There's a lot of talk about email promo's lately. Here, here, here, here and here. See what I mean. It seems the consensus is email promos aren't very effective. I think that's true to an extent. I've definitely seen the click through rate on my email promos drop from when i started doing them a few years ago.
Talking with one creative, they said there are days where they will mass delete hundreds of emails in one fell swoop... great and crappy promos judged (or not judged) to be worthy of the same fate. Of course, at the same time I've talked to creatives who prefer email promos and mass trash physical promos. This is why, as part of an overall promotion regimen, I think email promos are still worthwhile.
As you can see on some of those links, some photographers like to include a lot of text and stories which seems to work for them. My theory has always been KISS... keep it as simple as possible with as little text as possible. Knowing the creatives are getting a lot of these emails, I figure the last thing they want to do is read. Put up a nice image, let them know what you do, who you are and where you are and they will get the point (isn't there a saying about a picture being worth something?). If they like your image, they click on through or save you in their favorites list, if they don't... well, better luck next time.
As I'm typing this my email promos are going out and I'm having a discussion with my friend Emily about the subject line of these email blasts. To me, the most difficult part of the process is coming up with a decent subject line. To date, I think mine have been pretty lame so I need to do something about it. It's a challenge figuring out how to grab someone's attention in 50 characters or less and at the same not be too spammy.
How about something like this: Really, delete all the other emails, this is the only one you need to open!
That's what we'd like to believe anyway.