Please be aware that very special senior campaign is
ZIP Code protected, which means that it is available to only one
studio within a given marketing area. Even though you
won’t be mailing them until 2012, you need to protect
your market area ZIP codes now!
Shown below are the mailings and what they
are designed to accomplish:
Most seniors don’t commit to a studio after receiving their first mailing, so this one is designed to accomplish the first step in the promotional process . . . to create AWARENESS that it’s time to think about senior portraits. It attracts attention because it focuses on a status that seniors recognize — membership in the Class of 2013 — an element they will see again when they receive the heavy guns of this three- part marketing campaign.
A vital link between marketing and sales is COMPREHENSION; if seniors fail to comprehend that your photography style is worthy of their consideration, they won’t give your studio a second look. It takes more than social media to draw ideal clients to your website to view your images in depth. So the marketing style presented by this intriguing fold-out poster — contained in a neat holder featuring die-cut dots that reveal its vibrant design — assures that your message will be read!
CONVICTION is what sells! Conviction is the final step in the promotional process, and this mailing is designed to convince seniors that your studio stands out from the rest. The design itself, following on the heels of the memorable second mailing fold-out poster, serves as a powerful reminder that your studio has the creativity they expect for their senior portrait experience.
The cost per senior for this compelling campaign is $4.95 for all 3 pieces . . . an incredible price because it includes, inserting your portraits, back copy personalization, postage, list source, ZIP Code protection and Marathon handling production and mailing of your pieces.
Remember that this comprehensive promotion is limited to only one studio per marketing area, so call 800/228.0629 NOW to make sure your preferred ZIP Codes are available! ZIP Codes are protected on a first-come, first-served basis.
I want to let you know about a brand-new Birthday Marketing Campaign for children ages 1-5 that I've been involved with developing at Marathon Press. It’s important that you pay attention to it now, as it is a ZIP Code-protected program, and Marathon is about to start marketing it nationwide. Zip Code protection means that only one studio in a given market area can use it, so if you are interested you must act NOW, and I mean NOW . . . not next week.
Designed to Get Attention!
This compelling, affordable campaign features 2 unique mailing pieces, which assure that your message definitely will be read. How can I say this with such certainty?
- The first mailing consists of a distinctive 2-part marketing piece — a fold-out card and a carrier. The card must be removed from its carrier and opened in order to be viewed and read, and parents can't resist opening something that reminds them about their child's upcoming birthday.
- Once opened, the eye-catching graphics will hold parents' attention as they see your images and read your specific marketing message and special offer.
- Two weeks later, parents will receive a follow-up post card featuring the same graphics — just the type of repetition you need to get your message noticed!
What's more, you can add a FREE blogsite web presence that reflects the same graphic style that parents responded to in your mailings!
Mailings Are Done For You . . . Automatically!
You decide how many mailings you wish to do each month, based on ZIP Code selection and household income, then Marathon takes it from there by sending the mailings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. Think of the time you will save and the impression you will make as your prospects receive highly professional mailings from your business! Imagine how much parents will appreciate being reminded that it's time to update their child's portrait! You can even add parents of children in your own database if you wish.
You pay only $2.29 per prospect for printing, processing and posting both mailings (with customized inserts), including list selection, postage, and Birthday Blogsite. To register, you must pay a one-time fee of $199 . . . however, if you act NOW, while most ZIP Codes are available, you'll pay only $59!
Additional No-Charge Support from Marathon
Marathon knows that the success of birthday marketing campaigns depends on creating a marketing message and offer that is appropriate for where you are presently positioned in the market as well as understanding how to make the most of each client who responds to your marketing campaign. Marathon's marketing professionals will provide you with important feedback to assure that you are on the right track with your Birthday Program marketing campaign.
Act NOW, Or It Will Be Too Late!
For more information on this exciting program, click here. To learn whether your ZIP Code is available, call a Marathon Account Representative today at 800/228.0629!
This comprehensive, affordable campaign, features 3 unique mailing pieces plus a free blogsite that solve the problem associated with marketing to new parents: Your marketing will stand out from all others, and your message definitely will be read. How can I say this with such certainty?
- The first two mailing sets consist of two distinctive 2-part pieces that must be opened and unfolded to be viewed and read.
- Once opened, the eye-catching graphics will hold parents' attention as they see your newborn images and read your specific marketing message and special offer.
- Each prospect will receive three mailings, sent one week apart, along with a link to your matching newborn blogsite, just the type of repetition you need to get your message noticed!
The charming graphics are designed to complement any style of newborn photography. As an action-oriented campaign, not an overall branding strategy, each mailing nonetheless strongly reflects your business identity by displaying your portraits, studio identity elements, and marketing message.
Mailings Are Done For You . . . Automatically!
