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Deciphering Your Data

As Director of Brand Development, one of my interests is meeting with our members to chat about our services. After close to a year of doing just that, I am impressed with how tenacious and smart our members are when it comes to using the data we provide them. I sat down to talk with a few members from the Campaign Manager program to find out what they are doing with the information they gain from their opens and clicks and how they are following up.

Fernando Venegas – Salt Lake City

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“As soon as my e-promo goes out, I wait a couple hours to check on the results and refrain from nail biting by drinking coffee. Upon checking my clicks (and partially getting over that oh so nasty voice in my head saying “why aren’t more people clicking to my website?”) I go back to the opens section and start looking at who is opening my email and in some cases how many times they open it (five opens on the same email has been my all time high). I will then try to map it out and figure out where in the country I am more likely to get meetings or work.

My Campaign Manager, Matt Spindler, has been great as far as doing the same thing I’m doing and putting it on a list for me to look over. He makes any changes he or I feel necessary for the direct mail pieces.

As far as follow ups go, I have two ways of going about them. One is I wait for the call cycle to start and I attack as soon as I get notification of a possible meeting or someone that my Campaign Manager has talked to. Even if they are not interested in meeting me, most of them will be polite and ask for a PDF portfolio. I send those as soon as possible (within an hour or two from the time that the alerts came through), and I keep it short and sweet. Second thing I do, which I think most people would agree, is I try to book multiple meetings within the same time frame and city with other agencies.”

What Fernando is saying is that striking while the iron is hot is key to success. DON’T wait to follow up with someone who was interested in you. The only thing scarier than the phone not ringing at all is making that first phone call.

Paul Simcock – San Francisco



“About a week after each email is sent, I download the statistics for opens and clicks and add them to a sorted spreadsheet which tells me who is opening my emails most frequently. From that, I will create a list for the direct mail pieces and phone marketing calls. After almost two years on the Campaign Manager program, I am getting a good idea of my target market. I am starting to send out interim emails to those who open regularly to keep them up to date while also showing them my new work.”

Paul is feeding his lead base by sending interim emails with new work between his already scheduled AXS email promotions. If these creatives are interested, it is important to keep their attention and the connection going.

Kevin D. Liles – Atlanta

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“I mainly use it to look at my clicks and opens and then do some research on the publications/editors/etc. that stick out to me. Where are they based? Is it somewhere nearby where I could show them some work? I look some of them up on LinkedIn to see how many, if any, mutual friends/acquaintances we have in the photo world. If we have one or two who I know really well, I might send a note or contact the mutual acquaintance to ask for suggestions on contacting them. Also, the spreadsheet that is complied by Agency Access that shows the clicks and leads from previous campaigns is super useful for me. Being able to see all of the folks I am sending postcards out to helps me understand the types of clients I am going after and how I can refine that so I am going after the work I truly want to do.”

Doing research on the agencies you want to work for and asking for introductions from mutual friends is what I consider the biggest help in any business. Friends love to hook-up friends, assuming your friends are good ones! I can stand by this personally as I have a buddy who introduced me to someone very influential; I can trace the connections generated from this single introduction even after moving to a different city.

Ask them, because if you never ask, the answer is always no.

Craig Orsini – Boston

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Craig likes to travel on the more technical road. After his email promotion is launched, he uses real time analytics to see who visits his website.

He can see what images they spend time on and he will even edit his website based on what images the analytics say are more popular. He likes to check his statistics up to six times per day. If a creative re-visits, he reaches out to them directly with a personal email or makes a phone call and says his marketing team “let him know”.

This type of information definitely “puts the odds in his favor”. Everyone knows they are being tracked, it’s “the elephant in the room”, so try not to be creepy about it.

Actually, Craig emailed me after I visited his site to pull the images for this blog post; not weird at all. Using data to figure out who is interested in the story you are telling and then modifying the story is quite the baller move.

Caitie McCabe – New York City

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Caitie likes to give her stats a chance to marinate. She will even check her opens and clicks two months after an email has launched. Recently, Caitie booked a job with a major technology company after marketing to them for over a year.

The client recognized her name out of all of the other photographers presented for the project. This just goes to show that patience and persistence is key. Caitie also sends special printed posters between the bi-monthly emails to her opens and dream clients. She is using the information from her emails in the best way and she is getting her name out there to the people who will hire her.

Let’s face it, if you are not doing anything with the data you’re compiling, you are dropping the ball. Whether you are emailing, making personal phone calls, asking an acquaintance for an introduction or tracking them on your website, you will always have the edge on the ones who are doing nothing. What it all comes down to is that extra personal contact and finding an organic way to get it.

In conclusion; please read this carefully and next time we meet, please don’t tell me that you haven’t done anything with the data we gave you.

If you want to check out more about me, here is an interview I did with the Photo Brigade podcast. If you get bored, fast forward to the end. That’s where I really get going.

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Send me a note or check out the last blog post I wrote on branding

Peter Berberian

Born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, Peter Berberian is an New York photo industry veteran. His career has run the gamut from photographer to master printer, art consultant and most recently, Director of Brand Development for Agency Access. Berberian was introduced to photography by his 60’s fashion photographer Uncle at a very young age. This is what sparked his interested and motivated him to attend the School of Visual arts. Here, he was educated on black and white printing while apprenticing under Sid Kaplan After seeing the shift from film to digital he opened up Gotham Imaging, a high end boutique print studio, specializing in ink-jet printing. In 2013, Berberian moved to Columbus Ohio to work as an art consultant to the Pizzuti Collection. He made his return to NYC in March 2015 and began his work with Agency Access in May.

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