Sam Allen

Our Blog.
Sam's two cents.

Our Blog. Sam's two cents.

ScanCafe CEO Sam Allen weighs in on industry events, company news, and more.

Help your friends and earn free scanning

If you’re a ScanCafe customer, you’ve probably noticed somewhat regular discount promotions come through your email mailbox. And while most customers are excited by the savings, some have asked us why we’re discounting our service on what seems like a regular basis.

Well, as a small company we manage our marketing budget very tightly, and make informed decisions on where and when to spend. Given the current economic environment, we don’t see any place better than on our own customers.

Some of our marketing budget goes toward advertising, but certainly nowhere near the amount or proportion as most companies—especially those in the Tax Services category: (Did I mention April 15 is coming up?)

“The Tax Services category spent $220 million in 2008 on ads, an increase of 11% from 2007. Over one-third of the 2008 total was spent on Cable TV ($76.9 million), followed by Spot TV ($40.5 million), and Network TV ($35.7 million).”

In these financially tough times, we’re as committed as ever to improving our customer experience. We take to heart all feedback regarding our service—image quality, website usability, service offerings, even price.

This leads me to an exciting new program we just launched based on numerous customer requests. ScanCafe customers can give friends 20% off their order, just for trying our service. That customer, in return, will get a scanning credit for 10% of all their friends’ orders.

For example: If 5 friends each place $200 orders (or 1 friend places a $1,000 order), that’s a $100 scanning credit for the customer that referred those orders.

If you’re a ScanCafe customer, check your email, we’ve sent you a unique discount code and details on how to participate in this program.

And if you’re not already a ScanCafe customer (and you don’t have any friends that are ScanCafe customers), that’s okay – you’re a friend of ours.

Here’s a 20% discount, courtesy of Sam Allen: FRIENDOFSAM

How to get 20% off your order

  1. Go to the order form by clicking Get Started below
  2. On the order form, look for “Enter Promo Code” at the bottom and enter
    • FRIENDOFSAM
    • (Code not valid for current customers.)
  3. Place your order
Get Started

Orders must be placed by April 23, 2009, 11:59pm PST.

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Get up to 50% off your next ScanCafe order!

It’s officially Spring, and the annual battle against clutter and dust is almost here – Spring cleaning. So, here’s a special offer to help you with those old boxes of slides, negatives, and photos.

Get up to 50% off your next order, between now and March 31.

Think of the space you’ll save when you get all of your photos out of boxes and onto your computer!

How it works

  • Everyone gets 10% off, now through March 31 — use the code SCAN2CLEAN when placing your order
  • If your order is the largest placed by March 31, you get a total of 50% off — 10% when you order and the remainder discounted when you check out
  • If your order is the 2nd to 10th largest, you get a total of 25% off — 10% when you order and the remainder discounted when you check out
  • Multiple orders will count as one, for purposes of this promotion — be sure to use the same email address for all your orders
  • Order size is based on the number of scans you keep upon completing final checkout — for example, an order with 100 images and no scans deleted would be larger than an order with 150 images and 50% of the scans deleted

It’s that simple. We’ll notify you by email if your order is one of the ten largest.

Get Started

Remember, orders only need to be placed by March 31, 11:59pm PST, to qualify.

By placed we mean, simply complete the online order form. You can box up your images and send them to us later–but waiting longer than a few weeks would not be recommended, as final checkout needs to happen by May 31, 2009.

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Try our new B&W negative scanning, and win a $2,000 print by David Hume Kennerly

Black & White negative scanning
Our new black & white scanning service is only $0.69 per negative, including scratch removal.

We’re unbelievably excited to announce our new patent-pending black & white negative scanning process.

Now, black & white negatives can be preserved, and scratches repaired, for just 69 cents per scan. Prices for a similar service from a local photo lab can easily reach $30 an image or more!

Our Proprietary Solution

Black & white negatives are well known for scratching. So, we worked for months with some of our professional customers to develop our new, one-of-a-kind process:

  • Patent-pending “wet mount” process — Negatives are encased in a special solution between two transparent surfaces and scanned, using our Nikon 9000 ED scanners
  • Repair by hand — Each scan is zoomed to approximately 1400 x 900 pixels, and visible defects are are repaired by hand

These two steps produce images of startling quality. Our early customers, like Roy Shigley of Berkeley, CA, have been impressed.

Win a David Hume Kennerly Print

David Hume Kennerly Print
A limited edition print of this Kennerly “5 presidents” photo, a $2,000 value, is yours free if you order the most B&W negatives (over $500 worth) between now and March 29.

Try our new service today. As a special incentive, we’ll give a framed, limited edition, 16 x 20 fine art print from legendary photographer David Hume Kennerly to the customer with the largest black & white negative scanning order over $500, between now and March 23, 2009.

This print retails for $2,000, so it’s an amazing opportunity to get your B&W negatives digitized beautifully and receive an amazing framed photograph from our Pulitzer Prize winning advisory council member — all at the same time. Why not get started today?

Get Started

Order size is based on the number of images you keep upon completing final checkout.*

We’ll notify you by email if your order is the largest. Print to be awarded after the final checkout deadline.

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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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