It's been a couple of months since our last newsletter went out, and since that time we have had quite a bit to go over! Let's jump right in...
Christmas & Holiday Orders
Are you feeling the Holiday rush yet? If you're not, you had better get prepared for it! Every year starting around the end of November people start ordering prints like crazy. And every year, those same people start driving their photographers crazy! To help you avoid a little bit of the Christmas craziness we would like to offer you the following suggestions:
- Put a note up on your storefront letting your clients know when the Christmas order deadline is. This can be done on your storefront homepage, on the event login page, on your event notes, or even in all three of those areas.
- When you change the status of an order, be sure to check the “Email Customer” checkbox before saving the change. Putting a checkmark in that box will cause an email to be sent to your client alerting them to the new order status. Keeping your clients well informed of the status of their order will go a long way in easing their worried minds, and it may even save you from the hassle of receiving panicked calls demanding to know where their orders are.
- Create a new shipping option called “Christmas Delivery”. This option should be created in addition to your standard pricing options, and as Christmas grows closer you can increase the cost of this option to help cover any priority shipping fees that you may incur in sending out the orders.
- Quickly fulfill your orders! Even if you don't follow any of the other suggestions that we are offering, follow this one. Quickly fulfilling your orders is always very important, but during this time of year it is even more so. Waiting a few weeks to send out your orders might be convenient for you, but it will make your clients very nervous and will result in more fuss than is necessary.
- Once your deadline for Christmas delivery has passed, change all of your notes (from our first suggestion) to let everyone know that it is too late to expect the orders before Christmas. Also remove the new “Christmas Delivery” shipping option.
- Include insurance and signature/delivery confirmation on your packages. This might cost you a little extra when you are sending out your orders, but it will also save you from a big headache if problems should happen to arise.
New Fee for Paper Check Payments
For the past couple of years we have offered everyone the following three options for receiving payments from us for their orders: 1) paper check, 2) Paypal payment, and 3) direct deposit. When we added direct deposit to our payment options we expected everyone to flock to that option, and then we could eventually get rid of the paper check option altogether. Unfortunately that hasn't happened, and the paper check option has now become a little bit of a burden to us. Because of the additional expenses and the hassle that comes with sending paper checks, starting February 5, 2009 there will be a $3 per check fee taken from your account when this payment method is used. Because we do not offer direct deposit as an option to our non-US photographers the fee will be waived for them.
Exciting New Changes!
I know that this is your favorite part of our newsletter, so I won't delay it any longer, here are some of the changes that have been put into place over the past couple of months, and here are also some things that will be put in place very soon:
New SlideshowWhen we sent out the survey a couple of months ago asking you for what you wanted to have changed, one of the items that received the largest number of votes was that you wanted a new slideshow. So we took all of your suggestions to heart and came up with something that we believe will increase your sales, and help impress your clients a little bit as well. Some of the new things that your clients can do with the slideshow include:
- Add images to their shopping cart
- View the slideshow in fullscreen mode
- Scroll through your image thumbnails
- Jump between images quickly and easily
The new slideshow is complete, but we have not yet put it in place on your storefronts. Look for it to appear within the next week or so.
Corporate Site MakeoverWe have received several comments about our corporate site looking a little “dated”, and we decided that it was time to do something about it. Our new corporate site is almost complete, and we expect the rollout for that to be somewhere around the first of the new year.
Disable Sales Tax & Shipping ChargesSome of you sell items that generally should not be included when calculating sales tax (example: gift cards), or when calculating shipping costs (example: digital prints). The options described below allow you to remove any of your products and print sets from the shipping and/or sales tax calculations.
Disable Sales Tax: To disable a product from being included in sales tax calculations go into the product edit screen and uncheck the box labeled “Charge Sales Tax.” You can also disable the sales tax on print sets.
Remove from Shipping Calculations: To disable a print set from being included in the shipping price calculations go into the print set edit screen and uncheck the box labeled “Include in Shipping Calculation.”
Collect Email Addresses without Reminder EmailsIn the past the only way that you could collect email addresses from your clients was to enable one or more of the automated email reminders for the event. This became bothersome to some of you, and rather than taking advantage of the benefits that collecting email addresses provides, some people decided to disable the email address collection requirement altogether. We would love to see everyone using the email address collection requirement, and for that purpose we have now created a way for you to collect email addresses without sending automated emails.
There are two settings used for collecting email addresses, the first one is found in the “preferences” page within the “Setup” tab. Enabling the “Require Email Addresses” preference in the preferences page will unlock the second setting, which is found within the event edit page. On the event edit page you can now set whether you want to collect email addresses from the event, and if so, which automated reminders (if any) you would like to be sent to the visitors of that event.
Now Ignoring Hidden System FilesOn both the Mac and the PC there are hidden system files that are often created when you view your images on your computer, and when you copy the images to another computer through programs such as FTP. We have received quite a few questions from those of you that have experienced the hidden files being uploaded on accident, and we have now taken the steps needed to ensure that those files no longer displayed on your storefront. The files that are now ignored include: “.DS_Store”, “Thumbs.db”, and “._ImageName”
Delete Bulk Email TemplatesEarlier this year we introduced the ability to save your bulk emails as templates that could be re-used on future events, but what we didn't include was the ability for you to delete out the bulk templates that were mistakenly saved. Soon after we created the template saving ability the number of unused and duplicate templates started to get unwieldy, and so we have now repented of our oversight and the ability to delete your bulk email templates has been added.
To delete your bulk email templates simply select the template name from the drop-down list on the bulk email page and then click the “Delete Selected Template” checkbox.
Wrapping it UpAnd that's a wrap! We hope that you have a very Merry Christmas, and a happy Holiday Season!
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop us a line and tell us what's on your mind.
If you would like to unsubscribe from these newsletters you can do so from within the Setup tab in the “preferences” page.