When throwing the spotlight on an awesome customer like Eugene Tan, it’s hard to imagine that we’re somehow brightening his already luminous position in Australia’s photography and surf communities.
As a chronicler of all things Bondi Beach and beyond for Aquabumps, he’s developed a following both locally and abroad – boosted by the Aquabumps gallery, site and in no small part, a near-daily email newsletter.
We shared a few moments with our favorite surf dude (sorry, Dave and Ben) to find out how he’s used email to get his wickedly good photos into the wild, plus pass on some of the marketing lessons he’s received along the way.
Hi Uge, many of our long-haul customers are creatives like yourself – what is it about email marketing that you and presumably others find so valuable?
Everyone is on email. It just makes sense to use it as a delivery platform.
Using email is a great way to push out your photography. I like the fact that I push my photos, rather than put them up on website and pray for people to visit – I have the control. People love looking at images… Beach images even more so. Email is simply a great platform to pack a little 30 second beach escape into busy working inboxes, especially now that most email clients can display HTML emails.
Oh, via email you just have access to so many people – everyone is on email. It just makes sense to use it as a delivery platform.
Aquabumps’ email newsletters are delivered pretty much every weekday, but your subscribers never seem to lose their interest in them. How do you keep your readers wanting more?
Our open rates are very high as we are 95% content and go easy on the sell.
We send 5 newsletters per week – Monday to Friday. Our open rates are very high as we are 95% content and go easy on the sell. You need to build trust with your audience by just showing stuff they want to see or read about. Pick a niche too, preferably something you are very passionate about. Mine is the beach.
We noticed that two of your recent campaigns linked back to surf videos via an image of a video player – how did this affect response?
Click-through rates were huge on the campaigns where I linked back to my videos
Video is new to me, even after many years of talking about it. So many photographers are switching over to the ‘dark side’ since the inception of the DSLR HD video capabilities. Personally, I’ve found video to be a compelling way to engage my audience – I broadcast escapism and as you can imagine, video is a great way of taking my viewers to another place… Outside the office cubicle, anyway.
Click-through rates were huge on the campaigns where I linked back to my videos – the best they’ve been in a long time. Shame we can’t play video in the inbox, though (Note: In some instances you can play video in the inbox – view our latest results).
Finally, what is your advice to other folks who are considering, or have just started using email marketing to promote their work?
Use Campaign Monitor! Far out their tools are good, intuitive and basically just work – so you can spend more time creating content… They didn’t ask me to say that!
Many thanks to Uge for taking the time to answer our questions. To see his surf photography and sign up for the newsletter, visit the Aquabumps site.