Free Family Portrait Session

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by José De Bardi, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    Here's a good one for ya!

    Got a letter today from my Audi dealership, it contained a very nice letter thanking me for purchasing a new car from them, and as a token of their appreciation please find enclosed a voucher for a £120 family portrait session entitling my to a studio session and a 7x5 framed print.

    Now obviously it's not going to cost the tog £120, so the value is bull****, and obviously the tog is going to push hard to get me to buy more prints etc for extra cost, which you can imagine what my response will be...

    What I can't believe is presumably this £120 value is the normal amount this tog would charge some family for what is essentially 1 small print!!! WHAT A RIP OFF!

    Anyway, gonna do it, just take the Wife, be interesting to see their workflow in the studio etc :)

    Will report back and share the result in due course!
    • Like Like x 1
  2. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    May 5, 2014
    I'm interested to hear your thoughts afterwards :)
  3. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
    Free workshop. :)

    Or maybe it's one seriously nice frame.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Vincepad

    Vincepad TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 29, 2013
    FWIW, we've done this many times at our studio, though we usually give an 8x10. The value of an in-studio session for most things here (sitting fee alone) is $150 (USD), though we consider these to be a "mini-session" which has a lower sitting fee. I have no problem giving that away. (By comparison, our average family session pays a $150 sitting fee, and that includes NO prints. Our typical sale for such a client however, is $150 plus $400-$1,000 in product).

    From the studio perspective, yes we hope to make some additional sales on the day of the freebie, but only about 25-33% of the patrons get anything more than their free print.

    So if the return is so low, why does my studio do it? Two reasons - one, our partners get our name out to many potential customers that we likely otherwise wouldn't reach with our typical marketing - and our partners are selected with an eye toward finding higher income clientele. Which leads me to the second reason for the giveaway. That is to get people into the studio and educated as to how much our usual sitting fee is - and if we've targeted our partners correctly, they will see the fee as a very reasonable amount for the quality they get (since they now have a piece of our work with them as subject in their hands).

    So while we don't get as many to purchase prints from their session as others may think we would like, the real value is the direct marketing. And guess what? We eventually snag a LOT of our freebie customers as paying customers who spend significantly more over time. And their long term spending dwarfs the sales we make from those who purchased a few additional prints at the giveaway day.

    Interestingly, our customers who purchase an extra print or two don't book us for later jobs as frequently as those who don't purchase the extra prints. We have concluded that many people use the free sessions as a test drive. Some are only looking for a free 8x10, and we're 100% fine with that. And either way, the ultimate value of the customers who come in and end up booking us later FAR outpaces the cost of the promotion in the first place. And even those who don't book anything ever again are hopefully having friends and family ask where they got that awesome photo that they have displayed in their house.

    It's a great, and effective, marketing tool, and well worth the studio time.
    • Like Like x 6
  5. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    Booked in to do this Saturday morning just gone, got a call from the tog's Wife first thing to say he had been rushed to hospital RE kidney stones! Will re-book and let you guys know the result!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Oh, ouch. I've had kidneys stones. More pain than a broken leg. Hope they're giving him some nice meds.
  7. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    He's back up and well again, spoke to him today as he called to rebook (22nd Nov). He said was very painful and glad to have made a quick recovery!
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