Teespring Case Study: Tips for Improved Facebook Targeting

Written by Zac Johnson
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Mateen here from affengineer.com.

You may or may not know about my blog. If you have done anything Teespring related, I’d be very surprised if you didn’t. Mostly because I made a bunch of video tutorials on every aspect of Teespring I could think of and most of them are well ranked in Google.

Anyway, I reached out to Zac a few days ago to do a guest post on his blog. I’ve heard his name around the industry and come across the blog every now and then and thought it would be cool to share my success with his readers.

Teespring Case Study

He suggested a case study on one of my Teespring campaigns, I thought it would be a great idea so I’m going to reveal one of my campaigns that went on to sell over 100 units. I’ve had quite a few campaigns like this, some in the 1,000s. I’ll accept any amount of sales as long as it’s profitable.

Why I selected this campaign is because of how I was about to ditch the idea after negative feedback on the first design.

TeeSpring Shirt Design

This campaign went on to make me 148 sales and open up a whole genre of merchandise that sold in the 1,000s.

TeeSpring Targeting

I had seen a similar design before while browsing around FaceBook. The one I saw was aimed at horses so instantly I thought about all the different pets it could possibly appeal to.

In the Teespring industry, the real money is made from variations.

You find a phrase or particular design that works and tweak small wordings in it as much as you can so it appeals to a bunch of different niches. If it works for one, chances are it will work for a few others.

For example, this design did exceptionally well during the early days of Teespring, (not mine).

Made in 1964 Shirt Design

Can you imagine the excitement on the designers face when it sold over 300 units? That was an immediate breakthrough into a campaign worth six figures.

He would have sold it for almost every year and in almost every country.

I remember seeing them continuously top the Teespring charts for at least a couple of months.

That’s where the big money is made, with campaigns that are scaleable.

Thought Process

Anyway, back to my design.

I know nothing about keeping reptiles as pets. It’s not my thing. I have a pet parrot which would probably fly a mile away if it saw one.

I did some research and found that people that researched reptiles were called ‘herpetologists’ so I went ahead and designed the below.

Teespring Sweatshirt Design

It looked pretty good to me so I went with it.

I had some mediocre engagement results but the most important thing was what people were saying in the comment section.

“sounds like you’d have herpes if you wore that”

“Looks cool but wouldn’t wear it”

etc.

Kind of made me laugh and feel sorry for my design.

Usually, I’d ditch it and move on because of the shear amount of campaigns I launch every day but this time I thought I’d give it another shot. I thought to keep it simple and just try ‘reptaholic’.

It sounded cooler and people decided to ignore the fact that frogs are amphibians. Win!

Immediately I got some sales and my stats started to make good business sense.

Social Likes and Shares

A good amount of shares usually means really cheap costs and that people love it enough to talk about it on their FaceBook and hopefully make a purchase.

The first $20 spend got me 3 sales. At $50, 7 sales and the consistency remained till the end of the campaign.

FaceBook Marketing

Over the course of the campaign I let it run towards all the laser targeted reptile related FaceBook targets I could find. I kept running it until sales dropped and it became unprofitable. Below is a screen shot of my FB ad filter selections.
TeeSpring Facebook Targeting

There’s one very important takeaway from the above image.

FaceBook marketing is all about targeting.

If you’re selling to reptile owners, you don’t just simply type in ‘reptiles’ and hope to sell. Why? Because the pool of people collated within the ‘reptiles’ category would be too generic. It would be made up of true reptile fans but also would be ridiculously diluted with people that just like reptiles because they look nice. We want die hard fans of keeping reptiles.

Facebook Campaign Results

Remember, there’s no point continuing with a campaign if it’s not making you a profit.

Sure, you’d probably cover all die hard reptile fans by selecting a generic ‘reptiles’ target but only 1 out of 200+ people would be engaging with your ad which will inflate your cost.

You’d probably end up getting 50 cents per engagement as opposed to 8 cents like I did above.

Think of it this way…

You own a gardening shop in a busy shopping mall. You have the option to pay $100 and get 100 random visitors OR pay $100 and get 100 visitors who go to gardening shows, are part of gardening clubs, own gardening magazine subscriptions, etc. Which option would you take?

The second of course!

This is how laser targeting on FaceBook works and if you can get this right FaceBook will become a fun traffic source to run on.

In short, select targets that are related to forums, clubs, associations, books, websites, magazines, newspapers, etc about the niche you’re marketing to. People connected to these interests would be considered more serious.

As the campaign continued, I started to make a retargeting custom audience on FaceBook by setting the function and letting the campaign run.

Basically, FaceBook will collect the user info of people that have clicked through to your site so you can market exclusively to them!

You can later make a ‘similar audience’ off of this audience. FaceBook will find people with similar FaceBook characteristics and will make a whole new audience for you to market too! I’ve been able to relaunch my designs just as successfully on these somewhat ‘cloned’ audiences many times.

More Campaigns Unlocked

After this campaign worked well, I listed down a bunch of different pets I could try it for:

  • Parrots
  • Snakes
  • Rats
  • Chinchillas
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • etc

But then I thought, why not hobbies? ‘bakeaholic’ sounds good right? So then I went on and listed a bunch of hobbies. I got about 200 in total. I launched 5-15 campaigns everyday till I went through that whole list of 200.

I found about 10 good winners and overall made more than 20k profit on this whole design genre. Pretty good for a months worth of work!

Advice For Others

I’m going to be honest here.

It took me 50 campaigns when I first started Teespring to see a single sale. I was new to FaceBook, new to designing, new to a lot of things so I had to learn it all from scratch.

This business is frustrating. You can go 100 campaigns without a single profitable design and get lucky and find 10 in a row that will make up your losses and leave you with a decent profit.

Teespring has become quite hard to breakthrough these days. You could whip up a simple design and sell in the1,000s. There are still some monster campaigns topping the Teespring charts though and money to be made with other custom designs that are coming out.

Custom sweatpants, phone covers, hats, bags, mouse pads, necklaces, locket, you name it.

Not many people that give it a shot succeed. Mostly because they give up too easily. If you’re a seasoned affiliate marketer you would know that overwhelming failure is just part of business.

If after reading the above, you’d like to give it a shot, I have a massive database of free Teespring Tutorial Videos on my site and no, you don’t have to sign up anywhere to get it. It’s just there. Free, because I felt like it one day.

Secondly, I’m doing a ‘100 campaign launch challenge‘ on my blog where I’m going to launch 100 campaigns, (obviously), and blog about it.

It’s received a great response so I’ve tried to spread the word so more people can follow it.

That’s all for now.

Thanks Zac for having me on the blog.

I’ll stick around for some questions if you guys have any.

Hope everyone has a great 2016!

Mateen @ affengineer.com

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