Quick ideas to improve email collection

Don’t let interested buyers and website traffic go to waste! If you shoot special events such as parties, races, proms, graduations and even sports pictures where you are selling online (instead of doing prepay) you need buyers to be able to get to their images! It is also highly possible that you have interested buyers hitting your website before you have the chance to post your images online.

To improve your sales you can do 2 things:

1. Get contact information for every attendee or potential buyer at your event. 2. Capture information for buyers who beat the images to your website and let them know when images are available. Here are some ideas to help you accomplish collecting contact information.

Create a form on your website that allows you to collect contact information and the event name of the images the customer would like to see. Get customers to this section of your website by:

o giving out password cards that list the URL to visit to sign up for email alerts o giving out password cards at your event that contain a QR code that links directly to your website to sign up for email alerts o listing your URL on Fliers/Handouts/Programs/signage o making use of digital signage such as a JumboTron You could request cooperation from the event organizer to facilitate email collection by offering to provide them with a copy of the contact information you collect. Many of the above ideas could take place prior to the event. Whenever possible, we highly suggest collecting emails prior to and during the event as opposed to depending on customers to visit your website on their own. This allows you to be proactive after the event!

One way to collect emails at the event is to use a 2-part password card. Ask the customer to fill out one half with email addresses and allow them to keep another half listing your company name, website and event details. Make sure to use boxes in your email collection space! This will make your cards easier to read by forcing users to PRINT!

We also suggest that you capture emails for those who are visiting your website prior to your images going live so that you can alert them when their images are available to view and purchase.

Don’t forget that cell phone numbers could be a valuable (and quick) way to reach customers. Make sure to add a space for mobile numbers on your contact information form.

For help with any of these methods, contact a CCS customer development representative. We do have tools to facilitate all of these methods!


What Do I Do Now? Remarketing After Grads

Remarketing after the first thirty days of a graduation is an integral part of creating additional sales. Remember that the only costs associated with remarketing are prints, hosting fees, credit cards fees and mailing costs. Your other costs are already covered. Hence, you have a very high profit margin on the sales resulting from remarketing.

There are several ways to reach your customers after May that will increase your sales as well as profit margin. This will maximize your profits on graduation shoots.

Remarketing can be done many different ways. Additional emails and postcards are two great ways to reach your customer. Below you will see examples of what these additional efforts can mean for your sales and more importantly, your bottom line. Your total profit on an event can be increased by as much as 22%!

  • This example uses a 300 student graduation with two shots:

    Sales: Let’s assume ….
    Participation/buy rate of 42 % = 126 orders
    Selling price of $7.95 per 5×7 and $14 per 8×10
    Order average of $35.71 (without shipping)
    Sales subtotal $4499
    Gross sales $5129 (with $5 shipping)

    Variable Costs: Let’s assume ….





    Id’ing $12 /hr for 3 hrs.


    Data entry $12/hr for 2 hrs.


    Proofs at  $ .80 (including mailing) each X 300


    Print costs (15%)


    CC Processing fee


    Hosting fee (7%)


    Order entry $12 /hr for 3 hrs.




    Total Variable Costs


    Total costs $1787.72
    Gross sales $5129.46 (with shipping)
    Profit $3341.71 or 65%

Maximizing the event with remarketing

Now, let’s assume that we are able to increase sales 20% using cost-efficient postcards!
$6155.35 or an increase of $1025.89 (with postcards)
NOTE: Additional sales include a $5 archive fee for each order
22.44 orders at $45.71 each with archive fee & shipping

NEW Variable Costs: Let’s assume ….

Postcards at  $ .40 each X 174


Print cost


Hosting Fee (7%)


Order Entry




Labor $12/hr X 1hrs


Total add’l costs


$1025.89-$254.80 =$771.09 Net Profit after postcards
75% is pure profit on the additional 20% of sales


Increasing Sales with email marketing

Now, let’s assume that we are able to increase sales 10% using emails only!
$6155.35 or an increase of $512.95 (using emails only)

NOTE: Additional sales include a $5 archive fee for each order
11.22 orders at $45.71 each with archive fee & shipping

Variable Costs using emails: Let’s assume ….

Print cost


Hosting Fee (7%)


Order Entry




Labor $12/hr X 1hrs


Total add’l costs


$512.95-$121.79 =$391.16 Net Profit
76% Profit on the additional 10% of sales


The Results
The original profit on this graduation event was $3341.71.  Adding the additional profit with extended email marketing and postcards of $1162.25 = Total Profit of $4503.96.
A 34% increase in profit!
You now have 87% total profit now!
These additional sales account for 17% of your total sales! They also account for 26% of the total profit!


Candid Color Systems is now hosting your images for five years. As a photographer, you should take advantage of remarketing your events as well as having a five year marketing plan on all of your events. To discuss your remarketing efforts, please contact Customer Development at 800-336-4550.

Holiday Email Marketing

Looking for extra income during the holiday season? Try sending an email special to your previous customers. Simply adding a few holiday specials to your current email campaign can significantly increase revenue on your events. Email specials not only remind customers of their photographs, but may also prompt them to purchase photos as holiday gifts.

Which holidays should I offer specials for?

The most common holidays that boast sales or specials include the Fourth of July, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas. Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself; ANY holiday is the perfect occasion for an email special!

Which events should I offer specials for?

Holiday email specials are a great addition to any event you’ve photographed over the past year. You may want to put more emphasis on events you feel have lagging sales to help boost these numbers.

What kind of special should I offer?

The sky is the limit when choosing a holiday special.  You can offer discounts, such as percentages off, sale items, such as 8x10s at a reduced price, or two for one deals.  It really depends on what products you want to promote and what sells the best in your particular market.

