Today I have decided to reveal a little case study I conducted to prove that anyone can make money with Facebook ads, with little to no experience and minimal upfront costs.
This was not one of my usual niche site ideas, however it did have lots promise and would be quick and easy to set up and test the market.
In a little over 7 days I made over $400 profit, with zero experience and low upfront costs. This case study and the resources I provide will allow you to take this method and you too can make over $1,600 /month.
As with everything on Cloud Income, lets jump right into the good stuff.
The site I used to make my profit was TeeSpring.com.
For those of you new to TeeSpring, essentially it allows you to design t-shirts (for free) that you can then promote and sell. These t-shirts are not printed until you hit a sales goal.
This beauty of TeeSpring’s business plan is in it's simplicity. They have taken a proven model, selling t-shirts, and mixed that with the Groupon model of group buying.
You are asked to choose a minimum number of tee’s you will sell before they go to print. The trick is choosing a volume that is high to make a nice return on investment (the higher you set the sales target the cheaper your price per tee = more profit) but also setting the actual sales price per t-shirt, to a price you think people will pay.
Later in this study, I will explain how you can hit the sweet spot with your campaign.
Here is the results from my campaign which ended on the 14th April. (I told you this was fresh!)
Setting Up a Campaign
Starting a TeeSpring campaign is super simple and it really is just a few clicks and your all set. You can check out their “How It Works” guide, but if you're anything like me you can just drive right in a figure things out.
There is however, one key element we need before we can get started and that is a t-shirt design. I picked up an illustrator on oDesk that charged $15 /hour. He could knock out 2-3 designs in that time so it was minimal investment. To be honest you could completely cut this step out if you have even mediocre Photoshop skills, I was just impatient!
If I was to give you just one piece of advice on t-shirt design, it would be to KEEP IT SIMPLE.
You may find great designs like this and think you can do something similar or better. Please don’t. My research shows that these campaigns are being promoted to an already engaged audience on some huge Facebook fan pages.
If you already have that audience then go for it. Otherwise just keep it simple.
Setting Your Targets
The more tees you aim to sell the lower you base cost per tee.
To use my design as an example;
- I used the standard t-shirt style and just used 2 colors (Black & White) the more colors you have the higher the base price.
- I set the sales target to 30
- I set my price per tee at $19.95
- My base costs were $8.30 per tee.
The blue box at the bottom shows a new feature of TeeSpring that didn't exist when I created my campaign. Essentially you can now choose various styles of your design and also what colors are available to order. Previously this information had to be emailed to TeeSpring once you launched the campaign.
Here is the actual description I added to the sales page (feel free to steal it);
Were You Born In 1974?
Limited Edition “Made in 1974 • Aged To Perfection“
Available NOW! Be Quick to Avoid disappointment, these WILL sell out!
Normally, $29.95 – Today you can buy it for only $19.95, and have a Collectors Item. This is a LIMITED EDITION, Order yours before we sell out.
Setting Your Tee Price
For me, $19.95 was the price I went with. You will see a variation in prices as you research, however most will be around the $20 mark.
This is enough for you to make a nice profit and also not too much to make people think twice about buying.
Do your research and have a play around with the numbers in TeeSpring. It will automatically calculate your potential profit for the campaign just be sure to set a reasonable sale target and price.
This is key to a successful campaign. TeeSpring suggest sharing your campaign URL with your friends and family on Facebook etc. Well I’m not sure about you but if you want a decent amount of sales, you are going to have to target a bit better than that!
Basically this strategy involves using Facebook ads, and getting the cost per sale down to a level that allows us to be profitable.
My initial plan was to use the ‘custom audience’ feature to target peoples names. However you are no longer able to use a custom audience combined with a TeeSpring campaign. You can try, however your ads will be rejected.
So how do we target a specific niche?
We are going to play by the rules and use what Facebook are offering.
In my example campaign below, you can see the exact ad I used to drive over 50 sales to each campaign which resulted in $400+ profit.
Why this ad worked?
To be honest this ad was a set and forget. I mean I did nothing to improve the ad once it launched, beyond increasing my daily ad spend once I had a proven campaign. (which is decided by the spreadsheet below).
However as you can see the ad did well;
- Over 1,400 Likes, 155 comments and 400 shares. That is some nice engagement and is what I believe helped to keep my CPC down.
- The targeting looks at UK & US citizens only aged 39 with an upcoming birthday.
- The performance is summarised in box #3 – over 4,800 actions from just this single Facebook Ad!
For the 1974 campaign, my target audience where those aged 39, who had an upcoming birthday.
This gave me a reach (audience) of 68,000 people that had an impending birthday and where their year of birth would match that of my t-shirt design. Imagine seeing that pop up in your news feed? Powerful stuff eh.
The amount you pay per click is super important when it comes to a winning or a losing campaign. If you don’t track your costs they can quickly run away with you and you could get stung.
Most people will attempt to set a really low CPC value thinking they are being smart. The trouble is, Facebook is smarter. Look at it this way;
Facebook want to make money. If you are getting a good CTR on your ads you are likely to be making money and will keep your ads going. This means Facebook make more money, you are making money, everyone is happy.
So here’s what I did.
I set the daily ad spend to $10 and I was paying for website clicks. That is actual clicks over to my TeeSpring campaign URL.
The trick is to let that ad run for 1-2 days and look at your stats. I was hitting a 7.6% click through rate on the 1974 advert. I would suggest anything above 5% is good, but it really all boils down to clicks to website and sales.
