Budget Promo Mailer

Greenville, SC photographer Clint Davis used to be an Art Director at a national magazine and having been on the receiving end of photographer promos figured he needed to create something that would stand out. His budget was $800 for 40 pieces. Here’s what he came up with:


Here is everything involved in 1 mailer before any folding, gluing, plucking, sticking and stamping.


“Without advertising, something terrible happens… nothing.” Once this famous statement became rooted into my brain I started my project. Creativity, personalization, and budget-friendly were key in building these mailers. Each mailer has a different message along with a different set of cards to view. A small idea turned into a 3-month long project. Now I feel confident with what I’ve sent out to my prospective clients, and hopefully, they give me a shot!

There Are 30 Comments On This Article.

  1. charles waldorf

    Very Creative, Just be careful that they don’t try and shoot the project with that handy camera you enclosed :-)

  2. Awesome. That is how you get it done. Affordable, unique, and hopefully sent to the righteous creative person that will give him a job. I love the bike shots as well.

  3. Thanks Rob!
    @bob, I sent them primarily to ad agencies, magazines, and athletic teams. Hopefully I’ll be too busy to keep you updated on the results!

    I’ll be here to answer any questions, hope everybody likes my “budget” mailer.

  4. @Chris, I literally mailed them out 2 days ago, but I’ll be sure to keep APE updated. Right now I’m road tripping from my old home of Los Angeles to my new home Greenville, SC.

  5. I like it, it is definitely outside the box creativity. It is also inspirational. I also have to say Greenville is a beautiful place to be. Enjoy the humidity.

  6. Like the idea and the finished piece should get attention, not so sure about the hyper-reality of the images though.. not meaning to sound critical, maybe my ‘aussie’ pov, but people floating in spaces they were never in just never look right to me. Take them there & shoot it..

  7. How did you select the recipients? A 40 piece mailing is not very large, so it seems that you did a highly targeted mailing.

    Very cool idea.

  8. I suppose he’s an OK art director, although I can’t find the photography with all the other junk in the box. Great work doesn’t need embellishment.

  9. Terrific idea…so now the agency can give that toy camera to Terry Richardson to shoot with.

  10. @Rich D, It was tough to narrow it down to 40 recipients, however not too tough considering I’m searching for commercial clients in the South Carolina area; not as saturated as te Los Angeles area. Colleges, Ad Agencies, and magazine photo editors were the main targets. I have excess materials from building the mailers so I’m able to make another batch for 1/4th the money now.

    @dude, the payoff of having a small noticable box is small “prints”. Personally I’d rather have a mailer that gets noticed in a stack of other 4×6″ postcard promos than have a big image. It’s A tradeoff, but I believe a wise one.

    The magazines I Art Directed for were Honda Tuning, Turbo, Car Audio, Lowrider, and mostly Import Tuner at Source Interlink Media.

  11. @ “a Skeptic” (or did you mean “sceptique”) it would feel “beggy and gimmicky” if Clint sent photocopies inside a cheap enveloppe from Walmart. If I was receiving the box, I would definitely look at what it contains. Doesn’t mean I would give him the job, but I would definitely pay attention to it.

    I believe it’s a great idea ! And I believe it’s very brave and generous, in our economic situation (while everybody fights each other, like competition is the reason why we have less assignments, duh) to share concepts and ideas.

    Thanks Clint for sharing !

    • @Sandee Pawan,

      You can look at it as a generous sharing of ideas, or you can look at it as sending 40 promos but potentially reaching thousands through this website. Either way, it’ll get more eyes on his work. Whether AB’s and AD’s like the images is up to their personal tastes.

      • @Anon, you are right, if Clint can reach thousand through this website, well that’s even more genius :).

        I’m french, and it’s been quite a long time that french companies are very anxious about being too creative, because the economic situation has been so bad since we switched currency to the euro. Nobody is willing to spend a penny in communication and marketing anymore here. Neither the companies, nor the artists.

        I like to see that people like Clint have guts to do it (instead of staying at home and complaining about the fact that “there’s no work for anyone” or “too much competition”) and there’s nothing evil about that. I hope it works out well for him.

  12. Hey Clint, I thought I recognized your work. I commented on one of your fred miranda posts awhile back. Looks like you’ve been doing some solid work since then. Keep it up and great job on the mailer! Hope you get some good response and smart to preempt your move with the mailing.

  13. seems to me that the most mediocre work needs these special “oomph” type promos to get attention (see also: case y templeton). good work is amazing on a postcard. just my two cents. i don’t see anything amazing about this work.

  14. This is quite creative, thought out and crafted. I imagine it would stand out in a sea of seemingly two dimensional postcards. I would like to see Rob do follow-ups on these promo piece posts, six months or a year on, to see the raw results. Getting noticed is a great thing, getting the job is even better.