Where can I get Pictures for my Direct Marketing Campaign?

Good pictures are the adornment to any direct marketing campaign. They are perceived much more quickly and intensively by the observer than pure text. But where does one get good pictures?

In direct marketing campaigns, pictures are mainly used in brochures and inserts for sales letters, but also on websites referred to by the direct marketing campaign. In doing so, one must differentiate between product pictures and pictures that are used to create a positive impression, such as pictures of obviously satisfied customers or a picture of a friendly employee of the company being advertised. For product pictures, there are three ways to obtain pictures for a direct marketing campaign:

  1. The manufacturer of the advertised product may offer pictures, product descriptions and other promotional material for the advertising of their products by third parties. In this case, you are best to inquire with the manufacturer of the advertised product. In no case should you use pictures from their website or their promotional material for your own advertising campaign without having asked beforehand. This applies especially to product pictures made by other merchants, and thus your own competitors, for their web shop.
  2. You can take the required pictures yourself. However, this requires practice and also the right equipment in order to, for example, be able to illuminate the photographed product properly.
  3. You can hire a professional photographer. Of course, this is the most expensive of the three solutions. Nonetheless, the quality of the obtained results often more than justifies the costs.

For all other pictures, such as the above-mentioned friendly employee, one can revert to photo collections on CD or DVD and to stock photography websites that are specialised in selling pictures. Here, one can choose from a vast selection of pictures for little money, some of which are made by more or less good amateurs but also by professional photographers looking to earn a little extra money in this way. These are examples of such photo websites in the internet:

It is recommended to carefully read the terms of license of these providers before you buy, to be sure that the pictures can be used for their intended purpose.

Warning: Digital pictures are often provided with a digital watermark that is not visible with the naked eye (= steganography), which makes it easy to prove the origins of a picture. And a violation against copyrights can get very expensive real quick. Therefore, in case of doubt, you are better off inquiring with the owner before you publish their pictures, or invest a few Dollars in pictures where you are then sure that you are not infringing on any copyrights.

Author: Thomas Hainke