Spring has finally sprung and we have some great news and updates to share with you in this, our Spring newsletter!
Here's what we've got for you:
• Personalized Event URLs
• “Flow” Thumbnail Layout
• Admin Downloadable Items
• Storefront Customizations
• Print Fulfillment Updates
• Administrative Site Re-design
• Additional High-res Subscription Benefits
• Customer Appreciation Weekends
• Annual Photo Contest
So, what are we waiting for? On to the details!
Personalized Event URLsHave you ever wished for shorter, more personal URLs to give to your clients? You have? Well, your wish is our command! :)
By default your event URLs look something like this: http://demo.instaproofs.com/store/?login=46508
This type of URL works just fine for links that are clicked in emails, etc., but they are fairly hard to pass along verbally and they don't generally look very good on handout cards and other printed materials. That's where the personalized URLs come into play! Instead of using URLs like the one previously mentioned, you can now give your clients something a little more personal, like this: http://demo.instaproofs.com/SmootWedding
To setup your custom URLs simply go into the event details screen and add whatever wording you'd like for the event's “Custom Event URL.”
“Flow” Thumbnail LayoutSince the introduction of our current storefront design, we have had multiple photographers request options to (1) turn off the sliding image effect, (2) display the full, non-square-cropped thumbnail image, and (3) display the image thumbnails in a more fluid, dynamic way. Items #1 and #2 have been previously made available, and we are happy to announce that item #3 is now available for you as well!
We call the new layout the “flow” layout since the images seem to flow into one another, but it may be more commonly known as "Pinterest Style." :)
To enable the new “flow” layout, head into the “preferences” page within the “Setup” tab and select the “Non-cropped, flow layout” option from the “Thumbnail Display Method” droplist.
This option is only available to accounts using the current storefront design.
Admin Downloadable ItemsIn order to help save you a little time, we have added the following three downloadable items to the administrative area of your account:
Downloadable Client Favorites
Many photographers use favorites as a way for their clients to select images for albums and other previously-arranged products. In the past you've needed to download the list of favorites and then hunt them down on your computer; but, with this new option you can now download the images directly from your Instaproofs account!
To download your client favorites head into the “Email” page for an event, click the number found in the “Favorite Count” column next to your client's email address, and then click the “Download Images” link at the top of the page.
Note: The downloadable client favorites functionality was designed for small batches of images (<500 MB). Using it for larger selections may result in incomplete downloads.
Downloadable Order Images
Once an order has been placed it's sometimes difficult to track down the specific images that were purchased in order to edit and send the images for outside fulfillment. This new option allows you to quickly get to work on your post-order process with just a click of a button.
To download the ordered images, simply click the green download icon at the top of the order details screen.
Downloadable Monthly Summary XLS
The “monthly summary” report, found within the “Activity” tab, is the go-to location for finding most of the details about your account's order history. Now, due to popular demand, this report is downloadable in XLS format. In addition to the information displayed on the online “monthly summary” report, the XLS report also includes a column showing the amount paid for fulfillment purchases and other fees paid for with your Instaproofs balance.
To download the XLS version of the report, click the “Export to XLS” link found at the bottom of the “monthly summary” web page.
Downloadable Event Breakdown XLS
The “event breakdown” report, found within the “Activity” tab, shows order details broken down for your individual events. This report is also now downloadable in XLS format. In addition to the information displayed on the online “event breakdown” report, the XLS report also includes multiple additional peices of information including shipping information and the order confirmation numbers.
To download the XLS version of the report, click the “Download as XLS file” link found at the bottom of the “event breakdown” web page.
Storefront CustomizationsWhen we designed and built our current storefront, we did it with customization possibilities squarely in mind. We took the time to make it as flexible as possible so that anyone could customize their site to be as original as they wanted it to be.
The customizations you see below are just a few examples of the many different customizations that have been done by a variety of photographers to their storefronts. Some of the changed items include text colors, background images, button swaps, font changes, enlarged logos, etc.
If you are unsure about where to start on your own customizations, head over to the “customization” page within the “Setup” tab and download the example stylesheet. In the example stylesheet it shows how to make some of the different changes, including changing text and background colors, and it may give you some ideas.
If you need a little extra help or if you would like someone else to make the changes for you, our support team is happy to make a few small customizations at no charge. Larger customizations can be purchased through the “Store” tab, or you are free to use any outside designer that you would like.
