Meet the LinkedIn of the Modeling World
To modeling industry entrants, two groups are usually apparent – the Giseles, and everyone else. Model Management, a network where agencies, models, and photographers can create profiles and follow one another to find work or collaborate, is trying to change that distribution.
CEO Andreas von Estorff founded the company in 2009 to bring modeling into the digital age and to make the profession more accessible to any aspiring model, not just the elite. In the same way LinkedIn made it easier for employees to find employers, and for companies to bypass headhunters and reach out to prospects directly, Model Management gives both models and agencies a bigger pool to choose from.
Before the company started using Autopilot about six months ago, a “scattered” and overly manual marketing strategy was impeding that goal. Communication to customers and prospects mirrored many small companies (the firm has about 10 full-time employees) – a mixture of social media, direct mail, and emails sent from multiple teams with no cohesive plan.
“We used social media a lot, we used mailings, but there was no continuity,” said Marc Charach, Model Management’s chief operating officer. “We felt we needed more of a nurturing process for customers and new users.”
For phase two, Charach wanted to unleash pent-up demand by being more thoughtful about how and when Model Management communicated with its audience. Or in other words, he wanted to start nurturing leads, so he overhauled his welcome and onboarding communication strategies.
In the journey above, the company automatically adds contacts to a smart segment (a list that siphons certain users based on their attributes), removes inactive users from the list, sends a welcome email, waits a day, and then checks to see if the contact has received one of the company’s onboarding emails called “Can I be a model?”. If the contact hasn’t already received it, they get the “Can I be a model?” message; if they have, Model Management waits five days (so they don’t overwhelm the contact) and sends a separate email.
Using intelligent journeys like this one made an immediate difference; with the help of this approach, the company drove registered users to 340,000. Conversions from email alone increased to between 30 percent and 40 percent on average from 10 percent, and Charach continues to tweak the journeys and improve them based on the results they see – a much better situation than six months ago.
“We have more journeys now,” Charach said. “We’ve got 20 languages on our website – so all our mailings are translated.”
The company has gotten better at lead nurturing, as well as onboarding customers from different countries with different native languages. Batch-and-blast emails are an easy way out when you’re only in one market; they get a lot hairier when you’ve got 20 languages and cultures you need to tailor them to.
For the next phase, Model Management plans to start looking at the behavioral patterns of users on the site, and use that insight to better tailor communication to different groups. It’s also ramping its effort to attract top-notch photogs.
“Our next big thing is really look at all these triggers and what actions trigger what,” Charach said. “We want to really grow to reach professionals. We’re calling a lot more photographers.’’