In this section of the free Shopify Print-On-Demand guide, we'll discuss how to develop design…
A couple of months back, we figured out how to make a site and launch an Online T-Shirt Business and Made Over $1,000 in 3 Weeks.
Remaining true to the tradition here at Dropshippigit.com of sharing the experience, we did document the entire process of launching an Online T-Shirt Business.
We figured, why not do it once more? Indeed, why not do it again using various items, timelines, and on a spending plan or budget if you like?
In this way, that is the thing that I did.
For about a month or so, I spent launching a business and document all the aspects.
Essentially, the entire process from brainstorming what to sell to paid ads, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Today, I’m glad to impart the results of that to you. I trust you’ll find and incorporate some, if not all, details of this contextual analysis to your business, or even get inspired to begin one.
Among the valuable elements that this study case looks to restrict itself in highlighting include:
- Getting started
- Market research and finding a passionate community
- Coming up with a business name
- Designing a logo and storefront
- The shirt design process
- Soft launch, social account setup, and first sale
- Paid ads
- Facebook marketing and another channel for growth
- Blog post and free promotion
- Marketing channel results-An Overview
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: Getting started
I trust one of the most significant pieces of building any business is the conceptualization of ideas stage and having the option to move from one of your online business ideas to a real product.
Bridging that gap can prove herculean of a task. It’s simply a heebie-jeebies affair for some.
I’ve discovered that the ideal approach to creating thoughts for a product is to sit down with a colleague and exchange ideas with each other. It’s precisely what I did with my team.
As it so happens, we knew that we needed to sell something relatively easy, anything but readily hands-off, and could be a fascinating business that would be exciting to take a shot at for a long time to come.
I additionally needed it to be something that required little to practically no upfront expense.
I would not like to invest more than a couple of hundred dollars before having the business model turn in a profit.
Also, I needed to have the option to spend more cash on ads and less on inventory.
That way, if this venture ended up being a catastrophe, I wasn’t more than a couple of hundred bucks in the hole.
That left us with a couple of various choices:
- Print on demand posters
- Ebooks and digital products
- Drop service
We settled on selling shirts. It’s a simple plan of action for anybody to wrap their head over, and with the assistance of services like Printful, the beginning is extraordinarily basic.
Be that as it may, what sort of shirts did we need to sell? What kind of business was it going to be?
Did we need to manufacture a brand that would rival any of the towering household names like Nike, and that’s just the beginning?
Or then again, did we need to build a shirt business that was more easygoing and topical?
It would be tough for us to build a brand that contends a vast scope with little investment and time.
How might we recount a story about an item that would be compelling to inspire confidence for guests to confide in us and go along with us and our vision?
Additionally, beyond earning their trust – we’d still need to get them to take a leap and buy an item.
Growing a business around a brand story wasn’t the correct course for us at that point. In any case, building a business rapidly that can transform into a respectable brand was something to work towards its realization.
Considering this, I began by figuring what was selling at the time, what folks were genuinely passionate about, and something that I was keen on, you know, vested interest.
It didn’t need to be anything excessively captivating– no, it simply just had to be a tested and tried model that could easily execute.
It’s at this juncture that is I began doing market research.
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: Market research and finding a passionate community
I’ve found that you need to sell something on the off chance; it’s simpler to ride on already existing communities or trends instead of attempt and build your own.
Indeed, there are massive rewards that come with developing a thriving and passionate community. It can be a very fulfilling exercise – yet we’re here to make something and sell it real fast.
I was short on time, didn’t quite have the luxury of months to spend creating content, marketing the content, and afterward sell the product to the community. I wanted that to come later after the business model was proven.
I laid down some criteria that I looked for in a community. The community didn’t need to strictly match every criterion, yet the more the net secured, the better.
Affability — is it a “vibe great” topic? Is it something somebody would be glad to declare, “I’m selling shirts”? (market or product type)
Is it an “exceptional” market that will be staying put?
Is there high shareability? Is the topic “viral”? Is there the potential for a solitary design to break the internet?
Will the audience need to purchase a shirt? Is the audience devoted, large enough?
Are there influencers in the space? Instagram accounts? Would we be able to send somebody a shirt for $20 + pay them for a highlighted post and get a noteworthy return?’
Is there the potential for designs to branch out to different mediums? Packs, Mugs, and so forth?
I chose to do a couple of Google searches for “most passionate communities,” which, as you’d likely suppose, didn’t turn out so well.
I changed gears and moved to one of the biggest online communities – Reddit.
I’ve often known there to be a way of filtering reddits dependent on activity. As such, I bumped into a terrific tool for doing this kind of research.
The following are the various verticals I came across:
Evergreen Verticals: Meme Shirts, Funny Shirts, Gaming Fitness, Movies, Televisions
Vertical Based on Subscribers: GetMotivated, AnimalsBeingBros, Fishing, Food, OldSchoolCool, Cats, Dads, MapPorn, Gaymers, Canada, MURCIA, Baking, UFOs, Beer, PenmanshipPorn (lettering), BritishProblems, Zombies, Yoga, Baseball, Sloths, EDM, Gardening, Mechanics (Justrollintotheshop),
Vertical Based on Activity: Beards, CrappyDesign, Ecigs, TattoosSneakers, HipHopHeads, Canada, MURCIA, CorgisGetMotivated, Minions, Mechanics, Bitcoin, Nostalgia,
Subsequent to a search on Reddit for “what are your passionate about,” there were countless threads made hundreds, if not a large number of folks, shared what they were generally passionate about.
Among the typical stuff across various threads included:
Regardless of whether you aren’t building an online business, I’d suggest this activity.
Take some time and see what individuals are enthusiastic about – possibly, it will motivate you to begin something.
These threads are loaded with keen insights concerning what individuals are enthusiastic about and why.
There are undoubtedly some other passionate communities that are simply holding on as a ready market.
