Marketing Series Part 6: Measure, Follow, Repeat

It’s been a fun ride sharing this marketing series with you so far, and we’re now at the final installment of our Marketing Series

For those just joining us, we have covered a lot of ground in this series starting by defining your style & branding and editing your online portfolio. We have shared advice on how to build your marketing list and reach out to new clients and how to work with a graphic designer on your promos and send them out efficiently with traceable metrics.

Now it’s time to bring all that hard work together in the most important step: The Follow-Up.If you think of your promo as a foot in the door, then the follow-up is what you say next.

You should have at least 500 contacts on your marketing list that you’ve sent promos to, and the good news is we don’t have to follow-up on all of these. That would be a colossal waste of time, and it’s the reason I insisted you needed traceable metrics through your email service provider.

The service providers can provide a lot of statistics, which differ between hosts. To keep things easy, I am going to concentrate on the two key metrics for our purposes: your “opens” and your “clicks.”


This is exactly what it sounds like: it shows how many people have opened your email promo. The general consensus for email marketing is that an open rate of 10% to 15% is respectable. If you are performing lower than this, then consider tweaking the following factors until you see a desirable improvement:

  • Subject Line
  • Time/Day Sent
  • Quality of List Data (bounced emails could affect your result so always keep a clean up-to-date list)


This is how many people who not only opened your promo, but alsoclicked on the link to your website. The acceptable click rate is 1% to 2%.

As promised when I started this marketing series, I’ll share my failures and successes, so I have decided to share with you the statistics from the three campaigns I have released to date.


  1. This was my very first promo, and a lot of these people were seeing my name for the very first time. It’s often said that it takes multiple points of contact before you grab someone’s attention enough for them to act.
  2. This promo was sent out in the middle of the summer holidays. Everyone has email access on their phones these days, so there could be a high percentage of people opening messages but then ditching the ones that were of no importance.
  3. I received a high amount of “Out of Office” replies that could have skewed the figure.

Sent Date August 21, 2014:

Open Rate: 14.35%

Click Rate: 0.41%

As you can see, the open rate was within the acceptable zone, but the click-through rate was abysmally low. 

After consulting with my campaign manager at  Agency Access, we put it down to a number of possible reasons.

Because of the lacklustre results, we decided not to wait two  months for my next promo but instead launch the second toward the end of September when everybody was back in work mode.


I attribute this increase to the point in time we chose to release the promo and to the promo’s content. My initial promo was a very stylised fashion editorial, but for my second promo I went with an example of my gritty portraiture that could appeal to a wider range of sectors.



Sent Date: September 18, 2014

Open Rate: 16.96%

Click Rate: 4.66%

As you can see, not only did my open rate improve slightly, but my click-through rate shot through the roof. 


For this promo, I chose to show an example of my male fashion work with a heavily stylized streetwear editorial. As this is a much more specific niche than the portraiture, I had expected the small drop in clicks, but it was an acceptable compromise that still produced an above-average result and a dramatic improvement on my first fashion promo. You’ll notice my open rate has risen once again as more people has become familiar with seeing my name in their inbox.

Sent Date: November 11, 2015

Open Rate: 18.75%

Click Rate: 2.36%


Above covers how you can track the performance of your campaigns, but that’s no good unless you follow-through on the results.

Hello [name],

I am a fashion photographer here in the UK and I’d like to find out more about how your agency works and hires photographers as I would love to be considered for future projects.

Do you have time to meet to put a face to a name and see some of my latest work?

I will next be in London for a few days between 20th-22nd this month.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Adam Marc Williams

The Follow-Up Email

After a few days have passed, my second touch point is to follow up with an email, written individually with a personal touch. I send this to all of the contacts that clicked and to any contacts who opened the email and who I feel would be a very good match for my work.

The key to this message is keeping it

  • very short and direct.
  • Don’t fill it with your whole life story—they won’t care.

Art Directors are busy people, so they will appreciate you being short and to the point.

Second, be sure to be specific about what you want and give them a time frame as you will be much more likely to get a response.

The Connect Call

After three to five days, I go through the contacts that I emailed (assuming they haven’t yet replied) and create a short-list of the clients/agencies that I would really love to work with. It is these ones I will spend more time trying to crack with a follow-up phone call.

This is much the same as the email with the objective of getting a meeting to show them your work. This stage can be quite daunting, but remember, this is not a cold call. They have already been introduced to you twice in their inbox and have possibly even checked out your work. Just think of this as a friendly follow-up call and simply ask for the meeting.

Often you won’t be able to speak to your contact, though, as you’ll be vetted first by their reception. In this instance, I always find asking for the contact by their first name and sounding like you casually know them (but without ever lying) can be a good way to sneak past, but if not, you’ll probably be asked to leave a message.

This is fine on the first phone call but do not repeatedly leave your details as you don’t want to appear as a nuisance. Simply try to call once or twice more over the following week, and if he or she has still not made himself/herself available, chalk it up as “not currently interested” and move on. If the person likes your work, he or she will probably open your next promo, which will put him/her right back in your firing line when you follow up on that one too.

This brings us to our final point: Repeat Repeat Repeat.

The success of your promo campaign is in the consistency of your mailers and their regularity. I advise leaving at least one month between promos and never longer than three.

In between each, it is also important to go back and visit your website, updating your galleries with fresh work ensuring returning contacts will discover something new after every promo.

That takes us to the end of this series, and I hope you have found the advice and tools I’ve shared helpful. Remember not to be disheartened if you don’t get the desired results after your first few promos; this is a long game, not a quick play for business. Over time, you will build recognition with the clients on your list, and when an opportunity for your style arises, you will be fresh in their mind, which is your objective.

I will leave you with a saying an old sales manager of mine used to remind me of: “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.”
Adam Marc Williams