Autumn is in the air, and that is great for business! During this time of year the kids are back in school, dances are taking place, pee-wee sports are starting up, weddings and conferences are popping up all over the place, and people are starting to settle down and think about the upcoming holidays. The great news about all of these activities is that they all include people getting their pictures taken!
To help you make the most of this exciting and busy season, we have been hard at work making changes and additions to the site's functionality to help you sell more prints! Here are some of the things that we have been working on:
- Upcoming Discount Weekends
- Previous/Next Thumbnail Scrolling
- Password-only Login Screen
- Social Bookmarks on the Image Details Screen
- Bulk Email for Abandoned Carts
- Custom Favicon
- Portable Contracts iPad Application
Upcoming Discount Weekends
While this isn't something that we have technically been “busy working on”, it is something that we feel can help you sell more prints. How could it help you sell more prints, you might ask? Well, by lowering our fees for a weekend we hope to encourage you to put on a sale of your own at the same time. While our fees are down, it is an excellent time for you to encourage your clients to purchase more prints!
The dates for the upcoming discounted weekends are: October 7th - 9th, and December 2nd - 4th. During these discounted weekends, all of our order fees will be reduced to just 6%. Enjoy!
Previous/Next Thumbnail Scrolling
Over the course of the last couple of years, we have had many photographers request the ability to more easily go through their images without having to go back and forth between the details screen and the thumbnails screen. Earlier this year we were given the suggestion of doing this in a way similar to how flickr allows you to scroll through their thumbnail images, and we thought that was a terrific idea! The image below shows the three different stages of the scrolling thumbnails:
- Dormant - The three thumbnails (previous, current, next) display as simple, standard, clickable thumbnail images.
- Notification - When you hover your mouse over the far side of either the previous or next thumbnail images, small arrow icons display and alert you to the scrolling ability of the thumbnails.
- Action - When you hover your mouse over the small arrows displayed during the Notification stage, the arrows become more pronounced and clicking on them scrolls the thumbnails to the next set of images.
Password-only Login Screen
Many photographers proudly display their photo galleries to the world, while others prefer a little more privacy. This addition was put in place solely for those of you that fall into the latter category and would rather keep your events (and clients) hidden from the eyes of the general public. When the new homepage preference is chosen, instead of displaying a list of your events on your storefront it will display a simple login form instead. Because your clients are required to enter a password in the login form, having this option enabled requires that all of your events to be password protected.
To enable this option, go into the “preferences” page within the “Setup” tab and select the “Login Screen Only” option from the “Event Listing Method” droplist.
Along with creating this new homepage option, we also now allow you to host and display the login form on your own website. You can make it look however you would like, and you can place it anywhere that you desire on your own website. If this is something that interests you, please shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to give you the details.
Social Bookmarks on the Image Details Screen
Three years ago we started placing a social bookmark toolbar across the top of our storefronts, and since that time we have received quite a few requests to allow social bookmarks on the individual images as well. Because many events are password protected it was a little tricky getting this to work and to have image thumbnails displayed with the links, but with a little bit of hard work and ingenuity we were able to make it happen! Social bookmarks have now been enabled for individual images, and your client can now link to their favorite images on facebook, twitter, google, etc.
Since enabling this option, over 80% of all social bookmark links created from the storefronts are linked to individual images instead of to the events themselves. Your clients are loving it, and we hope you are loving it too!
Bulk Email for Abandoned Carts
One common occurrence among all storefronts across the web is that some people add items to their shopping cart and then never complete their purchase. Maybe they didn't have their credit card handy at the time, maybe they wanted to add more to their cart later on, or maybe they were just waiting for someone else to take a look at the items before they completed their purchase. Whatever the reason, we would like to help you turn these abandoned carts into completed purchases. In order to do this we have created a new bulk email option for you to use, that was created exclusively for abandoned shopping carts.
The new bulk email functionality is almost identical to our previous bulk email offerings, with the exception being that these emails can be sent to only people with abandoned carts. What this allows you to do is send out reminder emails to all of the people in all of your events that have non-completed purchases, and remind them that time is running out. To get them excited for the purchase and to make things easier for them, we include a sample of their cart items in the email and we provide a direct link to their shopping cart contents.
To use the new bulk email functionality visit the “bulk email” page within the “Setup” tab, and select “shopping cart reminder email” as the bulk email type.
Have you ever noticed the custom icons displayed in the address bar of your browser when you visit some of your favorite websites? That icon is called a favicon, and you can now have your very own :). Favicons are very limited in size (typically 16x16 pixels), but can be just about anything that you would like them to be. To use your own favicon in place of the default Instaproofs icon, go into the “customize” page within the “Setup” tab and upload the image of your choice through the new favicon upload area. We'll take care of it from there.
Portable Contracts iPad Application
A year and a half ago we were reading a blog posting by Ryan Wilcox, and in his post he mentioned that he would love to be able to use the iPad to read, sign, date, and email his photography contracts. We *loved* the idea, and we started working with him on the project almost immediately. There were a lot of rough patches along the way, but last week we finally released Portable Contracts for the iPad! We believe that it is the best contract templating and signing application available for any tablet device anywhere, and we'd like to invite you to take a look and see if you agree.
Portable Contracts is currently listed in the app store for $4.99, and on October 20th that price will jump to $14.99. Included with your purchase is one set of contract templates that can be downloaded for free through the in-app purchase area of the application. The contract templates that we have available to select from include a property release, a couple of model releases, a portrait session contract, a wedding contract, copyright violation and DMCA takedown notices, a copyright release, and more.
If you purchase Portable Contracts before October 20th and determine that it's not a good fit for your business, just shoot us an email and we will take $5 off of our fees from any of your unpaid orders. You've got nothing to lose, and we'd love to see the app being used by as many photographers as possible.
And that's a wrap for this newsletter! Some of the things that our developers are working on right now include bulk pricing discounts, a photographer directory service, and some updated (better looking) bulk email templates. Be on the lookout for those couple of things to come out within the next couple of months!
As always, thank you for your support and your suggestions.
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