Santa's Secrets: spring into the holiday shopping season

The holidays are just around the corner and the clock is ticking down for end-of-year campaigns. This year, the final day domestic buyers can nab a shirt and still receive delivery before Dec. 25 is—mark your calendars!—Dec. 11 (Dec. 1 for international).

To help you take advantage of the busiest shopping time of year, here are some holiday tips and best practices for engaging customers and promoting your business online. In this walkthrough you'll find:

  • Guide to New Features
  • Holiday Campaign Inspiration
  • Best Practices for Holiday Promotion

New Features

Since last holiday season Teespring has introduced quite a few new features and we want to make sure you know what's going on with them before the Holiday shopping frenzy begins. 

Promotions

People love holiday sales. With our new promotions, you can run sales to attract new customers or thank existing ones for their support. This is great for a Black Friday special or holiday sale. Our data shows that campaigns running promotions show a 40% increase in conversion rate.

Promotions are easy to access in your dashboard. Under the "promotions" tab you just need to create a code, attach it to your campaign link, and send the discounted link to your buyers. They'll love it!

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Goal Changes

Minimum of 5 - As a fall special until the end of the year, the new printing minimum is 5! This means that whether you're making a few holidays shirts for a group or testing paid advertisements on campaigns that might end up with just a few orders, you're totally covered.

100% Bonus - Until the end of the year we will also pay out a full 100% sales bonus on any campaigns that exceeds its sales goal. In the past we have always passed along a portion of the bulk discount from the printers on campaigns that exceed their goal. Now we pass on the whole thing!

New Products, Great Gifts

Kids' Tees

This one's for the kids. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are all looking for unique gifts for the little ones in their lives.

Full Zip Hoodies

We just added these and they'll make for amazing winter gifts.

Campaign Inspiration: Know your Audience

One of our most frequently asked questions from creators every holiday season is: what topic or niche works best for the holiday season? Naturally, there’s no one answer to this question. Fashion is fleeting, and one year’s top design is another year’s remainder bin leftover.

What we can assure you of, however, is that if you’ve already found success tailoring shirt designs to a specific groups, guess what? Those groups probably celebrate a winter holiday and would be intrigued by the idea of buying a Christmas-, Hannukah-, Kwanza-, Festivus— you name it—themed shirts. You can play around with all kinds of niche oriented shirts centered around the holidays.

As an example, one of our top-selling shirts from last December was “Merry Chestmass,” a humorous holiday  shirt geared toward weight-lifting aficionados. And it is a universal fact that it’s hard to resist images of pets dressed up in their finest holiday splendor. Last year, these adorable, Santa hat-adorned pugs and labradoodles made countless t-shirt recipients pretty happy. 

Another Popular approach is to make a tee in the style of an "ugly sweater" geared at a niche, like this one for 4X4 drivers.

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If you need a refresher on how to best identify and understand your customer, we encourage you to take a quick tutorial on the subject in our audience section.

Best Practices for Holiday Promotions

Once you've decided on what t-shirt designs you want to sell and to whom you want to sell them, you're ready to get the word out!

First off—if you haven’t already started planning your holiday campaigns, you should start right now. This year, the shopping trifecta of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday falls later in the calendar year, so there’s a shortened time period for consumers to get all their holiday shopping done. Additionally, Black Friday sales are increasingly creeping into Thanksgiving afternoon, and Hanukkah falls between Dec. 16 and 24 this year, so you need to be prepared to start your promotions early.

Here are the holiday ecommerce trends from last year according to Google Analytics:

To help you make the most of this Holiday season, here are  some best practices on how to help your campaigns stand out. And since Dec. 11 is the cut-off day for buyers to get their Teespring orders in, that means it’s hustling time. 

Get Organized

The key to succeeding over the holiday season is a matter of doing your research, studying your market, and knowing when to strike. Targeting a certain college’s students? Be sure you know when the school breaks for the holidays so you know when best to reach them.  

Better yet, pre-write all of your advertising copy and social media messages. That way, you can potentially test a few different advertising options after you go live, gauge audience reaction, and quickly make adjustments to your strategy. 

Be a Facebook Ad Master

Facebook ads can be a great way to move large quantities of t-shirts. The magic of Facebook ads lies in the ability to target specific demographic and psychographic niche—a fancy way of saying you can advertise to people based on their age, location, interests, and/or values. For more on creating targeting Facebook ads, check out our FB ads section.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Now that you’re aware that there’s a limited holiday shopping window this year, make sure your customers are aware too. Parents and students crazed by the holidays often lose track of time, so you need to frequently remind them that there are only X shopping days before Christmas or Hanukkah begins. Make sure your potential customers know that time is limited, so they don't miss out on your great deals and designs. To keep people on their toes, play around with language like “It’s Not Too Late…” in your email and social media marketing efforts. And don’t be afraid to send more communications than you would other times of the year. 

Think Like a Shopper

Why would your customers want to buy your holiday gear? Take the time to write a full description that gets at the heart of what you’re selling. If you have time, try to make it holiday friendly with decorations, appropriate images, and animated gifs, like this very holidayish ugly sweater shirt:

Also, emphasize why your item would make a great gift based on the needs and wants of your primary audience and highlight examples of potential recipients in your product descriptions. 

Use Social Media Effectively

Shopping is increasing being done on mobile phones and tablets, so reach out to your customers where they’re doing the most shopping—especially during the holidays, when everyone is less likely to be at a desktop computer and practically living on their smartphones. The easiest way to do this is through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever other channel your audience prefers. 

When planning your social media promotions, consider: 

  • What platform is right for you: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and the others all have different advantages and serve different functions. Facebook is the easiest way to reach family, friends and fans, but Twitter helps insert your product into a breaking news conversation (and is more likely to help your product “go viral”.) Instagram is most helpful if you have truly striking images of your product (or the lifestyle you want it to represent.) Take a good look at what you are trying to sell, and then focus on the one or two channel that are best suited to all your needs. 

  • Who are your brand advocates: Paying for social media advertising will help expand your reach, but the most cost effective way to share your shirts is through word of mouth. Encourage friends, family, and passionate customers to be your brand ambassadors; their praise comes off as more honest and will go further than a paid endorsement. 

  • What tone you are using: When communicating with fans and customers on social media, make sure you are using an honest and authentic tone, and genuinely listening to their concerns and issues. They are following you because they are interested in your product, and you need to build a relationship with them through fresh content and engaging responses to create customer loyalty. 

For more tips, check out the social media section of Teespring University.