CCS Offers Quick Turn Around

Whether you are ordering manually from Candid’s software, or your customers are placing orders on a CCS retail Web site, print orders will be fulfilled quickly. Standard print orders and in-stock items will usually ship from the lab within two to three business days. Customized items, such as matted prints, gallery wraps and framed prints will require an extra two or three days for completion.

Non-mounted items requiring artwork, such as Attitude Panos, Level Two prints, and Virtual Groups, typically take three to five business days before they are able to be printed. This timeframe may vary slightly depending on the amount of orders waiting for completion in the lab, retouching and other factors. Once artwork is ready, the printing process should be complete within two to three additional business days.

Turnaround rates apply only to the amount of time an item is in the lab being produced. Production times may be elongated especially during peak times. From May 15 until about the third week of July, customers should expect orders to take an extra three to five business days for completion. Please keep in mind that shipping times will vary depending on the order’s final destination.

Should you find the need to expedite an order, rush services are available at the following rates beginning Monday, March 19, 2012:

  • 1 Day rush – 25% of total lab print cost of the order, with $5 minimum
  • 2 Day rush – 15% of total lab print cost of the order, with $5 minimum

For more information regarding turnaround times and rush options, please call Customer Support at 800-750-0494.

 

Three Steps to a Successful Email Campaign

Three Steps to a Successful Email Campaign

Whether marketing your events using PayFirst or ViewFirst an email campaign is a powerful tool in your arsenal of marketing tools provided by CCS. The success of an email campaign depends on several factors, including, collecting quality email addresses, creating a campaign, and monitoring the success of the campaign through reports. Candid has developed materials and software that help you boost sales after the event.

Collect Quality Email Addresses

Collecting fresh email addresses should be a high priority at every event that you shoot, whether it is Sports, Graduations, or Party Pics. In these situations it is important to communicate to your customers that their email addresses will only be used to send them a proof or link to view their images. They should also be made aware that their images will be posted online.

CCS can provide you with a variety of materials to collect email addresses at any shoot, including, templates that can be used on PayFirst Envelopes, Speculation Forms, and Perforated Cards.

 

Creating an Email Campaign

CORE now features a new email campaign with eight different templates that can be sent out periodically throughout the year. This new program is available in both the Grad and Sports Markets. CCS has developed a successful email campaign that is ready for you to begin using right now, or you can create your own. The Official Grad Email Campaign consists of eight different emails which are sent out throughout the year.

This Email Campaign has been designed to not pose a threat and be labeled as spam. Emails can be sent as HTML or Plain Text, and does not include large images to maximize deliverability rates. Email Marketing is cost effective (Free!), and an efficient way of reaching out to all of your customers. If you have not implemented an email campaign yet, you are missing out on sales following your event. 

Following the Success of Your Email Campaign through Reports

CORE features Email Reporting which allows you to follow the success of your campaign by easily viewing how many emails were sent, opened, and clicked through. Initially, you are able to view each of your email campaigns that you have created, how many emails were sent, bounced, and were opened. You can then sort the reports in various ways. You can view the entire campaign and study which emails were most successful. Another great feature is that you can view all of the email addresses that bounced back and correct any obvious mistakes. Then just re-queue the corrected emails and they will be sent back out.

Email reporting is a great way to track the success of particular emails or campaigns. It’s a great way to keep track of which email addresses are bouncing back and manage them accordingly. Setting up an email campaign is only one of the steps, but it is important to follow up and make sure you are actually reaching as many customers as possible.

Post email marketing is a valuable tool that CCS has provided and it is important to take advantage of this easy and free resource. A successful email campaign begins with collecting fresh email addresses and ends with tracking the success of your campaign. For more information about Email Marketing contact Customer Development at 800-336-4550.

Retail Marketing Tools Promote Online Sales

Retail Marketing Tools Promote Online Sales

Candid Color Systems offers four proprietary software platforms, QuicPics 2, QEMS (QuicPics Event Management System), QuicPost, and CORE. Each platform features a variety of valuable marketing tools to help you produce higher online sales including Quantity Discounts, Express Shipping and Tiered Pricing.

Quantity Discounts

CORE’s package builder has an option to give your customer’s a discounted price when ordering a quantity of the same product. You control the quantity of the package they must order and what price they receive. This encourages your customers to order more because they are getting a price break. Quantity Discounts are available in all markets and are determined per package.

Express Shipping

This new feature is not only available for you to use through the admin site, but your customers have the option to choose Express Shipping when placing their order online. Express Shipping must be setup through the Admin Setup. You determine what your customers are charged for this feature, so it can also be used as a profit center. When this option is selected the order will not be rushed through the lab, but it will be delivered Next Day via FedEx. Your customers could have their order within three days! Express Shipping is available in both CORE and QuicPost.

