How I made over $100 with my first teespring campaign
I’ve been reading and hearing stories about online entrepreneurs having success with teespring for a while now. Learning more about it and running my own teespring campaign had been on my to do list to try. After hearing about some teespring success that my friend Servando has had, I just had to give it a try. I ended up earning $100.52 with my very first campaign. With that kind of income, teespring is definitely a viable source of online income and a great way to further diversify your online income.
What is teespring?
Teespring is a company that allows you to create custom designed clothing items and crowdfund them using a campaign. You set the sales goal, and promote your new clothing item, typically t-shirts. When your campaign reaches the goal, your shirts get created, mailed out and you get paid the amount over what it cost teespring to create them for you.
Teespring even helps to market your campaign by running Facebook and Adwords ads for you.
My Teespring Campaign
I run a “life style” blog about our life here in the mountains of Western NC, called Blue Ridge Mountain Life (BRML). BRML has a fairly large Facebook page, with almost 30,000 likes.
Turns out, based on the experience of many others, teespring campaigns convert very well using:
- Facebook – Both page promotion and Facebook ads
- Email lists
I used a site called teeview to get some design inspiration, and see what type of designs were popular. After debating on a few different designs, and ideas, I decided to create a shirt design targeting my Blue Ridge Mountains fan base playing off a popular quote by John Muir: “The Mountains Are Calling, and I Must Go!”.
Here’s the shirt I came up, and this is also one of the ads I used to promote it:
The font on the front and back sides is provided by teespring as part of their really slick online designer. The graphic I had previously purchased from shutter stock. While you can get away with using a JPG or PNG image, vector graphics look and scale much better.
One of things that I think made my campaign not as successful as it could have been is the text I used, “The Blue Ridge are calling and I must go”. Some people felt that the use of are vs is was grammatically incorrect. While technically true, using The Blue Ridge as a plural is widely accepted in literature, magazines and the press. I was initially planning to use “The Blue Ridge Mountains are …”, which would have been “by the book” correct, but it seemed cluttered and too long. In hindsight I would have used that instead of trying to shorten it.
Lesson learned: If there is any question at all about your wording, don’t use it.
I also offered only a tee shirt. I should have created additional products to give people more color and style options. Teespring offers many different types of “shirts”, including: short sleeves, long sleeves, tank tops, hoodies, speciality shirts, athletic wear and more.
Lesson learned: Offer many different styles to give visitors to your campaign page options. More options equates to more sales.
Where to promote your teespring campaign?
Just like any product you create, there are numerous ways to promote and advertise your teespring campaign:
- Your websites
- Social Media
- Email lists
Based on my talks with various people and my reading a great deal about how to run successful teespring campaigns, there are a few options that tend to perform far better than others:
- Facebook ads
- Email lists
I used these three and Google+ as well.
Using my Facebook page was my primary promotion strategy. I shared the ad shown above on my page a few times over the course of the campaign, I also “pinned” the post to the top of my page for the entire campaign duration, and also linked to the teespring campaign in almost every single post I made on my page during the campaign duration. I think the last item lead to the majority of my “reservations”.
The links I included in each of my Facebook posts weren’t just links to the campaign, I used a number of different “calls to action” to encourage post viewers to click through. I tried not to use the same ones in a row, and used as many different ones as I could. Here are a few examples:
- Check out our new T-shirts! [campaign link]
- Show your love for the Blue Ridge! [campaign link]
- Get one of our limited run “The Blue Ridge are calling” shirts: [campaign link]
- Have you reserved one of our new Blue Ridge shirts yet? [campaign link]
- Grab our brand new “The Blue Ridge are calling” shirts. [campaign link]
- Get your Blue Ridge shirt now ==> [campaign link]
I’d like to find a way to track each of these so I know which ones are converting. But until I figure out a solution for that, here’s a tip to track which CTA is working best for you:
Lesson learned: use a service like goo.gl or bit.ly, as they will track your outbound clicks. Use a new link each time so you can track which CTA performs best, and use that CTA more.
Here’s an example of one of the many posts containing a link from our Blue Ridge Mountain Life page:
If you have a Facebook page with a large following, that is a key target market for a successful teespring campaign.