You decide how many mailings you wish to do each month, based on ZIP Code selection, then Marathon takes it from there by processing each mailing at one-week intervals. Think of the time you will save as your prospects receive highly professional mailings from your business!
You pay only $3.89 per prospect for printing, processing and posting all three mailings (with customized inserts), including list selection, postage, and Newborn Blogsite. To register, you must pay a one-time fee of $199 . . . however, if you act NOW, while most ZIP Codes are available, you'll pay only $59. Best of all, the mailing list features pre-natal and post-natal names because it's important for you to get those new babies in early!
Additional No-Charge Support from Marathon
Marathon knows that the success of newborn marketing campaigns depends on creating a marketing message and offer that is appropriate for where you are presently positioned in the market as well as understanding how to make the most of each client who responds to your marketing campaign. Marathon's marketing professionals will provide you important feedback to assure that you are on the right track with your newborn marketing campaign.
Act NOW, Or It Will Be Too late!
For more information on this exciting program, click here. To learn whether your ZIP Code is available, call a Marathon Account Representative Today!
I often hear people refer to “The Marathon Family,” and rightly so because of the warm atmosphere generated by the organization. In the photo below, you can see three real generations of that family: Marathon founder and chairman Rex Alewel with his daughter Leah Fineran, who works as an account rep in the firm’s commercial division, and Leah’s daughter Madelyn. Leah and Maddie joined Grandpa Rex for lunch during our meeting.
On our agenda during the two-day meeting was planning the upcoming Strategic Marketing Plan Workshops, the first of which will take place in Minneapolis, MN on May 18-19. I’m shown below with my fellow workshop road warriors, from left, Bill Camacho and Mark Weber.
When not handling Marathon business, Rex is the hands-on owner of a tree farm that surrounds his Missouri home. It is a fascinating operation: Rex farms Paulownia trees, which I had never heard of until I visited the farm last July. This amazing species originally came from China, and because it is remarkably fast-growing and produces a lightweight yet dense wood, is said to be “the new timber tree of the 21 century.” The farm comprises 11,000 trees spread over 9 different fields on 115 acres. Rex intercrops three of the larger fields rotating corn, beans, and wheat. These fields average 80 trees per acre; most of the remaining fields have 120 to 155 trees per acre with medium red clover planted between the rows, which allows him to bale clover two or three times a year.
Paulownia lumber is really beautiful: it is light straw colored, much like ash, with a very straight grain. Besides being a renewable resource, the lumber is prized by wood workers because it does not crack, warp or split, is fire resistant, and it is an excellent insulator of heat or cold. Its machinability is excellent, and it stains, glues and paints with ease.
In a year’s time a field-planted Paulownia tree can grow to between 12 and 15 feet. The field shown below, which I photographed last July had been growing for 14 months from 4-year-old stumps that had to be cut down after a heave late frost in April of 2007. Paulownia trees can start over from the stump every time you harvest for about 50 years.
Rex says that when the trees are mature and their leaves reach out to touch one another, they look like giant umbrellas that completely shelter the ground below, which creates a magical room-like environment when you walk through the field. The image I took of Mark at work photographing the leafless trees shows that the branches actually have the appearance of an umbrella-like structure. If you wish to learn more about Paulownia trees, click here and here.
The Paulownia trees seemed to me to be an apt metaphor for the work that Mark and Rex and I were doing: creating plans. Any kind of business planning is like the process of growing a crop. You have to establish it with care, then cultivate it; you can’t just leave it out there and expect it to grow into a bountiful harvest all on its own.
Here’s farmer Rex, and his wife, Natalie.
And I couldn’t conclude this post without giving you a look at Rex’s loyal dog Lucy. If he parks his four-wheel drive Mule anywhere near the house, Lucy will sit next to the driver’s seat and all day waiting for a ride. Do you see why pets are my favorite subject?
It's always fun to come to Texas, and the Dallas workshop was full of energetic photographers who really worked hard on completing their plans. I was tremendously impressed with the quality of the work they did, and I expect great to see a lot of progress for their studios in the months to come!
Next stop: Philadelphia . . . driving distance from my home. Yeah! In spite of gas prices, it will be great to skip the plane trip. Getting home from Dallas turned out to be quite an ordeal. More to come on that subject, as it was quite an adventure.
One person who didn't get off to a good start was Marathon's Bill Camacho, who shortly after arriving in Chicago was forced to take a cab to the hospital because of a fever and other sudden-onset symptoms. Having worked and traveled with Bill for many years, I knew it would take a lot to send him to a hospital, and the docs there quickly determined that he had somehow contracted an infection that could have been life-threatening if he hadn't acted so quickly. So Bill ended up spending 7 hours being treated with antibiotics through and and an IV's. Trooper that he is, Bill, shown below, was back on his feet in time for the workshop, much to Mark Weber's and my relief and delight! Bill says his ER visit was much like an episode of the television show of the same name. Due to overcrowding, Bill was treated in the hallway along side of several other very colorful (and vocal) patients who were handcuffed to their gurneys, with police in attendance.
