This month's Peer2Peer focuses on ancillary products. These complimentary gifts are typically given to clients—and sometimes vendors—as thank you gifts, sales promotions, for referred business, etc. to show your appreciation. Whatever the occasion, these value-added products reinforce recipients' good feelings about you and your studio. Our survey was sent out June 8 and ran through June 18, 2007. With 780 respondents, almost half (47.27%) answered that they offer ancillary products to their clients. Here's what else they told us. . .
• Of those that responded that they do offer ancillary products, 30.41% offer them as thank-you gifts, 28.36 % offer them as part of a purchased package, 21.18% offer them for referred business, and 18% offer ancillary products at a certain price point.
• Prints (20.34%), photo books (14.12%), CDs (13.75%), and picture frames (11.70%) are the most common ancillary products offered by photographers.
• More than half, 55.04%, of the photographers who answered our survey thought it would be helpful for Studio Photography to cover stories about ancillary products.
"I was taught years ago to under-promise and over-deliver. I oftentimes make sure that my clients have a little something extra in with their order. It doesn't have to be extravagant—they will appreciate every act of being treated special."
Mack Davis/Photoworks, Redding, CA www.mdphotoworks.com
"It's that little 'something' at no extra charge that reinforces a client's warm feelings toward you/your studio—assuming they are already happy with your work. But that little something needs to be relevant and not perceived as expensive or they will think they are actually paying for it in their fee."
Anna Morris, AnnaShoots.com, NY, NY www.annashoots.com
"We offer our 'signature style photographs.' We print on inkjet paper so people can sign their best wishes around a collage of photographs from the engagement session. Our panoramic measures 36" long by 12" high. It's very popular and comes framed. Everyone who hires us loves the panoramic signature mat. It is another reason why some brides say they wanted to meet with us for a consultation."
John Wilson, Wedding Photographics, Chattanooga, TN www.weddingphotographics.net
"I use miniature photo books—the type that women can carry around in their purses. It's like having a moving exhibit being shown by your client to all of their friends and work associates."
Rick Haithcox, Rick Haithcox Photography, Dallas, NC www.rickhaithcox.com
"My clients love the extra touch of a thank you gift being sent to them a few weeks after their order is fulfilled. It keeps my studio name in their minds and says to them that their business is important to me."