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As a customer I prefer it when a store focuses on just their best designs - if there's too much to sift through, half the time I don't bother (I can't stand more than five to ten seconds on sites like t-shirtking and tshirts.com for example). On the other hand those sites make a lot of money, so the fact is there must be some customers who like one approach and some the other.

A simple layout (like t-shirt hell) goes a long way, which you do seem to have. One of the things that really annoys me about t-shirt hell is if I go back to see what's new, it's often really hard to tell what has been added since my last visit, so that's a pitfall stores should aim to avoid for the sake of repeat cusomers.
 

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Ken Styles said:
First and foremost I would get my own domain name.
He does have his own domain name (burntees.com), it just redirects to CP.

You're right though that framing the site through that, using that URL more, etc. is a good next step.
 

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BurnTees said:
that's correct...we do advertise as BurnTees.com and that just redirects to CP. is there a reason i should use the burntees.com url more?
As others have said it might help with SEO - as it is some people will link to burntees.com, and some will link to your cafepress store directly (because that's what they have bookmarked). If you only have one url they can point to, in theory that would mean more links to your site.

It also helps the whole unified brand image thing - if people glance at the URL when on the site they see your company name, not someone else's.

I don't think it's that important or anything, but if you're talking little things you can do that may help a little bit, and don't cost money...
 

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Rodney said:
If you are doing a link based ad (adwords, banner ads, etc), you will want to link as deep into your cafepress store as possible.
Why is that? So people immediately encounter a product to purchase? (or immediately encounter the kind of thing they clicked through for?)

I ask because I can think of a few reasons not to do that (the overrated yet relevant SEO, people seeing the whole picture before being pushed to buy, giving a more general picture so there's less risk of them not buying that particular shirt), but can also see why it would have its advantages.

Why do you prefer deep linking?
 

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Rodney said:
Most importantly, it works.
Always a good rationale ;)

Rodney said:
I've tested this on several sites and invariably when I link to the product page instead of the homepage, the sales are MUCH better.
So you'd also use specific advertising (i.e. advertise the blue silly fish t-shirt, not the fact that you do silly animal shirts).

Would this make a difference if you were paying per impression or per click-through?

If you're paying for click through you want a specific ad, so that if someone clicks (and therefore costs you money) they're more likely to be a sale.

If you're paying per impression, would you rather use an ad that would appeal to a wider audience in order to have more chance of getting clicked, or still be specific because ultimately they're more likely to click through and sell?

Rodney said:
If you just want overall branding and traffic, then sending them to your homepage might be better.
But ultimately the point of branding and traffic is to get sales, so you wouldn't do that at their cost.
 

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Rodney said:
Correctamundo. Which helps you get a positive return on your ad investment (so you could theoretically run the ad forever and never lose money).
Mmm, forever. I have a feeling finding that perfect ad (1:1 conversion) wouldn't be much easier than making a perpetual motion machine ;)

Granted you don't need 1:1 to still run the ad forever.

Rodney said:
There are so many competitors in the funny t-shirts market that trying to advertise your main page could be very costly.
The other problem of course is that the idea of funny varies even more than all the other subjective parts of t-shirt selling (price, quality, etc.). A lot of the t-shirts I buy I would consider funny, but I don't think I ever would have found them looking at funny t-shirts keywords.

I think Funny has become a genre, not just an adjective - because it's a genre customers expect certain things, and Funny T-shirts have certain kinds of jokes. A t-shirt which is funny could be anything, but a Funny T-shirt has certain expectations (SNL style humour for example), so if someone types in funny t-shirts into google and gets something other than they expected they may be disappointed.
 
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