Sports, events, corporate… Arch Boothe’s Magic Memories Inc. has been a full-service photography business for over 19 years. To this day, Arch sees each shoot as a job interview – and he knows how and when to use technology to give his customers a memorable picture day experience -and, that’s what makes him a trailblazer. He enjoys the freedom and the responsibility of owning his own business and takes a lot of care with each subject.
Over the past few years, Arch purposely changed his business to focus less on sports and more on portraits, as well as corporate events and hospitality marketing photography. The reason for the shift? From chasing down bad checks or missing payments to going through envelopes and double-checking orders, Arch felt like he was spending up to a week’s worth of time on his sports jobs doing things that had nothing to do with creating great photos. At the peak of his sports business, Arch was photographing 20,000 kids a year. Lately, he’s chosen to do half that many. When his friend told him about PhotoDay, he decided this might be just the thing to get him back in the game!
First, a Fumble
Arch’s first use of PhotoDay was with a two-part basketball tournament. He set up AdvancePay and a free shipping offer. He used the “Becky” method of getting parents to put a little skin in the game and sent an assistant up and down the bleachers to encourage parents to order. In the end, though, he found the results “disappointing.” He felt that he had not properly understood the process, and not properly explained it to parents. The second half of the basketball tournament was better, but still not quite the results he wanted.
Third Time’s a Charm
For his third try with PhotoDay, Arch worked with a baseball league. This time he went all out. Ahead of picture day, Arch walked the fields and talked to every group of parents he could find. He talked them through the process and had them take out their cell phones and text in their access code on the spot. He printed out a PhotoDay flyer, laminated it, and zip-tied it to dugouts so that parents could see it, even when he wasn’t around.
He had always done prepay with this league. So, with PhotoDay, he offered four different AdvancePay credit amounts – $25, $35, $45, and $55. For any customers who purchased an AdvancePay credit and spent more than $35 on their order, they received free shipping.
By the end of picture day, his AdvancePay orders were already higher than the prepay orders the year before! By the time he published the photos, orders were already above the prior year. Within two weeks after that, he had sold more with this league than what he had with TWO similar leagues the year before.
What made the difference in sales?
- Multi-pose – According to Arch, before PhotoDay there were a lot of poses and shots that no one saw. “In the past, we’d do a team picture or a buddy shot, but no one ever ordered, or even saw, the photos. Now we’ll do a coach/player picture, a team picture where we pose the kids and then we’ll let them ‘freestyle.’ We leave all the photos in unless one is really bad. You never know what Mom is going to like.”
- Speedy Delivery – Parents who ordered right away had their pictures by the next game, which encouraged other parents to do the same.
- Pro-active Marketing – Getting the word out about picture day to parents in the days/weeks leading up to picture day was key to success. Using multiple methods – like flyers at the field, in-person conversations, emails from the league, and text marketing – all helped!
Here’s a look at the actual results from Arch’s spring baseball shoot:
LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
|Average Order Value||$51.09|
“Get flyers up on practice courts and fields!” Arch knows that leagues don’t always do a great job of getting the information to parents so he recommends doing what you can to publicize picture day yourself. One secret weapon? Signs in the ladies room! “Eighty percent of the orders come from moms,” says Arch. “You’ve got to put signs where they’ll see them.” Arch also recommends attending parent meetings and getting the parents to text in the access code while you’re there. During live games or tournaments, Arch likes to have someone walking in the stands, showing parents PhotoDay and answering any questions.
We’re glad that Arch stuck with PhotoDay for that third shoot. Every business is different and it takes some tweaking to get the formula right for your market and your business. In the future, Arch wants to try using PhotoDay Promos, and he’s looking at moving even more of his business over to PhotoDay this year.
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