Teemill Updates

Smelling What’s Selling

One of the most important parts of salesmanship is the art of smelling what’s selling: Keeping alert to what your customers are responding to, and acting accordingly. Find out how a market-stall mindset can help you boost your sales now.

As a webstore plugged into a print on demand t-shirt supply chain, your Teemill store is a cutting edge piece of 21st century technology. The purpose of selling customers a product that they might be interested in is as old as civilisation itself.

The idea of smelling what’s selling would be understood by the steam age market trader as the app developer of today.

 It’s about understanding your customer and changing things around to give them more of what they want, and less of what they don’t.

It’s through this process of observation and constant improvement that leads to steps forward in shaping the store, designs, marketing plans and leads to exponentially better results.

How to unlock improvements

On a market stall, it would be as simple as watching what customers go for, then next week returning with more of that product, bigger sign space for it and putting it in a more prominent position. The worst performers, no matter how loved, would be dropped.

Over time, this activity will shape the business, reduce the designs that don’t work, and perhaps inspire the introduction of products similar to or complimentary to the bestsellers.

Teemill used this same methodology. It’s why we focus on t-shirts and tops. I’m sure you might wish to have a greater range of products, but time shows that t-shirts are what the customer wants – we’re not here to grow a display, we’re here to grow a business.

The key actions in this process include use of your analytics, sort order, banners and marketing content – all made easier with amazing photography.

The Process

First off, bring your bestseller to the front. Use your analytics panel to identify it for sure. If you have data, even if you don’t think a product is your favourite, remember, it’s not about what you think – the customer is king and if it’s sold the most, it’s top.

Get that product and your great photography and description, then put it on your homepage banner, category banner and post this product regularly as a product feature or newsletter. Give it all of your premium space.

Next up, look at that product, and think about it. Why might it be so popular? Is it the photography and description? Or is it just a great design? Or both? Did you share this one more online? Or get a particularly good feature? Whatever the answer is, Do more of that.

Cutting duds loose

Next, lets look at the poor performers. Anything that just hasn’t sold, consider getting rid of it. The temptation is to keep loads of products ‘just in case’ but in reality you’re just watering down your moneymakers with mediocrity. Delete them, and move on.

Lastly, look back to the bestseller – and check out the design. Try and make some more designs that are similar in style, or theme. Not the same, but complimentary, and build a collection around it. Launch these products alongside.

Constant Improvement

Reviewing your actions, you’ve just boosted activity that creates sales and ended activity that wastes time. All you need to do is repeat, and in time you will have a successful business.

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Buy a Sample Custom Printed T-shirt

Teemill is designed to let you build your own store with your own designs and branding and connect it to our print-on-demand factory. Let’s say you want a few t-shirts for yourself though, for a giveaway or a photoshoot. It’s easy to do that too.

If you want to order some samples, even just one at a time, you can use our t-shirt studio to place an order anytime. If you’re a Teemill account holder, you can order these using the Teemill t-shirt studio or order direct from the links in your product manager.

You can order order one-off samples online, even one at a time –  there’s no set up charge and the price is super affordable – using Teemill Studio

The Teemill studio is a really handy tool to see what your product will look like. Yet it’s this very point that makes ordering samples a particularly good investment.

Put it to work

The best way you can put your samples to work and make that purchase pay back is by taking some great photography and uploading your product shots to your Teemill store. Great photography goes a long way, from product pages, to banners, homepage pods and as excellent fodder for social media posting and newsletters.

Great photography is the single biggest factor that’s made the top 10% of Teemill accounts so profitable.

We strongly recommend investing in some great photos for your Teemill store. Don’t forget, you’ll make way more profit on white t-shirts which means that by ordering samples in white you can pull a slick business move by linking your most profitable products with your best photography, making even more money per visit.

Take Action

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Free £75 Adwords Credit

Once you’ve got the basics of marketing dialled with Teemill, like great designs, descriptions, promotion and PR, you might want to think about advertising. There’s a fine line between profit and loss – you can’t fail by trying £75 free credit.

Google Adwords is one of the biggest cost-per-click advertising tools in the world. In essence, you can build an advert in text or image form and link it to some search activity. You then pay for each click. If the total cost of clicks for each sale is less than your net profit on Teemill, you are in a seriously good place: Imagine owning a machine where for each pound you put in you get more back…

Getting to that place is tricky and it’s easy to blow all your money.

The automation and digitisation of your cash can automate and accelerate your profits, but equally it can also automate and accelerate your loss.

It’s important to tread carefully and think before you commit real money to cost per click. This includes the £75 credit that adwords awards you for starting out with them.

Example

Adwords demo showing PPC results alongside normal search results on Google page 1.

Adwords demo showing PPC results alongside normal search results on Google page 1.

Here’s a search on Rapanui T-shirt, that shows an adwords text ad, some PLA ads and the remainder is organic SEO results.

Focus on whats not the target.

The best philosophy for starting out can be found in a quote that’s probably been posthumously applied, but is still great: Michelangelo is asked how he can possibly turn a huge boulder into a statue of a man. “It’s easy” he says. “Just chip off all the pieces that don’t look like a man.”

