This post is for anyone selling shirts, necklaces or any physical products on Facebook.
Facebook is a strange beast. There are times where it’s almost too easy to sell, an item just converts and no one can wipe the grin off your face. Then there are times when for whatever reason Facebook just does not convert. Maybe they’re updating the algorithm or maybe it’s an unseasonal time in your niche. For whatever reason your amazing designs that were destined to make loads of money like your previous ones failed. They failed miserably.
Maybe you’re not that experienced with Facebook advertising. Well don’t worry because this post is for you too. Maybe you’re having a really hard time to crack your first real winner. I know not easy to find your first winner that get hundreds of sales but hang in there because when you do find an item that get hundreds of orders you’ve just hit the jackpot. I don’t just mean for that one campaign. You should have built an audience you can survey to get future ideas from AND you’ll have a seasoned pixel along with a Lookalike audience.
A seasoned pixel and a lookalike audience are some of your greatest assets you will because they will make it a lot more easier to sell shirts.
When you finally come across that elusive successful campaign Facebook will track all the conversions for that shirt and this will provide you with a lucrative seasoned pixel. Now with that data it should become easier to get sales. Facebook now has a good profile of who your buyers are and your ads will target people who share similarities with those buyers.
From that successful campaign you should also have gained a Lookalike Audience. The best way to create a Lookalike Audience that works for me is to create it based off of people who visited the URL in your ad. Make sure you build a custom audience of people who visit the product URL in your ad. For instance if Facebook pixeled 2,000 people that landed on your destination page, they are highly relevant. You can create a lookalike or LAA audience from those 2,000 people and gain an audience of 2,000,0000+ that consist of a similar profile to those who visited your product page.
You now own some data that can make you serious money. First off you can go broad in your targeting with your LAA and continue to get a nice flow of sales. Secondly you can go broad and just let your seasoned pixel find the buyers. You’ll get better results when you use them together.
What’s the point of my post?
This is a reminder. A reminded to re-try all your failed campaigns you had prior to your big winner.
Let’s say you tried to crack a niche over and over again. You created 100 designs and 5-10 of those were really promising but for whatever reason they flopped. You surveyed your audience and done all your research, it should have sold but it didn’t.
When you finally get that campaign that sells, you become the owner of the pixel that knows who your buyers are and you have a LAA that converts really well. It’s time to retry those “failed campaigns” because this time they will get shown to people who buy.
Why? Facebook HAS to show your ad to your proven to convert LAA audience if you tell it target your LAA in your ad.
I had a campaign that I tested four times previously and it failed each time. I knew people liked my design because of the results from a survey I did. Not only that, people were buying the shirt in my store frequently with no advertising. However nothing happened when I tried to sell it on Facebook so I left it and never tried to run it again.
Eventually I came across some very successful campaigns where I sold over 600 shirts in one month. I now had a seasoned conversion pixel and a LAA full of buyers. With my new powerful data I decided to start testing my failed campaigns. This time my results were completely different. For every $10 spent I am getting 6-7 conversions. Each conversion is $15 in profit.
The campaign failed four times previously but now with all this powerful data Facebook is sending my advert to buyers and they love this shirt.
I feel this is a very important post. How many failed designs do you have that you never intend to test again? If you have a seasoned pixel and a LAA then I suggest you try them again because you could be digging three feet from gold!
I have come back into this post two weeks later (Today is March 2nd). I want to try and prove my point.
At the time of writing this post I had launched a previous unsuccessful shirt. It was kind of case study for this post that’s actually gone quite well.
I attempted to launch this shirt at the end of 2014 and I tried a couple more times in 2015 with no luck. I got some sales here and there but it ended up breaking even. I gave this design fair chance and after getting no results I forgot about it.
Throughout the end 2015 and the beginning of 2016 I generated a lot of sales on my pixel for this niche with other t-shirt designs. That’s when I decided to test this design again with my seasoned pixel that inspired this post. Take a look at my results.
I re-launched this shirt to my niche and in less than 14 days this shirt generated $5,000 in revenue and I am just getting started. I’m not ramping the ad-spend up like I used to. I have just kept my budget on a steady at $10 a day for four ad-sets. I have spent no more than $50 a day and will continue to do keep my spend low. I haven’t even moved into targeting the lookalike audience yet so I anticipate that this shirt will have another month worth of sales in it at least.