Check whether there’s one that you can find that could be taken advantage of.
For example, in this thread, the most upvoted comment at the time was somebody passionate about some stuff:
Along these lines, I had that to work from.
Fitness appeared to raise my curiosity, yet, I’m not a wellness nerd- I’m a junky; thus, fitness hit a brick wall on arrival.
Running was a fascinating market segment to handle, yet I had limited knowledge about running society.
Of course, I might have ridden on some of Nike’s success. However, it wouldn’t feel authentic. Furthermore, there was, as is currently, a lot of people doing business sector.
Maps were another intriguing idea too. Considering the possibility that I could sell shirts with exceptionally detailed city maps. You could, in a real sense,” wear your city on your chest.
” I figured that was cool. The main issue with that was landing high caliber, inexpensive maps that I could print on shirts. It merely seemed dead end-not doable.
That is when pets and animals became an integral factor. My knowledge about pets suffices.
My neighborhood is home to many canines, and it was a market that could be dissected and branch off into various niches within the dog communities.
Now, imagine that, how would that pan out? Consider that for a sec.
How about we start with dogs. There’s a staggering number of various breeds. Shouldn’t something be said about owners?
In the family, who is it that takes care of the dog? What dogs are generally famous in specific countries?
What’s the typical age of a dog owner, and what does their household structure reflect?
Who between men and ladies most keep German Shepherds? Does the average Pitbull owner save their canine?
I mean, the potential for focus-targeting was immeasurable.
Considering that, I began getting excited. Dogs just appeared to be an ideal fit. My head was spinning & flooding with designs, marketing avenues. Dogs seemed a perfect fit for me.
At this juncture, the time was ripe to plunge further into this model.
What’s popular in the dog community?
Since there are various dog breeds, I realized it is difficult to locate the most famous variety and simply make shirts about that one breed – because odds are, somebody’s doing it.
What’s more, they’re most likely working admirably of it as of now.
I envision that finding an unbelievably loyal community of dog owners of a particular breed could be extremely lucrative. However, I needed a legroom to try out.
I realize that two Pugs, a Labrador, two French bulldogs, and a couple of different breeds in my neighborhood.
Next, I did a couple of Google searches for what dog breeds are generally mainstream worldwide and in the U.S. explicitly.
I decided to do a worldwide search and a U.S.-based search since I knew most of the individuals I’d market to would-be residence in the U.S.
The following are the outcomes of my Google search:
- Top Dog Breeds in America
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Yorkshire Terrier
Well, that was a decent beginning stage. In any case, what would assuage me that these breeds had loyal, loving owners who’d readily display their adoration and loyalty on their chest?
I chose to make a beeline for Reddit once more. I think I reference Reddit a considerable amount, as it’s a fantastic platform for doing market research. And it’s free, that’s the best part.
The Leading Dog Specific-Subreddits
So, what do these Top Dog Specific Subreddits mean?
Above all else, it implied an existing community that I can sell to. If I needed to, I had the choice to market to these subreddits directly.
Overall, it’s relatively affordable (about $10 or less) running an ad on a specific subreddit, and I’d have loyal puppy owners readily available. Also, I had an incredible resource on Reddit Advertising to leverage.
Besides, it implies that if this community exists – others should as well. There must be different spots both on & offline where puppy owners meet to discuss everything canine-related. It was merely a question of discovering them.
That was all that anyone could need, an approval for me to begin going further. Be that as it may, what was the next phase? I realize these communities exist. However, what are they purchasing? How would they align with their perspective to see the sorts of shirts a dog owner would buy?
My next step entailed cracking the code of what’s already selling and then attempt and work from that point.
What’s already selling
With this business, I wasn’t hoping to waste time. I was set to adapt to a proven business concept, iterate on it, market it better, and repeat it. That is the reason Finding out what’s already selling was critical and work from that point.
At the time, it was elusive finding stylish shirts that were selling. I found some shirts when I did a snappy Google search for “dog owner shirts”:
While some of the shirts were alright – they fell short and didn’t fit the taste I sought after. In any case, if the shirts appear in Google searches, it must mean there’s at any rate a community around these breeds and businesses.
With tools readily at my disposal in the shape of Noun Project, the Creative Market, and my limited Photoshop skill set – It dawned on me, I was ticking the right boxes.
The prospects of going down the prosperous path had me more excited and upbeat about the opportunity.
A couple of things about the shirts promptly caught my attention, and they included:
- They are breed-specific
- Some advance a specific way of life
- Some are entertaining
- Some are taking a specific position on a particular subject
Considering that, the following stage was sorting out how precisely to produce and print the shirts.
Deciding how to print shirts
In deciding how to print these shirts, I needed to work in a way that permitted me to spend money upfront on ads and not inventory.
The primary choice was to utilize a print on demand service. There are a lot of alternatives accessible that integrate with Shopify stores.
With services like Prinftul, Printify, and Merchify available to you – a print on demand store is a relatively easy, snappy setup process.
I opted to give Printful’s fulfillment service a go.
Printful makes running stores hands-off activity. While it requires some time to get set up and have all products synced, everything is an absolute flat out of a breeze when everything is up and running.
The order flow is incredibly simple. A prospect places an order on PUPPY PUP, Printful takes that order, prints the Shirt, ships it out, and I keep the difference.
The best part is that it didn’t need an upfront cost!
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: Coming up with a business name
Coming up with names is has never been my best boots. For our situation, a name wasn’t the most significant thing on the planet – however, something else, it’s undoubtedly a critical step in building your business.
The merchandise should sell themselves – particularly in this kind of business. No one will say, “Amazing, I will BUY the latest PUPPY PUP shirt!”. No, they’ll sure buy a couple of shirts that are particular to them.
It would be difficult for me to create a lot of buzz about a new lifestyle dog brand.