Specials that have been successful for the Graduation market include: 50% off, $5.00 5x7s, half price 4-5x7s, late fee extensions, and two for one specials.

In addition to singular product offerings, you can also highlight a group of specialty products such as Ornaments, Holiday Greeting Cards, framed prints and more. These collaborated emails can expose customers to a variety of products without being too overwhelming. Below is an example of such an email:

Holidays pose the perfect opportunity to re-market your events and gain additional sales. Be creative with your approach and remember: any time retail stores have a sale, have a sale of your own!

If are not using emails as a marketing tool or are tired of the work involved in creating your own emails, Candid Color has the solution for you. We have integrated email campaigns into our software that provide your customers with instant links to their images and easy ways to communicate your company’s products and services. We’ve even designed templates that automatically populate the emails with your customer’s unique information. It is so easy to use you only need to click a couple of buttons!

If you are interested in setting up customized email marketing campaigns with Candid Color’s FREE software, please contact Customer Development at 1-800-336-4550.

Work Your Bounce Back Emails for Additional Revenue


Are you collecting email addresses at your events for email marketing? If so, do you monitor email activity from the email campaigns you send?  Does the system you use for email marketing allow you to monitor your email campaigns?  If not, you may be overlooking one aspect of email marketing that can cost you sales. Monitoring email activity and editing bounced emails is very important to maximize the potential of the addresses collected.  Email reports will show the number of emails sent, opened, bounced, etc. By examining these numbers you can measure the accuracy of the emails collected and keyed.

Bounce backs are emails that did not get delivered to an email address. Bounced emails include hard bounces which are invalid or miss-keyed addresses and soft bounces which are typically related to a recipient’s mailbox that is full or the recipient’s mail server is overloaded at the time the email message was sent. Many of the invalid or miss-keyed email addresses are due to simple mistakes in URL spelling. For example, cristina@hotmial.com should be cristina@hotmail.com.  These can be easily remedied by looking at the email addresses and correcting common mistakes or by examining the item you used to key the email address from and correcting any typing mistakes.

Correcting emails ensures that you have contact with every participant and customer that provided their information to you.  Once you have corrected your bounce back emails, you can re-send the email to the list of bounced email addresses. You will see an increase in sales as a result.

A study of one graduation in May shows how sales can increase when emails are sent out. This particular case shows the results using the CCS email campaign.  The graph demonstrates a jump in sales after emails were fixed and resent on 5/19/2011. Notice the jump in sales of $400.00 over the previous email.

CCS provides its’ customers with retail software solutions that includes email campaign creation and monitoring.  Our Customer Support department provides hands on training with email campaign setup, queuing, reporting and management. Unlock your potential for additional revenue from email campaigns by contacting our Customer Development Staff and becoming a customer today! 1-800-336-4550.

Post-Marketing for Winter Grads

Post Marketing for Winter Graduations

Graduation season is quickly approaching and it is important to follow some of the best practices of post marketing. The following tips have proven to increase sales. Follow these simple tips to make sure your business isn’t leaving any money on the table.

-Set up the Email Campaign prior to the Grad. The campaign automatically sends out emails periodically throughout the year once it has been configured and the emails have been queued.

-Upload images and have them online within 24 hours after the graduation has been shot.

-Queue Email Campaign within 24 hours notifying your customers that their event is online.

-Queue Paper Proofs and send them to print within 48 hours after the shoot.

-Make sure to offer Quick Retouching and advertise the service through your website and Emails. This costs you $3.00 and can be sold at retail for $10-15.

-Deliver PR Images within 3 days. Offer to burn a disk on site the day of the ceremony to give to the graduation staff.


Marketing to your customers requires that you be proactive. Our software is designed to help you reach out to your customers and doing this in a timely manner will get their attention and increase sales.





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.

Let CCS Help Build Your Graduation Business

Candid Color Systems has been a leader in Special Event Photo Finishing and Photography for more than 30 years.  We have built our business by committing ourselves to the success of our customers and by being innovators in several markets.  The graduation market is no exception.  Our software, products and marketing tools can help you maximize your sales and cut down on office labor.

The graduation software allows our customers to identify images by graduate.  Our customers are encouraged to take multiple poses such as the handshake shot, flag shot and buddy shots.  The graduate’s images can then be identified to send in a personalized email and paper proof for the grad.  When an email proof is sent to the graduate it gives them a link to their images where they can go online to place their orders.  By using our mail proofing system, only the graduate’s images will be present on the proof. They can then order online, by phone, mail or fax.  This software allows for easy ordering and the customer will receive their pictures in a timely fashion.   Here at CCS, we pride ourselves on our quick turn around time, which is usually within 24-48 hours of the time the order is placed.

Marketing is essential to increase your bottom line.  By using our software, photographers have the ability to campaign through emails.  Collecting good emails from, not only the graduates but also from family and friends is a key for success.  With these addresses customers have the ability to send emails with proofs and reminder emails.  We have found that by collecting one email you can increase the number of orders by 14% and by collecting more than one email your increase could be up to 47%.

When shooting graduation pictures, it is important to offer products that are not easily produced by the average picture taker.  We provide products that will capture the memories of that special day.  Our photographers can offer plaques, pictures with titles and school logos, collages, mugs and statuettes.  These products can make that important day even more special.  We also offer a variety of product options such as black and white and sepia; lamination, retouching, Pearlized Paper and online cropping.

Candid Color Systems is here to help with all your marketing and photofinishing needs. Our staff is available to help with all aspects of the photography process from, booking the event, marketing the event, photographing and post-marketing! It’s not too late to prepare for Grad season, give us a call at 800.336.4550 to open your account with Candid Color Systems today!


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