Tony knows first-hand the potential European markets have to offer Teespring sellers. He’s sold thousands of products on Teespring’s Boosted Network for the last several months by focusing on EU buyer markets. How does he do it? You’re about to find out!
Tony & Evan (Teespring co-founder) at a meetup in 2016
Finding success in Europe
Tony started selling t-shirts in 2015 after reading the success stories of people making money online. After testing a few platforms he decided to stick with Teespring because he found their product quality and customer service to be the best in the industry.
I have so many good memories with the platform and the Teespring team. The thing I like the most is that they never fail to prioritize quality and buyer experiences —I hardly have any complaints on my Facebook pages. That is what has built my trust and loyalty with Teespring. My connection with the team on the ground and the support team have also made them my top choice.
In the beginning, Tony focused on US niches and promoted his products with Facebook ads. It took several months for him to crack into US buyer markets successfully. He attended several events and heard sellers talking about their success in Europe. At that time advertising within Europe was cheaper, so he decided to try selling his Teespring products in Europe too.
The European market has more than 300 million shoppers and endless potential so I focused on France first. Within a short period of time, I reached over 1,000 sales and it gave me the confidence to invest more in advertising and test new European niches. Most of my success is within Teespring’s top EU Markets; UK, France, and Germany. I’ve also had a few other winning designs in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. I know a lot of sellers prefer to sell within the US, but each time I tried to scale my ads in US markets they just didn’t sell as much. After a while of going back and forth, I decided to become a full-time EU seller.
Once Teespring expanded the Boosted Network to include European markets Tony noticed his weekly sales increase. Currently, he’s acquiring thousands of sales per month through Teespring’s powerful integrations.
My advice for people interested in selling to EU markets is to just try it—you never know, if you’re like me the EU might become your biggest buying market. The purchasing power of EU shoppers is just as big as US markets in my opinion and I believe if you have a good idea and a good design you can be successful. Also, don’t forget to try out EU evergreen niches—mine have done exceptionally well on the Boosted Network.
Tony’s success enables him to spend more time with his family
Creating designs buyers love
Similar to US niches it’s important for sellers to understand their audience’s taste. Tony relies heavily on the feedback from his Facebook audiences to determine his next top selling design. Over time he’s found that the designs that sell on Facebook also perform well on the Boosted Network too.
As with US buyers, every niche has their preferred style. I spend a lot of time researching and testing popular design elements that represent that particular niche (like bikers, careers, or family). I create a design concept for each niche and get translations. Then I forward them to my design team. Once the designs are created I check each one carefully to ensure the design elements, theme, and colors fit that niche’s taste (based on what has sold in the past).
When I share new designs with my audience on Facebook I check all their feedback and comments—I’ve gotten some of my best selling design ideas directly from my audience. Buyers will tell you what they like and I love it when they post photos of the product they bought from me. These interactions motivate me because I know the products I’m creating with Teespring make people happy.
According to Tony, simple designs work best for EU buyers. Similar to US designs, Tony creates text-based designs with an emphasis on the keyword of the design (using a bigger font for example) and also incorporating “brush vintage” and “grunge texture” effects to the font. He has noticed EU buyers tend to prefer short quotes and minimal colors (for example most of his designs feature white text only). The main difference between EU and US taste comes down to the use of violence, guns, curse words, etc.—designs featuring these elements do not perform well with his European audiences.
Now that I have been selling to French buyers for some time I’ve learned that they prefer simple designs. For example, I’ll often use a meaningful quote but very minimal design elements—there’s no need to add excessive decoration to the text and it will sell very well.
Tony and his wife on vacation in Cambodia
Using translations to increase sales
You might be surprised to learn that despite his success selling designs in French, German, etc. Tony does not actually speak any of these languages. When he first started growing his Facebook pages in other languages he relied on Google Translate and examples from other pages he followed for guidance. Later on, he was able to hire someone who is fluent in French, German, etc. to help him manage these pages and interact with followers in their language.
I don’t speak French at all! The only word I know is ‘Bonjour’ which I’ve used many times on my Facebook page…other than that I can say ‘ J’aime Teespring’. 🙂
Tony says the key to creating successful designs in other languages is using a good translator.