Nonetheless, there are a couple of things that I do consider when coming up with a name, and they’re as follows:
- It must be adorable and easily memorable.
- It must have a .com available
- It needs to read nicely without any problem.
- All social accounts must be readily accessible.
Considering that, I began spinning for various synonyms for “dog” into the business name generator tool.
Take a look at the preliminary outcomes I had:
I attempted things like doggy, pooch, puppies pup, puppy, dogs, pups, dog you get the drift? I think you’ll know when you land a name you like. It’ll simply sound right.
Then, later on, I’d set up a rundown of names that fascinates me. To get varied perspectives, I shared my list of names with colleagues, and I had the following:
- EveryPup.com (how is this not taken?)
- PupForce.com (join the #pupforce)
We didn’t waste any time at this stage as we both concurred on a pretty much the same name.
I began by signing up for a 14-day free trial then got down to business. Shopify makes it simple to purchase and set up a custom domain. You’d have all the configuration done on your behalf, and your custom domain automatically consequently.
And with that, PUPPYPUP came into being.
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: Designing a logo and storefront
This stage of building business jazz me It’s my favorite. It’s when things begin to fall into place.
There’s nothing more fulfilling than working a couple of hours aspects of your store come together, and piece by piece, you watch your store spring to life.
However, it wasn’t a smooth sail. I had hit a snag in the area of design and branding of the business.
Sadly, I’m hopelessly a pathetic graphic designer. Contrasted with others, I may better understand design, but I am still in no way, shape, or form a Photoshop or Illustrator whiz.
I’d much rather utilize free or paid tools that can quickly assist me with creating something. I was aware of the potential of resources like Noun Project, Creative Market, GraphicRiver, Burst, and more that I could leverage to set the ball rolling.
Along these lines, that is the thing that I did. I began my quest for a logo for PUPPYPUP by proceeding to Noun Project and searched for “dog.” A bunch of various logo and icon alternatives came up.
I needed something pleasant, however, but it had to strike as exclusive or top ranking in terms of quality simple, approachable, but at the same time feels almost luxurious-high caliber.
Bearing in that those parameters, I landed an icon, then I bought the extended license for about two bucks– $1.99:
From that point, I needed to incorporate the name of the business in the logo. Without much ado, I got to work in Photoshop. I had a couple of varying concepts, and the logo had to pass through a couple of various steps.
It didn’t require too much time piecing together the different aspects of the iteration. The logo was soon ready. With the logo complete, now I had to set up the eCommerce shop.
The store setup and theme choice process
Among our past contextual case studies on setting up a Shopify store, we chose to utilize a paid theme that best suits selling a single product.
Nonetheless, this time around, I needed to utilize a free theme to limit expenses. I also needed to use an amazingly simple theme and would allow me to feature various shirts on the front page of the store.
There are many options in the Shopify Theme Store, yet I wound up settling with the React theme.
P.S.: Shopify has made a few updates to their Theme Store, and the React theme is not, at this point, available. We suggest that you try the new Brooklyn subject.
I was content with how the store was looking for. I knew there would be more changes sometime later.
However, this was impeccable as a viable base product. I wanted to steer clear of getting lost and distracted with the minor details.
The slideshow pictures are only a simple picture that I bought from Stocksy parting with $10. Not terrible by any means. What’s more, it’s an incredible, fun picture!
Then I made a couple of deliberate decisions regarding the store’s design as follows:
- I eliminated the navigation such that prospects had to scroll down or click a product
- I ensured all the shirts were shown on the frontpage
- I tried tinkering with the checkout such that the colors blend with the rest of the store
- Having only a FAQ, Contact, and About page, I was able to realize a simple design
At a glance, you wouldn’t tell what it is I was selling and that there was room for stuff to get better. Yet by taking out the navigation, that meant visitors had no option but to scroll down – exactly my intention.
From this point, now it was time to start filling up the store with the products.
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: The shirt design process
I’ve already alluded to not being a designer. I have a basic grasp of Photoshop. Odds are, you’re in a comparable situation as me at the point of building up your first product.
What counts, however, is your ingenuity. If you’re a conscientious person, you’d easily do anything.
It’s through being resourceful that I was able to piece together some of the winning designs.
My search started by looking through a rundown list of renowned subreddits. What was the first Shirt I would design?
Would it be appropriate for me to focus on a subreddit that’s well known, post to it, and see what ensues?
I needed to ensure that these shirts would sell without stepping on different entrepreneurs’ toes.
I know that competition will invariably exist—particularly in the attire and clothing industry—however, I would not like to steal the shine from an entrepreneur who has been in the game for some time.
While piecing together this write-up, I bumped into Animal Hearted – a clothing organization environmentally conscious.
The company creates shirts for dog owners. Animal Hearted offers 25% of its proceeds from each order to a non-profit animal sanctuary.
They have helped rescue several asylum pets, and with your assistance, they can rescue thousands more.
And that portends a lot of headaches, as there is a great deal of canine owner shirts out there, and it’s very difficult not to draw inspiration from them while undertaking my preliminary research.
With a bit of digging, odds are you’ll find some overlap between my designs and those of others you may run into on the web.
The following is a list of the sources I combed through for fonts, designs that I’d use to design the shirts:
- Creative Market
- Noun Project
- Font Squirrel
I hadn’t decided on the number of shirts I should begin with. My mind was racing with questions around issues like Should I make 10, 20, or 30 different breed-specific shirts to launch with? What colors? Thus, I didn’t have the idea’s foggiest, wound up beginning with around 15 unique items.
I figured I’d use a shirt mockup generator, although I wasn’t prepared for that yet.
After my research to ascertain what colors sell best, I opted to go with neutral colors for most of the shirts. The choice for neutral tone partly drew from the statement of a Chief staffer at a reputable art brand who posted on Quora, and I’ll paraphrase as follows:
“Based on T-shirt forums, Impressions magazines, and personal experience working with various clothing companies, black and neutrals seem the best.
