The E-Certificate Breakdown
It is important to note that e-certificate DOES NOT mean gift certificate. E-certificates are redemption based coupons that help photographers drive sales. E-certificates can be issued for predetermined print sizes/packages, dollar amounts, or a percentage off. Why are they so great? E-certificates can be distributed before an event has even been shot! Having an e-certificate readily available to the end customer makes it easy for them to access their gallery which will create good traffic that promotes print sales. How does it work? For Single use certificates the photographer is charged a deposit that is based on the wholesale cost of the product. I.E. If the e-certificate is for a predetermined package of prints the photographer pays for these prints at cost but they will be purchased by the client at the photographers prices. Multiple use certificates are intended for promotional use and there is no deposit required. Any deposits that the photographer has paid are applied back to the wholesale cost of the product as orders come in. Basically, the photographer pays nothing as long as their clients are placing orders. If the e-certificate is not used or it expires the deposit is returned to the photographer in full.
The most important difference between the available options is how the photographer would like the e-certificates distributed. There are two types of e-certificates: Single use and Multiple use.
Type 1:Single Use E-Certificates (one time use) can be distributed by the photographer manually, email, or order form.
*Photographer is charged a deposit upfront that is based on the product wholesale cost plus shipping.
*If a package or print sizes has been predetermined for the e-certificate the customer must purchase these first before being able to add anything else.
*If the e-certificate is a dollar amount or percentage off, the photographer can require a minimum order amount.
Photographer places the order for certificate(s) and the photographer is solely responsible for distributing the e-certificate codes via cards, fliers, or email.
Distributed to customers once events become active, ideal for a large client base. I.E. Wedding.
- Individually: Each email address can be entered by the photographer individually. -Recommended if there are only a few.
- By Group: The Photographer can upload a CSV file that has all email addresses included. -Recommended for large groups of people.
This option enables the photographer to pre-generate and distribute e-certificate codes that are embedded within the studios order forms. These are generic or FLEX codes that are not valid until the photographer activates them manually. I.E. An order form is given to the end customer that includes a flex code; the end customer returns the order form with payment to the photographer; the photographer activates the flex code and now it is a valid e-certificate. *Requires filing and record keeping on the photographers end. This option is great for portrait and sports photographers that prefer to offer certain packages.
Type 2: Multiple Use E-Certificates
Intended mainly for promotional use and no deposit is required. Expiration date and order minimum can be set. Dollar off, percentage off, or 1 free 4×6 or 5×7 print with single orders can be chosen. The number of uses is defined at the time of e-certificates creation. Any customer(s) with the E-certificate code can apply the discount to an order.