Summer season is just around the corner! For most of you that means that your slower months are coming to an end and that you are heading into some of the busiest few months of the year. It's exciting for us to watch your businesses grow and expand, and we are proud to be able to be right there with you as it happens.
Since it's been a couple of months since we last put out a newsletter, you may be wondering what's been added or changed since then. Well, quite a bit, actually! Some of the things that have been recently added or modified include:
- Contracts on Invoices
- Example Print Set Images
- Custom Aperture Plugin
- Category Notes
- "Grid View" Event Listing Option
- Universal Discount Codes and Gift Certificates
- "Up-to" Selectable Image Limits
- PayPal Checkout Option
The Million Dollar Milestone
Those of you that subscribe to our twitter feed may have read about this a couple of weeks ago, but it's so awesome that it bears repeating! On May 5th we sent Jonathan Canlas his ONE MILLIONTH DOLLAR from his online storefront transactions! We asked Jonathan for his thoughts regarding that awesome milestone, and this was his response:
I remember reading in PDN back in 2005 of a photographer who made $10k in a year from his online print sales, which he referred to as "pajama profits". Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd surpass the $10k mark in a year, let alone $1,000,000 since I joined back in Feb 2005. Instaproofs is a system that just works. No crazy selling tactics or hours upon hours with marketing strategies. Shoot your events, host them online, put your pajamas on, and once you wake up, you've made your own "pajama profits". It has been the best business decision I've made in my career.”
Jonathan's success story should be an inspiration to everyone. Plain and simple, it doesn't matter where you are with your business, using Instaproofs can help you Sell More PrintsTM. If you have been on the fence about promoting your online storefront, now is as good a time as any to get off that fence. We're here to help, so if you have any questions please let us know!
Contracts on Invoices
Almost every photography service requires at least one contract between you and your clients. To help make the contract signing process a little easier on you, we have added the ability for you to attach contracts to your invoices. The way it works is pretty simple: when a contract is attached to an invoice, your clients are required to agree to the terms in the document before they are able complete their purchase. Additionally, once your clients have paid for their invoices they receive a copy of the contract along with their emailed receipt, which they can use for a convenient reference in the future.
Example Print Set Images
The items that we call "Print Sets" have been used for a much wider set of products than we originally imagined. They have been used to sell digital images, mouse pads, coffee mugs, key chains, canvas prints, wall posters, print sets (yay! :)), non-standard print sizes, and many other things. Because of the wide variety of products being sold as a "Print Set", we now allow you to upload an example image of what the purchased item might look like. To add an example image to your print sets, go in to the print set details screen and select an image in the "Print Set Example Image" file selection area.
Custom Aperture Plugin
In February we released our custom Lightroom export plugin, and we had a number of people ask if we could perhaps make one for Aperture as well. So we did :). You can download the Aperture plugin from here: http://instaproofs.com/downloads/aperturePlugin.zip. And for those of you that missed the link for the Lightroom plugin, here that is as well: http://instaproofs.com/downloads/lrplugin.zip.
Due to continued popular demand, we have now added the ability for you to add notes to the individual categories within your events! Any notes added to a category will be displayed on your storefront underneath your event notes (if any exist). You can add notes to your categories through the "Manage Photos" page on any of your events.
"Grid View" Event Listing Option
Multiple photographers have requested a new front page option that would display the events in a grid format instead of in our normal list or droplist formats. Well, we think that is a great idea! In fact, we loved the idea so much we went ahead and built it. You can enable the new front page display type by selecting the "display all events in a grid" option from within the preferences page on your account.
We have also received requests for a front page that does not display any events at all, but instead replaces the event list with a password box. Using this view, your clients would get into their events by simply typing in their passwords. If you would rather not reveal your specific clients and/or events to others, this view might be right up your alley. Look for this new view to be complete and available within the next couple of weeks.
Universal Discount Codes and Gift Certificates
When it comes to discount codes, one thing has been requested more than anything else... make them usable on all events. The reason that this has been a popular request is because many photographers like to create a single discount code that they can give to all of their clients. Without a universally usable discount code, each time a new event is created the discount code settings have to be updated to include the new event or the discount code will not work on it. So, without further ado, we'd like to introduce you to the new universal discount code option! If you would like to allow a specific discount code to be used on all of your events (including those that will be created in the future), you can now select the "All Events" option found at the top of the event selection area within the discount code details screen.
Going right along with this is gift certificates. In the past when someone purchased a gift certificate product, our system would automatically create a discount code for them, but the discount code was only good on the same event that it was purchased from. This created issues when someone purchased a high-value gift certificate and the recipient wanted to use it on multiple events (on their Bridal event and their Wedding event, for example). But, by using the new universal discount code option, this issue is now a thing of the past! All gift certificates purchased through your storefronts are now automatically created as universal discount codes.
"Up-to" Selectable Image Limits
In the past, if you wanted your clients to select specific images to go along with a product, you were required to tell them exactly how many images they needed to select. This has worked great for many products, but because some products do not require an exact number of images to be selected with them (collages, albums, proof sets, etc.) it has also been a little bit too restrictive at times. In order to help you better accommodate these types of products we have now added an option that will allow you to define an “up-to” image selection limit. To use the new “up-to” limits, create your product options as you normally would and while defining the number of images for your clients to select, choose the “up-to” option in the droplist shown in front of the quantity box. Selecting the “up-to” option will require your clients to select between 1 and xxxx (your defined limit) images of the specified size.
PayPal Checkout Option
PayPal has become a very real (and very convenient) alternative to standard credit card payments, and because of its growing presence across the online world we have decided to begin accepting PayPal payments in addition to Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Since enabling PayPal as a payment option, approximately 20% of all storefront purchasers have chosen to pay through PayPal. And, according to PayPal, people that use PayPal as their payment option spend up to 14% more than those using a credit card. We're hoping for the best!
We are continually adding and tweaking the functionality of our site, and while we can't accommodate *all* of the requests that we receive, we would love to hear from you if you have any comments or suggestions.
Thank you for your continued business and support!
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