Blonde woman wearing gray t-shirt and sunglasses.

6 Inexpensive T-Shirt Marketing Strategies for Your Business

One reason the global T-shirt market continues to grow is not just soaring demand. It’s also because a T-shirt company is easier to start than ever before.

A T-shirt business is the sort of business many people dream of running. You often may come up with ideas for slogans or cool designs that would look good on a tee, and the technology required to make T-shirts is so much more accessible now. So how can you promote your business, and do so without spending a fortune?

The potential reward is enticing: In 2024, the revenue in the T-Shirts market worldwide is expected to amount to a staggering $45.52 billion. But even though the global T-shirt industry is already huge, people always need new clothing. According to Statista, the T-shirt market is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 3.24% over the next few years.

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Budget-Friendly T-Shirt Marketing Strategies for Your Business

So, whether you are a custom printing company looking for huge orders or you’re producing funny T-shirts on a small scale, you may be looking to bootstrap your business and gain success on a budget. There are many ways in which you can do so, with our top tips below.

Discover a good printing company, then prioritize marketing

When you have your first ideas for T-shirts and want to get started producing amazing tees, your first task should be to find a good printing company. If this isn’t something you’re going to do yourself, then you need a reliable partner. A lot of people will work with other companies for printing and then they can prioritize their marketing efforts.

Focus on wholesale orders

You might focus on providing branded merchandise ideas to big businesses, meaning that an order can result in sending thousands of units rather than just selling one or two T-shirts. This is a much more beneficial strategy for businesses and can potentially be very lucrative, too.

Design T-shirts for stores and corporate clients

As well as coming up with ideas for tees, it’s a good idea to market to stores and other big businesses who might be looking to make big orders. They often need T-shirts to be ordered for things like special events, as well as uniform and other purposes. Reach out and network with these stores to try to become their provider.

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Allow Customers to design their own T-shirts

One of the things that a lot of companies offer in the modern age is customization, and when it comes to T-shirts, there are a lot of different ways that you can allow customers to do this. Many T-shirt companies provide an interface on a website where customers can upload their own designs. Depending on the printing method, it’s possible to then quickly create a print and send it to customers.

This opens up a world of new potential customers. As well as targeting customers who want to make their own clothing for a bit of fun, you can also make your products more appealing for things like event companies and even for bachelor parties and more.

Offer more than T-shirts

The technology behind T-shirts is often very similar to the technology used to print on other garments and even other items. This makes it possible for your T-shirt company to become so much more than just a T-shirt company. You can offer a variety of different garments and even promotional items.

For example, you could print onto different items such as canvas and tote bags, and even other promotional items that are not clothes. If you use direct-to-garment printing methods, there are a lot of different options.

By offering these extra avenues, you increase the chance that your products are going to be seen, but you can also take pressure off the T-shirt side of the business and increase your chance to make money elsewhere. It also means more opportunities for expansion and growth in the future.  


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Email marketing

Email marketing is tried and tested through the years, and if you do it well, it still works. It’s crucial that you start to build up a mailing list, which can help you to form a base of return customers. 

There are many different ways to collect email addresses, including promotions and even competitions, and of course, when a customer buys from you, you should ask them to sign up for your mailing list so you can continue to send them information.

To ensure your emails actually convert, make them interesting, funny, or in some way noteworthy, and also include information about sales and promotions. Things like coupon codes can always help with conversion, too.

Ask for a referral

Ask for referrals from existing customers or even website owners you have a good relationship with. T-shirt businesses may also work with other businesses in a beneficial way, and if you build up strategic partnerships it is possible that you will get referrals.

A good method is to give your existing customers money off if they recommend your service to a friend and they go on to buy something. This way, there is potential for the referrer to earn money or a discount, and there is every chance they will continue to send customers your way. This doesn’t have to cost you anything other than perhaps the discount on future products sold.

Final Words on T-Shirt Marketing

This is a competitive space, but that’s to be expected with such a global industry. There are many ways that you can start to bootstrap your way to success, especially if you are able to stay one step ahead of the competition. There is always a market for clothing and if you can create something fresh and exciting, and combine it with the right marketing techniques, who knows how big your business can become?

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