Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

In 2009, we put a lot of energy into social networking programs. Those of you who were with us through the year joined in the conversation on this blog, on Twitter and on Facebook. And, many of you took advantage of our Tweet Treat specials, which we ran every Tuesday in the Spring/Summer and weekly in the fall.

We started all of these programs with one goal in mind: we wanted to connect more with you, both our existing customers and those of you who had never heard of us before.

Pretty early on in the history of, we noticed that an overwhelming majority of customers first came to our site because they heard about us from a friend.

Word-of-mouth advertising, fueled by customer loyalty, allows us to focus our energy on providing a high-quality product and excellent customer service instead of spending time (and money) on advertising.

So how did we arrive at that position? What makes our customers want to go out and spread the word about our company?

The answer is surprisingly simple: We take care of our peeps.

At, we make photographic and giclee fine art prints from digital files for artists and photographers. We help people create the prints that they need to run their own businesses, sell in their Etsy shops or hang in galleries.

We've been working with artists and photographers for 30 years. We know who you are, what you need, and how important it is to you that we get it right and on time. And we don't just tell you that we know these things - we show you every day.

What it all boils down to is this: we exist as a company because we have customers who take advantage of our services. We know how important you are to our business and we do our best to not only meet your expectations but to exceed them. At, we provide you with a high-quality product that you value, with consistency that you trust, and customer service you can rely on to help make things right if you run into a problem.

As a result, many of you are tweeting about how happy you are with your prints, raving about our services to a friend, and referring new customers to We've also seen a great increase in participation in our Ambassadors program.

It's pretty clear to us that one of the best business decisions we can make is to invest in you. We made some changes in 2009 that we hope made your experience at even better: we increased the number of "Thank You Dollars" you could earn for referring a friend from $3 to $6, offered weekly Tweet Treats, and started offering free FedEx Ground shipping.

We really appreciate every little thing that you do to help spread the word about our services. If you have any suggestions about things that we can do to make your experience with our company run a little smoother, or if there is a service that you wish we'd offer, please contact us to let us know. We can't promise to act on all of your suggestions, but we can promise to listen and do our best to meet your needs.

The more I look, the more I see this pattern repeated - this pattern of people and businesses playing a role in promoting virtuous cycles (the opposite of vicious cycles). And, the more I see it, the more hopeful the idealist inside of me becomes. Nice guys don't always finish last.

There is an old, torn and yellowed photocopy taped to the refrigerator in our lunch room that reads:

"We know that no one shop can have all the business. We also know that business goes where it is invited and stays where it is taken care of."

Living true to that philosophy has allowed my father to stay in business for 30 years and it continues to drive our success today. We look forward to working with you in 2010 and for many years to come.

Thank you for your continued support of! Happy New Year!

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