Autumn is officially here, and that's great news for print sales! During the months of October, November, and December, more prints are sold than at any other time of the year. And, to help you get a jump start on the new season, we are offering you yet another discounted fee weekend! During the weekend of October 9th - 11th, all order fees will be reduced from the standard rate of 15% to just 6%! Like always, we suggest taking advantage of the discounted weekend by putting on a sale of your own and maximizing your profits.
Our two main goals here at Instaproofs have always been to 1) help your customers view and purchase prints in an easy and intuitive way, and 2) provide an affordable and comfortable environment for you to manage your prints and print orders in. So, with those couple of things in mind, we have been busily working away behind the scenes on a few things that we think you and your clients are going to enjoy. Here's a quick rundown of everything that is going to be explained in this newsletter:
Enhancements for Your Customers
• enter discount codes on the checkout screen • $0.00 summary screen • bit.ly URLs • email opt-in options • print details page re-design
Enhancements for You
• new option for the featured images • bcc sent with order update emails • dollar-based referral commissions • disable opt-in checkbox • drag and drop photo organization
On to the details!
Like we did in our previous newsletter, I am going to go over a couple of the smaller things first before we dig into the bigger ones:
- Enter discount codes on the checkout screen - In an effort to help your clients more easily find where to submit their discount codes, we have added a discount code submission area to the checkout screen. This discount code submission area is only displayed if there is a discount code available for the event, and the discount code has not yet been applied to the order through the shopping cart page.
- $0.00 summary screen - An order summary screen is now displayed for all zero dollar orders (i.e. when a full-value discount code has been applied to an order). This summary screen allows your customers to view the total amounts being charged for their order one last time before they hit the final “Checkout” button.
- bit.ly URLs - There have been a few instances in the past where some problems were reported with the invoice emails that we send out. These problems have generally stemmed from email service providers that break long URLs into multiple lines, which in turn cause the URLs in the emails to no longer function correctly. In order to alleviate this problem, we now use bit.ly shortened URLs in all invoice emails.
- New option for the featured images - An additional option has been added that allows you to choose where you would like your featured images to be displayed. Instead of having a single option that causes your featured images to display on both your storefront homepage and on your event login screens, you can now choose to enable or disable the featured image from each of the pages individually. The new options are found in the preferences page... one is labeled “Featured Image” and is found in the “Event List Details” table, and the other is labeled “Display Featured Image on Login Page” and is found underneath the main “Enable Featured Images” option.
- BCC sent with order update emails - Almost every email that goes out from our system can be customized by you, and you generally know what the email is going to look like before it is sent. The exception to this rule is the order status update email. For those of you that would like to see what the email says, you now have the option of sending yourself a copy (BCC) of the email.
- Dollar-based referral commissions - Through the referral commission program, you have previously been able to reward your clients with a percentage of the orders that come in as a result of their referrals. This has worked quite well, and there have been a lot of people that have taken advantage of this ability. In addition to the percentage-based model, we have had multiple requests come in to also include a dollar-based model, where you can choose to give your clients a specific dollar amount for each of the orders that come in as a result of their referrals. We think that this is a great idea, and from this point on, when you create your referral commission codes you can now also choose which type of commission you would like to give your clients: dollar-based, or percentage-based.
Email opt-in option
The people browsing your events come in all varieties... some of your visitors are your clients or other people that you know, some are family and friends of your clients, some are attendees from an event that you shot, some are your competitor photographers, and some are just random visitors who happen to enjoy looking through your images. Each type of visitor has their own level of interest in your events and your photography, and some of them do not wish to receive promotional and/or reminder emails for the events that they visit.
For those that do not want to receive promotional emails from you, getting the emails can sometimes be a bother, and the emails are generally thrown away without being read and they are often reported as being spam. The new opt-in checkbox on the login screen allows the people that don't want to receive your emails to be able to opt-out of them right from the get-go. No one likes an inbox full of unwanted solicitations, and this new option allows your visitors to decide for themselves if they want to receive your promotional emails or not.
Print details page re-design!
In an effort to make it easier for you to sell your images, and to make it easier for your clients to purchase your images, the print details page has undergone numerous design changes over the last few years. This newest page makeover is another step in that direction, and it includes quite a few conveniences that the previous designs did not. We'll start with a screen shot:
Some of the enhancements shown above include:
- (a) larger image preview - Instead of displaying three small thumbnail images, we are now displaying a single larger image. This change eliminates many of the clicks that were previously required for your customers to view the more detailed images.
- (b) inline coloring options - When one of the coloring option links is clicked, the image changes in place to the newly selected color.
- (c) previous/next images - Your clients can now view and traverse through your images by using the previous and next thumbnails.
- (d) grouping boxes - If your clients select an option that includes additional comments or multiple print sizes, a small border is displayed around the entire area describing their selection. This area also notifies your visitors on the fly if there are add-ons available for them to purchase for the print size that they have selected.
- (d-2) longer print size droplists - The longer print size droplists can accommodate longer print set names and display sales notices more easily without cutting off their text.
- (e) attention drawing icons - The little icons found next to the “more options” links are used to draw attention to that area. For example, when someone is looking for how to add an image to their favorites, the link is now more obvious and enables them to find the option more quickly than they have in the past.
- (f) thumbnail versions of additional products - Displaying thumbnail versions of your products allows your customers to more easily see the additional items that you have available for them to purchase.
Disable opt-in checkbox
We understand that some of you may feel that the opt-in checkbox limits your emailing campaign's effectiveness, and for that reason, we have created an option that allows you to enable or disable the opt-in checkbox. The “opt-in” checkbox can be enabled or disabled through the use of the “Display Opt-In Checkbox” option found in the preferences page.
Our advice is to leave the opt-in checkbox in place, even if it results in fewer sale and reminder emails being sent out. Those that select to opt-in to your emails are generally the people that are also most likely to read them.
Drag and drop photo organization
By popular request, drag-and-drop photo organization is finally here! To use the new image rearrangement / organization tool, do the following: click “Manage Photos” next to your event » click “Manage Photos” next to the category you are rearranging » click the “Rearrange View” link at the top of the page. Once you have made it to the “Rearrange View” page, you can then click and drag any of your images to the location of your choice (read the directions at the top of the page first). Once your images have been arranged into the order of your liking, click the “Update” button at the bottom of the page to save your changes.
The previous method of arranging your images (using ratings and image names) is still available if you would prefer to continue using that; but once the images for an event have been rearranged using the new drag-and-drop method, that event can no longer use the previous ratings/names method.
Thank you for all of your great input and suggestions! The changes and additions that we put into the system almost always come directly from the suggestions that we receive from our users, and we appreciate your willingness to share your ideas with us!
If you have any questions about anything from this newsletter, please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to unsubscribe to these newsletters you can do so from within the Setup tab in the “preferences” page.