Artistically speaking, black typically makes everything pop, and artists often like designing on black because of that bit.”
In the end, I would try and have a new shirt designed each day. I’d design at least one Shirt, and perhaps even more. That enabled me to test and assess which shirts were resonating the most with my prospects.
In the background with some shirt designs
Before, I had sought to ascertain just how much one would incur to get custom craftsmanship made for resale.
It’s undoubtedly expensive – and in light of current circumstances. In case you’re paying an artist for their work, they ought to be appropriately compensated.
For this situation, profoundly illustrative, colorful designs were not what my target audience was buying.
There were no compelling reasons at this point to burn cash recruiting artists at the phase of building the business.
It would have gobbled up my whole spending plan with designers charging hundreds to thousands of dollars for work.
I proceeded to Photoshop and simply began working through ideas for shirts. Here, I had some designs I wound up putting together that would inevitably end up on the shirts.
As profit begin to burgeon moving forward, I would undoubtedly recruit somebody to do the shirts for me.
Since I had a couple of shirt designs done, the time had come to work on the product page.
Effective product page essentials
Since the majority of ads I’d do would send prospects straight to a particular product page, having an alluring duplicate on the item page was not a pressing need for me at all.
Having an anecdotal about the breed and maybe a tale about a particular pup situation may have improved the product page – however, I did exclude anything like that, essentially because I needed to approve designs asap.
Odds are if somebody is navigating the product page – they are possibly keen on purchasing. Shirts are one of the most outwardly telling products.
In any case, I needed to include a couple of elements for the product page, and they were:
- Product title
- Size options
- Product shot
- Shipping times
- Garment description
- Related products
Getting top-notch shirt mockups made
In the wake of spinning a couple of various designs, I expected to get them onto shirts to look as though they’re real.
I would not yet place an order for any sample shirt because I required the capital I had for running ads.
Fortunately, I landed a terrific resource that Printful offers. Other than being simple to utilize, their shirt generator imports the designs straight into your Printful dashboard.
Furthermore, that saves up on time a great deal.
Upon getting done with the mockup and print file generator, I could download the mockup. This was impeccable as it lets me directly upload the mockup to my Shopify product page, so there was uniformity across the shirt designs.
I won’t expound on the method to get Shopify and Printful to match up orders – essentially, there isn’t a lot of detail to go into.
Like the other print on demand services accessible with Shopify, it’s an unimaginable effortless integration.
Any order that gets put through my Shopify store automatically gets sent to Printful. They’ll charge my credit card on file, print, pack, and ship the order.
A thoroughly hands-off, completely automatically experience That left me with the capacity to put my time towards any online store’s most critical marketing aspect.
Deciding a proper pricing strategy
I’ve previously expounded on psychological pricing strategies and how you can leverage the same to sell more, and now I got to apply some of those strategies to this store.
To start with, I needed to have a profit margin of about $10 per shirt sold. That meant having a consistent stream of revenue.
Printful charges $13.50 per Shirt well, largely dependent on what you print on, which implied I’d need to charge $23.50 plus shipping cost.
I examined a couple of various assets online to decide on how to price the shirts thus. By chance, I bumped into an astonishing summary of shirt pricing from Shirt Magazine that made things simpler.
And the excerpt read;
“$16-$24 – The unofficial typical price range for most of the t-shirt brands. The majority of brands have their tees at this price range, whether they’re new or have been around for a while. Healthy profit margin when you buy huge orders, good enough margin when you place small wholesale orders.”
At first, I needed the model to work as a low investment business, so any funds I was generating, I could pass along to the clients. Nonetheless, no one needs a low-quality shirt! Additionally, these shirts expected to hold up to all the potential pup adoring they’d get.
The type of Shirt I chose to print on was the Anvil 980 Lightweight shirt. As indicated by The Printful:
“The Anvil 980 is our most famous Shirt with customers who opt for rebranding. The Shirt has tear-away labels that make it workable for inside label printing. Several customers who started with American apparel 2001 shirts have changed to the Blacksmith’s Anvil 980 shirts to exploit our branding option.”
P.S.: Shipping fees change. Most rates were around $5 or less within the U.S.
Thus, given that, I set the price at $22.99 to begin. This exploits the left digit effect – a similar kind of pricing technique Apple utilizes on the entirety of its line of products.
I wound up tinkering with pricing tactics down the road, yet $22.99 appeared a decent price point for the time being.
With a couple of shirts stacked up into the store, the time had come to flip the switch and push the t-shirt out into the public, people in general.
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: Launch, social account setup, and my first sale
The time had come to launch my business—kind of.
I needed to snatch the easy winnings first-the low hanging fruits. By that, I searched for immediate successes – things that could approve the work I had done as such far.
There was no reason for burning through cash on ads if there was no enthusiasm for the merchandise by any means. That would tantamount throwing money away.
That is the reason it compared to a kind of launch day. I swiftly made a checklist of the things I could do that was free.
The following is the specific rundown-checklist I made. Check whether there’s anything you would include or strikeout.
- Set up social media accounts
- Request friends to social media accounts
- Setup exit intent email popup
- Post to /r/shutupandtakemymoney on Reddit
Generally, I’ll begin with one of these and hack away at it until I’m content with the outcomes, or, if it doesn’t end up being productive or improve brand awareness, I’ll move onto the next stuff.
Getting the entirety of the social accounts set up was speedy and generally simple, and we set them up on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
I began by requesting all of my buddies to the Facebook page. Possibly 40 or so joined promptly, and some others streamed in since opening the page.
I would not like to interface my personal Facebook account to the Instagram account, so I didn’t add any friends or family.
Pinterest was setup later than I had anticipated, yet I needed to make sure that I secured the username, so I set that up too. Same thing with Twitter.
