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Marketing Hack #17: Link your postcards to the cloud

MarketingHack 16: Postcards from the cloud

Probably the single most important reason to use Marketing Hacks, is to stand out from the crowded field of visual noise bombards our all the time. Social Media, Email campaigns, TV ads, junk mail, pop up ads, the list goes on and on all clamor for our attention – some are specifically focused on your target audience, others aren’t.

Shock and Awe marketing (with help from the cloud)

How do you stand out? You need a to fire a full broadside at your target market to be seen. A single email, blog post of Facebook status update won’t cut it. It has to be shock and awe marketing, but I’m not talking about content that’s designed specifically to be crude or offensive – I mean your content has to hit your audience on many channels at the same time – Here’s a sneak peek at cutting through the digital clutter from my upcoming blog post I wrote for the American Society of Media Photographers blog strictly business called “How to fire a marketing broadside at your target audience!“:

How do you compete against this onslaught? Go old school (with a twist): send a handwritten post card. Clients appreciate knowing that they weren’t part of an automated campaign, filled in their <FIRST NAME> <LAST NAME> and thanking them for the opportunity to bid on a photography job for <THEIR COMPANY>. A handwritten thanks gets noticed (…) So where’s the twist I mentioned earlier? [Spoiler alert it’s in the cloud] Well on the back of the post card is a link to a landing page on my website, that goes to a web page with the same image, …

You can read about one specific channel I’m using in greater detail now and if that image looks familiar to you you’re right! It featured in Marketing Hack #12 (and you just remembered another shot from my broadside marketing campaign.)

Postcards to the cloud

Connecting postcard to the cloud

I’m a commercial photographer – which means I only shoot B2B and I’m creating a postcard campaign for my business that’s targeted specifically toward small business owners and boutique creative agencies. I wanted to share how I’m automating my snail mail marketing:

This printed mailer is connected to the cloud via custom URL.

I’d specifically love to talk to you about what happens after my customer receives the postcard. Of course it has my URL on the front of the card – actually the face of the card (minus the tagline) is a copy of the front page of my website.

However the real magic happens on the back (which is where we connect to the cloud) – the normal elements are all there – my address, the award the image has won, copyright info – none of that is anything special, however the last paragraph is:

It includes a link to my blog (in human readable form – blog.depuhl.com/product-photo-story), which leads to a landing page specifically designed for this mailer (it also includes the real review that this client posted on LinkedIn):

See the form? It connects to the cloud.

Here’s what it does for my clients

That page is the link between the real world and my online presence. The page captures email address, first and last name, automatically adds those to my email mailing list and returns the client to my blog homepage and writes a personalized email series I wrote about this shoot, with links to these three posts:

– how I plan and estimate product photography shoots

– how I scout the locations for a product shoot

– how I actually photograph one of these productions

These posts include, bts photos, descriptions of apps used, recordings of periscope live streams, a short video of the shoot, ect. (I’m still working on building more content for this series). Ok so that’s what it does for my clients.

Here’s what it does for my business

On my back-end in the cloud, it automatically enters the captured information [email, first name, last name, landing page version] from my email list (MailChimp) to my Customer Relationship Management service (SalesForce) via Zappier automation, which also sends an SMS to my phone letting me know that someone has subscribed via this specific mailer.

In the end my customer gets:

  • the post card with my contact info
  • a personalized interaction with my brand
  • introduced to my blog that talks about photography, cinematography and marketing
  • a personalized email with links to content, that talks about how this image is created

I get:

  • a new subscriber to my list,
  • a new lead for my product photography
  • an alert that someone just signed up

The beauty of this is, that now that this is all set up, it will happen automatically every time a potential customer types that url (blog.depuhl.com/product-photo-story) into their browser and fills out their contact info. This campaign is specifically marketed to current clients I have, who hire me to photograph very simple product photography and need to think about creating photographs that actually tell a story and to small businesses and creative shops that don’t think of me as a photographer, who can create this type of imagery.

The post cards are ordered (VistaPrint is having their semi-annual 50% off sale – one thousand 4 color postcards with b/w print on the back, run about $100.-) the landing page and email auto responder are created and once the cards mail out, it’ll be interesting to see how this campaign performs.

If you want to experience what my customers will see, you can click-through blog.depuhl.com/product-photo-story, and take the journey.

I’d love to hear any comments about how this process worked for you.

 

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