Welcome to Holiday 2015

2015 might be winding down, but we’re just getting started on the busiest selling season of the year! Want to get a better understanding of the holiday opportunity, and how you can strengthen your selling strategies this season?

Welcome to the 2015 Holiday Selling Playbook, where we’ve gathered our best tips for how to:

  • Maximize your sales globally
  • Create inspiring content - with templates and tutorials to help
  • Compete in the next Tees the Season contest challenge

So read on, spring into the season, and don’t forget to come back often to check out ongoing global updates to this Playbook!

Happy Springing!

‘Tis the Season for Strong Sales

2015 is generally much stronger economically than in years past. Unemployment is down, disposable personal income is trending up, and inflation is generally in check. This holiday season, sales are projected to represent about 19% of the retail industry’s total annual sales of $3.2 trillion. In particular, online sales are expected to increase between 6-8% to total $105B (source: National Retail Federation). All said, these final two months of 2015 should see healthy retail sales growth.

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Selling!

Shoppers are starting make their (gift) lists and check them twice. This season, we want you to take full advantage of the opportunity to grow your business with the gift of tips.

In this new video, Power Springer Ty Huls will give you an insider’s view into the Q4 landscape, with strategies to help you be a success this Holiday season, including:

  • Projected market growth
  • Tips on campaign strategy, content creation, testing and optimization
  • Don’t miss out! Click here* to watch the video, and start growing your business now.

‘Tis the Season for Ugly Christmas Sweatshirts

Yes, it comes as no surprise that Ugly Christmas Sweatshirts (Ugly Christmas Sweater style Sweatshirts) are one of the hottest trends of the season, and were extremely popular on Teespring in 2014.

To help you get started on designing your own Ugly Sweatshirt runaway success, we’ve created a template with 5 different designs. You can click here to get started - and check out the full article here to learn more.

‘Tis the Season for Gift buying! Key Shopping Dates:

Date Significance 2014 eCommerce Sales (US) % Increase 2013 - 2014
Nov 1 Consumer online spending starts to increase $22.7B in the 4 weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day +15%
Nov 26 Thanksgiving $1B +32%
Nov 27 Black Friday $1.5B +26%
Nov 30 Cyber Monday $2B +17%
Nov 30 - Dec 7 Cyber Week $9.1B +14%

Top Reasons to Sell on Teespring this Holiday Season

This holiday season, Teespring wants to give our community the very best gift of all -- the gift of sales!

Over this past week, we’ve announced our Holiday 2015 Seller Update to help you achieve an estimated 10 - 20% boost in overall unit sales. From recently launched tools to new features and programs, we are introducing new ways for you to to boost sales, increase profits, and reach more buyers - making this your best Teespring Holiday season yet. Read on for more exciting feature news!

New! Buyer-Focused Home Page

Did you know that about third of our visitors come to Teespring looking for past campaigns? Up until now, it’s been challenging for them to find that great shirt they saw from your campaign- until now.

This holiday season, we want to make it really easy for Buyers to check off their gift lists ….and shop from your campaigns!

This week we will be launching a completely re-designed Home Page, with the goal of inspiring more shoppers to convert on your campaigns. The first order of priority is to enable a new feature - “Recently Viewed Items” - which will help each Buyer to re-discover shirts that they recently saw. We believe that this new feature will be a huge benefit to our Sellers, because it will drive additional awareness and increase conversion rates for your campaigns.  

Tees the Season: Biggest Holiday selling contest. Ever

And don’t forget that “Tees the Season” kicked off on October 15, and is our biggest and most global contest yet. Over the season, we expect to give out over $250K in cash prizes across various micro challenges, so start snowballing your sales to win! This contest runs until December 31.

Better Features for Selling

We recently announced the “gift of data” with the full release of the Campaign Analytics system, giving you the in-depth campaign metrics that you’ve been asking for - right from your dashboard.

And remember - ‘tis the season to take advantage of the Goal of One to launch, launch and launch some more new campaigns! This allows you to recoup profit from every single sale you make, reducing risk during this holiday season. And with the Continuous Relaunch feature, you can keep those campaigns active...as long as they end by the cutoff on December 15!

A global audience

This holiday season, European buyers are just a few clicks away! Expand your reach, extend your success and increase your profits by marketing to new audiences with Teespring Europe! Teespring EU offers affordable shipping rates (which helps conversions) and faster delivery timelines for EU / International based buyers.

More Products, great content to sell

Don’t forget: Stickers are now officially available in the Composer! Stickers are  great stocking stuffers, and can be sold either as stand-alone campaigns or added within an apparel campaign.

Our global design teams are bringing the best holiday trends to you as templates or standalone icon artwork -  starting with the classic Ugly Christmas Sweater. Check the Global Holiday Selling Playbook right here through mid-December for new design inspiration!