Many popular designs that work in the US can also work in the EU—you’ve just got to translate them correctly. I make sure to use a native translator, like the ones provided by Teespring’s free translation services or onehourtranslation.com.
Tony rarely uses English in his EU designs. He fully optimizes his listings by translating everything from the listing title, description, etc. and even his Facebook ad copy.
I always make sure to optimize the following elements:
- The listing title should include translated keywords about your design.
- I also translate listing descriptions and make sure to keep them short and informative.
- Don’t forget to include hashtags in your listing descriptions when relevant, for example, currently, I’m adding #FathersDay2018 to make sure my dad designs benefit from the superpower of Teespring’s Boosted Network.
From May 8th to 14th Teespring is giving away FREE translations to sellers with less than 100 sales. Claim yours today:
Researching new niches in Europe
Many sellers prefer to sell to US niches because they’re familiar with the culture and language. However the process for researching niches in different countries is similar. Tony uses several different channels for finding niche and design inspiration for EU markets.
- I use Google translate and local search engines when researching niche and design ideas. For example, when I’m researching French design themes I’ll use google.fr. If I want to check out horse themed designs I’ll put “cheval t-shirt” (horse t-shirt) in the search engine and see what appears. Or if I want to see cat designs in French I can search “j’aime mon chat” (I love my cat) then focus in on the concepts I think might work for my audience. Then I build my design concept from there.
- I recommend searching for your niche on other e-commerce sites to understand what is selling and then think about how to re-design or develop a concept for your own audience. It’s important to be aware of intellectual property too. Once I found some old artwork I used that had recently been registered and had to re-design them—but they ended up selling so many units it was worth it. That particular design reached 10,000 unit sales.
- If you’re not sure where to start I would suggest translating your existing US designs. Classic evergreen niches like family, careers, hobbies, etc. can also work in Europe, you might just need to tweak the design based on your audience’s taste (ex. don’t use huge text).
Maximizing sales with Facebook Ads
Facebook is Tony’s main advertising channel but he also uses Pinterest ads from time to time. He says good ad targeting is extremely important for reaching new potential buyers from around the world.
If you use Facebook Ads you need to invest time in it and go step by step. Your Facebook Pixel is very important—it can optimize ad performance for you and reduce time spent on targeting. To create a good pixel you should have your ads running and allow the algorithm to collect data from events like View Content, Add to Cart, Purchase, etc. After you’ve got enough good data from “Purchase” it’ll be easier for you to sell more to those audiences.
Before activating your ads Tony suggests making sure you really understand your target audience.
Here are my top tips for advertising Teespring products on Facebook:
- I always ask myself who is going to buy my products? What age are they? Are they male or female? Are they buying my product for themselves or as a gift? When you’re first starting out you can use Audience Insights to find valuable keywords. After having a few successful designs these keywords aren’t as important and you can start using Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences to test and sell your designs.
- Personally, I prefer having each niche associated with its own Facebook Ads Account and its own pixel to optimize ad performance. If you have a very good pixel on Facebook which is already attached to listings that are selling units then this ad account and pixel should be optimized for that particular niche.
- If you’re selling products for a specific holiday or celebration you should definitely add this to your listing description and ad copy. Let people know your products would make a great gift for the occasion.
The future with Teespring
Tony has been selling with Teespring since 2015 and he’s continued to scale his success over the years. He’s been able to become a full-time seller, hire a team, and become his own boss. The Teespring Team would like to thank Tony for being such a valued member of our community and for sharing his story!
Teespring has truly changed my life. I’m my own boss now and can enjoy special moments with my loved ones and take time to travel to new places. I’ve also connected with new people and made many friends from around the world through Teespring’s community and meetups. Now I have my own team I work with and they are like a second family to me. It’s been an amazing experience since day one.
High ratings benefit Teespring sellers on the Boosted Network
In the future, I want to continue to grow my team, learn more, create more, and bring more happiness to buyers around the world. I’ve been using Teespring for years and will continue to do so. I want to be able to help more sellers find success and make their dreams come true too. All the best to Teespring Team, hope you can bring more joy to every happy customer with each product!