importance of being part of something larger than yourself. It is only through your support that ASMP is able protect and promote the interests of professional photographers.
On behalf of all of us here at ASMP, we wish you a wonderful holiday weekend. The ASMP Strictly Business blog will resume on Monday, December 2nd with posts from regular and guest contributors on how photographers are working with CGI (Computer Generated Imaging).
By webmaster |
Posted: November 28th, 2013 |
[by Kimberly Blom-Roemer]
It may sound a little creepy, but, you can actually SEE who opens your email marketing, when they did it, if they clicked through on a link in the email, and if they did, whether they forwarded it or shared it on social media. How cool is that?
All this is available if you’re using a commercial email service to send your emails.
What does this get you? Over time, an extremely refined marketing target list! Worth its weight in gold!
Personally, right before I send my email each month, I export three reports from my service, “Unique Opens” (meaning each person who opens your email is listed once), Bounces, and Opt-Outs.
Then, in my marketing database, I look up (via copy/paste of their email) each person who has a bounced email, and click the checkbox “Bad Email”. For people who have unsubscribed in the Opt Out report, I click the Opt Out checkbox.
Finally, I create a new check box for the previous month’s email. This may sound tedious, but, I go through and look up each person on my list that opened my email, and check that box. But, the way I see the data, if I see that person has opened three of the last five emails I have sent, I then check the box “Hit List” meaning that these targets are especially interested in my email.
Any person on my “Hit List” then ranks a postcard in my next snail mail marketing piece. Why is this so valuable? You’re not wasting money sending postcards to people that are not interested in your information and services!
What all this effort results in is a much higher than normal open rate for my emails, and a next to nothing rate of spam reports. My emails (and postcards) reach the people that really want my services, and I save money on my printed marketing pieces. So, SCORE!
One word of advice, if you happen to meet someone face to face that you know has opened your recent email, don’t tell them you know they opened it. THAT is CREEPY!
Kimberly Blom-Roemer is a Gulf Coast Architectural and Aerial Photographer who loves dancing the line between stalking and tracking… what her prospects don’t know won’t hurt them!
By Kimberly Blom-Roemer |
Posted: November 27th, 2013 |
[by Michael Katz]
Suppose I told you that I could show you how to increase your E-mail open rate by 25%, immediately and without costing you a dime? Hang on, that’s what I’m about to do.
First, some data for the mathematically inclined…
For the five editions leading up to June 12, the average open rate of my newsletter was 33.1%. For the five issues published since June 12 (the day I made the change), the average open rate has been 41.3%. That’s a 24.7% improvement (an 8.2 point increase over a 33.1 point base).
How did I do it? Simple. I deleted 1,955 names – a quarter of the people on my list – none of whom had opened a single newsletter over the previous six months.
So while the absolute number of opens stayed more or less the same (about 2,250), by cutting the list size from 7,335 to 5,380, the open rate jumped.
“Now hold on just a cotton pickin’ minute, you fast-talking, slick-walking, coast-hugging, E-Newsletter varmint,” you’re probably saying (assuming you’ve been watching old Yosemite Sam cartoons, as I have). “You may have increased your open rate, but what good’s it done, yer doggone fool?!”
Excellent point… it hasn’t done me any good. Because while the rate itself has indeed improved, as a practical matter, nothing has changed.
I mention all this, not to suggest that you should ignore open rate, but only to point out that, despite its rock star status here in e-mail marketing land, open rate is anything but perfect.
Some reasons why:
- It’s a relative number. Open rate isn’t a direct measure of readership. It’s a measure of readership divided by delivered e-mails. You can cause a drastic and immediate change in the numbers without doing anything to improve reality.
- It’s largely a function of the list itself. If your emails are only sent to people who have explicitly asked to receive them, your open rate is going to be a lot higher than if it’s sent to every e-mail you can get your hands on. This suggests that while tracking your rate is a good idea, comparing yours to someone else’s (not advisable in many areas of life), is not very productive.
- It’s not accurate anyway. I won’t bore you with the details on how open statistics are captured and classified, only to say that the data itself has more noise than a senate subcommittee. Which means that despite their aura of precision, the open rate numbers you’re getting with your emails are just an approximation of what’s actually happening.
Here’s the bottom line. I’m all for capturing data and measuring results. Keep in mind, however, that the numbers in your spreadsheet can sometimes do as much to hide the truth as to uncover it.
Michael Katz is Founder and Chief Penguin of Blue Penguin Development. He specializes in working with solo professionals and, in particular, teaching them how to get more clients, more consistently. Sign up for his free newsletter, The Likeable Expert Gazette, here.
By Michael Katz |
Posted: November 26th, 2013 |
[by Rosh Sillars]
The most important metric is the one that feeds you and your family. In the digital age it’s called a conversion. A conversion is a visitor to your website or landing page doing what you want them to do. This could be signing up for your newsletter, or downloading an ebook or photo calendar. These conversions are good, but the most important conversions are the ones that involve the exchange of money.
It is important to keep track of the metrics that lead to these conversions. There may be many paths to a conversion; some deserve more of your attention than others. Make note of where you receive your leads. Do they come from client referrals, networking, or people finding your work via the search engines?
Whatever it is, you need to do more of that. I know it may seem obvious, but many business owners do not follow this basic idea.
How do you close the sale? Do you close more sales when you visit the client in person, talk on the phone, or follow up with an email? Everyone has different skills and the answer is not the same for all.
Which marketing channels generate more sales – not leads — for your business? Is it search engine marketing, social media engagement, email marketing?
Break it down. Activity doesn’t always lead to work. Make sure you pay attention to what works and let go of what does not.
Rosh Sillars is a photographer and marketing consultant for Synectics Media.
By Rosh Sillars |
Posted: November 25th, 2013 |