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Photo Contest Insider Blog

Running a Great Print Sale

May 10, 2016

Running a photography studio means you need to maximize the amount of money you can make from each photoshoot, and most photographers will focus on that first sale. A lot of us make our money when we are able to upsell prints, photo albums, and so on to our clients – the products that they keep from the photoshoot for many years afterwards. It is hugely important to keep hold of your client images on a hard drive for as long as possible, and here’s why: that initial sale doesn’t have to be the last. You can in fact sell more prints even long after the shoot, and you can do it most easily with a print sale.

Setting up a print sale is so easy if you know what you are doing, and can yield fantastic results. You could double or triple your profits during a print sale compared to a normal week or month!

Here are the steps you need to follow to make this work.

Launch the Sale

First of all, you need to get the sale going in the first place. Decide on the discount that you are going to offer, and get all of your client images ready. If you use online galleries to allow clients to choose images for prints, then reactivate them all. Yes, all! They need to be able to go back and look at their images in order to decide which ones they want as prints. If you aren’t using galleries, you may wish to at least have a way of showing them the prints they have bought in the past, or some of their favourite images that didn’t make the cut first time around. This is really important as they just won’t be motivated to buy if they can’t see those images in the first place.

Now, it’s time to let everyone know that the sale is on. Send out an email to your whole list, particularly old clients. If you include some people who have not done a photoshoot with you before, this may encourage new bookings as they rush to take advantage of the offer – but if you want to retain full price on first bookings, then exclude them from the list. Let them know about the offer and that they can access their galleries at the link they used last time.

Talking of the offer itself, a two for one is usually a good idea. If you make it the same image twice, people will be able to get one for themselves and one for a family member, and you won’t have to do the work of preparing two images. You could also try selling prints at a discount price such as half off, but this may result in lower profits at the end of your sale. If you time it right, you can also pitch these prints as holiday gifts for relatives.

Promote the Sale

Prepare some eye-catching graphics for social networks to let people know that the sale is on. If you don’t have great graphic design skills yourself, you can pay someone else to make them for you, or use templates provided by other studios. Make sure that they are as visible as possible wherever you have fans or followers – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, the lot. You can add a link to the sale in your email signature for the duration of the event, and post a blog about it. Mention it in Facebook groups. Basically, shout about it from the rooftops!

A few days before the sale is due to end, send out an email to everyone that hasn’t yet bought, reminding them that they have only a little time left. Don’t panic if you don’t have many sales yet – the sense of urgency will increase from here on in, prompting more sales. In fact, the last day is likely to be your busiest, and you’ll have people placing orders right up to the last minute!

If you have clients that still haven’t ordered their prints from previous shoots, but they have credits available to do so, now is also a good time to remind them. They will be getting a free print if they do it now rather than later, so this is a great incentive to actually get those orders dealt with. What often happens is that they get excited about the sale and buy extra prints, therefore spending more money as well as using up their credits, which is great for you.

End the Sale

When you get to that final day, have an email prepped and ready to send out. Remind everyone that this is it – they have less than 24 hours left to buy. Remember to include the exact time at which the sale is finishing so that they will be able to dive in there even at the last minute – otherwise they may assume they have missed the window and fail to click through. This is the point at which the large bulk of your sales will occur, so if you don’t have an automated printing process set up, now is the time to get busy sending all of those orders through.

Plan Ahead

Now that you have successfully completed your print sale, it’s time to look ahead to next year. Analyse your results. Which social network brought you the most referrals? Which email subject was the one that garnered the most opens? Which call to action prompted the most sales? You can also see whether it was older clients, more recent ones, or those who didn’t use up their credits yet who bought the most. All of this is really valuable data that you can use next year. You might even get feedback from some of your clients – some of them might mention why they didn’t or couldn’t take you up on the offer, and some may tell you of deals they would like to see in the future. This is all part of the learning curve, and will help you to plan your next sale ahead much more efficiently!