Archive for September, 2008

Promote Your Zazzle Store! The Press Release

September 30, 2008

Ever heard the phrase, ‘think outside the box?’ Well, if you haven’t, welcome back to reality, because this golden nugget of advice is absolutely everywhere!

And for good reason. Much of the good stuff goes down outside the box – including marketing tactics to get the word out about your store. Publishing a press release online is one of many innovative promotional tools at your finger tips – quick, easy and sometimes free!

Use a press release to benefit your business in a number of ways:

  • Search Engine Optimization: When you include a hyperlink or general link to your store in the press release, you can greatly improve your SEO
  • Build credibility for your business
  • Direct more traffic to your store
  • Raise awareness of your brand

How to incorporate press releases into your marketing strategy:

1. Write the press release (see below). Before you start writing, make sure you have a clear definition of WHAT you’re selling and to which AUDIENCE

2. Research PR wire services. These organizations will post your press release to thousands of journalists and organizations online. There are quite a few out there – and if you’re on a budget, there are free wire services that can help you get started!

3. Post your press release to your website and Issue it via the wire if your budget permits

4. Monitor search engines to find out where your press release was ‘picked up’.

While writing your press release, please keep in mind Zazzle’s press release policy (at the bottom of this document).

Here are a few tips on writing an effective press release:

  • Remember your audience. Press releases are sent to busy journalists and other media members to use as a basis for writing their own articles. Language should be concise, clear and most of all, informative. Waste no time with flowery descriptions or prose!
  • Cover your bases. Your release should tell your audience the; who, what, when, where, why, and how – and it should do so one page.
  • Create an angle. You have less than ten seconds to catch the eye and hook the interest of a journalist – a headline with an angle is crucial!
  • Follow the standard layout. PR documents follow a fairly consistent structure, and for good reason! Here’s an example release:


(FILL IN NAME OF COMPANY, BRAND OR BAND) Introduces Merchandise Line Available at Zazzle

City, STATE- Date – COMPANY NAME today announced the availability of x products at Zazzle (www.zazzle.com), the only on-demand retail platform to offer over 3 billion retail quality, one-of-a-kind products shipped in 24 hours. Products are available for purchase online at (fill in website)

Fill in paragraph outlining details of company and further information about what will be available at http://www.zazzle.com.

Add quote from representative of your company.

Infinite and Instant, Zazzle is the only on-demand retail platform for consumers and major brands, offering billions of retail quality, one-of-a-kind products, many of which are produced within 24 hours. Offering the largest library of customizable digital images from world-class brands, Zazzle enables content owners to unlock their entire libraries of content, making them available for purchase and customization by consumers. Through Zazzle’s innovative on-demand retail and technology platform, users can instantly create, customize to fit their personal style, purchase and sell a near infinite array of products online. For more information, www.Zazzle.com.

About (fill in your company name):

Add company boiler plate

Contact:

Add PR contact information

Here are some great places to start posting your press release:

www.prweb.com
www.prnewswire.com

Email, viral & general marketing best practices:

http://www.marketingprofs.com/
http://searchenginewatch.com/

Your customers are already looking for you – your press release will make finding them a whole lot easier!

Good luck!

Zazzle’s Press Release Policy

The following points must be followed for any Press Release that mentions Zazzle or any Zazzle product.

  • When mentioning Zazzle, please use the following approved Zazzle language. We’ve provided a few example sentences for you to choose from that fit your needs:
    • Zazzle is the only on-demand retail platform to offer billions of products that ship in 24 hours
  • My online Zazzle store with on-demand custom merchandise
  • You are responsible for costs involved and logistics for issuing over a newswire
  • The final press release draft and suggested issue date must be received by Zazzle (ContributorPress@Zazzle.com) one week prior to your desired issue date for approval from Zazzle
    • If the release is a last minute request to something timely in the media, please send it with HOT and announce date in the subject line so it will receive urgent attention
  • Zazzle will consider your press releases for inclusion in the Zazzle press center

Remembering Paul Newman Prints

September 30, 2008

Paul Newman is one of my favorite actors (almost nothing tops “Cool Hand Luke” for me) and he will be missed by many. He moved people with his films, and then changed the world with his extensive charity work.

paul newman print poster

Thanks for all the great films, inspiration to help others, and of course, delicious salad dressing Paul (which 100% of profits go to support various charities).

Paul newman poster paul newman print

See all the Paul Newman Prints at the Hulton Archive.
 
 
See more Getty Images Posters at the Hulton Archive.

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Become a Raider on Zazzle!

September 24, 2008

Check out the new Raider Creator API integration! You can take any image, like say the image of one of the co-founders of Zazzle, Bobby Beaver (hehehehe), and put it into their tool to turn that photo into a black-hole sittin’ season ticket holdin’ die-hard Raider fan. Then, you can put your new Raider game face on all kinds of great Zazzle products like bags, hats, mousepads and more! Check out Raider Creator!