The point is that with adwords, it’s more important to exclude clicks that don’t make money than it is to find willing buyers. The pitfall would be to aim for a wider audience in the hope that some will buy. In reality, your cost per conversion (the amount you spend in clicks per sale you make) will be so high, you wont make a profit.

Eliminate all searches by everyone anywhere at any time and on any device that will are not very likely to buy.

Here are some examples of how

  • Only show to people in target areas, i.e. London
  • Running ads 5pm – 11pm only
  • Content ads only to previous visitors
  • Show the price in the ad, before they click

You can do this in your campaign setup, and for detail on this refer to the many and more detailed introductions on the specifics of Adwords that are covered better elsewhere. As the broad philosophies that lead to success are  absent, we’ll continue to focus at a strategic level.

Choose the correct ad type

PLAs

Product listing ads have been working well for some of the more advanced Teemill sellers, as their visual format seems to work well with T-shirts. Customers can quickly decide how likely they are to buy, and won’t waste your budget by clicking on a text ad out of curiosity.

Text Ads

The downside is that PLAs tend to be a little more expensive. Text ads can be cheaper, but lack the visual punch and have a lower conversion rate in our experience – they must be very specific to a search term to make money.

Content Based

Lastly content-based ads, like banner ads, are images that can be placed on other websites that sign up to Google’s adsense program. You can select a website that your target demographic uses, and bid to have your banner displayed.

In our experience, the content ads are best used with a “content remarketing” model where they are only displayed to customers who have visited the site, and only after a time delay.

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Save Time with Social Automation

Teemill is built around the idea that your time is valuable, and rather than reinvent the wheel you can just plug in our technology and get on with the fun bit – building your brand. Do the same with these social automation tools that take the donkey-work out of marketing.

Coming up with great content to post online can be fun, but logging in to various social networks on different devices is a waste of time. We’ve found that the following strategy is the best way to save you heaps of time, meaning you only have to post in one place – and update all of your content on all of your channels, including on your Teemill store.

By the end of this tutorial, you should be starting by writing your post on Instagram, and letting technology in the cloud update your facebook, twitter, Teemill blog, G+ and other accounts automatically.

First connect your instagram account to your Facebook fan page. Go to Instagram > Settings > linked accounts. Select your fan page, not your personal account.

If this, then that

Next go to IFTTT and set up an account. IFTTT is a free ‘recipe book’ for automation, and allows web services to connect to each other and exchange data securely. Look for a recipe like “if Instagram, then Twitpic” and follow the instructions to set up this recipe.

Tip: While you’re there, search for other IF Instagram then() recipes, and if you have any other social networks, G+, Tumblr for example, you can also connect these.

Lastly, set up the Instagram Blog feature on Teemill and connect your account, and/or add a pod to your pages and select the “latest instagram image” tab. Remember to add some hashtags that are related to your products, so we can suggest related products from your inventory to your customers.

Testing testing 123

At this point, you’ll be able to give it all a test drive. Add a great image and write an awesome caption on your instagram.

Now go check in across your communication channels: You should see your website and blog on Teemill, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Tumblr, Pinterest or whatever other services you have connected have all been updated with your latest post.

Take Action

Use the spare time to think up more great content, and with the marketing rule of 7, post more!

 

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Profit from Trending Topics on Twitter

One of the great strengths of Teemill is the flexibility and speed with which you can create products. With a free customisable store and print-on-demand t-shirt fulfillment, you can easily create a t-shirt and start selling it online in minutes. It’s perfect for today’s ultra-fast information age.

Teemill presents an excellent opportunity for those savvy enough to turn a popular hashtag into a t-shirt design. It might mean taking a novel twist on the subject, or capturing the issue in one graphic.

More often than not, successful t-shirt sales like this come from the t-shirt design that gets the biggest laugh.

Sometimes, though, the design might be made in sympathy or solidarity, or to make a point in protest against something. Either way, as a Teemill store owner you can make profit with a purpose if you can find the design that captures the imagination of people following that hashtag.

Once you’ve got your Teemill account, it’s as simple as adding a design to your store, or perhaps building a dedicated campaign page for this tee. Then it’s down to you – upload your design and start posting heavily on the hashtag, building retweets and shares to break through the noise.

The exact same strategy can be used on Instagram, or any other service that aggregates content around a hashtag. Remember to post pictures of your product, and a link.

Try to use a lasting topic that will be around for a while to maximise the potential return on your time. Writing a press release will help, and requesting or retweeting fan photos, as well as a healthy dose of scheduling and social automation, will help keep your t-shirt campaign alive – like in this case study.

Appropriate hashtags

Please use common sense with this strategy. Make sure your t-shirt adds value to the debate. And be sensitive. It would be great to have a #cecilthelion animal welfare t-shirt, but it wouldn’t be cool to make money from a terrorist attack, for example. Don’t be surprised when we shut down your account for trying to upload t-shirts in bad taste.

Also take care with image rights, copyright, brand names – Teemill is a software service, how you use it is your responsibility – if you pinch someone’s artwork, or image rights, and try to make money from them, you are liable – we won’t protect you.

Be smart, be original, and create a product that adds value and there’s no reason why you cannot make money from the right trending topics.

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