City Boy Tees

Email Marketing Blunder Brings Unexpected Sales

Email list signup offer for full color custom T-shirts for $9.95 intended for businesses to sample company's product has Internet bargain hunters in a feeding frenzy.

Phoenix, AZ, September 23, 2005 --( Internet bargain hunters discovered that signing up for an email list at got them a lot more than they expected. It got the small printer of full color photo quality T-shirts a lot more than they expected, too. offered anyone who signed up for their email list a special offer of a full color image printed on a T-shirt for $9.95, plus $3.85 shipping and handling.

The customer sends a payment via the online PayPal payment system and submits their image via email. The low cost special offer was intended for business owners.

"You expect to get maybe a few orders a day for a special like that. It's not a moneymaker, it's just to introduce our product to potential customers who want to see what the product is like," says Tim Hoffmann of City Boy Tees.

The promotion was intended for business customers, but the orders and images coming in had very little to do with business and more to do with baby pictures, dogs, cats, vacation pictures and even holiday greeting photos that you’d usually see on holiday post cards.

"We had a few I won't even mention, but I can't imagine where someone would wear it. Let's put it this way, my girlfriend would kill me if I put the same kind of pictures of her on a shirt," Hoffmann chuckled.

The company misjudged just how quickly Internet bargain hunters are to share deals like this with everyone they know. "We didn't promote the email list. It's just a little signup box on the City Boy Tees' Web site. That's it," Hoffmann continued.

The company uses cutting-edge technology that allows them to print full color electronic images directly onto a shirt, printing as few as one shirt without the setup costs that regular screen printing would require or using the heat transfer process that's common for short run shirt printers.

And City Boy Tees' response, "We never said you had to be a business. We never said we wouldn't print your baby's picture on one of our shirts. The promotion will continue until it expires on October 15, [2005]. We'll fulfill any orders that come in as long as the person ordering the shirt owns the image they're asking us to print," says Daniel Thompson of "It's just that you don't make any money printing one shirt for $10.00."

City Boy Tees
Daniel Thompson