Also if you want to learn more about how to integrate the Zazzle API into your site, check out the Zazzle API section to learn more!

 
 
Learn more about football t-shirt, football posters, football hats and more at Zazzle.

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Peninsula Creamery and The Old Pro, a Zazzle Story

September 23, 2008

Back in the day, when Zazzle was a bit smaller, we used to be located in downtown Palo Alto near two fabulous restaurants that the Zazzle Team loved going to. The first was the Peninsula Creamery, hands down the best milk shakes and a good way to take a quick break during the day. The second was The Old Pro Sports Bar which was the place that we all went to have…meetings, yup lots of delicious hoppy meetings…. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because both of these venerable Palo Alto establishments have opened up galleries on Zazzle! Check out Peninsula Creamy gallery and the Old Pro gallery!

Old Pro Palo Alto Men's T-shirt Old Pro Palo Alto Mug Old Pro Ladies T-shirt

Peninsula Creamery Palo Alto t-shirt brown Peninsula Creamery Hat peninsula creamery dairy store ladies t-shirt

Now that they are on Zazzle that means I can have a meeting at the Old Pro anytime! So, if you want to have a meeting to discuss which is better, nachos or cheesy fries, I think I can clear my calendar for you (it will take all day to decide).

 
 
Learn more about Beer t-shirts, beer steins, and milkshake t-shirts at Zazzle.

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Fall into Zazzle

September 22, 2008

Happy Fall! Today is the first day of Fall which means it’s time to celebrate with piles of leaves and jumping into said piles. Or, if you happen to live in a sans-leaf location you could just get some cool fall hats, or leaf t-shirts and jump around on the bed, it’s basically the same thing. Check out some of my favorite Fall designs below.

Fall dark t-shirt paisley t-shirt for fall autumn t-shirt

fall leaves t-shirt fall rose t-shirt fall leaves t-shirt

 
 
Learn more about fall sweatshirts, fall aprons, fall mugs and more at Zazzle.

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If You Build It, They Will Come…

September 20, 2008

Every now and then I come across some creative ideas our Shop Keepers are using to drive sales back to their stores. On top of your normal expected promotional methods, these shopkeepers are taking it to another level, by leveraging the tools they have available to them through Zazzle.

The other day I came across a great example of the Zazzle API being put to good use. This is one of the first Zazzle shoe stores that I have seen using the API. This user created a store that enables you to take the customization aspect of the shoe beyond what you can normally do on a regular Zazzle product page. Not only can you customize all the normal aspects of the shoe, but thanks to the Zazzle API this shopkeeper made it so that you can select from an array of fonts not available on Zazzle, add enhancements to the fonts like borders, but you can also choose some cool clip art to apply to your shoe as well. Go to FancyFeetCustomShoes and check out all the cool things they have enabled with the Zazzle API.

I (Earth Heart) Zazzle API

KRWGraphics has another example worth a mention. KRW used the Template Buffet API to create a product line of templates that act as place holders for the image that the customer selects from their website. To get a better idea, go to KRWGraphics, select an image and watch it passed over to a buffet of products to choose from. Learn more about the Template Buffet here.

MydeasOnline uses a combo of 2 things, the Store Builder and bundling products together to encourage multiple purchases. The store on this webpage was built using the Zazzle Store Builder, which is great because your referral ID is coded into all the products that it puts on your website! Not only can you use the Store Builder for your products, but you can also use it to promote other shopkeepers’ products too! MydeasOnline also uses a cool strategy of creating products that must be sold together in pairs. Each product shows only half of the design so that when put the two products together, you can read the intended message. Pairing up of products is a great way to up sell and increase profits. In the past I’ve seen good use of this when matching postage with greeting cards, as you can see advertised here on PMCusomWeddings.

If you know of any other examples of shopkeepers using ingenious methods to drive sales, please feel free to leave a comment below letting us know and share with us by linking to their store or webpage.

-Rob

YAR!!! Talk Like a Pirate Day Be Here!

September 19, 2008

Aye, it be the 19th of September, a scurvy day that all the bonnie lasses and me hearties speakin’ in the tongue of a salty sea dog. So it be time to peg leg hobble down to yer crew and show off yer best pirate speak. Make sure when speakin’ the pirate yer sure to be wearin’ your pirate shirts lest you be thrown into Davy Jone’s Locker with the rest of the Ninjas! Get a full treasure chest of pirate gear at the Talk Like a Pirate Day center on Zazzle, it be better than a swig of rum.

Pirates from Disney T-shirt pirate skull t-shirt pirate shirt

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Zazzle Seller Incentive Program Q&A

September 18, 2008

Hello,

Welcome to the 2nd posting on the Zazzle Seller Blog!  There have been a lot of questions on the Zazzle forums, and other websites and blogs about the new Zazzle Seller Incentive Program.  This blog post will attempt to answer most of those questions and give an easy-to-understand overview of the new program.