Now all my old shirts will be coming out of the woodwork. I have at least 15 “failed” campaigns like this one in this niche that I can’t wait to test again. Let’s say this campaign only makes $5k revenue and all my other “failed” 15 designs go on to make $5k revneue each… Then that would be $80,000 in revenue that I left laying on the table if I did not test my old designs. I think another test is well worth it.
So there you have it. Once you have a seasoned pixel make sure you go back through your old campaigns and give them another run because you could be digging three feet from gold!
2015 was a bumpy ride. Generating money in the ecom department didn’t flow as easily as I thought it would. I started selling shirts in 2014 which was my first time I ever tried selling physical products online.
Prior to 2014 I was a struggling affiliate marketer who had just quit his job to travel the world. I put my goal of travelling ahead of my business goals because it was time to have fun. Eventually 2014 came around I landed back in London and Don Wilson landed on my Facebook newsfeed. I bought his product and six figures later I moved into building my own e-commerce stores.
A lot of 2015 was slow for me. I am stubborn and with my stubbornness I cut off my nose to spite my face. I would not let go of my previous successful niches and venture into bigger and better things. Instead I stuck with my niches which still generated money BUT the audiences don’t venture outside of a 1,000,000 people. You can’t have 10,000+ teespring campaigns from small audiences.
So I stuck with what I knew and continued to stay within niches that brought me my riches from 2014. Not a bad thing but if you’re in the t-shirt business you know as word spread of the success people were having the competition grew. Copycats were round every corner and finding ways to hide your campaigns for as long as possible was more and more important. The money was not as fruitful as it was in 2015.
Fourth quarter could not come fast enough. November and December rejoiced me with the five figure months I once knew existed.
Was it my mind set? I think it’s partly to blame. Once your stuck in a rut it’s hard to get out. I won’t bang on about it but I sucked at selling items while everyone else around me in Facebook groups were having six figure months (in revenue anyway).
Luckily good old surveying my audience (that “thing” I always bang on about) saved the day. Running into December I asked them what their favourite phrases were and built shirts around what they wanted. This gave me some successful shirts and one really successful shirt that is continuing to sell successfully into 2016 with no sign of slowing down yet. The rest of the money came from relentlessly emailing previous buyers every day. Sales rolled in and the bank account grew. Finally!
For me Shopify is a far superior way to run a business than with Teespring. Teespring is more a handsfree model because all you have to do is send traffic to a URL and let them handle the dirty work. However my problem with Teespring is that people are going to find your winners no matter what. I know there are shopify spying tools out there but less people are going to find your best selling items. If you sell 20,000 units through a Shopify store no one knows unless you brag about it or they find your viral posts on Facebook. Sell 20,000 units through Teespring everyone knows how much you sold because it’s displayed on the campaign page. It’s not long before you have 1,000 copycats selling your shirt without thinking twice about it.
So 2015 was wrapped up nicely with a sigh of relief and overall it’s been a good year. I have learned a lot. Going into 2016 I have the knowledge to make it a great year financially, just got to wake up and get it. I also hope to take more holiday this year as it’s my 30th.
Not sure what else to add except it’s time for bed. Tomorrow it’s back to cracking into the big niches. 2016 is not going to be about the little niches with a 1,000,000 audience. I want a piece of the pie that comes with niches that have over 50,000,000 people in them.
That sounds like a negative title. It is in the sense of I’m not where I want to be right now and I did expect to be making more money. BUT I am making money which is a good thing.
As usual life does get in the way, well not life but other business ideas or t-shirt campaign in other niches that have steered me away from focusing 100% on my store.
You can see from the stats I’ve been on and off. I haven’t been sending traffic to it every day or every week for that matter. The good news is I am making money from it. Not a lot but it’s a start considering I haven’t been running constant ads and this is just one niche. I am still running shirt campaigns for other niches that I can’t use on this store.
I signed up for Don Wilsons Dropship program. That’s right I believed in it and I’m a founding member. Couldn’t pass up on such an opportunity.