Tiered Pricing

QEMS allows you to offer your customers “specials” when ordering early. You can set your packages to be at a lower price for the first 2 weeks and have your prices go up on a specific date. Combined with Email Marketing your customers will be encouraged to act now and place their order early to take advantage of the good deals. Tiered Pricing is also available in QuicPics 2, QuicPost, and CORE, however it is on a per package basis. Each package must be setup to expire on a certain date, with the new, higher priced package set to activate on the same day.

CORE, the most advanced software platform, offers all three, Quantity Discounts, Express Shipping, Tired Pricing and much more!

Using these marketing tools your customers will be encouraged to order sooner, order more, and have the option to receive their prints within 3-4 days. All of these options will set you apart from your competitors and give you the opportunity to take advantage of proven marketing tools online retail stores use to promote sales

Photomatch- The Ultimate Proactive Marketing Tool

WHAT IS IT?
Send your customers directly to their images by using our Photomatch software.  CCS exclusively owns, distributes and supports the software that will enable your customers to locate their images via locator number or email link. No computer is necessary at the shoot!

By using Photomatch, you can differentiate yourself from other event photographers.  This proactive marketing strategy will eliminate the need for your customers to search through hundreds or thousands of images to find their own.  This puts the images right in your customers’ hands which will lead to more sales.

HOW TO USE IT?
Photomatch works with almost any digital camera by using a bar code scanner to tag the images. It is the best way to market large events by following these simple steps:

  • Take the photo
  • Scan a perforated card with a locator number**
  • Collect an email from the subject on one half of the perforated card
  • Give the other half to the customer for them to locate their picture when they get home

Once you are back in the office:

  • Enter the email addresses you collected into Photomatch
  • Using Photomatch, send emails to your customers directing them to their pictures- PHOTOMATCH WILL CREATE LINKS TO THEIR IMAGES!

** Photographers have the ability to tag multiple images per customer and multiple customers per image.

WHAT DOES IT COST?
The PhotoMatch system consists of scanners, software and synch cords.  The scanner cost $240.00 and includes the scanner, a USB synch cord, and 3 rechargeable AAA batteries.  The software cost $100.00 and includes the camera synch cord.  This cord allows you to synch any digital camera with a synch port or hot shoe adaptor to the software, thus eliminating the need to tether to a computer

Sheets of blank, perforated cards are available from CCS for $42.00 per package.  There are 500 sheets per package, with each sheet containing 10 cards.  These can be used as single password cards or as 5 two-part cards—per sheet—that would allow you to collect email addresses.  For the full benefit of the PhotoMatch systems it is recommended that you use a two-part card, as collecting the emails allows you to proactively market your event.

 

WHO SHOULD USE IT?
This program is best used at big events with hundreds or thousands of photos, events where people know only the people they came with. Other places to use Photomatch are,  school day photos, sports shoots and greek events.

Photomatch has proven successful at events such as posed photographs with the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza, Party Pics® at the Harlem Globe Trotters games, tailgating before football games, sports shoots, school shoots and proms.

If you would like more information about using Photomatch for you next big event, please contact the Customer Development department at 1-800-336-4550.

 

Candid Color Systems’ Software Offers Up-Sells to Produce Sales

While shopping online have you ever been asked when checking out “Would you like to add this product for only $14.99?” This simple question is an up-sell and it’s an easy way to encourage your customers to purchase more. Candid Color Systems’ unique software provides several marketing tools, including the ability to create up-sells for your online sales.Using CCS’ CORE or QuicPost™ software you are able to choose the products you would like to up-sell and at what specific price. An up-sell can range from adding additional wallets to upgrading your package with mounting. Candid’s Default Offer has a variety of up-sells already built in.With Candid’s software, it’s as easy as 1-2-3 to create an up-sell with these simple steps. First, create your up-sell package, second, check the “up-sell” box, and last, select the package in your original offer that you would like to associate the up-sell with.You can offer a limitless amount of products as an up-sell. The most common and easiest to market to your customers are Pearlized Portrait Finish™, Wallets, and Mounting. Creating an up-sell that is attractive and catches your customer’s attention is important. Add vivid descriptions of the products and include an image of the up-sell product to your offer. Product sample images including several Animated GIFS are available to Candid Color Systems customers on our customer tools website, CandidNet.

Creating an up-sell online gives you a competitive advantage and can create extra sales with no extra work.

Here is one example: at a 500 person shoot:

  • 50 percent order and out of that 250, 125 of them order online.
  • The average amount for these online orders is $49.06 equaling $6,132.50.
  • Out of the 125 that order online, 8% (10) will take the up-sell.
  • The average up-sell is $15 dollars which equals an extra $150 (2.2%) dollars to your previous total without any additional marketing or advertising.

