“Found money”- a remarketing success story



Prior to the holidays, our local retail operation offered a 30% discount (via email) on digital downloads. This offer appeals to those shopping procrastinators and anyone else that enjoys the immediate gratification of a download.

This special resulted in nearly $4,000 of found money!

Now, if one were to look at the percent who ordered they may not be particularly impressed. The nearly $4,000 came from less than 2% of those who were emailed. We had sales of almost $.10 per email sent. This is not a large number in itself, but this example serves as a reminder that everything is a numbers game.  Little efforts can add up! I think everyone could agree that $4,000 was worth the effort to create this email!

One thing is certain, you will not make any incremental income without collecting email addresses or having some way to re-market to your customers. If you begin building an email database (and keep it fresh by using it to send at least periodic updates to your customers) you can reap ongoing rewards from this effort.

Keep this in mind during all of your spring shoots. Don’t miss the opportunity to make more money in the future by failing to collect emails from your customers.

You could even try a special using digital downloads this spring or summer. Here are some other ideas to get your started:

  • Tax Day, Monday, April 15, 2013- Get a break!
  • Cinco De Mayo, Sunday, May 5, 2013- $5 downloads on 5/5 or $5 off
  • Mother’s Day,  Sunday, May 12, 2013-
  • Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2013
  • Flag Day, June 14, 2013
  • Father’s Day  Sunday, June 16, 2013- Downloads are great for digital frames.
  • First Day of Summer, Friday, June 21, 2013
  • 4th of July- $4 downlaods or $4 off. Celebrate the sale!
  • August – Back to School – Downloads for school projects!

Happy marketing!



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!


Emails, the Super Tool

Emails. They’ve become such a part of our daily personal and professional lives that we hardly think twice about the influence they have on us. We use them for everything, from staying in touch with friends to sharing important information among contacts. However, emails also have a hidden power you may not be aware of: when using them for your photography business; they can improve your event sales significantly! [Read more…]

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.

NEW!! Recorded Email Marketing Webinar NOW Available

Haven’t had time to attend one of our Webinars?  Don’t worry, now you can view the 3rd of our most popular Webinars at your own leisure.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a cost effective way to increase your sales at the shoot and even months later. Learn how Candid can assist with our powerful email campaign and best practices…
•Collecting email addresses prior to the event.
•Premarketing to parents.
•Improving deliverability.
•How to communicate with the school’s IT department.
•Learn about CCS’ Email Campaigns, and their success rate.
•The importance of reporting and tracking your email campaign.

CCS Annual Winter Seminar in Puerto Rico!

Here at Candid we pride ourselves on being involved with our customer base, by watching for changes in the market place and finding solutions to assist our customers in growing their business.  Candid’s Seminars are just one way we reach out to teach our customers about best practices, innovative ideas, and new trends.  This is also a chance for us to hear from you!  This year, CCS’ annual winter seminar is in Puerto Rico.  Our staff will be covering a wealth of information on a variety of markets including; Schools, Sports, Proms and Events.  Topics include Software Training, Sales Calls, Green Screen Photography, Digital Photography, Marketing Your Images – Your Best Options, and what’s New at CCS.

Candid has also added a guest speaker to the agenda, Frank Harrison.  Frank has 21 years of experience in the photography industry, and has had great success shooting youth sports.  He has been featured on the SEPCOM tour and spoke at Imaging USA in Phoenix, AZ.  Frank will share his innovative ideas, and conduct an actual outdoor sports shoot. Discover how to shoot fewer action photos with less staff, while doubling your weekend’s income! Frank will explain what equipment is needed to do “posed action photography,” how to set up a posed action shoot area and how to create a smooth workflow.

We feel it is more important than ever before for our customers to attend the seminar, so we are offering an extended payment plan on hotel rooms to make it easier for everyone to attend!  When you book your room through Candid you will be able to pay for your room over a 3 month period beginning March 1st.  A third of the room will be charged to your lab bill on March 1st, April 1st, and May 1st.  Too make it even easier we will also find a roommate for you to cut the cost in half.  If we are unable to find a roommate for you we will pay for half of the room!  Attending our Winter Seminar will pay for itself with the knowledge that you bring back with you.  All of the information gained will be something you can incorporate into your business tomorrow!

To learn more about The CCS Winter Seminar you can contact Evie at ext. 377.  Become a customer http://www.candid.com/accounts

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.





Preparation for Winter Grads

Preparation for Winter Grads

Winter grad season is right around the corner, so here is a checklist to make sure that you are implementing every strategy to have a profitable grad season. Following these guidelines will help increase your graduation sales and make your workflow run more smoothly.  
Shoot Multiple Shots– By shooting several poses—handshake, Flag shot, etc.—the graduate has a variety of pictures from which to choose.  This frequently leads the customer to purchase more than one pose, which can increase your average sale per graduate.  

Collect emails-Collect primary and secondary email addresses for each graduate.  This is crucial for email marketing. By sending emails you are guiding your customers to order via the Internet which cuts down on office labor and decreases print delivery time.

Rapidly Posting Images– It is essential that all proofs are posted by the time promised in your contract.  Getting your email proofs out within 24 hours not only impresses your customers, but sales take off in a much quicker timetable.  If you are also mailing paper proofs it’s important to get them out into the mail within 24-48 hours.    

Shoot Party Pics®- Before and after the commencement ceremony photograph friends and family.  Remember to distribute password cards so your customers can be directed online for further sales.
Upselling Options-Offering retouching, pearlized paper and the ability to crop photos can also add to your revenue stream.  Frequently, customers will spend the extra money to have the best product possible.  
Offer Specialty Products-CCS has exciting products in the Grad market.  Some of these include plaques, statuettes, Klingons, collages and holiday greeting cards. Offering products that aren’t easily produced creates a higher demand.    

Making the time to follow these guidelines will help your winter grad season not only run more smoothly but it can put more money in your pocket.  These proven practices can help you stay on top of your game in an ever increasing market.  






Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 142 other followers