By: Alex V
Image via: http://www.instantshift.com/2010/10/20/100-examples-of-mind-blowing-birds-eye-view-photography/
My interest in photography and videography has increased ever since my first DSLR purchase, a few years ago. Capturing precious moments with my family and friends motivates me to be more creative; using the current tools I have as well as enhancing my current toolbox. For this reason, I started looking past the DSLR lens for other tools that can enhance visuals and I came across…
3DR Robotics: Drones + UAV for Visual Creatives
Drones have skyrocketed in popularity in the last few years. The ability to obtain aerial shots being photographic or cinematic, gives life to a whole new realm of creativity.
In order to keep up with the trends of the technology; not to mention the possibility of winning one for free ( #StillWaiting); I signed up for 3DR’s newsletter. For the most part, I find myself scanning through and reading at least one article each time.
Current Platform Strengths
1. Email Subject Line: The only use of generic subject headings occurs at the beginning of each month; due to the nature of the content – summarizing what is ahead (i.e. ‘ November Updates from 3DR’). Otherwise, 3DR uses the most important story of that particular newsletter as the main subject for the email to capture a readers interest.
2. Email Header: The current 3DR newsletter has a standard template, an animated gif of the company logo as well as links to their homepage and YouTube account. The only minor recommendation for this part of the newsletter; renaming ‘Youtube’ to ‘Videos’.
3. Article Count Within Newsletter: Keeping articles at a count of 7 or less as is expected for this type of content. No one will read passed that point.
4. Signature – Personalize It: 3DR does a great job at assigning the newsletter to not only a specific person but one holding a pertinent role within the company; Colin Guinn. Colin is the current Chief Revenue Officer. This gives a much more personal tone to the email in comparison to a generic ‘3DR Robotics Team’ signature.
5. Powerful Visuals: The visuals used capture your attention and are relevant to the story being told.
Suggested Platform Upgrades
Important statistics to consider when creating newsletters:
- The average time spent reading a newsletter according to Campaign Monitor is 51 seconds.
- According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute. The average attention span for 2015 is 8.25 seconds.
This does not give much leeway to newsletter creators therefore great content must be complimented with extraordinary formatting. And by formatting, I mean…
Make it more ‘scannable’.
As it stands, 3DR’s current newsletter has a blog-like feel to it; everything is aligned centre. It may consider aligning everything to he left in order to facilitate scanning as per eye tracking studies described by Campaign Monitor. Scanning is most concentrated on the left side of the page and done so in a vertical manner, making the first few words of the headline carry most of the weight when it comes to decision making.
Image via: ( https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2011/01/email-usability-keeping-your-email-newsletters-short-and-sweet/)
Therefore, it would be recommended to place the photo to the far left. Then, to the right of that would be the headline and one line description (60 character or less), placed one on top of the other respectively.
Furthermore, I would recommend grouping articles in different sections.
Initially, the two general sections would be:
- News About Us:
This section would include, news about the company, technological advancements. in conjunction the ’Life After Gravity’ mini series updates would be part of this section as it is created by a 3DR cinematographer.
2. News About You :
News about the 3DR Solo users, being photographs, videos or contests/winners. For this section I would recommend making content that is more engaging. For instance; the #FLY3DR hashtag enables users to post and track video clips/photographs captured with their drone on Instagram. Similar to the GoPro Campaign; 3DR should select the best video shots and showcase them within the newsletter; linking shots with functionalities of the drone itself. This will engage people to post more and allow the FLY3DR hashtag to trend online.
Once trends start developing, the sections can be even more specific, depending on the type of content that appears in the newsletter on a consistent basis.
Image References: If not already cited within text, images were taken from 3DR newsletter.