Holiday 2015: Ugly Christmas Sweatshirts

The Holidays are soon upon us, and so our thoughts naturally turn to loved ones, pumpkin pie, snowflakes…and of course, Ugly Christmas Sweatshirts.

Yes, Ugly Christmas Sweatshirts (Ugly Christmas Sweater style sweatshirts) are one of the hottest trends of the season and were extremely popular on Teespring in 2014. So we want to teach you just how to create the perfect one. Here is the latest on the timing of the trend, templates and a tutorial on how to create your own.

We pulled some data from Google Trends to see just how enormous the demand is. Let’s take a look at when queries peaked on Google in 2014:

There is a true Ugly Christmas Sweater Frenzy in December, but people ramp up their searches in November, so it’s time to get started!

Interest in Ugly Christmas Sweaters increased year-over-year. Check out just how much how much Ugly Christmas Sweater demand has grown over the course of human history:

To help you get started on designing your own Ugly Sweatshirt runaway success, we’ve created a template with 5 different designs. You can click here to get started downloading templates. Download the .zip for everything, or pick-and-choose the ones you want.

If you’d prefer more latitude, we’ve also made these elements available as individual icons in the composer, which you can access with the art search term “freefishco.”

Put your design on a Hanes Unisex Crewneck Sweatshirt for the most “sweatery” effect. You can also use tees or long sleeve tees, just make sure to be clear about what you’re selling in your campaign description.

For an overview of more advanced design principles just click here for a video tutorial from our own Teespring Design team with the latest techniques on recoloring, clipping masks, creating shapes using stitch patterns/creating stitch text and repeating objects:

You can skip to 9:30 to learn how to design an Ugly Christmas Sweatshirt in the composer  also see below for a detailed written technique guide to creating an Ugly Christmas Sweatshirt of your own!


Don’t miss out on this hot Holiday trend – start using these templates and icons now, and get those campaigns launched!

Ugly Sweatshirt Techniques

The provided Brush Tool sidebar is recommended for this tutorial, but the below techniques can still be used with any Stitch / Pixel shape created!


  • Insert Stitch brushstroke from Brushes sidebar
  • Use either Direct Select Tool or Lasso Tool to select objects
  • Go to Swatches panel and select new color

Clipping Masks

  • Insert Stitch brushstroke from Brushes sidebar
  • Place vectored image in file and place over Stitch Pattern
  • Make top object Compound Path (Command 8 on Mac / Control 8 on PC)
  • Select both Objects and Create Clipping Mask (Command 7 on Mac / Control 7 on PC)
  • Expand Image (Object, Expand)
  • Optional: Add separate pixels or remove pixels from image based on your preference.

Creating Shapes Using Stitch Patterns / Create Stitched Text

  • Draw a path using pen tool and apply single stitch pattern brush stroke (or Open Stitch Pattern / Single Stitch file from Downloads folder if provided.)
  • Insert vectored image in file (Adjust artboards)
  • Place stitch pattern or create new pattern with single stitch pixel (or Manually create stitch patterns to overlap vectored image area) If using stitch pattern/create pattern, remove any excess stitch vectors around object with Direct Select Tool or Lasso Tool.

Repeating Objects (Transform)

  • Insert Stitch brushstroke from Brushes sidebar
  • Select file and in top menu click Effect, Distort & Transform, Transform
  • Change Vertical in “Move” column  to 0.04, and add preferred number of copies. Click OK
  • Expand Object
  • Repeat Step 2 with single stitch for Horizontal pattern, except changing Horizontal in “Move” column to 0.05 in Transform menu. Click OK and Expand Object. (whether you prefer Horizontal pattern, Vertical pattern or both is up to you)

5 Ways to Boost Sales this Holiday Season!

As we all know, the holidays are the biggest time of the year for online sales and a huge opportunity to capitalize on past buyers! If you want to boost your sales even more then check out these 5 tips on how to increase unit sales this holiday season.

1. Holidize your ads!

Use tools like AdFactory to create and holidize your ads and feature discounts! Anyone with a Teespring account can use Adfactory for free; once you’ve logged in select “campaigns” and add your campaign URL.  You can upload custom backgrounds and images to give a “holiday” feel to your advertisements.

2.Use Teespring’s Buyer Message Tool

If you are not using Teespring’s Buyer Message Tool you are missing out on sales! You’re able to message buyers from any of your previously successful campaigns up to 3 times a week; you can use messages to tell them about new designs or thank them for supporting your campaign. Since they’ve already purchased items from one of your campaigns, it’s likely they’ll be interested in new campaigns with similar designs...how could you not take advantage of this awesome opportunity to increase sales?


