Essential Guide to the Rate of Return on Promotional T-shirts

For businesses that are large or medium-sized, company-branded custom printed garments are a no-brainer. The cost of branded apparel, such as screen printed t-shirts, is usually a small part of a huge marketing budget, and businesses like Teesnow are expected to design and create branded garments for companies. These companies also take part in ventures, trade or industry conventions, and other forms of business-to-business interactions where branded swag is normal.

The ROI (return-on-investment) of branded swag is relatively easy to assess in a closed system such as an industry convention, because networking contacts made at the occasion followed-up for potential business dealings and revenue growth.

But what happens with small companies? Justifying the decision to buy custom-printed apparel isn’t as straightforward when it comes to small businesses with a budget that’s more restrictive along with fewer networking outlets.  Working out the ROI of t-shirts screen printed with the name of a local deli and their phone number, for instance, is not as simple as entering the t-shirt recipient’s information in a database and tracing their sandwich purchases. To really realize the value of branded apparel with a rate of return on as colour promotional t-shirts for small businesses, we would have to delve deeper.

It’s difficult to determine the number of people who see the custom t-shirt (otherwise known as impressions) and this varies depending on the business type, customer profile, location, and a lot of other factors. In the case of a deli, it’s possible to make some big assumptions in coming up with a range. In situations where there is a not enough information, most or virtually all the numbers that can be used in estimating the metrics will be the most suitable estimate or a limit on what can be considered reasonable at that value. It’s left for you to decide what limitations you think are realistic for your business and consumers.

In a situation where there are 90 potential t-shirts (75 t-shirts plus 15 t-shirts that have been given to longstanding customers), the first estimate that can be made is the rate of wear. If we assume that the 15 longstanding clients will adorn the t-shirts more regularly than other t-shirts due to the fact that they are presumed to have a more personal connection to the deli, and for this illustration, let’s assume the customers will put on the t-shirts once in three weeks, then we would have a figure of 17 times annually. For the rest of the t-shirts, our estimate will be 6 times a year which is more limited. We can assume our retention rate (rate of keeping the t-shirts) is 100% because of a longstanding customer or one who wanted the t-shirt enough to pay a couple of dollars for the branded version.

When properly broken down, the points of view and cost-efficiency of custom printed t-shirts are quite compelling. With an order of 100 t-shirts for promoting a brand, in just a year, we would have gotten more than 100,000 impressions at a cost of $195, considering that we sold a couple of the t-shirts at cost.