Lowest hanging fruit as an approval strategy
In one of our previous contextual analysis-case study, we examined how extraordinarily viable posting on specific subreddits is. In any case, it’s essential to be cautious with your methodology.
Redditors-Reddit users disapprove of being sold to. That is the reason I tried to just share with specific communities.
I began by sharing the Corgi Low Rider Tee on the mainstream subreddit/r/shutupandtakemymoney on the store’s launch day.
Since a long time ago, this was shot, and the odds of getting a deal through this channel were very thin.
Despite that, I figured because it was a cute, simple shirt – possibly it got an opportunity of making the dough.
It is anything but a focus on the crowd, not a target demographic by any means – the main benefit is that every individual who is in this community is ready to spend cash.
I swear individuals who browse this subreddit have their credit cards at the click of a button.
Of course, that too is a direct ticket to a sudden takeoff.
The post claimed the top spot on the subreddit that day with over 500 total upvotes and over 10 comments.
It remained on the homepage of the subreddit for a couple of days following that as well.
Accordingly, the store took off. I saw a rapid success with real-time traffic drifting somewhere in the range of 30 to 80 live visitors. This went on for a couple of hours.
And voila! It happened:
My first sale! The best feeling on the planet. Indeed, even right up ’til the present time, this simple alert is such a pleasuring moment.
The notification was a validation of all the work I had put in. It implied that somebody had an interest in the item, and on the off chance that one individual is eager to give me their well hard-earned cash for this product – others must be willing too, right?
Very great beginning. The best part is that it didn’t cost anything!
Somebody likewise posted it on the corgi subreddit, where it was equally welcomed.
Likewise, it was taken and cross-posted on another subreddit called Life With Igor, which is identified with an acclaimed corgi puppy by all accounts.
At that point, orders began coming in. A lot more than I had foreseen. The outcomes?
One basic post to this particular subreddit generated an aggregate of over $500 in income, more than 10,000 unique visits, and a total of 20 orders. What’s more, it merely took overnight to realize.
With my concept and this one Shirt approved, the time had come to get serious. What was next? Would it be a good idea for me to focus just on corgi related shirts fully? More shirts? I’d wonder.
I reckon this was very fortunate. I realize the circumstance was perfect when I posted it on Reddit.
I don’t know it is anything but difficult to replicate for each item and business – yet it’s worth a shot at in case you figure your product would fit in with those that are generally mainstream on that subreddit.
On the off chance that your item is original, funny, or offbeat, it may very well be a decent spot to attempt to approve your item.
Regardless of whether you don’t get any sales, you get traffic – it implies there’s something there, and you can begin bringing these prospects into your business funnel.
The Reddit impact and the emergence of a new referral source
An incredible aspect concerning the/r/shutupandtakemymoney subreddit is that item Blogs frequently lurk it. There are instances in which products get featured on that subreddit, which were then taken up by bigger sites like BuzzFeed.
Amazingly, a product blog did get the Low Rider Corgi shirt. At this juncture, I had not contacted any product blogs at all, so it probably was picked up by somebody scouring that subreddit.
Ironically, the site that highlighted the Shirt is called I Waste So Much Money.
This was an extraordinary success as well, as it didn’t cost anything to get featured. It got a lot of traffic too.
Until now, this has drawn over 70 unique visits, which brought about 2 orders for a total above $50 in income.
Facebook and dog breed-specific groups
Next, I went to Facebook. I would not like to spend any cash on Facebook yet – that was something futuristic down the marketing line.
I began by looking into the most famous dog breeds that I had shirts prepared and joined specific Facebook groups.
It’s essentially a similar principle as posting on breed-specific subreddits. However, here, you’re posting to a more engaged audience on Facebook.
Sadly, none of the posts I made converted into sales. Maybe it would have been more effective on the off chance that I had effectively partaken in the discussions before sharing a link to PUPPYPUP.
I ought to have informed the group admins to seeking their consent to post my products on their groups. Maybe I might have even offered to pay for them to pin the link to the top of the group page.
In the wake of posting on a couple of Facebook groups, I figured I was missing something indispensable to getting sales further down the sales funnels.
Email capture and exit-intent popups to remarket to prospects
I needed to catch email addresses from likely clients to use as a remarketing strategy. Tragically, I didn’t expect the Reddit post to pick up as much foothold as it did – so I passed up an enormous, huge chance to capture emails from each one of those guests.
While it was a major “uh oh” on my part, I chose to set up an exit-intent popup either way.
Odds are a few guests would now stream in from Reddit, and I Waste So Much of Money all through the following few weeks, and there was potential to catch those email addresses as well.
The least demanding path for me to get this set up was to utilize an app called Picreel.
It let me make a custom popup that possibly displayed when somebody moved their mouse cursor outside the store page as though they were going to tab away.
I signed up for Picreel’s free trial and was very content with its ease of use. I utilized an image of one of my neighborhood dogs, and the rest was a breeze.
This goes about as one final outreach to the prospects. Maybe I could stand to arrest their attention, give them 15% off to place an order, or at the very least, secure their email address.
Previously, we’ve examined why you ought to consider utilizing popups on your online store. Test after test has demonstrated that popups work amazingly well.
As of today, the method which captured an aggregate of 40 emails has given me a conversion rate from guest to email address of 1.70%.
While by any means that isn’t ideal an impressive result, it’s, in any event, a beginning stage and a sign that the exit-intent popup works.
There’s unquestionably work to be done here, possibly to optimize it for improved conversion rate. However, I am content with how it is functioning for the time being.
Content curation and working out the blog
One thing if there’s that many store owners ignore, it’s the significance of working out your blog.
It seems like such a reconsideration to many organizations. However, it lets you begin building a relationship with guests, who, after some time, will possibly buy your item.
