Create photography gift registries with this simple ShootProof hack! Sell more by helping your clients crowdfund their wedding and newborn photography. (Photographs: DORIE HOWELL, co-founder of IPS Masterming)
Today’s shoppers love the simplicity of purchasing presents online. From crowdfunded baby cribs to pre-paid honeymoon excursions, gift-giving is easier than ever – especially when the recipient uses a gift registry!
Washington, D.C., area photographer Dorie Howell offers her clients their own online photography gift registries – and she creates them directly through ShootProof.
“People book their newborn photography and wedding photography months – or years – in advance,” Dorie shares. “Why not make it easy for their friends and family to contribute financially to the photography experience?”
Why photography gift registries?
Think of photography gift registries as virtual gift certificates. With a quick online transaction, gift-givers can contribute funds toward a recipient’s photography services or products. These registries bridge the gap between monogrammed towels and cold, hard cash by offering an easy, enjoyable way to give gifts with real impact. Photography gift registries are becoming popular options for:
- wedding couples
- high school seniors
With $19 billion spent annually on wedding gifts, and American parents spending an estimated $12,000 by their baby’s first birthday, it only makes sense to empower your clients with a photography gift registry.
With the help of friends and family, photography clients’ budgets expand to allow for larger albums, longer sessions, and luxury service.
Enhance your client’s photography experience with their own online registry.
You don’t need special software to give your clients their own photography gift registry. With a few clever hacks, Dorie Howell began offering photography gift registries directly through her ShootProof account!
Create your first ShootProof-hosted photography gift registry using the five steps below. To guide you through the process, we created our own sample registry for an imaginary photography client we’ll call Emily K. Let’s get started!
#1: Create a ShootProof gallery.
To set up your first registry, create a new ShootProof gallery. For our pretend client, we created Emily K.’s Gift Registry. The express purpose of this gallery is as a photography gift registry. Don’t plan to add your client’s images to this gallery later. You want your photography galleries kept separate from your photography gift registries.
After uploading a cover image and selecting a page design, here’s what Emily’s gallery intro page looks like:
#2: Make the gift registry easy to find.
There are two ways to present a gift registry gallery to your client. We chose option B, but either method is seamless!
- A: Send the gallery link directly to your client, just as you would email a gallery full of images.
- B: In the gallery’s Settings > Access & Privacy, set the gallery access to Public. This will cause the gift registry to appear on your ShootProof homepage. Since your client’s photos aren’t in this gallery, you don’t need to password-protect it; however, we suggest that you require gallery visitors to enter an email address. This helps prevent fraud, and enables you to track everyone who logs into the registry.
Pro Tip: Sometimes buyers need a little push.
When you require gallery visitors to provide their email addresses, you earn the option to send automatic emails to visitors with items in their shopping cart, visitors who haven’t purchased anything, and more! Remind people to place or complete their oder with a series of Automated Emails made specifically for your photography gift registries. (Note: ShootProof is GDPR compliant where applicable.)
#3: Create a Gift Registry price sheet, and attach it to the gift registry gallery.
We followed Dorie’s lead and created a price sheet offering $25, $50, and $100 gift credits. If your clients don’t like the idea of appearing to ask for money, nix the gift credits and instead pre-sell specific products, such as:
- Print Packages, such as a collection of (1) 8×10, (2) 5×7’s, and (4) 4×6’s
- 20×30 Gallery Wrap Canvas
- 16×24 Fine Art Print
You may want to experiment with offering a combination of credits and products to see what works best in your market.
#4: Upload an image for each item on your gift registry.
Showcase your product and service offerings with gorgeous photographs or simple graphics. We used Adobe Spark to make a Gift Credit graphic, which we then uploaded to our gift registry. If we were also selling pre-paid products such as framed prints, we would have added a Framed Prints graphic.
When someone clicks on the Gift Credit image, they’re prompted to select an item from our Gift Registry Price Sheet, such as the $100 Gift Credit selected below.
Once the purchaser selects which item they want to purchase, they’ll see the item’s sample image. Our sample image below is a simple graphic, but you can also upload example photos of the products you’re pre-selling, such as an album or a print package.
#5: Share the gift registry.
If you include your photography gift registries on your ShootProof homepage, as we did below, you’ll be able to send one link to all your registry clients. All they’ll have to do is select their gift registry from the homepage.
If your homepage becomes too full, create Categories to group your galleries according to type. Category examples are:
- Gift Registries
#6: Start selling!
As gift registry orders come rolling in, take the opportunity to deliver next-level service to your customers and clients.
- Send a physical gift card. Design Aglow’s Studio Gift Certificate Bundle helps you create custom-branded gift certificates. Deliver them in a Presentation Envelope for the ultimate wow factor.
- Keep your client posted. Update your client every time someone makes a purchase from their gift registry so they know where to send thank-you notes. This also amps up their excitement about their upcoming photography experience!
- Give your client their photography credit! After you photograph your client and upload their ShootProof gallery, add a credit discount to their gallery’s price sheet. From your ShootProof dashboard, simply select Commerce > Pricing, choose the associated price sheet, click Discounts, and choose the Credit discount type.
On the next screen, create a unique promo code for your client and limit it to one use. Share this promo code with your client ONLY unless you want someone else placing an order with their credit.
On the final screen, enter the total dollar amount your client received through their gift registry. When they make purchases through their ShootProof gallery, they’ll simply enter their promo code to apply their credit.
The do’s and don’ts of photography gift registries.
DO communicate clearly with gift-givers and recipients, so everyone knows what was gifted and who gave it.
DON’T spam your gift registry purchasers with emails that aren’t about your client’s gift registry or photo gallery.
DO keep track of the credits you’ve sold.
DON’T count credits as profit until your client has completed their purchasing.
“I process online purchases through ShootProof Payments, and I leave my clients’ gift registry money in my ShootProof account until my client places their order,” says Dorie.
You can view and sort your orders at any time through Commerce > Orders.
DO craft messaging that encourages your client to use their credit funds in a timely manner. Reminding your client that their gallery is about to expire usually does the trick!
DON’T ignore your country’s laws regarding gift certificates. Some U.S. states even have their own laws regarding gift certificates, in addition to the U.S. federal law.
Re: U.S. Federal Gift Card Law
Thanks to the federal Credit CARD Act of 2009, gift certificates and store gift cards can’t expire for five years. However, issuers can still charge an “inactivity fee” if the card has not been used within twelve months. (15 U.S.C. § 1693l–1).
DO create your clients’ photography gift registries as soon as they’ve booked you. Clients are more likely to use photography gift registries when the work is done for them, and all they have to do is share the link.
DON’T forget to utilize discounts and gallery intro messages or videos! If you’re willing to offer a 10% sale on print purchases, why not offer a 10% sale on gift registry purchases! (A $100 gift credit for only $90? Yes, please!)
Are you ready to offer photography gift registries to your clients?
Share your thoughts, ideas, and success stories in the comments below!