Thinking of setting up your first pre-order campaign with Everpress to sell T-shirts online? Here is everything you need to know in order to give yourself the best chance of hitting your print minimum, and getting quality products in the hands of your fans.
Step 1: Choosing the right design
Whether you’re designing a T-shirt from scratch or adapting your existing designs for garments, it can be hard to know where to begin. To that end, we’ve put together some key considerations for this stage:
If you’re in need of inspiration your first port of call should be our shop. Curated and regularly updated by our editors, it’s a great place to scan through what we currently love, and to see what’s selling well. And be sure to check out our favourite designs from last year too.
For some in-depth perspectives and design advice from our community head to The Block, especially our interviews with Adam Tickle, Jackson Green and Joy Miessi. We’ve also put together a list of some of our choice design resources to help get you started – from fashion books, to ad archives, to typography libraries.
Cost is worth thinking about at the design stage. Like print method and choice of garment, your design will affect your overall production costs, and by extension your profits. Our best advice for cost-effective design is to use fewer colours and fewer image placements, as in both cases this reduces your setup costs, making production cheaper.
Finally, it’s always worth considering your desired print method when preparing your design. Screen printing and DTG both have their pros and cons, as outlined in our deep dive into screen printing vs DTG, but in most cases the most tactile and vibrant finish is achieved through screen printing (that’s not to say that DTG isn’t a reliable print method – it is great for printing designs with a lot of colours and intricate detail). To meet the screen printing threshold, you need to have sold enough products to cover the setup costs of your design, this means that the more complex your design is, the more products you will need to sell to hit this threshold.
To give yourself the best chance of being screen printed, think about the amount of colours in your design, the amount of placements your design has, and the detail of the design. Bold, graphic designs which use no more than 1-3 colour, tend to have the best chance of meeting the screen printing threshold, while photographs and artwork with lots of detail will most likely be be printed DTG.
Our price calculator is a really handy tool here, it helps you estimate how many you need to sell for your specific design before you hit your threshold. (For example, a one colour, one front-placement design using the Continental N03 Unisex T-shirt has a screen printing threshold of 20+ sales.)
Tip: “Go with something which is true to your style. See your garment design as an extension of your style rather than a separate channel. Don’t be afraid to put it to your audience and get them to pick out their favourite design.” – Nick Law, Creative Account Manager
Step 2: Preparing your artwork for print
So you have artwork ready to go? It’s important that you have the right file formats both for our campaign builder, and for delivering to our production team if your campaign is successful.
We run through this in detail in our artwork guidelines, but the basics are:
- For our campaign builder we use PNG files less than 10mb in size, this is so we can create the digital mock-up that’s used on your campaign page.
- For production we need high resolution (300dpi) versions of your artwork (ideally as a vector PDF or EPS file). You’ll be prompted to send this over by email if your campaign is successful.
- For both campaign builder and production use an image with a transparent background!
Step 3: Choosing your garment
The garments we have on offer have been carefully chosen to cater to different needs, with a range of prices, qualities and fits available. There are a couple of things to factor in when deciding which is best for you.
As part of our mission to do our part for building a sustainable future for fashion, we currently work with two ethical garment suppliers to offer Stanley Stella’s LEADS T-shirt, and Continental’s Earth Positive Long Sleeve (EP01L) and the NO3 T-shirt.
The garment you go for will affect your price point and therefore your overall profits; the more expensive it is, the smaller your profits will be. Think of this choice as achieving a balance between the quality you’re aiming for, and the best price for your product. As before, the price calculator will help you suss out what your different margins will be on different products.
Lastly, our product range is flexible and ever-expanding, so if there’s something you think we’re missing be sure to ask.
Tip: “You can choose multiple garments for your campaign, but it usually makes more sense to be focused on one i.e. T-Shirt OR hoodie OR long sleeve. This helps to get your vision across more clearly.” – Leigh Robins, Head of Account Management
Step 4: Setting your campaign price (and estimated profit margin)
When choosing your price point the biggest thing to bear in mind is the line between affordability and profit margin: do you want to try and sell more garments at a lower price point, or less at a higher price point?
Check out our shop to get an idea of what similar pieces are selling for. As a rough guide, most of the T-shirts on our site go for between £15-30 and hoodies tend to cost £25-40.
Our price calculator comes in handy here too, as it lets you play around with potential profits depending on your choice of garment and artwork. (Side note, if you need any help using the calculator, we talk you through it in step three of our guide to building your campaign.)
Finally, remember that the more pieces you sell, the more cost-effective your garment is to produce, and the greater your profit margin will be.
Step 5: Setting your campaign length
Choosing the optimum time for your campaign to run isn’t an exact science, but taking into account the following should makes it easier:
In our experience, shorter campaigns (of around 2 weeks max) are best for creating a sense of urgency. You can keep marketing sharp and punchy, which ultimately leaves you with more time to focus on the other things you love doing. Longer campaigns let you take your time with promoting, and give you more flexibility with their ending date.
It’s not just how long your campaign lasts that matters, when it ends is important too. Setting your campaign to end just after payday (usually the last working business day of the month), can create a really effective combination of urgency and a full bank account.
And remember, when your campaign ends, it’s not ended forever. If you didn’t manage to make the most of any last minute hype around your campaign, you can use the ‘open sales’ option to make it instantly re-launch once it has ended. Plus, we have a ‘re-launch request’ feature which notifies you should anyone register interest in buying your product when a campaign isn’t live.
Tip: “Shorter campaigns can be useful for creating urgency. Go longer if you’d like to give time for your sample to arrive, or to factor in pay day.” – Dan Sparkes, Head of Sales
Step 6: Building your campaign
It’s now time to get your campaign ready to go live on our site. Our campaign builder is the easiest way to do this, and we’ve put together a guide to talk you through the finer points of each step, from uploading your artwork, to adding garments, to choosing the URL for your page.
Be sure to flesh out your campaign page with as much detail as possible. Think links to socials like Instagram or YouTube and a clear description of who you are and what your design and campaign is about. Adam Tickle’s artist bio and description for our 50/50 campaign really nailed this.
Tip: “Don’t hold back with background context and photos, they really help people quickly understand what you’re about. – Michael Wilkin, Head of Marketing
Step 7: Getting the word out
Getting your campaign up and running is just the beginning. Once it’s live, it’s super important to promote it within (and beyond) your network; we think of this as the crucial final step in running a successful campaign.
For our full series of tips on how to generate hype around your campaign head over to our campaign marketing section, but in short:
- Use social media. Nearly 60% of all our orders have come from a social media platform of some kind, so while word of mouth, search engine traffic, and and email marketing all have their part to play, social media is a tool that shouldn’t be underestimated.
- Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube? If you’re not sure where to promote, take a quick look at our guide. 45% of all sales on the Everpress campaign come via Instagram, so it’s a great place to start.
- Running a campaign is easier than you think. Have a read through our guides to promoting your designs on Instagram and Facebook.
- Order a sample of your design so you can create your own content and start marketing early. Get in touch and we’ll get one sent out to you.
Tip: “Create an interesting visual using graphics from the tee to enhance the mockup. Posting the design with the mockup as a secondary image can come across as less sales-y.” – Cory Edwards, Social & Content