The truth is there are pros and cons to each. Yes, most agencies accept email, but most agencies also still take headshots by U.S. Mail.
Surprisingly, there are a handful of agencies that will NOT accept headshots by email. Also, surprisingly, there are only a handful of agencies who take submissions by email exclusively. We do our best to keep track and up to date with that information. At this point, however, most agencies accept both types of submissions.
Before getting to the pros and cons, first let me tell you the basic differences in sending out your headshot package by USPS mail or by email in terms of how we do it at Smart Girls. The pros and cons will be similar if you do it on your own — you just will have a lot more work to do!
Talent Agent Cover Letters by U.S. Mail
This type of mailing is when you send the actual, hard copy letter with your Headshot & Resume though the U.S. mail. For this service with us, you will receive Letters to a Targeted, Hand-picked list of 75 Talent Agents or Managers.
You then send out the letters with your headshot and resume (both of which you will need to get printed). You will also get the names and addresses and phone numbers for following up on these specific, individual agents at the given agency.
We will write the letter, research the agents, give you the letters with each one addressed to an individual agent. We also give you the address labels and you put everything together and send out your packages.
Email Marketing to Talent Agents For Actors
For this type of mailing, Smart Girls will write the email message/letter and Subject Line for you and then send out your email to a broadly targeted list of 125 agents or managers. We will include a small headshot in your email along with a link to one of your pages, such as Actors Access or Facebook or your Website or IMDB, wherever your best presentation is.
Our Talent Agent Email Marketing For Actors is also targeted to a degree, but it’s a broader target, since not all agents list their emails. As part of this service, we blast it out twice to up your chances of responses.
Now let’s get into a couple of pros and cons for each.
Talent Agent Cover Letters by U.S. Mail: The Two Biggest Pros
For this you will package your cover letter, headshot and resume into a large envelope in the proper way and send this package to an individual, specific agent (who we pick for you) at a given agency. The biggest advantages of this type of mailing:
1) The agent will receive a physical item in their office, so they will have to handle it in some way and make a decision about it eventually. It will remain there until they (or their assistant) opens it or tosses it without opening it. Unlike email it won’t just disappear into thin air. When they receive an email, they don’t have to look at it or delete it, they can ignore it, and it will go down and down the page into their digital abyss …. never to be seen again. They don’t even have to think about it and may never have seen it to begin with.
With a packaged envelope — it’s there in their office until they make a decision to open it and see your off-the-charts, gorgeous, professional headshot and cover letter — or they decide to throw it away without opening it, requiring them to ignore their natural curiosity that makes them want to check to see: “Could this be the actor I’ve been waiting for!?” It’s hard not to at least take a glance when it’s right there!
2) Also… when you mail your actual headshot in, you can be certain when the agent looks at it, they will see a large, perfectly colored, professionally printed headshot. You can be sure you are making the most of the hundreds of dollars you paid for your photo shoot. The agent will see exactly what you sent them instead of who knows what by email.
With email, they may see a small little thumbnail of your picture or your video on their iPhone while standing in line at Ralph’s and just as they get to the good part, a kid starts screaming behind them. Or if they watch your video and check out your website at the office, they may have an outdated computer screen where your skin has a blue tint to it – not good.
By sending in a hard copy of your headshot, you have much more control over what they see and you can be sure they have had to handle it in some way.
Talent Agent Email For Actors: The Two Biggest Pros
When you market to talent agents by email, the biggest problem is that email is transient and can disappear into the email abyss quickly. To offset that downside, when you have Smart Girls help you with the email, we blast it out twice to give you more chances of the agents seeing it and responding.
Here are two pros for using email to get an agent.
1) The cost of the service with Smart Girls Productions is the same, but overall, marketing by email is cheaper than sending headshots out by U.S. Mail. You don’t have to pay the cost of getting your headshots duplicated/copied and you don’t have to pay for postage and the envelopes to send it. Not to mention, you don’t have to do the work of stuffing the envelopes! So if you’re on a tight budget and trying to decide which was is better for you to send out, this one will save you money.
2) With email, an instant response is possible . After your email goes out, you could literally hear something back from an agent within minutes because email is so fast. This is especially good if you have a tight timeline and want to invite them to see you in a show or a screening. It also saves you the time and effort of putting your mailing together. It can also be FUN when you hear back quickly.
This instantaneous feedback can also be a con with email because the agents can see it instantly and easily, but it can disappear just as instantly and easily.
But again, when you do the Talent Agent Email blast with Smart Girls, we try to minimize this downside of the instant response-instant delete by sending your email out twice to increase your chances of responses.
Another side benefit is that sending email is environmentally-friendly — however, most agents like so many others in L.A. recycle, so if you send by U.S. mail, your paper will be eventually be recycled anyway so you’re still good there!
As you see, there are pros and cons for either side. I still lean toward the hard copy because your headshot is so critical in catching their attention and no digital copy can compare with a beautiful full-color 8×10 professionally-printed headshot. But after you read this article, I say go with your gut-feeling about what’s right for you.
I hope this has been helpful to you in understanding the important differences between the Talent Agent Email Marketing and the Talent Agent Cover Letter Mailings!
If you want to have Smart Girls help you with either of these, learn more here on our Talent Agents Marketing page.