We’ve provided design, production and marketing strategies for USA Philatelic, the official U.S. Postal Service catalog for stamp enthusiasts, since 2007. So when we were asked to help brainstorm fresh ways to engage the stamp-collecting community, we had a few ideas. We knew that the pretty fantastic (if tiny) stamp artwork from the last hundred years could unearth quite an archive of untapped stories — the kinds of stories both collectors and the public would love.
So we went about telling those stories. The very first “Beyond the Perf” email included a story about an upcoming stamp-issuance ceremony, plus some behind-the-scenes information about postmark designs. It went out to a whopping 317 people.
But that email blast has since evolved into a website with video interviews, image galleries and, of course, more stories. We’ve also created an annual print edition of Beyond the Perf, bringing together the best stamp stories from the previous year. The print catalog, USA Philatelic, regularly points readers online and sometimes publishes a Beyond the Perf story or two in its quarterly issues.
What’s more, we track — through Google Analytics and reader surveys — what stories collectors are reading online. As a result, we can shape our editorial strategy around interest patterns.
Currently, subscribers number over 13,000 — and growing.