Hosted by a local church, we will be providing a unique Santa Claus portrait experience. Families are invited to bring both their children and pets to visit and be photographed with Santa.
Since this is also a fundraiser, if participants bring a canned good for the local food pantry, they will receive a complimentary 5x7. A portion of the sales will also be donated to a local shelter that works with at-risk and homeless youth.
When I met with the church board to discuss this idea, I allowed them to choose the charity that will be benefitting from Santa Paws. Since they are hosting the event by providing the space, punch and cookies, I wanted them to be an integral part of the planning.
At the event, I will also have a drawbox in place in which we will be giving away a session and a wall portrait. The entire purpose of the drawing is to generate leads.
I will also have a banner in place and studio information cards. One side of the card will have instructions on how to view and order their images, the other side will be studio information.
This is the second time I have done an event like this with pets. Last year, we offered viewing and ordering at the event. I found that the ordering was difficult for the families as they were attempting to control their dogs and kids and look at images at the same time.
I want this to be a positive experience for the attendees so if I can take away a little stress, I will.
So this year, I am taking a risk by placing the images online. Images will go up the Monday after the event and will be posted for one week. If images are not ordered during that time, families will have to contact me to swing by the studio to look at images. All images will be archived on December 1st. This information is on the cards that we will give them.
Using the templates from the Santa Paws Is Coming to Town Campaign, posters, postcards and an email blast were designed. Posters were distributed throughout the community. Postcards will be mailed to clients. The church that is hosting the event will also be mailing postcards. The event has also been published in church bulletins throughout the Quad Cities.
I will also be blogging and posting on Facebook as the event draws near.
The woman who has been assisting me, sent a press release to our local newspapers. One of the papers found the idea to be quite unique and will be interviewing Kathleen and me next week.
Here’s the challenge, taking new clients from a low cost event into the studio in which the pricing and products are significantly higher. Remember, the guests at the event will be purchasing packages equivalent to school package pricing. Portraits purchased at the event will be mailed and the cost of mailing is figured into the pricing. My assistant will be taking care of the packaging and mailing.
Another challenge is the fact that the Santa Paws images will be placed online to order. Something that is not done at the studio.
So instead of just throwing everyone into the studio pricing and crossing my fingers that they will stick around, we have a process set up to qualify our new clients.
In February, we will run Pet Pals Limited Edition Sessions with some special packages. Although it won’t be full studio pricing, the packages will be significantly higher. Postcards with the Pet Pals promotion will be placed in the event orders.
Remember the draw box? Not only are we gathering emails; but phone numbers will also be acquired. I will have my assistant follow-up with these people to share and schedule the limited edition session.
With the Pet Pals Limited Edition Sessions, these new clients will get the full experience that the studio has to offer. This includes a full consultation and sales session. The consultation is vital at this point. I will have to reeducate the new clients on the importance of studio sales sessions and of course, the pricing. However, by placing emphasis on the experience they will receive during this promotion, new clients will realize quickly how different this session will be.
Following the Pet Pals Limited Edition Sessions, some clients will stick around and become part of the studio, others won’t. That is fine. Remember, not everyone is your client. By having a process in place, you will make the transition from a high volume/low cost event to your studio experience a success. Until next time,