We have some great changes and additions to announce this month! The first one, which many people have been waiting for, is custom image cropping on the storefronts! We'll give some more details of how that works below, but in addition to the custom image cropping we have also added:
- The ability to put on sales for individual events
- Enhanced email exporting functionality
- Custom "Images Not Available" images
- New free shipping discounts
- New tutorial videos (Lightroom FTP upload, custom cropping)
We will also be announcing the next couple of discounted fee weekends a little further down in the newsletter, so be sure to continue reading to get that information!
On to the Details!
Since the big item this month is the new custom crop option, we'll start with that one...
Custom CroppingCustom cropping is something that we have considered adding for quite some time, but because of the complexities involved in implementing it we have held off on it. Until now.
There are currently three options available for the image cropping:
- No Crop Marks - When the “no crop marks” option is selected, your storefront will function exactly like it has done in the past. Your visitors will not be able to select crop areas for their prints, and you will handle all of the cropping on your own. This is the option that is selected for your account by default unless you manually change it to another option.
- View Only - The “view only” option causes example crop marks to be displayed on your images as your clients are selecting print sizes. It does not enable the option for them to select their own crops, but instead it simply shows them what an example crop might be. This option is great for when you don't want the additional hassle of looking for custom crops on your orders, but you also want to make sure your clients are aware of how their size selection might affect the ordered image.
- Custom Cropping - The “custom cropping” option allows your clients to select how each of their ordered images should be cropped. Although watching for custom crop selections might be a little extra work on your end, custom cropping is something that a lot of your customers might enjoy doing. Giving them the option to select their own crops may help eliminate future complaints about people being cut off on a print, etc. This option *does not* require that they select a custom crop for their images. They have the option to select the crop, but they are not required to do so.
Important Note: The image cropping details are not currently available on our iPhone application. We expect to have an updated version of the application ready shortly, but for now please view the custom crop details online.
Individual Event Sales
Have you ever wanted to put on a sale for just one specific event, and then been disappointed when you realized that it wasn't possible? Well, those days of disappointment are over! Both the "Discount Date Range" and the "Print Size Discount" discounts have been updated to allow you to list your sales on individual events. The sales and discounts work exactly like they have in the past, with the only difference being that you can now either select specific events, specific event types, or a combination of the two. Enjoy! :)
Enhanced Email Exporting
In the past we've allowed you to export your collected email addresses from each event individually, and we've had a way for you to export *all* of your collected email addresses at one time. But, we haven't had any customizable ways for you to do it. There was no way to limit the email addresses to a specific time period, or to specific event types, etc. It was basically an all-or-nothing type of approach.
The all-or-nothing approach works fairly decently when you run email campaigns only once or twice a year, but when you are running campaigns more frequently than that, or when you want to target only specific audiences, this method doesn't work so well.
Our new exporting functionality was put in place to help you more easily manage your email addresses by allowing you to do things like: export all email addresses that have been collected in the past 2 months for the Wedding event type. By exporting only the email addresses that you are interested in, you can more easily create new campaigns with your bulk email service providers (such as Constant Contact, iContact, Mail Chimp, etc.), and you don't have to worry as much about sending emails to stale/abandoned email addresses. Our new exporting functionality also automatically removes all incorrectly formatted email addresses from the exported list, so you don't have to manually go through the list and remove invalid addresses.
Custom "Image Not Available" Images
Throughout the past year we have seen many differently colored/styled storefronts popping up, and with all of the new storefront styles that are being used, the default "Image Not Available" images don't always seem to fit in. So, in order to allow you to more fully customize your storefront, you can now upload your own images for both the "Photo Not Available" image and the "Images Not Yet Available" image.
Photo Not Available - This image is generally seen on your storefront when images have been uploaded to an event, but are not yet fully processed into the system.
Images Not Yet Available - This image is seen on the event list on your storefront homepage when you have the "featured images" functionality enabled, and no images uploaded for an event.
You can upload your own customized versions of these images within the "customize" page in the "Setup" tab.
Free Shipping Discount
Over the course of the past five years we have received many requests for quite a few different types of discounts to be added to our system. One of the discount types that have been repeatedly requested is a free shipping discount, and we are happy to announce that we have now added this to our ever-growing list of discount options available for your storefront.
The free shipping discount allows you to set a minimum order size requirement, and it grants the visitor free shipping using your standard shipping method. If an alternate shipping method is selected by your customer, they will be charged the normal shipping amount for the alternate method.
New Tutorial Videos
We have added a couple of new tutorial videos to our growing list of videos found within the "Setup" tab:
- Lightroom FTP Upload - This video shows how to upload your images to your Instaproofs account using a free Lightroom FTP plugin. There is no sound on this video, but there are notes shown throughout the video explaining what is happening.
- Custom Cropping - This is the same video that is linked to from the custom cropping section found above. This video quickly shows you how the different custom cropping settings work on your storefront, and it shows what you will see on the administrative side when someone places an order after having used the custom crop functionality.
Upcoming Discounted Fee Weekends
And now, the moment you have all been waiting for... our next discounted fee weekends will be held September 3rd through September 5th, and November 5th through November 7th. During these discounted weekends, all order fees will be reduced from the normal 15% to just 6%!
And that's a wrap! As always, thank you for your support and your suggestions. We'll see you here again in about a month!
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