This is why we use the number of sales over the total ad spend to decide if we will come out profitable or not. If we have a successful campaign on our hands, we simply up the ad spend to attempt to get in front of all 68k people of our potential reach.
It really does become a numbers game after spending just $10-$20 to test.
As you can see, there was still massive room for improvement where the ad was concerned. I could have targeted males only as they are more likely to by this design of Tee in the black color.
I could have also limited the audience a little more, however at a reach of 68,000 I was fairly comfortable I have niched down enough.
My ad image went totally against the grain. Studies have shown that faces improve ad CTR, Women's faces especially. Even something to make the ad stand out like a big red boarder to catch their eye.
It just shows you that if you find the right audience you can really make a nice profit without spending too much time setting up, testing and tweaking.
Ad Results & Costs
The image below is taken from my Facebook Ad dashboard and shows the cost of driving traffic to each campaign.
As you can see I spent a total of $704.29 across the 3 campaigns. With 2 winners and 1 loser.
The 1954 campaign was not a success and I want to talk about this so that you are going into this with your eyes open and understand that not everything I did was a winner.
First off why I think this campaign failed;
Simply put, the age of my target audience was too old. I was targeting 59 years olds who were approaching their 60th Birthday. I don’t know many 60 years old who are on Facebook, let alone those who buy stuff online.
I actually hit 10 sales of my 30 goal, however it wasn't going to be a winner and I cut this campaign short on the 5th day. I didn’t do this off the cuff or based on “gut feel”, I use cold hard maths to tell me what I should do.
The next section gives you my exact spreadsheet I used for doing this.
You can see my failed campaign here for reference.
As I mentioned above, tracking your costs is very important. However it is not the only thing you should be tracking. There are other metrics we need to follow to understand what the final outcome of our campaign will be.
Luckily for you I have built a simple spreadsheet that takes all of the guess work out of running a successful TeeSpring campaign.
You can also create an account using THIS LINK and earn an additional $1 for every Tshirt sold..!
Let me take you through the important steps of the sheet.
- Update all of the white cells only after 1-2 days
- From your sales & Ad spend row 45 will tell you if you will hit target or not based on your current stats
- The optional section in row 56 tells you the outcome if you request a goal drop with TeeSpring
Essentially if you are not going to hit your sales goal you can request to drop the goal so you do hit a target and make some money, at least to cover your a spend).
The sheet is pretty simple and hopefully you can follow it easy enough.
Sink or Swim – Let the sheet decide
Essentially row 45 will tell you where you will be at the end of the campaign, based on the ACTUALS. This is very important.
As infallible species, we get attached to the idea of making money and will try to see the positive where their perhaps is none.
Using maths and current tend we have a way to let the spreadsheet make our decisions for us. It operates on a IF, THEN, ELSE structure. Basically IF you continue as you are THEN you will be here, or ELSE you can always do this…
Disclaimer – this sheet whilst a useful tool to help make informed decisions, is in no way a complete solution. I am in no way responsible for your use of the sheet or for any decisions you may make based on it’s output.
My Successful Campaigns
Here is a shot of the two successful campaigns that I ran. I learnt a lot and you may think I was lucky, however I don't rely on luck.
A good few hours of research went into the campaigns beforehand, studying previous successes, current campaigns, Facebook pages and ad styles.
Still, there is something to be said about just getting started. Be sure to check out my strategy tips for moving forward with your own campaign below.
Here is a shot of the email from TeeSpring confirming my payout request (which by the way you have to do manually, I sat there for a week expecting them to pay me!)
Use THIS LINK to earn an additional $1 per tshirt sold!
My Strategy Moving Forward
- Limit campaign length to 7 days – the sales hot up when a campaign is close to the end, kind of like Ebay selling where you get a flurry of activity near the auction end time.
- Target states/locations, ages, names, fans – Think outside the box. Who is passionate enough to buy a Tee? Dog lovers, gun owners, patriotic football fans?
- Offer Hoodies and Women’s tees – you have the option in TeeSpring before you launch to have various styles of your design.
You can choose from the following;
- Long Sleeve Tee
- Tank Top
- V-neck Tee
- Women's Tee
- Athletic Tee
What’s great with this is that ANY sales you make count towards your overall sales goal. Moving forward I will be testing using a selection of the above along with different color options.
Please note – you can have a maximum of 4 variations on your campaign, including style and color. You also have to email your color options to TeeSpring once your campaign has launched in order for them to update the details. This has now changed and you can choose your options before launching your campaign which makes it even easier for you to manage!
- Build a large Fan page based on a passion and promote to them
- Use http://teespring.com/discover to show you current successful campaigns to get some ideas
- Use http://teeview.phatograph.com (no longer available) to sort successful campaigns by sales numbers or search for the most profitable. You can even search niches.
- Use Tee Inspector to research trends, see what sells and manage your TeeSpring Campaigns.
Keep It Simple
Use the Tools (TeeSpring & TeeView (no longer available) or make it easy with Tee Inspector)
Set a Reasonable Sales Target and Sale Price
Use the Spreadsheet to Make Decisions
Continue, Cancel or Pivot
Thank you for sharing this guide, I really appreciate it.
You can also create an account using THIS LINK and earn an additional $1 for every Tshirt sold..!
Are you going to give your own TeeSpring campaign it a shot? I would love to hear your results.
If you want to earn an additional $1 per tshirt sold, use this link.