It's been two months since our last newsletter went out (where does all the time go??), and in that time we have added/changed a bunch of things that I think you're going to like!
But, before we get into the details about the changes that have been made, we would like to announce a planned discounted weekend in both August and October. For those of you that have been with us for a while, you know how it works, but for those of you that are new, here's the deal: every couple of months we offer a weekend or two (Friday through Sunday) where all order transaction fees are reduced to just 6%, regardless of the order size. During the discounted weekends, we encourage you to put on sales of your own, and take maximum advantage of the discounted fees. So get out your day planners and mark these dates... the next set of discounted weekends are August 7-9, and October 9-11.
So what else is new? Well, I'm glad you asked! The majority of the requests that we get from everyone have to do with discounts in one way or another, so we have spent quite a bit of time lately enhancing that area of the storefronts. The two big discount changes are 1) credit vouchers are now named “discount codes” and are way more flexible than they used to be, and 2) you can now choose to include products in your standard discounts. We'll go into more details on these two items further on in the newsletter.
In addition to the big changes that were made to the discounts, here are a few other things that have been changed or added within the last couple of months: drillable email logs, customizable sepia coloring, sales tax on invoices, copyable pricing templates, more control on instant image downloads, a new off-site embeddable slideshow option, a customizable storefront link, and a new image-uploading application.
Some of the Smaller Stuff
Because a couple of the items that have been added/changed are pretty big, I'm lumping some of the smaller changes together here:
- Drillable email logs - In May, we announced that all emails being sent out would be logged, and that you could view a summary of the emails through the “email” links found within the “Events” tab. As a continuation on that feature, we have now added the ability for you to drill into the summary numbers and view what the emails were, and when they were sent out.
- Customizable sepia coloring - “Sepia” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and because of the difference in expectations from everyone, we have decided to open up the coloring method for your own tinkering. If you would like to play with the sepia coloring on your account, go into the “preferences” page within the “Setup” tab, and look for the item labeled “Sepia Coloring”.
- Sales tax on invoices - For those of you that have taken advantage of our invoicing system in the past, you may have been frustrated by the lack of separation between the sales tax and the purchase price for the items/services that were sold. In order to help relieve some of your frustrations, we have now split the sales tax and purchase price into individual fields, and they now display separately on your activity reports.
- Copyable pricing templates - Many photographers create new pricing templates multiple times throughout the year. In order to make that process a little quicker and easier for everyone, we have added the ability for you to start with a copy of a previously defined pricing template instead of starting from scratch each time. To use this new ability, simply click the new “Copy” link found next to any of your existing pricing templates.
- Instant image download controls - Instant image downloads have worked fairly well for most people, but occasionally someone will take a few weeks before trying to download the image, and by that time the image has expired. In the past, this would have required you to contact our support team and have them figure out a way to get the images to your clients. But not anymore! You are now in control of the image download parameters, and you can control how long a person has to download the images, and how many times each purchased image can be downloaded. To customize these settings, look for the “Instant Image Download” settings in the “preferences” page within the “Setup” tab.
- Off-site embeddable slideshow option - In the past, we have always allowed for you to link directly to your slideshows from off-site locations. We have now opened that up a little bit more, and instead of just allowing you to display a link to the slideshows, you can now embed any of the slideshows into your own website. The slideshows are a bit too large for most blogs, but they fit just great embedded into most custom/personal websites. To find the URL for an embeddable slideshow, go into the “Manage Photos” page for your event (within the “Events” tab), and click the “Slideshow” link next to the category of your choice.
Customizable Storefront Link
Have you ever wanted to add some additional information to your storefront, but haven't really found a good place to do it? Or maybe you have wanted to have a link from your storefront to your blog, but there didn't seem to be a place to put the link. Those two scenarios are exactly why this customizable link was created.
Using the new “Display Custom Link” setting (found in the “preferences” page) you can define a custom link that will be displayed on your storefront, right next to the FAQ link at the top of each page. You can choose to have the link take people to an entirely different site (your blog, etc.), or you can define the link to take your visitors to a page that is totally customizable by you, but is hosted on our servers.
To set this link up, go into the “preferences” page within the “Setup” tab, scroll down about a quarter of the way down the page, and then modify the “Display Custom Link” and “Custom Page Content” options.
New Image-uploading Application
Note: This next item applies to just the XP and Vista users (sorry Mac users!).
We have never received many complaints about the current options for uploading images, but since we are constantly looking for ways to improve upon everything, we have added yet another way for you to add images to your events. And this way doesn't even require you to open your browser.
With our new uploading application you simply select the files and/or folders that you want to upload, right-click on the selected items, and then select “Send To” » “Instaproofs” from the right-click menu.
If you would like to give this application a shot, you can download a copy of it here: Uploading Application
Add a Discount to your Products
As many of you are keenly aware, our discount system in the past has never allowed you to include your products in with the discount. Although it may have seemed like we weren't listening to your pleas about this, we promise that we were, and that it has been planned for quite a while to get this put in place. This month, the plan was finally put into motion, and you can now choose to include products with your other discounted items.
To enable the inclusion of products in your discounts, create or edit a discount and put a checkmark in the “Apply this discount to products as well as prints?” checkbox.
In the beginning, there were “credit vouchers”. For the privilege of using the credit vouchers we charged you a 6% fee for any credit voucher you wanted to create. The credit vouchers were limited to a set of specific dollar amounts, and there were no frills to them. A year and a half later, we revamped that system and started giving the vouchers away at no cost. We also added the ability for you to choose an expiration date, define whatever dollar amount you wanted for the voucher, and you could choose a minimum purchase requirement. Today, we are announcing the third, and most exciting, overhaul to the voucher system yet!
Here's what we have changed:
- Renamed to “discount codes” - The credit vouchers have been renamed to reflect what they have now become. Instead of being a voucher for a specific dollar amount, they are now discount codes that can be used for a wide variety of discount types.
- Tiered discount structure - Instead of being limited to only a single discount with a single dollar amount, you can now set up your discount to have different values based on the total price of the items being purchased.
- Percentages or dollar amounts - Each discount code can be defined to offer a dollar amount discount, or a percentage-based discount. Both types of discounts can use the new tiered discount structure.
An example of something that you can do with the updated discount codes is you can offer your clients $10 off of orders under $100, $20 off of orders under $200, and $30 off of orders over that amount. All using a single discount code.
With the new discount codes it's easy for you to offer one person 25% off of their order (through the use of a code), while not allowing anyone else to have that type of discount, or even know about it. Discount codes can also be used in email marketing campaigns, where only the people that actually read through your email would be able to get the discount.
In addition to the new capabilities that have been added to the discount codes, we have left the whistles and bells in place from the previous credit voucher era as well. You can still setup minimum purchase requirements, set expiration dates for the discounts, specify the events that the discount codes can be used on, limit the discounts to only the first X people that use it, etc.
Have fun with this! We hope that the new options will be a great tool for you in your ever-evolving marketing campaign.
And that's a wrap! As always, thank you for your support and your suggestions. We'll see you here again next month!
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