Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thank You

If you've been paying attention to the news at all, you might be worried about this troubled world we're living in.

Listening to all the stories about downsizing and restructuring, I bet you're spending at least a little bit of time thinking about your job and your place in the world. Wondering about the value of what you do - wondering if what you do is valuable enough that you'll be able to keep doing it tomorrow.

I think about that kind of stuff. And, when I do, I end up thinking about you. Yep, that's right. I think about you and your fellow customers of iPfH. At iPrintfromHome, we do what we do for you. And, because my job is to focus on people, I spend a lot of time thinking about you and Jamie and Lynn and Mark...

I'm always left with the same energizing feeling: You inspire me.

As I've written in a previous post, "Artists are fascinating to work with.

"Artists are people who are headed down a path that is not easily defined. They are creating art, courageously standing behind their work and presenting it to the world. It's not an easy thing to do.

"These people, our customers, are coming to us because they need help realizing their dreams. And I don't mean to imply that we play a large role in that realization. The part we play is small, but important - important to the artist."

Being a part of that, working to help someone along that winding path, is a pleasure. I'm really happy that I get to do it every day. But I also know that I wouldn't get to do it if it weren't for you.

So today, on a day when you might be a little worried about tomorrow, I want to thank you.

Thank you for doing what you do. Thank you for heading down that winding path. And, thank you for choosing iPrintfromHome.com to help you as you go along.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Panoramic Print Sizes

iPrintfromHome.com is pleased to announce new Panoramic Print sizes! Beginning this week, we will be offering Panoramic Photographic Prints in three new sizes: 4"x8", 4"x12" and 4"x16".

We're excited about this for a couple different reasons. First of all, it's always nice to add new sizes to our list of printing options in an effort to better meet our customer's needs.

Specifically, for those of you who are interested in buying a Panoramic Print, but don't necessarily have the wall space for a 12x24 inch or larger print, these new smaller sizes can provide an attractive alternative.

Also, these smaller panoramic printing options will allow you to place a "test-order" for a Panoramic Print, without having to buy a really big one and without spending much money. The 4"x8", 4"x12" and 4"x16" Photographic Panoramic Prints are priced at $1.00, $1.50 and $2.00 respectively.

Now that we've covered the nuts and bolts of this new product offering, I'll tell you why we're really excited about it...

What we're really hoping to do with these new Panoramic Print sizes is to open a door to the world of panoramic printing. Because the prints are small and inexpensive, you can experiment with panoramic printing without worrying about using up too much wall space or freeing up too much wallet space. :)

If you haven't dabbled into panoramic printing yet, we'd encourage you to give it a try. We're all used to seeing 4x6, 8x10 and 16x20 prints. Most people think in terms of these standard print sizes and aspect ratios (ratio of the height to the width) when they shoot photographs, make art and order prints. But given the opportunity to experiment a little, you can, in the words of one of our customers, produce some "drop-dead gorgeous" images.

Panoramic printing offers the opportunity to view and frame your world from a different perspective.

With the addition of these new sizes, we're now offering three different tiers of Panoramic Prints: 4 inch, 12 inch and 20 inch. Within each tier, we have three print size options with the following aspect ratios: 1:2, 1:3, 1:4.

To actually visualize how your image would fit within one of our Panoramic Print sizes, please feel free to download our ROES ordering system and play around with the different templates. Please click here to download ROES.

You can also preview your images as Panoramic Prints using our new Printing Preference Preview and Cropping Tool. To do so, please sign into your account, open the album that contains your images and then click on "Place Order with Printing Preference Previews and Cropping Tool (Beta)".

For more information about our Panoramic Prints, please click here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Art Show Listing - Potential Evolution

One of the free services that we offer to customers of iPrintfromHome.com is our monthly Art Show Listing. The listing features information about art shows that our customers are participating in, as well as images of their artwork.

Click here to see our current Art Show Listing.

We send the Art Show Listing to over 20,000 people across the nation each month in our monthly eNewsletter. It's a relatively simple thing that we can do to help our customers gain exposure. So far, it's been going really well. We get some very cool submissions and our customers seem pleased with the service.

