Teemill Updates

Building and Mailing Your Database

After your profit, the most valuable assets that you will build using Teemill is your database. Building your newsletter list is an essential part of growing sales, keeping customers coming back time and time again.

Teemill lets you build your web shop and connect to our print-on-demand supply chain – in all respects it’s built to give full control over your project. This includes your database, which you can access, download, query, edit or mail.

Before we start… Data Protection Law

There is one important thing to remember when talking about customer data: Data protection law. It is not legal to see, download, share or contact customers who have not given permission. This will explain why some of your customers may appear like this: D****@*****.c*** – Sorry, they just don’t want to be contacted.

Furthermore, your customers sign up with a strict usage guideline – you should only be contacting them about information related to your brand and your store products, like stories and special offers.

Do not sell, share or spam your database with third parties – you agreed to these terms if you have signed up to Teemill already, and to do so would be to break the law. Teemill is a powerful tool where anyone can make a serious business – data protection is a serious responsibility!

The Housefile

The vast majority of your customers who have purchased from you will choose to hear more from you, and this will form your core database (or housefile, as it is known to the pros).

Building a housefile is like building a brand. It’s slow work and requires determination. The best ways to build a database are to keep existing customers updated with regular quality content, encourage interested people to sign up and ask your most loyal customers to recommend their friends.

Like all marketing, it’s important to focus on your return on investment. It’s quality, not quantity. 10 customers who believe in what you do is better than 100 who only signed up for the incentive.

Quality wins. Like SEO, it takes hard work and patience. Before we move on to working your database, we must talk about cheating. Any goal that requires genuine effort attracts thoughts of shortcuts. It has been thought of already, please don’t try to cheat with your housefile by pilfering data and entering it manually.

Keep it clean

Unless a customer has specifically requested to be contacted, it’s a really bad idea. You will annoy your target. It only takes a few ‘flag as spam’ clicks to be blacklisted by the mailing providers – who have myriad ways to detect this kind of strategy – and then your whole scheme is toast.

Your housefile is a truly valuable thing. Keep it clean.

Working your Database

A housefile is an asset for a reason. It takes very little effort to milk it for sales, as it contains many customers who are receptive, interested and ready to buy what you have to offer.

It’s important not to take your housefile for granted. In return for their data, customers will expect consistent, quality content, fresh new products and preferential treatment.

In fact, it’s often a good idea to combine all of your communications in a multi-channel plan. Sounds quite fancy, but it’s easy. With a little bit of automation, you can create professional marketing results from a laptop and a few hours a week.

If you’re looking for ideas on what kind of newsletters to send, some of the most successful newsletters fall into the following categories:

  • New products
  • Free post offers
  • Great stories

How often to mail?

Firstly, if you haven’t got valuable content to share like a great offer, story or new product, it’s best to hold off mailing and get some great content first. Like a PR, it must be interesting and newsworthy. Providing the content is there, it’s more common for people not to mail enough as opposed to too much.

Mailing frequency depends on the customer’s response: If you’ve got fresh new content, and the customers respond well every day, mail every day.

We suggest starting at once a week, and increasing to every day during peak times, like December. The golden rule is to mail up to 2% unsub, then back off. Most systems from Mailchimp through to Teemill’s own newsletter delivery systems will track this statistic, and automatically cease mailing addresses after a long period of inactivity or disinterest. 

When to Mail?

Think about your customer and their routines. Quite often customers will make their purchases in the evening on a tablet or laptop, or in the afternoon at work for the cheeky ones. This suits Teemill users who are working with Teemill in their spare time. If you’re on Teemill, your customer is probably on the internet. If you’re using Teemill in an enterprise or charity, it’s best to schedule your emails for evenings and weekends.

Take Action


25 Marginal Gains to Double Sales.

If you’re the kind of person that seeks to be the best, you might have heard of a guy called Wiggo. Tour de France winner, pile of Olympic Golds, Knighthood – results that come from performance. Behind the man was a coach who’s Marginal Gains philosophy revolutionised high performance coaching.