Print Fulfillment UpdatesSince introducing our fulfillment services in 2012 we've had thousands and thousands of very satisfied customers! Photographers that were hesitant to try it at first quickly began to enjoy the ease of use and the high quality of the prints their clients were receiving. Some of the comments we've received include:
And we haven't stopped adding to the service since that time! Some of our latest updates include:
No Certificates Required
When we first introduced our fulfillment services we required all photographers using the service to upload a copy of their resale certificates. That requirement has now been removed, and our fulfillment services are open to all US photographers with a high resolution subscription.
So, if you've been holding off on trying the service due to the previous resale certificate requirement, come on over and give it a try today!
If there's one thing common among all people, it's that we all love discounts! And for photographers, bundling sets of prints together is possibly the most popular way of offering discounts. Although we couldn't handle print bundles in the past, our fulfillment services have now been updated to allow and accommodate print bundling of all types. So go ahead and give your clients a discount - we can handle it. :)
Custom Info-sheet Paper Type
In addition to including custom info-sheets (custom 4x6 prints) along with each of your fulfillment orders, you now have the option of selecting which paper type to print that custom image on to. You can select either matte, lustre, or glossy.
Automatic Client Updates
By enabling the 'Send “Shipped” Emails Upon Fulfillment' preference, your clients will automatically be notified when their orders have been shipped by the lab. The automatic notification emails include the shipping method, the tracking number, the date the order was shipped, and other relevant shipping information.
ProDPI Lab Option
As requested by many, we are currently in the process of adding ProDPI as an additional lab option for our fulfillment services! We expect the integration work to be finished up sometime within the next 1-2 months, and we'll send out another notice when it is ready to go.
Administrative Site Re-designSome great news here! Our administrative site (where you create events, setup pricing, etc.) was originally designed almost 10 years ago and is *finally* getting a much needed re-design! The new design work is complete, and we are currently in the development phase of things. We expect to have everything ready for use within the next 4-6 months.
Below are a couple of images showing off the new design:
Additional High-res Subscription BenefitsGood golly! Our list of high-res subscription benefits just keeps on growing! Here are some of the recent additions:
Full Event Downloads
Have you ever had a client that wanted to purchase a DVD containing all of their event images? Yeah, we thought so. :)
Instead of getting a disc, burning your images to it, and then mailing the disc to your client, you can now offer full event downloads directly through your storefront. This is more convenient for both you and your clients, and it can be setup and priced just like any other product that you currently offer. Head on over to the “products” area within the “Setup” tab to create this option.
This product option is only available on events containing less than 1500 images.
Free Low-res Downloads
In the past we have strictly enforced a $0.30 minimum price for all products and prints. That rule has been relaxed a little bit for photographers with a high-resolution subscription, and you may now offer low-res instant downloads for FREE through your storefront.
Any instant download setup to be 1024px or smaller is considered a “low resolution” instant download by our system, and these low-res instant download options are now exempt from our standard minimum pricing requirement.
Download Permissions, For Full-res Images
Since we began offering high-resolution subscriptions, we have given subscribers the ability to add a “download” icon to the images within their events. This download option allowed full-resolution downloads and could be enabled and disabled on a category-by-category basis, but there was no way to limit it to just a few specific individuals. Through the new permission we have now added, you may now place limits on who can see the download option.
To limit the image download option to just a few specific individuals, head into the event details screen and add the individuals' email addresses to the area labeled “Permission to Download Images.”
Customer Appreciation WeekendsWe genuinely appreciate your business! And to better say “thank you”, we will be celebrating with multiple customer appreciation weekends this year:
• May 23 - 25, Memorial Day Weekend
• July 4 - 6, Independence Day Weekend
• August 1 - 3, Back to School Photos!
• November 8 - 10, Veterans Day Weekend
• BONUS! December 29 - 31, End of Year! (Though not a weekend.)
During these weekends we will be giving out some fun prizes to a couple of random individuals, and all of the orders placed through your storefront will have their fees reduced from our standard 15% to just 6%. Thank you for your business! :)
Annual Photo ContestOur annual photo contest is currently underway! Details can be found, here: http://bit.ly/PYwKJD
The photo submission deadline is Sunday, April 6th. Good luck!
That's a Wrap
And that's it for us this time around! We'll keep working on many of the items you guys have requested, and we hope that you have a fabulous Spring!
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