I concluded that, since I am just one man, working out long structure content wouldn’t properly utilize my time.
Moreover, was there genuinely many advantages on the off chance that I went through hours researching aspects like grooming skill, dog tips, and some more? Well, at least not in the short term. However, there would be a monstrous advantage in the long haul.
I chose to simply make the blog a spot to curate entertaining pictures and videos. Who doesn’t love a good laugh, be it from funny pictures of dogs and adorable videos of dogs?
I essentially discovered videos that were amusing on YouTube and inserted them into a blog post.
I expected that if I could get somebody to visit the blog, they might navigate the landing page and see the items I am selling.
Or on the other hand, possibly on account of the exit-intent popup I had installed beforehand, they would at least leave me their email address.
Lamentably no one that read an article on the blog wound up buying an item. I did, however, got a couple of email addresses from the exit-intent popup.
Having exhaustively deployed my free marketing techniques, which yielded a few sales, the time had come to leap into paid advertising.
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: Moving into paid ads
In our last eCommerce business contextual analysis, we didn’t go much into paid promotion because we were exceptionally time-barred.
That implied it would have been difficult for us to optimize any advertisement execution.
Fortunately, this time – I had the option to dive into paid promotion based on the inconceivably low upfront expenses linked with launching a shirt business.
My first assault line was to go to Instagram, locate some bigger accounts, and check whether they’d be eager to work with me.
The purpose of hitting Instagram first is basically because it is the platform I’m generally acquainted with.
I realize that a group of people exists there as of now, and I realize that there are monstrous pet-related Instagram accounts that might be happy to work with me.
That gave me a practically immediate sales channel that wouldn’t need a lot of demographic research, keyword research, or whatever else.
It was the snappiest route for me to begin with paid advertisement, and the benefits could be colossal.
Instagram marketing basics and building an audience
We’ve previously examined how to scale your Instagram account rapidly through effective utilization of paid backed posts.
That is what I was hoping to do here. Also, it was unbelievably useful. When piecing together this article, the Instagram account had close to 400 followers with 50+ posts.
Here are a few things that I ensure I address each time I set up an Instagram account. Consider applying these strategies to your business account also:
- Make sure to make your account adorable and fun with emoticons (emojis)
- Get a username that is your accurate business name or something close
- Get a solid visual profile picture that will catch somebody’s consideration when they’re looking through their feed
- Utilize a Google URL shortener to send guests to a particular item or page on your store
- Utilize Google’s UTM parameters generator to follow clickthroughs, and sales, to your store
From that point forward, you’re good to go.
Developing an Instagram account from zero
The least complex approach to escalate any Instagram account is to be dynamic and post content consistently.
I attempted to post an image each morning, and afterward another at night soon after supper.
I began by scouring Instagram for various adorable dogs account. The end goal was to discover different accounts and repost the pictures to my account, giving credit where I could.
I might have done more regarding posting schedules; however, I realized it wasn’t as significant when beginning.
The ideal approach to discover relevant Instagram followers involves looking for hashtags that identify with your target audience, and then like, follow, or remark on their accounts.
The following constitute the hashtags I looked at:
I utilized the tool intags to discover these. Some of these don’t have any significant bearing on the clients I’m attempting to reach.
However, that is alright. You can look for any hashtag that may be pertinent to your target audience as well.
Take a look.
#golden #picoftheday #puppylove #smile#bestoftheday #happiness #dogoftheday #dogstagram #pet #nature#ilovemydog #love #family #dog #iloveyou #instadog#loveit #petsofinstagram #catatanhariansherly #photooftheday #animal #instapet #goldenretriever#cute #puppy #petstagram #adorable #happy #doglover#dogsofinstagram
Finding famous dog accounts in horizontal markets
I’ve seen them, you’ve seen them. You presumably follow them as of now in any case. Those enormous Instagram accounts that post pictures of charming dogs that is the thing that I was focusing on.
Or, on the other hand, a “popular” Instagram pet. Something like the canine rendition of Lil Buddy would be great.
I needed to discover somebody with an Instagram account with a couple hundred thousand followers who would advance our items. The main issue was landing accounts that were eager.
The simplest method to land famous accounts that might be happy to advance the item is by riding on individuals already in the game.
I found that utilizing the services of a resource called Webstagram was the most effortless path for me to do that.
Essentially looking for Pitbulls, corgis, dogs, and more gave me a rundown of accounts identified with those specific Keywords.
A while later, based on my prior knowledge, I searched for criteria that speak to the following:
- The account ought to have 100k+ followers; anything less didn’t appear beneficial.
- The account ought to have an email address in their bio.
- Each image ought to have a couple of thousand likes, regardless of what they post.
- The account should charge under $100 for a post.
- The more affordable the post, the better Since I intended to make somewhere in the range of $6-$10 per sale in profit, I would need to earn back the investment on any ad I did.
Upon reading some emails, I got to work.
Through the span of about fourteen days, I had sent an aggregate of 50+ emails. Not the entirety of the accounts I messaged was eager to work with me – and that was alright. Some of them simply weren’t eager to market products on their account.
For the most part, the process was simple. I’d email the account owner, ask the amount they charge, how to pay them, and when the image could be posted.
I loath waiting, so if they were happy to post right on the heels of getting paid – I’m game running sponsored ads.
My ads were simple, direct, but compelling. I incorporated a specific coupon code for the paid shoutout to include an extra layer of tracking to see who ordered from the post.
I made an account for the sole reason of marketing the Shirt.
To this date, a sum of 4 coupon codes was utilized. That implied in any event 4 individuals navigated to the low rider tee Instagram account and tapped the bio link, or they straight went and entered puppypup.com into their browser and then made the purchase.
Since I employed Google’s URL Shortener for the profile link that directly redirects to the product page, I had the option to track how many prospects clicked through. It tracked about 50 clicks.