Dave Brailsford is the guy behind Team Sky and GB cycling who has revolutionised performance coaching. Everything he does is based on one simple idea:

There’s not one thing that will make 25% difference. Instead, there might be 25 little things that will make 1% of difference.

1% is almost not worth it on the surface, but when you add all those little marginal gains up, you get a huge change in results. For the sporting world, that means titles, trophies – everything it means to be a winner. Selling t-shirts online with Teemill is very similar to sport. You’re already ahead of the competition as they’re still trying to buy all the parts and build a bike – by embracing our cutting edge, print on demand technology, you’ve got the latest in your hands already, for free. What do you do to win? We’ve compiled a list of 50 marginal gains for you below. Note them down and work through them all: You’ll find that whilst each one individually makes a very little difference, by the end you might be surprised at how much your sales change.

  1. Learn about photography
  2. Do a photoshoot with your samples
  3. Improve your writing
  4. Learn about SEO
  5. Rework your product descriptions
  6. Learn about getting PR
  7. Build a newsletter database
  8. Write a press release
  9. Increase profit with better colour choice
  10. Learn about social scheduling
  11. Use the rule of 7 to increase post frequency
  12. Save time with social automation
  13. Read this case study
  14. Develop better t-shirt design ideas
  15. Learn about artwork formatting
  16. Create a fresh new product
  17. Tell people about it with a product feature
  18. Set goals with the 25 to 5 game
  19. Use these 4 fast things to boost traffic
  20. Send more newsletters 
  21. Drive improvement with better statistics
  22. Use these 5 ideas for social posts
  23. Make money from trending topics
  24. Understand the value of sustainability
  25. Look at your stats, and make a 3 point plan

Take Action:

Work through these points with your Teemill store to improve results. Start now.


What Colour T-shirt Sells the Most?

One of the most fun parts of t-shirt design is mocking up your design to see which colours it works on best. At Teemill, you can sell your designs on a massive range of quality coloured tees. The profits you earn, and the number you might sell depend on the colour. How to pick the right ones?

Luckily our analytics team tracks data from millions of visitors that browse every store built on Teemill, and gather up that data to help you make better choices to make more money. First there’s one simple rule to follow.

Radically increase profit

White t-shirts are faster to print and cost us less, that’s why we pay you more when you sell one on Teemill. There’s also less to think about from an artwork point of view: (Even the average JPEG will come out looking great!) It makes sense to aim to sell a fair share of white tees.

If you’re looking to build a Teemill t-shirt campaign page where you only sell one main design, without doubt get that design on a white t-shirt.

In terms of data, white t-shirts are consistently in the top 3 colourways that customers choose. Not only do white tees double your profit, there’s a demand for designs on white from the customer. It’s a no-brainer.

When working with colour tees

If you want to design a range, you might not want to have a wall of white – it’s important to mix it up and get a nice selection going. Or you might find that some designs work much better on colours and it’s worth choosing volume over profit per item.

When you pick a coloured tee for your design, you’ll want to know which colours sell best to maximise your chances of making a sale as there is a slightly lower earning potential.

Our data analysts look at this issue regularly, as we use the volume / popularity of colours to both influence orders for blank t-shirt stock, and how to optimise Teemill accounts that we create for larger organisations that pay us to do all the work for them.

Like us, there’s a simple check you can do to make sure you’re selling what the customer wants:

Make sure you look at which colours your demographic likes, as well as which designs – you can find this data in your analytics.

If you’re motivated to improve your sales, remember that it’s 25 little things that make 1% of difference, not 1 thing that makes 25% of difference. Once you’ve got some white tees in, and checked the colours you offer are in demand, check in with your design quality, photography, product descriptions and online PR plan.

Take Action


Optimise Your Web Design for Sales

Web design is an essential hurdle for people looking to start making money online. At Teemill, our free print-on-demand t-shirt store builder, you can customise everything to look the way you want. With that freedom comes some risk: How do you know you’re making the most of your layout and style?

