So SmuMug has released a feature I’ve wanted for a long time ever since David Terry told me about the idea.
(BTW happy birthday David)
I’ve been waiting for a version of coupons that would ease the way to let the clients choose their pictures straight from the site.
Like a little shopping spree. But allow me to still be in control of the end result.
As a photographer I want to focus more of my time on creating better pictures and not spending so much time picking pictures and dabbling in business things and I would hope my customers would appreciate this.
I also like the fact that it all still goes through me when they select pictures, and I’m sure that’s what the customer hopes for as well…
I love their print delay feature… having a few days to review their order and enhance the pictures before they’re sent to the printer is perfect.
There are 4 types of SmugMug coupons.
Dollar amount off
Print Credit (Gift Card)
I’m mostly interested in the last of these… which is also probably the most complicated type.
“Print Credit – This functions just like a gift card. If a customer does not use it up in an order, the balance will remain to use on future orders. You can optionally set a start and end date for its use.”
So thanks for the coupons SmugMug and I hope my customers love the idea as much as I do and look forward to incorporation of coupons in 2010 packages.
Now for the questions and requests:
I know it’s a new system and it looks like some kinks need to be worked out.
Limit By Gallery
First off obviously being able to limit a coupon to work with a particular set of pictures is Hugely important to us.
Whether it’s a wedding or a set of our fine art pictures.
You have the ability to limit by date range and that’s cool as well as number of usages.
I was shocked that you weren’t able to specify a gallery they could use.
There are ways around it… but it seems like an unnecessary hassle for us to deal with and worry about.
I made a coupon last night and wanted to present it as a Christmas present to a friend.
How to give it to my friend?
I couldn’t find a way… I ended up sending it in a boring email with a couple of letters on it.
Now I can choose the crappy presentation or having the coupons take more time out of my busy schedule by doing something to present it nicely.
Frankly I’d be happy if I could show them or send them to that nice badge that you show us when We make the coupons.
On this I think maybe I’m missing something and it does actually exist and I haven’t seen anything.
I’ll send that badge in an email myself… but if we could input an email into the system and it came from you guys that would be cool.
I don’t want my customer to have to wait until the very end of their buying process to see the results.
I want them to be excited and happy the whole way through, or at least very quickly.
Personally for me it’s more like a shopping spree or a gift certificate where they can check to see how much they have left or what they’re saving.
But it seems like the very last thing they do is find out that the coupon did indeed work. What if it didn’t work, what if I screwed up on the coupon and they spend 3-4hrs picking (very likely) all for naught.
I’d be in a dog house.
I don’t know how to implement this but I just want them to know sooner that their coupon really is doing what I told them it’d do.
Pay for shipping
There are times where I want their experience to be totally free (because they’ve paid me all up front or it’s a present)
I know shipping varies so much.
But there has to be a way to make that an option at times… like pay for up to $10 of shipping. So we’re not paying for overnight delivery or something.
Shopping spree More worth it
I love being able to hand the reigns totally over to the couple and have them pick their pictures straight from the site, it makes it so we’re not doing the same process on both ends and avoids the problem of how do they tell us.
I also think they’ll be faster at picking (some couples, families take a long time and it’s easier to just say… don’t forget to pick your pictures online.) They also decide where it gets shipped and it goes right to them.
This makes it worth paying for these costs instead of choosing a less expensive print alternative, even for the really big print packages in the 4 figure ranges.
Having us pay for printing is a No-Brainer everyone expects that.
But I still ask myself… is it worth it to have them order this way when I’ll get charged 15% of my proposed cost.
When they order straight from the site it seems like part of that comes from the fact that you’re handling the money part.
but in the case of the coupon that’s like a shopping spree… well I’ve handled the money on my side. Or it’s a present… that has now become much much more expensive.
Is it worth it? Or should i have them pick and then just order them myself (from smugmug) just as if they had ordered it but avoid the 15%
But then I think well since I’m already doing that perhaps I go to other print sources.
I want it to be worth it pretty bad because I want to save time. But I also want to save money.
SmugMug – You need to get your part understandably… but some of our coupons plan on being very large and at 15% it’s hard because on certain coupons that’s coming straight out of our credit cards and not as a deduction from a print sale.
You’re not saving us from handling the sales (exchange of money) part so what’s a fair lower rate so compensate you for handling the picture selection.
Example I’ll give a $1500 print package (shopping spree, gift card) for $1000 to a client when they do a wedding for $3000 – To me in the end it’s $1000 but and that’s what I get.
I know a ton of pros that include a print package for a ton of print credit in their wedding because they know that the actual cost is rather low for the actual prints.
But then I get charge 15% on $1500 … is that right?
Now having just gotten home from a trip and not knowing everything about it… I’m more than happy if I’m mistaken on how this works.
Just asking the questions and hoping that you’re working on improving your new and very fortunate upgrade to your wonderful system.
Well as I use it more I might have others… and I’m happy to see what other people are liking or hoping for… and knowing SmugMug I’m sure they’d like to see what people are looking for.