Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Massive Spam Campaign

Had a strangely busy week last week shooting a bunch of portraits for a bunch of odd bubble to occur amidst this struggling economy. When you are shooting a bunch you can get into a groove....sometimes the pictures just seem to present themselves to you. Gimme dat, I'll take 'em.
Amidst all of this I was trying to get my head around sending out my first email advertising campaign ( spam...). Technologically tricky thing to figure out for someone like me, but finally got it out today. The first response I got, within seconds of it launching, was from a Creative Director in N.Y. A strangely double edged sword, his/her response was this:

Hi Tim - Love this shot and even put it up on my wall. :) One question ... what service do you use to send your emails out? I'm getting upwards of 30 of them from artists and photographers a day, and while I appreciate seeing all this great work, as you can imagine, it's a burden to my inbox. Thanks for any guidance you can give.

Kind of sweet, but certainly makes one question their motives. It wouldn't surprise me if this is all made illegal in a few years. But for now I wanna try it and see what comes of it. My apologies.


bird. said...

seems like a lot of people get these responses to email blasts- eh hem, I mean, spam. didn't TB get one like this, too, and post it to the blogosphere?

it does make it a bit confusing, doesn't it. our industry puts these boundaries, these "parameters" on how to play the game. "this way is ok to contact me, between 11 am and 2 pm only on the day before the lunar eclipse, and normally I'm out to lunch then, so good effing luck. . ."

yeah, we get it. go in there with a book and show our faces to the world? we all know that isn't always the way, tho... not in this world of globalized menagerie. we SHOULD be allowed to utilize the tools that make things easier. the same thing that lets me upload my files to an ftp for a client to download can no longer be used to solicit said client. really?

I just have one question, TA...

... what service do you use to send your emails out?


Timothy Archibald said...

Oh, I'm not gonna answer that here. Call me and ask me. But in any event, the interesting thing here ( maybe? ) is that I got 3 other emails from Creative Directors who read the blog after getting the spam and then echoed the sentiments shared above...kind of like " I hate this stuff, but kind of liked yours, so please don't unsubscribe ". Which is nice, but it is more interesting because it shows the path: they get the spam, looked at the website or the blog, read the blog, sent a note. Just interesting when you get a chance to see the path. Doesn't mean you are hired for a fat ad job, but marketing is such a big part of this biz, its nice when it seems like you can get a hold of something and see how it works.

Daniel said...

It's one of those things you love to hate. Let's face it, AD/CD/AB's all want to see new work and faces. Photographers want to show new work and their face. There are many faces, and only a few AD/CD/AB's in the world.

How do you solve it? One way that could work is for the AD/CD/AB's to set up a secondary e-mail account, where photographers can send in the spam. This way they don't have their in-box flooded and at the same time, have a slew of work to review when they have down time, and let's face it, the magazine/paper industry isn't as busy as it was before, so there is plenty downtime.

It's good they are hitting your blog though, so it does work.

kate chase said...

i have come to think of it that the creatives are the ones hired and charged to creatively break through the clutter to our fellow consumers. so for me i think that we are helping them with market research (of sorts).

love your blog TA. a good read over morning coffee.

Sirfenn said...

Agree with you here TA, unless the usage somehow gets monitored a little closer I could see them becoming more and more restricted. You can understand the clients frustration ; IE - a people shooter spamming auto and product houses. It shows a lack of effort and thought on the artists' part. The quality of your list should really minimize the amount of issues.

After the first year of comparing results, the amount of clients who actually "Opted out" of my emailings is almost non existent. (Most reputable services include this option so that the end user can "Opt out" of future mailings with a mouse click.) I would say that blind emailing, as opposed to a pursuing a targeted list, is the difference between spamming and marketing.

I have had a similar percentage of clients "Opt out" of a snail mailing, requesting to utilize email to save trees. (Emailing me to request it.) As much as I love the printed alternative, saving a couple trees along the way by mixing in some emails, seems like a sensible approach.

An interesting approach might be to put together an email with a simple one click answer on whether that client would rather receive email or snail mail in the future. Love to see those results that didn't have somebody's marketing intentions behind them.

Damn, the worlds an imperfect place.

Timothy Archibald said...

Thanks for writing everyone. Gotta admit it is funny/sad that the biggest response to anything on this blog has been a debate on the pros and cons of SPAM. What next? Digital workflow tutorials? I'll hurry up and post some shots of pills and weird kids asap to get us back on track here.

bird. said...

hey, relevant industry info can leak its way in by accident.

wouldn't that make for a well rounded blog? good blog health? blog diversity?

I'll lurk regardless. Lurking is fun.


Daniel said...

Pills and weird kids.. .yup then end up turning into creatives at ad agencies, you'd be onto a winner here

sexy said...