Web Site Redesign, Phase 1

As you may have already noticed, this week we introduced an entirely new look and feel to the website. There were more than a few reasons for this, including lots of feedback from our customers, which led to not just a change in the way the site looks but also in what’s on it.

The first thing we wanted to do is make the website a little more in tune with our mission of preserving America’s memories. So we added a whole section on the website, called Why Scan?, that goes into a lot of detail about exactly how it is that photographs deteriorate over time. There’s a been of lot of work on that subject every since pioneer Henry Wilhelm more or less created the field way back when, and yet it looked to us like a quick overview of a 4-5 web pages would be a handy way to summarize all that research. So tune into our Why Scan section and find out why your old photos are the wrong color.

The second thing we wanted to do is to talk a lot more about two key aspects of our service: the fact that we do our scanning by hand, and our incredible safety precautions.

And the last thing we wanted to do is re-organize the web site so that some of the incredible photographs customers have been sending us get featured a bit more front and center. With their permission, we’ve tried to use amateur customer work to illustrate so much of what we do here, and also frankly because a lot of it is really breathtaking, even if it wasn’t shot by a professional photographer. To help with that, you’ll see that we’ll be including customer photos on our home page from now on, and we’ve also put in a customer Gallery where you can browse some of our first selections. We will continually add to this gallery over time.

What we haven’t done yet is redesign some parts of the site, for example the experience that you go through when reviewing your scans and deciding which to keep. That’ll be Phase 2, so stay tuned for that, too.

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Get 20% off – and an Apple MacBook!

Our last Top 10 promotion was so well received that we wanted to bring it back, with a twist.

This time around you can get up to 20% off your order and win a great prize, including a new Apple MacBook!

But you need to hurry, orders must be placed by February 28!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Use the promo code SPRINGSOON to get 10% off you order, now through Feb 28
  2. If your order is one of the top 3 largest orders placed by Feb 28, you get a total of 20% off PLUS the corresponding prize listed below
  3. If your order is 4th to 10th largest, you get a total of 20% off
  4. Remember, you get 10% off just for placing an order before Feb 28
How your order ranks in size determines your discount & prize
Rank Discount + Prize
1st 20% off
Apple MacBook ($1,599)
2nd 20% off
Nikon D90 Kit ($980)
3rd 20% off
Canon PowerShot G10 ($415)
4-10th 20% off
All Others 10% off
All prizes can be claimed as their cash equivalent.

Your rank is based on the number of images you keep upon completing final checkout.*

We’ll notify you by email if your order is one of the ten largest. Prizes will be awarded after the final checkout deadline.

I mean seriously, a Mac?  A D90 kit?  If I wasn’t so invested in Canon I would be going for this myself . . . oh, wait, employees can’t win the prize.  Damn.

Get Started

* Final checkout deadline date: April 30, 2009

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President of the U.S. By Love

I recently outlined the top priorities for ScanCafe in 2009, which we will work diligently to complete this year. And while our focus is constantly on improving our services, in a bid to help preserve the American legacy, we like to have a bit of fun as well.

So, for Valentine’s Day 2009 we launched a lighthearted promotion where you can submit a photo to get a personalized Obama Photo Valentine. What’s that, you ask?
To create this special gift, our world class photo restoration team inserts Barack Obama into your photo (we can even remove an old flame) and adds a touch of Valentine’s Day charm, too.

It’s free, fun, and beats the pants off a box of chocolates. We realize not everybody likes the President, but we figured this made sense in terms of giving a little support to a new administration in some very tough times. And we do have over 800 submissions already, so at least somebody agrees with us. (We’re working like crazy to get them all done for Valentine’s Day, but my guess is we’ll have to finish some next week).


BTW, the word’s getting out, too, at least with Jane Wells at CNBC, Photojojo, and Courtney Friel at Fox News.

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Mr. Allen Goes to Washington

Sunday I leave for our nation’s capitol.  I have been to DC many times over the years (I was stationed in nearby Quantico while in the Marines – can I get an ooh-rah for Al Bolognese) and have always come away with a sense of awestruck respect for the place.

I am an absolute sucker for history.  Over the coming days, another event of striking historical significance will occur with the swearing in of our first black President.  Now personally, I am politically agnostic – I don’t vote along party lines.  And frankly, the entire political machine is about as exciting and predictable as a trip to the Laundromat.

But this inauguration event has phenomenal historical impact and despite the fact that I will be competing for the 30 Port-o-Johns with the other 4.2 million attendants, I am very much looking forward to attending the swearing-in ceremony as well as a few of the Inaugural Balls.  I guess I better polish up my shoes and knock the dust off my tuxedo!

I will be making posts via Tweets during all the events, which you can follow on my Twitter page.

Top Priorities for ScanCafe in 2009

I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions – mainly because if you want to resolve something, you should just do it and not rely on some trigger date to provide you the impetus.  That is what my Old Man taught me anyway.

I do, however, strongly believe in goals and objectives heading into the New Year.  Even in this trying economic environment we have a lot on our plate here at ScanCafe and are bullish that we will continue to excel in the field of preserving the American legacy.  According to the Chinese calendar, we are about to enter the year of the Ox, which is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work.  Probably a good thing given the amount of weight we all need to pull in the coming year.  And it is in that spirit that we thought it would be good to share with our customers some of the things we will be doing this year:

  1. Black & White Scanning.  We’d like to deliver an affordable, hiqh-quality solution here.
  2. Website Improvements. As we continue to hone the customer experience, we have made many improvements to our website, the gallery and the order process.   We’ve really ramped up the amount of testing and research we’re doing here, and we’re looking forward to using some of those insights to make our customers’ experience better.
  3. Photo Gifts.  Many customers have asked us for the ability to use some of their scanned images to make photo gifts. We think that’s a great idea.
  4. More Options for Pros.  One of our proudest achievements is the number of professionals and hobbyists who use our services. We look forward to engaging more with them and making our service more responsive to their needs.

This is just the high level list, but stay tuned. Certainly, there are a lot of clouds on the economy’s horizon, but we think it’s gonna be a great year.

Best, Sam.

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