Q. Please explain in simple-terms, the New Volume Bonus Program.
A. Sellers still make money on Zazzle in the same two ways – through royalties on sales of their products and through sales that they affiliate / refer.  The changes we’ve made with the incentive program just reward these two activities even more.  The Zazzle Volume Bonus Program is a system set up to pay contributors and associates extra money as they increase their sales. The more sales they make, the higher their bonus. There are four bonus levels based on sales amount, and bonuses start adding up as soon as $100 in sales are made in a month.

Volume bonus pays out a bonus based on amount of sales per month.  The amount of each product price that counts toward your volume bonus is the base price, NOT the listed price.  Here’s how it works:
As a contributor, the only sales that do not count towards your volume bonus are sales referred by a third-party; for all other sales, no matter if they are from the marketplace or your shop, the base price (see below) counts towards your VB.
As an associate, the base price of any sale you refer counts toward your volume bonus.
Sellers are encouraged to sell their own products and the products of others – this allows you to maximize your volume bonus and reach the higher levels more easily.

More information, including the bonus levels and amount of base price sales needed to reach each level is well-documented here, under Standard Volume Bonus Levels.
http://www.zazzle.com/sell/incentive/volumebonus

Q. Please explain in simple-terms, the Associate Referral Changes.
A. The changes to this program are easier to explain:

  • The associate referral fee has been increased to 15% of total sales
  • Contributors will pay 20% of their royalty toward this referral fee for any referred sale.  Zazzle will pay the rest of the referral fee.

The referral fee is calculated on the total price of the product, not including tax, shipping, and price of postage (in the case of stamps).

More information can be found here:  http://www.zazzle.com/sell/incentive/associate

Q. How did Zazzle come up with 20% for the referral program fee?
A. While the base associate fee is 15%, volume bonus on referrals and affiliate program fees are typically much higher. 20% does not fully cover the cost of maintaining the referral programs (which are designed to help you sell your products), but we believe this is a fair number that simplifies the program for contributors. Please note that Zazzle is paying for the referred sale, we are simply asking contributors to share this burden on the chosen royalty amount over and above the base price.

Q. How do I calculate the base price of a product?
A. The base price is 90% of the Standard Price of a product.  The Standard Price is the price of a product if you do NOT add anything above the standard 10% royalty.  Note that the standard prices for different styles of t-shirts varies by quite a bit (from $12.95 to $36.95) so all t-shirt sales do not earn you the same dollar amount.  Volume discounts for the purchaser buying more than one item will also reduce the standard and base prices.  Also note that certain things, like the price of the postage, is subtracted from the base price before royalty is calculated.

Shipping is not counted toward base price (it is an additional cost to the buyer) and it is NOT part of the volume bonus program, nor is it part of the Seller Referral program.  Tax is also excluded.

Q. How do I combine all of my galleries together so that all count towards my volume bonus?
A. Go to MyZazzle and login as the account you wish to be your “master account”.  Then click on the Earnings tab, and select Volume Bonus on the left side.  You’ll see a box at the top left says “Have more than one account”.  Simply enter the username and password and click Add for each account you wish to combine.

Q.  Will my normal product royalties then be paid to this master account?
A. No.  Your normal product royalties will continue to be paid to each individual account.  We are looking into implementing this feature in the not-too-distant future. Referral fees are also paid to individual accounts.

I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any more questions or comments and I, or someone else from Zazzle, will respond soon.

Regards,

Mike Talvensaari
Director, Product Management

New Zazzle Political Center!

September 17, 2008

Have you seen the new Zazzle Political Center?! We’ve updated it with new areas like Republicans for Obama or Democrats for McCain and a great new design to make it easier to find everything political that you’re looking for. Check out the loads of great content in support of your favorite candidates like John McCain t-shirts, Barack Obama t-shirts, Palin shirts, Biden shirts and more. Browse more at the Political Center!

Lipstick vote t-shirt Obama biden t-shirt long sleeve

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Talk Like a Pirate Day is Coming!

September 16, 2008

Yarr!!! On the horizon there be a day like none other. It be the fabled Talk Like a Pirate Day occurring when the new moon sits well over the calm ocean on a still night (This Friday, September 19th)! So come on you salty dogs and get yer pirate t-shirts, pirate hats and more at the Zazzle Talk Like a Pirate Day shop, it be a site better than a heap of treasure.

Women's Plain Pirate T-shirt Women's Pirate t-shirt dark apparel Pirate character t-shirt

I heart pirates t-shirt Pirate Skull t-shirt Talk like a pirate day t-shirt

Also, if this be confusing to ya, learn more about Talk Like a Pirate day at the official website.

 
 
Learn more about pirate mugs, Talk Like a Pirate Day t-shirts and more at Zazzle.

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