To Zoomin, with love

Dear Zoomin,

Thank you for taking care of all my printing needs for the past year or so. If it weren’t for you, I seriously wouldn’t have printed these many photos, flipbooks, photobooks, photos on coffee mugs etc. May be one or two as gifts, but not these many for fun for sure.

I’ve made use of many offers you rolled out, starting with the initial free 6″X9″ free flipbook, to less than half of regular price 8″X10″ matte/ luminous/ glossy prints, to XX% off on photo mugs etc.

I printed for myself, my family, my friends and my colleagues too.

We even bought a Canon Digital IXUS Camera on Zoomin Online Camera Store. I think a few of the goodies we received with the cam are still valid. (free shipping coupons, etc.)

I even printed a complete set of pictures for a photo exhibition. You sent the shipping a day late, but it eventually worked out anyway.

I’ve also introduced more than a dozen friends to Zoomin and few of them are addicted now. It might be hard to believe for you when I say people call me, ping me on chat and send me email once in a while with questions about zoomin. I only get back when I can, but still.

With this relationship between you and me, I think I can take the liberty of making some recommendations:

  • Affiliate marketing: The referral program you currently have isn’t a proper affiliate. The least you could do is provide a personalized link and track new introductions through that source. It shouldn’t be very hard to implement that. I’m thinking you can penetrate into the market even more with the right affiliate program. You’re doing good now, but I seriously think you can do better.
  • Business cards: I see you have greeting cards too, good. I should try those sometime! Can you also print business cards? I love the way http://uk.moo.com/ or http://us.moo.com/ do this. May be you can start something similar here, um? Take a look at those amazing ideas and designs when you get a minute.
  • Shopping bags: I was discussing about making these few recommendations to you and a friend jumped up at the idea of a shopping bag. Can you print a photo on a shopping bag? Or a collage may be! A paper bag to actually present gifts could be a brilliant idea, don’t you think? It works like a personalized gift wrap. Sounds exciting to me!
  • T-shirts: I see mouse pads, magnets etc as gifts but not T-shirts; one of the very popular personalized printing merchandise. Is dealing with size the concern?
  • Monthly coupons: You promise to reward the spends with points and then convert them into money. I like the fact that this money can be used as a discount in the next order. However, I don’t like the way you convert it (all points, ever month, mandatory) and the duration it is valid for (generating a coupon and expiring in a couple of weeks). I would like more control on when I want to use it and how.
  • moo: Are you both related? Now, there is a difference of color but earlier even the color (along with the layout and template) used to be same. This is not a recommendation point, just curious! 🙂
  • Photo frames: They are too expensive, I think.
  • Offline builder: For some reason it takes me more than a few hours to even design a simple flipbook of 20 pages. I would appreciate the idea of an offline builder. Similar to the desktop photo uploaders you use. We can install the application on PC and use it to design photo products offline. We can upload the resulting ‘project’ when done, for printing. I’ve heard there are applications and vendors that do this. Why not Zoomin?
  • Tracking: It almost never works. Every time I click the link to view status, the resulting site either shows “no info” or “invalid number”. I know your FAQs address this by dropping the ball in vendor’s court, but it would make me comfortable when things work as expected when I branch off a link from your website. Actually, when I contacted FEDEX with my most recent order, they told me they had no clue what I was referring to! 🙂

When I unpacked my recent flipbook, I saw that ‘thank you’ card asking for feedback. So, I thought I’ll send you few of my thoughts.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, am off to prepare the new zig zag mini. As I have to do it online-only, I need more than an hour.

Cya!

Update:

Read the response from ZoomIn here.

Hampta Pass Trek – Reality Check

Crossing a water stream

Is it easy? Is it suitable for first time trekkers? This is the reality check from the Hampta Pass Trek. My view, my experience and my long time dream come true moment! Quick, top 10 noteworthy points from the trek in The Himalayas.

Ease of the trek:

Many sources we checked with indicated that this is a very easy trek. This list includes a few websites [of the companies] that organize treks, few people who have been on treks before, etc. Either we were too excited to listen to, or may be we were never told so, but the truth is: it’s not an easy trek. Well, easiest of all the treks in The Himalayas, but not an easy one in general.

There were more than few instances when we were thankful that the initially planned 12+ group didn’t make it. For the three of us who could make it, our ego was our strength (Shiva- Well said!). If you have to do it, what other options do you have, other than doing it?? Unless you have that passion for adventure, there are fair chances that you will get pissed off and be mad at everything and everyone around!

If somebody is keeping score: You need prior experience to enjoy this trek. It’s not a cake walk. It’s rock walk!