50 ticks and 4 sales imply a conversion rate of 8%.
Not an awful beginning on Instagram – but rather, I realized I could improve. Also, I knew there were greater fish out there. It was simply a question of discovering them.
I repeated the above process to attempt to land more relevant, breed-specific, or dog Instagram accounts.
Postscripts on Instagram marketing
Instagram marketing turned out to be an extremely effective sales channel for the store. Each time an ad was done, at least one sale originated from it. I reckoned that Instagram is an exceptionally visual platform. You know precisely what it is you’re getting.
While the campaign might not have consistently brought about a gainful result, it broadened our reach and was an impetus for further scaling the Instagram account.
On certain occasions, the account growth recorded 40-70 followers in the wake of being featured. The single largest growth I saw was after being featured on Pitbulls of Instagram.
With Instagram marketing panning out as a fruitful sales channel, there’s a lot of space to scale. Still, the account is gradually developing, and anything is possible regarding the demographic size.
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: Facebook marketing and another channel for growth
Facebook marketing may be an all-out breeze to some. To me, nonetheless, it was the first time I had committed time and exertion to make it work.
Furthermore, I had an unassuming budget put aside to make it work. I needed to make it work.
Most, if not the entirety of the famous campaigns on Teespring are either marketed to an audience-a dog related Facebook page or promoted through paid ads.
Since the PUPPYPUP Facebook page audience was so thin-40 friends, I needed to utilize the paid ad strategy.
At this point, I had to make a plan and get right to work.
The plan of attack for Facebook campaigns
Being new to Facebook marketing, I knew there was a great deal of headroom for me to explore.
Since I chose to restrict myself to a $50 spending plan all out for Facebook advertising, I needed to get inventive.
As such, here’s what I had set out to do:
- Setup a Facebook retargeting pixel to remain before prospects by displaying advertising focused on individuals who had visited the store previously
- Test with varying campaigns and targeting for different shirts
- Setup a Facebook retargeting pixel for guests who added an item to their cart but didn’t checkout
- If I didn’t get a conversion in the follow up to the $10 ad spend, I’d suspend the campaign
- Repeat the process if an ad brought about a conversion
The first ad campaign
Since I knew from my Reddit post that folks loved the corgi shirt, I began with that Shirt for my first campaign.
My ad was simple-an image of the Shirt with a clarion call to action source. Given a modest spending plan of $10, it was time to run the ad.
Herein lies the specific focusing techniques I utilized. Note that it is practically compared to tossing spaghetti at the wall as a first test, and I realize that a great deal of tinkering might have been done to reach a more focused demographic.
- Area: US
- Age: 24 – 65+
- Interests: corgis, every day corgi, corgi canine or corgi fanatic
- Desktop Placement: News Feeds
- Mobile Placement: News Feed
- Estimated daily reach: 1,200 – 4,000 individuals of a crowd of people of 140,000
The ad got an acceptable engagement. Hitting more than 30 likes and a couple of comments implied I must have been getting stuff right.
But, for what reason was no one purchasing? Was my copy that horrendous? Was the Shirt not luring enough? Was the call to action not satisfactory?
The results of the ad checked as follows:
- Active clicking factor: 5.55%
- Reach: 270
- Clicks: 15
- 1 Page Like
I presumably might have let the ad run longer to push it to a broader demographic.
However, I wasn’t set up to spend an excessive amount of cash on this mission, considering it was just my first ad.
The sum that I was eager to spend now essentially wasn’t sufficient to do an appropriate test.
I realized that there was significantly more I could do. I realized that there were many various campaign styles, spending plans, targeting, and more that I could tinker around with.
Targeting with Facebook
If you do a snappy Google search for case studies on tee-shirt campaigns on Facebook, you’ll discover various tremendously successful individuals on Facebook ads.
I invested a great deal of energy researching on distinctive, effective campaigns that individuals had run before.
What boxes were they ticking that I wasn’t?
I’d ask myself.
I’d figure out that my answer lay with the targeting strategies I had employed. My technique could hit 50%; thus, I was halfway.
- Also, I figured that my target demographic was:
- An excessively enormous of an audience
- Already being offered to, better
- Not true devotees of the item or thing I was selling
- Not enthusiastic enough
Here’s a key takeaway you’d want to execute into your Facebook campaign system. What you’ll need to do is target stuff like:
- Equipment manufacturers
- Rescue groups
- And a whole lot more.
P.S.: All the groups should be dog groups.
By focusing on these more specific fans, you realize that they’re already passionate about the topic.
In light of that, I right away got to work running ads. This time, with another shirt design, a more targeted demographic, and a higher ad spend.
This time around, the ad got substantially more engagement than the previous ads. I had the option to clean up the copy, and above all – I made the offer appear to be time touchy.
And below is the targeting that I implemented:
Location: United States
Interests: tails hope dog rescue, a sanctuary for senior dogs or petconnectus
- Age: 45 – 65+
- Gender: Female
- Desktop Placement: News Feed
- Mobile Placement: News Feed
The results of the ad checked as follows:
- Website Clicks: 16
- Post Shares: 12
- Other Actions: 8
- Relevance Score: 9/10
- Click-Through Rate: 6.0%
- Conversion: 1
One breed of dog I continued seeing that had an enthusiastic owner community was Pitbulls. I figured, why not attempt and tap into that market as well?
I made a couple of various Pitbull shirts, yet chose to make one specifically for ladies.
The Shirt was terrifically well received. With more than 400 likes, 10 remarks, and 70 shares – it was resounding admiration with the specific target audience I picked.
And below is the targeting that I implemented on this Shirt:
- Area: The U.S.
- Interests: I love my pitbull
- Age: 35 – 64
- Gender: Female
- Desktop Placement: News Feed
- Mobile Placement: News Feed
The outcomes of the shirt checked as follows:
- Website clicks: 40
- Post shares: 70
- Click through rate: 10%
- Relevance score: 9/10
- Conversion: 1
Postscripts on Facebook advertising
Facebook advertising turned out as an effective decent channel for a couple of sales.
