We wanted to thank people for their interest in our “joint promotion” and to clarify a few questions that have been raised. (You can read the original here.)
1. A few people have suggested that, with no new bookings, there’s no point running a promotion like this. We do understand … BUT! Yes, our businesses are in hibernation — but animals hibernate so they can make it through Winter to Spring, and we need to do the same. Do everything we can to get up and running as quickly and strongly as possible.
2. As we said originally, this is about two things we CAN do in lockdown — encourage post-lockdown bookings, and reach out to past clients. For example, customers who never purchased, or who never confirmed their product orders. (we have album design orders that date back 2-3 years!)
3. There’s been some understandable confusion about discounts. We’re offering you 15% but we’re not expecting you to match it with your own (although that might help - more about that below).
4. Yes we’re asking for timing and details of your promotion. That’s not to be awkward, just so we have an idea what we’re letting ourselves in for. This is a three-month promotion, and we need to plan ahead as best we can. Also there may be other ways we can support you, even down to setting up any necessary discount codes in Workspace.
5. We do understand that if your promotion is about forward bookings you might not be able to get your orders in before the end of June. We’ll be happy to extend the deadline provided we’ve agreed about your promo, and you have the actual bookings before the end of June. I hope that all helps. Please click the link for more details and to tell us about your proposal.
We’re very lucky in New Zealand compared with much of the world. Behind our “thousand mile moat” chances are we can eradicate this thing — here’s hoping!
All the best, and keep safe.
P.S. Please read on for some thoughts from Ian about discounting and forward bookings. We’re about to publish a book of lessons learned from professional photographers over the last 50 years, so this is a bit of a taste!
Discounts, freebies and grabaseat
At a time like this, especially, the point of special offers (discounts) is to generate business that doesn’t otherwise exist. Otherwise you’re just giving money away.
Here’s how I think about it (tell me if you disagree).
— If we offer you 15%, as we are now, and you don’t pass it on, it’ll look good in your bank account in theory, but do nothing for sales.
— If we offer you 15%, and you mark it up by your normal percentage, your customer, like you, will pay 15% less — a bit better, but not terribly exciting in the days of “buy one get one free”.
— If we offer you 15%, but you offer your customers 30% or more — to make a sale that wouldn’t otherwise exist — you’ll earn less, but something is better than nothing! All discounts come at a price, but right now it might be a price worth paying.
— If we’re only offering you 15%, why should you offer 30% or more? To be clear I’m not saying you should — it’s up top you! But 15% is a real stretch for us, especially with Tier and Companion discount on top, and retail margins are generally much higher, so maybe with more room to move.
— When it comes to future bookings it’s worth remembering that you’re the biggest expense in your business, since at the heart of it what you’re selling is your time. And right now making fewer dollars per hour might be a better thing to do than waste it completely. A bit like Air New Zealand flying an empty seat to Sydney instead if putting it on grabaseat for what they can get.
— Finally, not everything is about discounts. Add-ons and freebies have the advantage that there’s a difference between the perceived value and what they cost you. Extra files or complementary image editing might cost you little if anything. A frame might cost you $150 but be on your price list for far more. Things to think about!