If you are using the Buyer Message Tool but notice your conversion rates are low make sure you’re not committing the following mistakes;

  • Emailing buyers too frequently; we understand that you want to get the word out about your new campaigns, but instead of sending an email for each new campaign, what if you include links/images to all your campaigns or create a store link? This way you’re not overloading customers with emails and you’re able to share multiple campaigns in one message!
  • Emailing the same buyers with the same content; if you’ve emailed your buyers once about a particular campaign, you don’t need to message them over and over again. It’s good to notify them when a new design is available, and maybe once again before the campaign ends, but avoid emailing them 3 times a week about the same campaign!
  • Not using pre-made templates; you can use Teespring’s pre-made message templates to make sure your emails look good! If you want to customize your message try incorporating image(s) from your campaign and hyperlinks as well (linking to the campaign page). We suggest hyperlinking the image and a call-to-action, for example “Buy Now!”

3.Use Teespring’s Discount Codes (especially for Black Friday/Cyber Monday!)

Discounts can be an important factor for many buyers around the world, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Discount codes can be even more effective in promoting sales if you use them in conjunction with the Buyer Message Tool.

This is an example of what customers see when they click on an ad featuring your discount URL. The currency displayed is based on the viewer's location.

4.Make "Winter" items your featured product 

Leading campaigns with "cold weather" products can help increase conversions and profit margin; every year we see a big spike in the number of hoodies and sweatshirts sold from October to February. Also, one of this year’s hottest trends is “Ugly Christmas Sweaters” and it’s easy for you to get in on the action! If you’ve had a top-selling design, let’s say for a hunting niche, why not adapt your design as an “ugly sweater”? You can target the same niche and use the buyer message tool to notify past customers of your new limited edition design (check out Luuk's tips for selling these items)!

5.Reuse bestselling campaigns in new markets

If you’re not reusing your bestselling designs in new markets you are missing out! Niches like bikers, pet-lovers, sports, jobs, etc. work just as well in Europe and Australia as they do in the US and vice versa! If you’ve got a successful niche and want to expand your buyer market learn more about how to reuse your designs in new markets!



Holidays: Ty's 10 Steps

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Selling!

As the Holiday season gets into full swing, we’re bringing you another video from Power Springer Ty Huls: “10 Steps to a Springing Holiday”!

In this video, Ty covers:

  • A refresher on the 10 steps to success when selling on Teespring
  • Unique insights for navigating the Holiday selling madness
  • Tried-and-true tips and tricks for success

Don’t miss out! Watch now, and start growing your business.


Holiday 2015: Ty's Tips

Learn top tips and tricks for an awesome holiday sales season from Teespring mastermind Ty Huls.

Key Takeaways

eCommerce Market Data

  • 2015 is shaping up to be a strong Holiday season
  • Retail ecommerce sales expected to rise +14% YOY
  • eCommerce projected to reach 9% of total retail holiday season sales
  • Mobile commerce expected to grow +32% YOY
  • Social continues to fuel gift inspiration

Ty’s View on the Opportunity

  • More buyers
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Customers more likely to buy for others

Tips for Success

  1. Launch more, and often
    1. More inventory / more revenue
    2. Great time to add incremental boost with new ideas
    3. If normal rate is 1x/week, consider launching 2x/week
  2. Use assets from past campaigns
    1. You don’t necessarily need to holidize, just need to launch
    2. You can holidize your niches, but everyone is buying in general during the holidays so keep launching!
  3. Holidize to your preference
    1. Pure Holiday shirt
    2. Niche shirt – Holiday theme
  4. Think promotionally
    1. Free shipping is still a top priority for consumers
  5. Test test test
    1. Try new inventory this year
      1. Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter / Google
      2. Facebook Flex targeting - Cross with Holiday interests?
    2. Always fertile ground: Ad Styles, Garment Colors, Ad Platforms

Ty’s Holiday History

Holiday season is getting longer and longer


  • Started Around Black Friday
  • Strong Right Up To Christmas


  • Started Earlier – November 1st
  • Lasted Longer – End of February


  • My Hoodie season started Sept 1st
  • Holiday picked up in October
  • Ugly Christmas Sweaters came out early

Final thoughts

  • Get your design work done on time
  • Scale winners throughout the holiday
  • Really about re-launching campaigns
  • Use it or lose it

Good luck, and have a great Holiday selling season!


Europe loves the holidays! In fact, around 20% of European online sales for the year will land during the Christmas season and Europeans will spend over €2 billion during peak online shopping days. It’s definitely a market you won’t want to miss this season!

Your European campaigns can even join in on popular American shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year, Black Friday saw sales of €35 billion in Europe and Cyber Monday recorded sales upwards of £650 million in the UK alone. We saw lots of successful campaigns last year during these days so get those campaigns running nice and early to take advantage of them!