I haven’t made the most of it just yet. I am waiting to get the app into my store and I’ll be running. This is another reason why my sales have not been consistent. I was running a necklace campaign around the 30th of July. It was doing great but I stopped after I got into the program so I can continue selling them with the dropship program and a lower base cost. I should the app configured this week so I can continue with the campaign.
I changed fulfilment companies for my clothing!
I started off with “Theprintful” and what a joke they are. The customer service is great, no faults there but the prices! In what planet are they living on. Cheapest base cost item is $13 + Shipping = $18+. This means if I sell a shirt for $30 (including shipping) I make $12 before paypal, Shopify or Stripe take their fees!
I recently switched over to Teelaunch. So far so good. A couple of problems but that’s expected for a company providing a new app to Shopify users. Chris has handled any problems great so far so I’m happy.
With Teelaunch the base cost for men’s shirts is $8.50 + $4 Shipping, which is $12.50. Almost $6 cheaper than Theprinful’s cheapest item! So I make $18 per sale now, that’s a 30% increase!
My store can be doing a lot better. There’s things I can improve on like social proof and making my site more trusting to potential customers.
Today I setup my second store with the hope to 10x my sales. My initial store is focused one one niche but this store is going to serve any niche I decide to enter. I already have my niches that I sell in so this means once I get a few items I can get started right away. I can’t wait.
As soon as this dropship app is configured properly with both stores, I can start running more consistent campaigns and bring in money every day.
Google Adwords is something I will look at next. Just one term gets 50,000 searches every month and my store provides what they are looking for. Really need to test this because I am leaving soo much money on the table here.
I will update again after I have a consistent couple of weeks to reflect on and hopefully some sales from my new store as well. See ya soon.
Way back in January I made a goal to have my first shopify store up and running and admittedly it’s taken me a lot longer to get running than I wanted. A LOT LONGER. I was beginning to think I’d never do it.
Understand like most people do I suffer from procrastination, stress, fear of failure and other demons that live in our heads. On top of all that I wanted my website to be perfect!
I invested in courses to help me get my perfect website running. They showed me the correct apps to have ready, email sequences to follow, how to set up funnels that take people by the hand and walk them to where I want the to be, how to write product description copy and what to put on your website that builds trust with visitors so they feel comfortable to purchase with you… There’s lot’s I’ve missed out and believe me all of this cannot be done within a week unless you have an efficient team behind you.
I decided to go at it alone for my first store. I want to know exactly how my business is running, inside and out.
I switched from Aweber to Activecampaign. It took a week or two to get my head around it but now it seems to be working. It’s an amazing tool, especially for people who want to use segmentation which is vital for my business.
In the background of all this action taking there were two voices fighting against and each voice had it’s own good pros and cons.
The first voice I listened to every day was FUCK IT. Just send traffic to it now and make sales. This was the voice that told me, you need to start making some money from your store, you have to get paid for all this time you’ve been spending on this thing.
Second voice had the essence of Jay Abraham behind it. It advised me to be patient and take my time. You’ll make more money launching something that’s got a backend. If you launch it too soon money will be left on the table.
Time was dragging and I couldn’t take it anymore. I could feel myself beginning to hate it because I was getting impatient. Will it ever be ready?
Then one day I said FUCK IT. I wrote down the 15th of July as my launch date and if it wasn’t ready tough. My goal was to get at least one sale.
What happened? I launched a new shirt that I had been waiting for months to share with my niche. I spent $12 and within 24 hours I got three sales bringing in $133. Not bad!
The next day I decided to pause my ad because Paypal was not setup. I was using stripe which meant peopel had to whip out their credit card to make a purchase. I wonder how many sales I lost?
To use Paypal I needed a number customers could use to contact me and the problem or excuse I was facing was I am in the UK and my customers are in the USA. How do I get a number setup? I worked it out and today it was sorted. My store now has a toll free number people can call and it forwards to my UK phone number.
Undoubtedly there will be some problems that will arise but I am just glad to get it sorted because now I can get back to getting Paypal up and running on my store.
Believe me when I say, just to get it up and running was a relief.