I reckoned that had I additional time and a bigger spending plan, I would have had the option to keep on tweaking these ads and discover a shirt design that resonated with an audience in a purchaser’s attitude.
Be that as it may, the most significant aspect of this was the scope of PUPPYPUP. Since the ads had such incredible engagement, each campaign’s organic reach wound up as being very valuable.
The Facebook page audience scaled to more than 140 fans in a snappy timeframe, and the organic reach of the ads started to burgeon towards the end as I had gotten more precise with my Facebook ad targeting.
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: Blog outreach and free marketing
One of my preferred advertising strategies is reaching out to relevant blogs and inquiring whether they’d be eager to feature my product.
I’ve previously expounded on various approaches to get press coverage on a zero spending plan – notwithstanding, for this situation, because the item is so one of a kind, the average product blog would presumably not feature a shirt.
It would be difficult for me to employ various strategies to get featured on a blog like Supercompressor, Uncrate, et cetera.
I needed to get more specific. I had to address questions like the kinds of blogs that would feature an amusing dog shirt?
When I began my research, I had a couple of ideas, and they included:
- Rescue affiliations that would need to do cross-marketing
- Tumblr accounts with enormous followings
- Breed-specific dog blogs
- BuzzFeed Animals
- Dog fan blogs
It ends up being very hard to connect with the owners of these more niche blogs. I figured it’s because the owners of these blogs are merely journaling as a hobby, passion, or an interest of theirs.
The odds are that they’re hoping to bring in cash or sell ad space.
Still, I found one more win with a site called Corgi Addicts. I submitted an anonymous tip through their contact form, and a couple of days after that, the Corgi Low Rider Tee was featured!
Sadly, the Corgi Addicts’ feature didn’t get any sales. However, I wouldn’t think of it as an exercise in futility as it extended PUPPYPUP’S scope and still keeps on directing people to the store.
These sorts of links often prove extremely critical to budding new businesses since they assist with search ranking and authority. As such, in this instance, the link was able to draw a sum of 47 guests.
I concluded that the time had come to set up an email marketing campaign. I figured it would be a decent method to offer items to individuals who were indecisive about buying.
By sending an email, I could impact either:
- Prospects who abandoned their checkout (which Shopify does as of now. However, this would go about as a subsequent reminder)
- Individuals who gave their email address in the exit-intent popup form
- I essentially needed to export the email list for abandoned checkouts and then upload them to my email marketing software.
- I needed to send a simple reminder email to prospects and let them realize that we’re holding their items for them. Maybe somebody would take the offer and proceed to buy.
I had an email rundown of 24 subscribers, and I’d send them a specific email.
I chose to offer free delivery here as well – but not real, though. I bumped the cost of the shirts up by $5, which was the standard rate for shipping orders across the U.S. Of course, prospects interprets it as a generous deal.
However, it’s generally the same price as they were before.
It’s not much to implement the tactic, and most email marketing tools make it simple to set up. The outcomes were incredible!
- Opens: 47.47%
- Clicks: 10.47%
- Sales: 1
I had a sale! It was somebody who had visited the site a long time before I sent this email out.
This demonstrates how effective email marketing can be. This didn’t cost me a dime, and it won a sale.
Projecting a more extensive net with paying clients
The unpacking experience is unquestionably significant, yet the shirts I was selling are print-on-order.
We weren’t shipping them ourselves, so there wasn’t much space for messing with an unpacking experience.
Nonetheless, Printful lends a workaround for that. An approach to make a client’s experience only somewhat a bit more personal.
You have the choice to edit and write a personal note on the packing slip that gets conveyed with each order.
I chose to utilize this to have clients share their orders and shirts with their loved ones on Instagram.
I don’t know how well this will function, but it will ideally bring about more free exposure, given that’s a free promoting channel.
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: Promoting channel results: an outline
Here’s a summary of where all sales originated from.
Email Campaign: 1
I Waste So Much Money: 2
Abandoned Cart Recovery: 2
Total sales: 43
I believe it’s pretty intriguing that most sales originated from free marketing strategies. It makes me can’t help thinking about how much further I might have taken this and makes the idea of a fruitful paid marketing effort unimaginably appealing.
Some key takeaways from these outcomes are that mobile traffic is considerably more famous than desktop traffic. As such, the theme I utilize must be mobile responsive. Luckily for you, each theme in the Shopify theme store is mobile optimized.
I additionally thought it was intriguing to perceive how much traffic Instagram drove. Since I had the option to set up UTM parameters, I could track Instagram traffic. A sum of 470 visits originated from Instagram links.
And the Numbers Rundown checked as follows:
- Revenue: $1,250
- Marketing and Setup Costs: $270
- Instagram paid posts – $130
- Facebook ads – $60
- Shopify Basic plan – $29
- Rights to icons – $17
- Domain – $13
- Hero image – $10
- Profit (after Printful fees): $174.47
While I just made $174.47 in profit income, huge numbers of the expenses were trial. After some time, I would enhance my marketing endeavors to zero in on the channels that yield high ROI; thus, a healthy profit margin.
Also, with combinations like Pinterest Buyable Pins, and Facebook Commerce not too far off for stores like mine, the future is expectant with infinite growth opportunities.
There’s such a tremendous amount of space to delve into going forward. On the off chance that I had given myself a couple of more months to deal with this, I would have researched P.R., Google Adwords, Twitter, and the sky is the limit from there – this was only a hint of something larger.
How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business: Conclusion
I trust that you found this study case worth your while. In case you enjoyed this post, kindly let us know in the comments below! Or then again, you check out this blow by blow How to Start a T-Shirt Business Online walkthrough.
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