But, like we do with every product and service offered at iPrintfromHome.com, we've been thinking up ways to make it better and ultimately more useful for our customers. First, we're thinking of using the same technology to open an online gallery where our customers can display their work and link to it, without being required to be participating in an art show. The general idea is that we would have an Artist's Listing as well as the Art Show Listing.

The ultimate goal would be to enhance both the Artist's Listing and the Art Show Listing to allow viewers to actually purchase prints of the artwork. The artist, of course, would get to set the price and create the product (i.e. an 8x10 Somerset Giclee with a 1" border OR a 16x20 Photographic Print, ect.). Then we would take care of the rest. We would print the work, send it to the client and then send the artist a check.

Creating this system will take a lot of work and before we really get moving on it, we want to make sure that the interest level is high enough to warrant the work. Also, we want to make sure that we consider all of the possibilities before moving forward with a particular plan.

So that means we want to hear from you.

Depending on the feedback, we'll either go ahead with the project or start thinking of a new one. So if this is something you're interested, definitely let us know.

Click here to send us an email. Or, add your comment to this posting.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to communicate with us about what you like/dislike about iPrintfromHome.com and our ideas, as well as giving us new ideas to think about. We really appreciate your input.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Beginning the New Year

So the new year has officially started, and I'll tell you what - I'm pretty excited about it. Here, at iPrintfromHome.com, we've been coming up with all sorts of different ideas, experimenting, discussing, planning...and now it's time to get things moving.

First, we're going to start featuring this blog in our monthly eNewsletter. To those of you who arrived here by clicking on the link in our eNewsletter, Welcome to our blog! We're excited to have you here and look forward greeting you in your inbox each month! :o)

In addition to that, we've got a whole bunch of other ideas cooking. Many of those ideas stemmed from lessons we've learned working with our iPrintfromHome.com Ambassadors.

This will be our first full year with the Ambassador Center up and running. For those of you who don't know, the Ambassador Center is a space on our website dedicated to helping our customers spread the word about iPrintfromHome.com and also thanking them for their efforts. Click here to visit the Ambassador Center.

The Ambassador Center went live in July '08 and it's really taken off. Our list of Active Ambassadors grows by the week and we continue to be thankful for customer participation.

Our iPrintfromHome.com Ambassadors do a great service to us all. By spreading the word about iPrintfromHome.com through word-of-mouth, our Ambassadors allow us to focus our energy on creating high quality prints and slides and improving our services, instead of spending time (and money) on advertising.

Besides helping to spread the word about iPrintfromHome.com, our Ambassadors also give us great insights on the customer experience by trying out new services and giving us detailed feedback on the ordering process, shipping methods, and of course the prints themselves.

My favorite benefit, which isn't quite as obvious, is that through the Ambassador Center we really get to build on that working relationship that we seek to foster with each and every one of our customers.

As stated in a previous post, at iPrintfromHome.com, "we see ourselves as having a working relationship with our customers. So instead of treating each order as an isolated commitment to produce a certain number of prints and collect a certain amount of money, we treat each order as an opportunity to build on that working relationship."

The most important first step in fostering any working relationship is establishing a clear and open line of communication. We try to do that with every customer interaction, but the Ambassador Center allows us to work with our customers one-on-one outside of the ordering process. Those interactions, when we aren't answering specific questions about placing an order, are where we really find out the good stuff - we find out about what our customers need to succeed as artists or pro-photographers, what they like and dislike about iPrintfromHome.com, and what products and services are on their wishlists that we may be able to help with.

Because all of this is so very valuable to us at iPrintfromHome.com, we're going to put a whole lot more energy into the Ambassador Center and social networking types of programs this year. If you'd like to get involved, start by visiting the Ambassador Center and please feel free to contact us with any suggestions, comments or questions.

We're really excited to start the new year with you and look forward to all that it brings.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January Art Show Listing

We are featuring artists from all over the United States in our January 2009 Art Show Listing. Click here to see the Art Show Listing.

If you have a show coming up and would like it listed, please send us the details so that we can include your show. Click here to learn how to submit information for our Art Show Listing.