We try to make this part as easy and hassle-free as possible and in many cases you’ll find that the default themes are literally ready to go, just add your logo and you can start selling. Which makes Teemill web design fast and simple. There’s good reason for this.

Firstly, ask yourself what you want to sell – a fancy web design, or a product. Clearly it’s your product – a pitfall of building e-commerce shops is to try to wow and surprise potential customers with the website colours, features and layout.

Keep it simple, plain and flat, using neutral colours, preferably white. Leave the impact colour to one area only, your buy now button.

You want your products to pop from the page like an art gallery wall, not to get lost in all that wow.

We work for you

One of the great strengths of Teemill is our community: Millions of customers browse products across sites built on Teemill, and we pool that data to learn about what gets the best results – for you, the recipient of the profits.

That’s why we locked down the product page to make sure the button is on the right, the product is on the left and the description is large and clear. Think of it like having a team of statisticians and web designers working for you, full time, for free – that’s literally what happens. If the theme can’t be edited in a certain way, it’s for your own benefit.

Responsive out of the box

Teemill is built in a responsive way. That means that your online store will adapt and resize to fit the screen it is loaded on, even if that means tilting a tablet from landscape to portrait.

That means you have a mobile-ready site straight out of the box, and it’s compatible on all browsers. An update to your layout, style, menu in one place updates for all devices.


The single greatest advice we can give, after a simple, flat and neutral design is to invest in epic photography. Teemill store owners with amazing photography demonstrate consistently higher conversion rates, making around 10 times more money than those without lifestyle photos.

Our comparison data shows that photography has the single biggest impact on sales across Teemill.

It doesn’t matter if you order samples and do your own shoot, or take (or buy) pictures with plain tees and Photoshop your design on – as long as they look professional.


Let us test and optimise your site while you focus on the most important things, the quality of your designs, getting amazing photography, writing great product descriptions and getting out there marketing your products


5 ideas for Social Media Marketing

Social media is a fast, free way to reach out to your audience and make them aware of your products on Teemill. There are people out there like you who think what you have to say is cool. There’s only one way to reach them, and that’s to post some content.

Before you start posting, make sure you remind yourself what your project is about, what the themes are, and what might not be on-brand. Also, it’s good to remember that amazing photography is expected these days – you may need to get some samples for a shoot. Also, don’t underestimate the power of amazing text to capture – or put off – your customer.

Tip: Learn more with these blogs about taking great photos and great content writing.

1. Feature product

One of the easiest ways to generate ideas is too look at the products you have, and post them. Find an item in your Teemill store that you think is great, and post the image with a caption. A good way to frame this is as a staff pick, or most popular this week feature.

It’s super simple, super easy and gives people a clear message: Buy this product now.

2. Fan photo

Some of the coolest content is fan generated. You can ask your customers to send in their photos or tag you in their pictures: Or if you’re just starting out, ask your mates to get some shots of them wearing. Great stories from customers that feature your product can give the brand a sense of action, reality and reach.

3. Republish relevant Stories

You don’t need to create all the content: You can let great content by others rub off and reinforce your brand values by sharing it through your channel.

If you see a story online that’s relevant, don’t be afraid to repost it. Finding pictures or video that are relevant to your brand, and sharing them with a caption is a great way to keep your customers coming back for more.

Remember to give them a call to action at the end of the caption: Shop t-shirts for [relevance] at www.mystore.com

4. Competition

Teemill lets you get one-off printed samples at affordable rates, with no set up. You might choose to launch a competition in return for a giveaway – but approach with caution. It’s important to make sure you get a reasonable return on your investment – make sure the competition outcome is valuable to you. It would be far wiser to ask for signups to your Mailchimp database than for an extra like or two, for example.

5. Consistency

Whatever you do, make sure you post regularly. This might mean doing all your posts in one batch with a scheduler and using social automation – saving you time and ensuring your posts are dropped each day. Either way, the best brands will post regularly to keep dormant customers interested, as per the marketing rule of seven.

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