You may be wondering what kind of products and designs sell best during this season...well look no further because our 2015 Guide to the Holidays will give you all the information you need. Keep reading for tips, important dates, free design templates and translations, and more!

Top Products For the Holidays

Everyone loves a cosy hoodie, especially during these cold winter months. But don’t forget about sweatshirts, zip-up hoodies, long sleeve tees and totes bags! These are all great for winter and gift giving!

The recommended selling price for our hoodies and sweatshirts is £22-£34 / €23-€35 / $24-$38. We recommend £12-£22 / €13-€23 / $14-$24 for our standard tees including long sleeves, and £12-£20 / €13-€21/ $14-$22 for tote bags which feature a large printable area for customization on the front and back and can be featured in campaigns with other standard items.

Design Ideas

T-shirts & hoodies make great presents for the whole family! Think about what people are passionate about: their professions, hobbies, family, culture, nationality, sports teams, hometowns, pets, etc. Look around Teespring University for some ideas on how to get started in Europe and then come up with a killer design and watch the holiday sales pour in! You can also download one of our free design templates below to get you started. Just click on the link below to download a zip folder with our PSD templates. Open them with Photoshop and edit them as you wish!


(We’ll be adding new designs every Wednesday so watch this space!)

Dates to Remember

Common Translations

You don’t always need to translate your campaigns to other languages but you may reach a wider audience if you do! We’ve put together a list of common phrases you may want to use in your campaign descriptions, including some holiday-specific ones. 


Click on the button above to download the full PDF with the translations in: German, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Czech, Finnish.

For even more holidays-related translations, CLICK HERE.

Top holiday selling tips from a European Power Seller

2015 could be the biggest year for holiday sales in Europe to date! Over the last year Luuk Olde Bijvank has worked to become a top seller in various EU markets and he’s kindly agreed to share some tips with the Springer community. Continue reading for useful insight based on Luuk’s selling experience and learn more about how to maximize unit sales during the biggest shopping days of the year!

1. Are there particular niches to look out for in Europe during the holiday season?

Ugly Christmas sweaters DO work in Europe! As a matter of fact, they work really well. We have sold many ugly Christmas sweaters designs so far this year as well as our Teeninja students too. My best tip for creating a successful ugly sweater campaign is to take your bestselling campaigns and turn them into an “ugly sweater” design (click here for free “ugly sweater” templates and examples). Then mail your previous buyers about your new “Limited Edition Christmas sweater” design. We always get initial sales on our Christmas sweater campaigns this way; the campaigns usually tip after we contact past buyers, creating social proof before we even start advertising on Facebook! By messaging new designs to past buyers you can make it easier to sell even more items.

                            Example of adapting a “hunting” design for an Ugly Christmas Sweater

                            Example of adapting a “hunting” design for an Ugly Christmas Sweater

We focus on our bread and butter niches during the holidays; like I said, stick to the things you know work and incorporate the holiday theme into a new design. In the end most of your past buyers celebrate Christmas so this is the best approach.

2. What are you anticipating for big shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the EU?

During the holidays last year I was still a rookie when it came to selling tees online, but for the 2015 season we’re definitely planning to take advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday trends. We’ll base our ads around these special shopping days (ad copy and images) and offer discount codes to new and past buyers (using Teespring's buyer messaging tool).

3. Apart from Facebook ads, have you noticed ads on other platforms working for EU campaigns?

We are currently trying Instagram ads, but we’re still in early testing stages.  I love to think outside the box, like contacting website owners to reach new audiences for example. We’ve had joint ventures with some websites (paying them a fixed fee or a percentage for sales) that worked pretty well for us. I don’t think many t-shirt marketers do this. It will only take you a few minutes to write a message template and send it to the top 10-20 websites for your niches. If they allow you to use a retargeting pixel you can build a long term asset for your business too!

4. What is your selling approach for the holiday season?

We are already scaling campaigns. We actually started mid-October with this. Q4 is by far the most important quarter; there is a bigger profit margin on hoodies and the holidays are coming soon! People also receive their end-of-year bonus in December; i.e. they have more money to spend. If you are planning to push sales during the holidays, now is the time to do so. Always lead your campaigns with hoodies and make sure they are Christmas themed (also your ads of course). We are also planning to do special buyer promotions for our existing buyer base; we’ll give them free shipping and some other holiday specials. I expect the biggest boom in sales to come just before the 15th since we’ll announce the specials are  “only available till December 15th”.

5. Are there any tips you can offer other sellers who are new to EU markets or for first time holiday sellers?

I think the best tips are highlighted in my answers above; the best advice I can give is to work extra hard during November and December because it’s the most profitable time of the year! Make sure you review your best sellers and adapt them for Christmas and the holidays.