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Failure #1: T-Shirts and Marketing

Marketing has never been my “thing,” and I suppose it still isn’t. And finding, understanding, and connecting with audiences is obviously a skill I will need to work on.

#000000 is the new black
#000000 is the new black

I’ve always wanted this shirt. It speaks to the geek in me as well as a little bit the designer, because it’s hard to go wrong with Helvetica Neue. So I spent about 30 minutes in Photoshop playing around with a design and layout for the tee, quickly put it on Teespring, ordered myself one and then put a quick link to it on my Facebook profile. And guess what, someone else picked one up as well! Woah, hold on now!

The wheels in my head got to spinning, and I thought that if I wanted it, and somebody else wanted it enough to just pick one up like that, then maybe other people would want it as well. I mean, c’mon, it is a pretty cool shirt.

A quick Google search revealed that many people find Facebook the best advertising platform for selling goods through Teespring, and though Facebook is definitely not my favorite place to hang around, I did see potential in doing some very targeted ads. A couple of YouTube videos and some easy Facebook Ad steps later and I was good to go with a campaign targeting developers and designers, age 21-33, who liked to purchase clothing. Boom, solid gold!

I put the campaign up and of course obsessively checked the statistics over the next two hours. (Note: the Facebook Campaign Summary page is not live, just in case you thought it might be.) First one click, then two, then a few more! Awesome. This led to me obsessively refreshing the Teespring Campaign page as well. It looked like this:

Teespring campaign overview at 2

It’s been a couple days now, and I had budgeted to spend $20/day on the ad campaigns, figuring that if I could sell at least two shirts through it that I would break even. Thus far the ad has reached ~10,000 views, but clicks are at 84. That’s right, that is a 0.84% click through rate, not super awesome, though the CPC is around $0.50. So where does the Teespring campaign stand at now?

Teespring campaign overview at 2

That’s right, hasn’t budged a single shirt. That leaves me with a conversion rate of 0%. If I were to sell one shirt in the next minute, that shirt would have cost me $40 to sell. Uhoh, something is rotten in the state of my marketing efforts.

I freaked out a bit and realized that perhaps I was using the audience feature of Facebook Ads incorrectly, and that perhaps I was casting too large a net. The niche pays, right? So I created a second ad set with a more targeted audience (down to about 1 million potentials instead of 7 million) and that ad set has performed slightly better. It has a higher click through rate (1.5%) and a lower cost per click ($0.40). And too bad likes aren’t worth anything: five or so people have liked the Page that backs the ad, but still aren’t buying the shirt.

Next steps? I tried creating an even more targeted audience campaign, targeting just graphic designers in a small niche (about 260,000 people). That improved click through rates to above 1.5%, but conversion was still a big fat 0. I’m  pulling the plug on Facebook Ads and coming up with something better. I’ll have learned my lesson to not make something that I simply want, but to talk to people first, since I am definitely the odd duck.

Published inBusinessTechnology

One Comment

  1. Monero Monero

    Hey There!

    I have found you from
    it’s a nice article out there.
    Once you get the audience for your shirt you should have tried to be more direct and close to them in term of communication. If there aren’t buying the shirt, ask them why?
    Second, I think that maybe the image f the shirt doesn’t convey them, the audience, that the shirt exists. I can clearly see you wrote the text on it with an Image Editor and that’s it not a real photo of the shirt.

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