The pre-order T-shirt campaign explained


Quick and powerful, the pre-order campaign model is undoubtedly one of the most effective and efficient ways to promote and sell custom T-shirts online. Limiting the time frame for gathering sales on a product gives you a number of useful tools and tricks that go a long way to helping you kill it with promotion and, ultimately, sales. Not just a marketing tool, these campaigns are one of the best ways to ensure that costs stay down, maximising your profits in the process.

How does a standard campaign work? Take a seller that launches a new T-shirt design online with a campaign lasting three weeks, for example. During this pre-set three week window the seller will collect as many sales (or pre-orders) as possible through their campaign. Once the window closes, the campaign is complete. At this point, all product orders are gathered, sent to print at our print house and then shipped to the customer, wherever they are around the world.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of selling this way.

Printing in bulk =  lower costs + better profit margin

Put simply, it costs less to print more, which means you get more profit.

The traditional print-on-demand model means you print and ship every single time an item is sold. While this has it’s own benefits, it is more costly, which means you need to sell more items, or make your items more expensive to increase profit.

The campaign model on the other hand allows you to benefit from scale – when printing and shipping all orders together, cost comes down, which means more profit per item sold gets passed on to you.

The quality of screen printing made accessible

As above, traditional print-on-demand models generally require you to use direct to garment (DTG) printing in order to keep costs down. While there’s nothing wrong with DTG printing, we strive to use screen printing wherever possible. Screen printing is the original printing method for clothing and it has remained the method of choice for a reason: results are often more tactile, durable and striking.

However, as the screen printing process is more intensive, it’s usually more expensive, and this is why screen printing is rarely used when printing individual items via print-on-demand.

This is where the campaign model comes into its own. Because we do all printing at the same time (once a campaign has finished), if the screen printing minimum threshold has been reached, we are able to screen print in bulk, delivering a better quality product without eating into your profit margins.

everpress preorder t shirt campaign

No wastage. No dead stock

The campaign model has a ton of benefits but this has to be our favourite, and it’s simple to see why. By collecting the exact quantity of items ordered through the pre-order campaign process, we are able to print just the amount of stock that is needed. No more. No less. This means no excess T-shirts in landfill, and no boxes in the living room full of leftover XXS and XXL products.

A risk-free way to trial and test

No experience selling merchandise online? Didn’t sell as many T-shirts has you hoped? Not sure what design will work? Don’t have the cash to buy a bulk order of products?… These are questions we’re asked often, but the answer to all of them is simple – “what’s the worst that can happen?”

Remember, there’s zero cost and zero risk when using the campaign model.

The best sellers on our platform have mastered the art of gathering large amounts of pre-orders, but it didn’t happen overnight. They’ve learned by testing, tweaking and improving. Now, many of them have their own meaningful revenue stream, just by selling products and using the campaign model to their advantage.

Hype and urgency sell

What do the best Everpress sellers have in common? They’ve all learned to use hype and urgency to their advantage via the campaign model.

What is hype? By promoting a campaign before it’s live, you create hype and hunger for your product. It’s all about building to a crescendo on launch day, when your fans and followers can finally get their hands on the coveted items.

Is your campaign ending soon? Shout about it! After all, your product is available for a limited time only, by using this messaging creatively you are able to build a level of urgency that only the pre-order campaign model can provide.

You have control

It’s not easy to market your products 24/7. It can be time and energy intensive. However, with the campaign model, you’ve got the flexibility to do things on your own terms.

“With Everpress you get to choose how long your campaigns run for. I like the idea that I can make a campaign live for say, two weeks, and then I can move onto my next project.” – Kyle Platts, illustrator, animator


In what world is it good for people to miss out on your product? Well. We’ve seen this lead to more sales time and time again. Remember, when your campaign ends, it’s not ended forever. You have the tools at your disposal to quickly re-launch at any time you see fit. We even have a ‘re-launch request’ feature which notifies you should anyone register interest in buying your product when a campaign isn’t live.

Quick tips

  1. Set your campaign to end just after payday (usually the last working business day of the month), the combination of urgency and a full bank account can be powerful
  2. Test with doing shorter, punchier campaigns (2 weeks max). This allows you to keep your marketing short, sharp and punchy, leaving you more time to focus on the other things you love doing
  3. Stuck for design inspiration? Visit our shop to see some of our favourite designs currently live on Everpress