Nothing sells like a photo of a happy customer using your product or showing the fruits (and vegetables and flowers!) of their gardening labor. I’m always amazed at how few companies make a concentrated effort to encourage customer photo submissions. Here are a few tips on how to go about it:
• Contests are among the best ways get customer photos. Gift certificates are easy prizes that are always appreciated. I’ve seen amounts range from $25 (for any submissions used) to $1,000 (for a first prize winner).
• It helps to give guidelines on what you’re looking for. Specify how the winning photos will be used (i.e., catalog, newsletter, website). If you prefer people, children, or animals in the photo, say so. If you’d like some information about what the photo is of, specify that, too.
• Ask for photos at every opportunity – on your website, in your enewsletter, blog, or forum. If you’re running a contest, be sure to include a deadline.
• Give specific instructions about how photos are to be submitted. Should they be emailed, or uploaded to your website? If you accept prints, where should they go, and will they be returned?
With any luck, you’ll get more photos than you can use in your catalog or on your website. Consider setting up a separate section of your site for the rest. It creates good will with the senders and inspiration for your website visitors.
How about you? What are you doing to encourage customer photo submissions?