In November of 1977, one official photographer was chosen to attend the National Women’s Conference.

That photographer happened to be Diana Mara Henry—a professional photographer since 1967.

“I’m really only one of two photographers who ever took pictures of the Women’s Movement,” Diana says. “Many of the pictures are pretty historic now.”

From Andy Warhol to Jimmy Carter, Bella Abzug and Shirley Chisolm, Diana has photographed some of the most influential figures during the Civil Rights era.

This coming November, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the National Women’s Conference, her artwork will be put on display at the offices of Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer.

To spread the word and help with her fundraising efforts, she decided to send out an email announcing the exhibit to all of her contacts.

Here’s how she created her first email marketing newsletter:

Out with the old, in with the new

Diana had sent out emails before the message about the exhibit, but they had taken a long time to make.

“I would spend anywhere from four to eight hours picking out each contact and adding them to the list,” she says. “So I knew I needed something to preserve my contacts after I sent something out.”

Before using Constant Contact, Diana sent out her emails through Gmail and usually added attachments to each message:

Diana’s old emails usually linked to PDF attachments.

Since she wanted to create a more professional look for the 35th anniversary exhibit, she looked into Constant Contact Email Marketing as a way to send out the announcement.

The creative process

Diana admits she was unsure of the software at first.

“I’m still intimidated by some electronic creations, so I kept putting it off,” she recalls. “But I made myself sit down one morning and I had a whole email done before noon. I really liked it, the whole process was seamless.”

To start, Diana looked through her email address book and found all of the contacts she had already been emailing. She uploaded the addresses to Constant Contact and then uploaded her images.

“The templates were very flexible,” she says. “I could just drag and drop my pictures into them.”

Before Diana sent out her email, she also got a call from a Constant Contact coach. That was what she found most surprising.

“I was like, ‘Why are you calling me? Aren’t you supposed to send me an email?’” she says. “It was just great to talk to someone on the phone when I needed help.”

The send-off

Diana’s emails through Constant Contact provide a much more visual experience.

When it was all said and done, Diana sent out her first email to about 500 contacts. She had an open rate of 47.9%, which speaks volumes about the support her work receives.

It also means that, with a single click, more than 200 people now know about the upcoming exhibit.

“Constant Contact was really a super vehicle for mass communication,” Diana says. “I had never sent something so professional before.”

Better yet, with Diana’s trained eye for imagery, Constant Contact emails have proven to be great for showing off decades of photos—something that’s sure to keep her open rate high and exhibits packed.

If you want to donate to Diana’s upcoming exhibit, click here

Want to see how other businesses launched their first Constant Contact newsletter? Check out how an alpaca farm, an inn, and a guitar retailer started using email marketing