This means, if 5,000 are shot, you have the potential of adding $1,500 to your total just by creating up-sells!

Up-sells are direct advertisements to your customer to purchase an extra product or service. By creating attractive offers you can maximize your sales without any additional work. With Candid’s software, up-sells work great in many markets especially with portraits, sports and grads and. By not offering them, you are losing out on additional sales. START UP-SELLING TODAY to see the benefits first-hand!

Island Photography- A ViewFirst™ Success Story

In 1986, Alex and Cheryl Ipiotis formed Island Photography in Long Island, New York. They began the business with the “Ipiotis Vision” of providing every client with great looking complimentary photo proofs of their special event.

Island Photography currently specializes in graduation, race, and sports photography. They cover more than one thousand events per year, rendering over one million images along the way. With over two decades of success, there are 2 things that Island Photography says have not changed: their love for the business and their lab and partner, Candid Color Systems.

The Challenge

Island Photography is located in the highly competitive New York market. The majority of the Island Photography sports business is conducted in the ViewFirst™ method at the middle school, high school and collegiate levels. The ability for athletes and parents to see their images before they purchase is a competitive advantage. Island Photo needs a strong lab and partner to ensure their ability to identify athletes, provide photo proofs in a timely manner and sell their images.

The Solution
Candid Color Systems is Island Photography’s choice for their ViewFirst™ method of shooting and displaying photographs. Alex is able to post photographs online for clients to view and order, rather than passing around order forms on photo day and forcing guardians to open their check book before they have even seen the photos. This way, students and guardians are able to view the pictures together and decide which proofs they are interested in purchasing.

Candid also provided Alex with the Candid Ordering and Reporting Environment (CORE) software for his business. With the CORE software, Alex is able to identify graduates, runners at races, and athletes of every sport. He is then able to use the program to create personalized proofs to send to these customers. Alex also uses the CORE software to send personalized emails to clients and their guardians. Not only is this email program a technological advancement for Island Photography to utilize, but it is also a convenience to them, as they are now able to focus on their future marketing efforts rather than re-marketing to existing clients.

When asked about his relationship with Candid Color Systems, Alex had this to say, “They are inextricably linked to the success of our business.” Candid Color Systems feels the same about its’ customers.

The Results
-With the assistance of Candid Color Systems and their cutting-edge software, Island Photography is able to remain on the forefront of the photography industry.
-Highly valuing turnaround time and innovative product development, Alex found a perfect match with Candid Color Systems, as these are two of their highly focused areas.

Preparing for the Upcoming Sports Season

Preparing for the Upcoming Sports Season

The slow winter season is a great time to do the preparations to maximize your sales for spring! This downtime is a chance to reorganize your business and begin planning for the busy spring sports season. Organizing a matrix with last year’s events and their sales, along with prospects and their projected sales, is a good place to start. You can also evaluate next year’s goals and fine tune packages for the next season. Beginning your planning now will set the stage for success in the spring.

Creating a matrix will help you assess your sales calls for the upcoming season. To begin, list every event that you shot last spring, as well as new prospects for this spring; across the top create columns for last year’s sales, estimated sales for the new prospects and goals for this season. The new customer estimate can be gathered by figuring the average sale per player from last year and multiplying this by the estimated number of players on a school team. For an entire league you should also estimate the percentage of participation. In the corresponding boxes, place last year’s sales from the event and the estimate of the potential customers. By creating this matrix you can evaluate which jobs were the most successful, and which prospects should be aggressively sought after. Sales calls should be based around this matrix. Don’t limit yourself to the events that are the easiest to book; sometimes the most difficult jobs to book can turn out to be the most successful.

Goal setting is a great way to drive sales calls. Determine how many calls you can make in a day and how many should result in connecting with someone. Reach for this goal everyday to maximize your success in booking jobs. To further organize your sales calls, create a spreadsheet with the contacts along with their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Referring to the matrix, determine which jobs from last year are your top leads and begin calling and sending out e-mails to your contacts. Although some of these contacts may not be ready to book for the spring, stay persistent, keeping in contact with each lead every four to six weeks. Continue to do this for 3-5 years if necessary to book a valuable league or school.

Finally, set goals for this next year. Determine which events you want to book and how many new jobs you want to attain. Consider leagues that you want to gain contracts with and other sports that you haven’t shot before. Set goals for sales calls per day and a desired percentage of jobs booked to result from these calls. Preparation several months in advance is the key to a successful spring!

*Candid Color Systems offers great tools for pre-paid and the View First™ sports programs. We offer online proofing, online ordering, order envelopes, password cards, mailing direct to your end customer, software to print paper proofs, an amazing array of sports products, photographer order entry and over 30 years of photography experience

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