My favorite photo from this workshop is of Pam Bredenkamp, St. Louis, MO, who apparently was trying to earn some brownie points from instructor Mark Weber. Pam and Mark, who previously lived in St. Louis, are long-time friends.
After the class, Pam, who also attended my Guerrilla Management Workshop last year, joined with Mark and me and two of her fellow GM Workshop classmates, John Burdick and Jeff Lee, of nearby Hoffman Estates, IL. Bill wisely stayed in bed, but he missed a fun time, and we missed him.
Next stop on the Marketing Workshop schedule is Dallas, TX on June 2 and 3. There are a few seats left in this workshop, so click here for information.
What a treat it was to travel to sunny California for the April Strategic Marketing Workshop. The April weather was divine, especially for workshop staff members Mark Weber, Bill Camacho and myself, as we were pretty fed up with the dismal spring weather at home. Having lunch on the patio was a wonderful change of pace for us. We had a full house of students whom we kept busy doing their marketing planning, and we particularly enjoyed seeing those "light-bulb moments" of marketing insight that occurred during the work sessions.
The next workshop will take place in Chicago on May 13-14. For information on this and other future workshops, click here.
Just got word from Marathon that the 2007 Family Portrait Month Membership Kits are now ready to ship. The kits include the new Family Portrait Month Journal shown above. This year's promotion provides even more opportunities for marketing your family portraiture. New for 2007 is a series of promotional card templates generously designed and donated by several studio owners who were the top 2006 Family Portrait Month fundraisers. Now you can choose your favorite template, then add your own photographs and back copy through Marathon's automated m-Print direct-to-print service, and your promotional cards will be ready to ship within five business days.
Once you have paid the $39 registration fee, your business information will be added to FamilyPortraitMonth.com, the promotion's national website, which has a brand new look for 2007.
You also will be mailed a 2007 Membership Kit, which includes your Family Portrait Month Journal and a CD full of promotional items to assist your marketing efforts. One of the new CD items is a template for "Smile Cards," which Dallas photographer Angela Weedon sold in 2006 to benefit Operation Smile throughout the year, and which helped her to repeat as the year's top Family Portrait Month fundraiser.
Keep in mind that any studio collecting $500 or more for Operation Smile is eligible for a cash drawing of $500 to be held at the PPA Charities 2008 Celebration on Saturday evening, January 5, 2008 at ImagingUSA in Tampa, Florida. A highlight of this annual event, which is held on the eve of PPA's annual convention, will be the announcement of 2007's top studio fundraiser.
Every $240 donation to Operation Smile makes it possible for another surgery to be performed by OpSmile's volunteer medical staff. Last year's PPA Charities' donation to Operation Smile of $40,000 translates into 166 operations made possible because photographers did what they do best: create images for families to treasure. Think of all the smiles these portraits made possible—in your hometown and throughout the world—and you'll know how important your efforts can be!
Click here register for 2007's Family Portrait Month. Have your PPA membership number ready. If you are not a PPA member, click here for membership information. Join today to participate in this wonderful opportunity!
We were extremely fortunate that award-winning wedding photographers Jamie Hayes and Mary Fisk-Taylor offered to cover the wedding. Their photos were awesome, but at first it was a daunting task for me to put an album together, as I hadn't built a wedding album in many, many years. Then I remembered that one of my SMS Clients, Parker Smith of Atlanta, had told me he uses ProSelect to create layouts that he outputs for albums. So Parker gave me some tips and I read ProSelect's handy user guide and discovered how easy it is to quickly design your own layouts, add the images, then output them through the software's production module. What really amazed me was that I negotiated the learning curve and had 44 pages completed within less than a day.
Since the bride and groom really didn't want a traditional album, I decided to try to upload the files to Marathon Press to create a hard-bound book from their new Premiere Editions series. Again, the process was incredibly easy, and less than two weeks later I received a 10x10 illustrated-cover hard-bound book for the bride and groom, 8x8 books for the parents, and several nice purse-size 5x5s. To learn more about Marathon Premiere Edition books, click here.
The entire process was so much fun and the books so attractive and inexpensive that I intend to start rounding up all of my family portraits and vacation images that are stuck in drawers, bulky albums, and who-knows-where else, and create a library of books that will take up so much less space and be fun for my family to enjoy.
Marathon's new Gift Cards are a wonderful value: only 25 cents each when you place a minimum order of $50 using your own design—or Marathon can do the design for you at an additional charge. Marathon also can create a complete direct mail package that includes the Gift Card with your choice of two different mailer styles. Click here for specifications and pricing.
Think about the potential impact on seniors, when you send them a Gift Card to spend on their senior portraits. These cards are really hard to throw away because they feel like real money!