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Promotional products are an integral part of marketing and branding your company. Everyone loves a branded lanyard or coffee mug, but of course, as product printers, you already know that. You’ve got your work down to an art: designing, setting up your virtual sample to show your clients what the final product will look like, getting the product made and sent, celebrating a job well done. But what about the in-between stages? Specifically, what about your proofing process?
While you’ve got your work down to an art, working with clients is often a guessing game. You can’t reach the final stages of your process (and celebrate!) until your virtual sample is approved, and that can be the trickiest part when proofing through email or with a software lacking the features you need. With Ashore, you can get better quality feedback and keep your work at the top of your clients’ minds. It’s not all about the clients, though – our virtual sample software also improves your experience with proofing by saving you time and keeping all your proofs organized.
Rather than spin your wheels trying to figure out what your clients mean and whether or not they remember that they need to check for spelling, you can utilize Ashore’s proofing features to get the feedback you need.
Your products and proofs are visual, so your comments need to be, too. That’s best accomplished by giving your reviewers the ability to comment directly on the image of their proof. They can also make use of the box and arrow comments to better convey an entire space or movement. One of our most integral features, contextual comments takes the guesswork out of proofing.
Often, your client has a team that needs to approve their virtual sample. This is easily accomplished in Ashore with our link sharing – anyone with the link can view the proof and leave their comments and converse with each other. Crucially, you’re also able to reply to the comments and clarify and discuss the points made.
Your clients have a lot on their minds. They’re not going to remember what the last version looked like, or that they already said they didn’t like the cup being red – and that’s why it’s now blue in version two. Version control saves you the hassle of reminding your reviewers what all the previous versions looked like and what changes they wanted made that resulted in the most recent version. And, rather than having to dig through their emails to find the previous versions, the ability to page through is right there on the review screen for easy access.
The last thing you want to happen is to send a job to production and then have your client realize, upon looking at the virtual sample again, that the placement of the logo on their ballpoint pen is not what they wanted. Our eSignature feature, checklists, allows you to create a checklist that will appear on each proof you send out. Your clients will need to sign off on each item on the checklist prior to approval, so you know that they at least said they checked for spelling – and hopefully they actually did.
Behind the scenes
A virtual sample software can work swimmingly for your clients, but if it doesn’t make your part of the proofing process easier, is it really worth the effort? Virtual sample software helps to save you time by automating certain processes and keeping you organized.
While we’ve moved the proofing process out of emails, they still have their place. If you’re using a workflow rather than a link to send a virtual sample proof, or if you need to send a message to your current approvers, email is the way to go. However, most of your emails probably say something pretty similar, and typing the same thing over and over is just a waste of time. That’s where email templates come in. You can set up a base template to use whenever you need it and take advantage of our template variables that will autofill with things such as the approver’s name or the proof title.
You went through all of the trouble of having your logo designed and buying your business domain to present a unified front to your customers, and Ashore understands the need for an enterprise-level feel at all levels of business. With all of our accounts you can upload your logo, which will then appear on all emails that you send. As well, you can integrate your email so that all emails will come from you. If you need that extra step further, our Enterprise accounts offer domain white-labeling so even the review screen URLs point to your business.
Keeping up with every client and project going on is a full time job in and of itself. Automated reminders keep your virtual sample at the top of your clients’ minds and encourages them to make a decision, even if only to stop the reminders. We also have a reminder template for you to customize, and our template variables work here to make each one that much more personalized. Ashore even lets you choose the days and times that the reminders go out, to maximize your reach (and avoid angry emails for a Sunday reminder email).
The Full Package
It’s important for your virtual sample software to provide a good experience for both you and your approvers. With all of our features, Ashore works to make our software easily understood and easy to customize to fit your needs. But you don’t need to take my word for it – just like you send a virtual sample to your clients before printing, you can sample Ashore with a free account today.