Let’s talk about promos. There’s no question that you need to send them out but how do you prevent them from becoming scrap in the recycling bin and make them an art producer’s keepsake.
While I get fewer mailers these days, I still appreciate them. In fact, I’ve held on to some for years, tacking them to the walls on my cube. So what makes these keepers so special to me?
What I love about the promos I chose are the size, concept and design elements. The first was a holiday card sent out by Glasshouse Assignment, a photo rep agency based in NYC. The second set of promos were sent out by another photo rep agency called igroup, also based in NYC.
What I love about the holiday card is that it’s so original from any other holiday card. And who doesn’t like a die-cut of an owl wearing a scarf?! It’s clever, memorable and unique. The size is also small enough to save.
One of my favorite things about promos from igroup is that they’re blank cards and each one come’s with an envelope. I probably won’t mail them to anyone because I like them too much. I also like that these photographs have a painterly quality and that they’re also made of wood. Who would’ve thought to create a promo on balsa wood?
In general, here is some criteria that each promo must fulfill to make my cut.
Keepers vs. Tossers
Size Matters: It all boils down to how I organize my files. Postcard-size promos are easy to stash in a small box or tack up on a corkboard. Magazine-size promos are easy to place in a magazine holder. Anything in-between is odd and may get tossed.
Keep it Fresh: If you’re going to spend the money to send out promos via email or snail mail, make sure you’re sending me your newest images. Do not send me the same promo I received 4 months ago. This may sound obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve gotten the same promo.
It’s All About Timing: One promo per quarter is enough unless you just came out with an amazing campaign, won a major award or are exhibiting work at a gallery. I may like the promo but I’m not a hoarder. If I like but have to toss it, I’ll more than likely bookmark your website.
First Impressions Count: This is an obvious one. If your work isn’t relevant or doesn’t inspire me in some way, it’s a tosser. Ask yourself if it really showcases your work and then get a second opinion. Don’t forget to do your research. If our agency doesn’t have any beauty clients, I’m probably not going to save your promo.
I realize it must be difficult to capture the attention of potential clients and these opinions are only my own. Everyone has different taste but keeping this basic criteria in mind could help make you a keeper instead of a tosser.