While I haven’t tried this, I’ve read that about a number of online entrepreneurs that created niche pages, targeted at an audience passionate about a hobby, job or topic and then pay a couple thousand dollars to get the like count up to 20,000. Then they would solely use that page as a target market for teespring, affiliate offers or to get traffic to a targeted web page.
I did try an Facebook ad campaign for these shirts as well. I created 4 different ads and set them up for a $5.00 per day max, using optimized CPM. Here’s the stats:
- Total Reach: 3,474
- Total Clicks: 31
- Total Spend: $10
I stopped the ads after the first 2 days, as I was getting more reach for free with my posts. To me the cost at $10 just wasn’t worth the the measly 31 clicks I received. Now, with that being said, this was my very first attempt at a Facebook ad campaign, and I had no clue what I was doing. I’ve since read a number of articles on successful Facebook advertising, and definitely think I could do better in the future.
Many teespring experts, making big money from teespring campaigns, swear by using Facebook ads. In many cases, Facebook ads are the main source of teespring sales. My concern with this approach is that it can cost a decent amount of upfront cash, and can take numerous campaigns to get a return on your investment. I was recently reading in a teespring Facebook group I belong to that only about 25-30% of campaigns are successes, and this is from people that know what they’re doing.
You’ve heard it a million times: “The money is in the list”. Well, it’s true. Why? Email gives you direct access to people that elected to follow you. You couldn’t ask for a better target audience.
I sent out an email to my Blue Ridge Mountain Life subscribers letting them know about the shirts, and included a link to the campaign. The click through rate from the email was pretty high. I just wish I could figure out how to track actual conversions (purchases). But I’m pretty confident based on the timings, that some of the campaign reservations came from the email I sent out.
If you have an email list, use it. They are very effective for campaigns like this.
I also shared the teespring campaign on our Blue Ridge Mountain Life Google+ page. Doing so was quick and easy to do, but I doubt seriously that it resulted in any campaign reservations or even clicks. We have a total of 57 followers on our Google+ page, compare to over 27,000 on our Facebook page. I just haven’t found Google+ pages to be very successful.
BUT, if you have lots of followers on yours, I’m confident this could be a very good promotion strategy for your teespring campaign.
Here are just a few final tips:
- Use Fiverr to hire a graphics artist to design your custom tee shirt. There are a number of them that will do very professional designs for you, at a very low cost.
- Spend time on teeview, and pay attention to which shirts are doing well, and which are not. Use the search function to find tee shirts in your niche.
- Be prepared to fail. Remember, even the professionals making big money on tee spring campaigns only see a 25-30% success ratio. So, don’t be discouraged if it takes a few times to get a successful one.
- If your campaign is coming to an end and you haven’t reached your goal, reduce the goal. That option is available from your teespring campaign page. This will ensure that you at least get some revenue from your effort.
- Create lots of product options, and use multiple colors for the most success.
- Run multiple campaigns at the same time and keep track of what works, and what doesn’t
- Join a few teespring groups on Facebook and Google+ so you can learn and also share your successes and failures.
Have you run any teespring campaigns? How did it work for you?
That’s a good start, and of course you had an advantage by having that fan page with 30k followers.
Here’s your solution to the tracking:
Use “?var=whatyouwanttotrack” at the end of each post or link you publish anywhere, and Teespring will log where you sales are coming from.
Then you can go to analytics.teespring.com (log in first) and you’ll see where are sales and clicks coming from. Bit.ly will give you the clicks, but not the conversions, which are more important.
Servando sir, you are the bomb! Awesome, can’t wait to try this.
Yes, I agree, having a page with 30k likes definitely is an advantage. Just wish I had a few more of those 😉
Also great job explaining all your steps.
How many shirts did you sell to make your profit?
Do you plan to do it again?
Thanks Brad. I ended up selling 16. Absolutely plan to do it again, I already have 3 ideas I’ll probably launch one of them in then text week or so.
Congrats Larry. Happy to know about your successful campaign and loved the detailed post here. I did tried 2 campaigns but failed miserably. However, will try it again and hopeful of being successful soon like you, Silva and others 🙂
Good Luck Deepa, just keep trying and pay attention to tee views to see what’s working and what isn’t. That’s the key.