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The magic of tee shirts and how we easily mail them anywhere - even internationally

I had an idea at blekko that I wanted to give away a bunch of tee shirts as a marketing promo and a reward for our beta users. People love tee shirts and companies seem to be really stingy with them at trade shows these days. Instead you get a cheap pen or a squeeze ball.

Companies pay thousands of dollars for an insert in the free bag you get at registration, or a banner on the wall, or to sponsor the cocktail reception.

I think most of that stuff is worthless.

For the cost of a banner on the wall at a big show you can make 500 or 1000 tee shirts.

Instead of a logo on the wall that nobody even notices, you can have hundreds of cool industry people wearing your logo a couple of times a month. All day at work! And people love getting the shirts.

When I told my team I also wanted to mail a bunch of shirts to our users they initially freaked out. Just how do you do that efficiently? Fortunately our marketing director Stephen had already solved this problem.

He is a passionate motorcyclist and commutes to work every day on his BMW R1200GS. He actually travels about 20,000 miles a year on his bike. Two years ago he started a side business selling motorcycle accessories.

So he quickly set blekko up with the same shipping solution that he had built for his company.

Within a few days we had a Dymo LabelWriter 4XL along with rolls of Dymo labels. We subscribed to Endicia for Mac. Bubble mailers came locally from RoyalMailers.com located in Emeryville, CA. Within minutes we were printing our own USPS shipping labels with integrated stamps.

We can also easily print international shipping labels as well with the PS-2976 customs form built right in. The great thing about Endicia's service is that it includes the round postmaster stamp on each label, so you can drop international shipments right into a mailbox without having to go to the post office for inspection.

This stuff is really slick... With this setup our community manager Cheralyn was able to package and mail a huge stack of tee shirts in just a couple of hours.

If this had been done by hand it would have taken a couple of days.

Here are some of the international requests we got:

Also I have only little hope that you will ship one of this gorgeous shirts to Germany. PLEASE DO!

Not sure if you ship to Canada?

I'd wear it at all the barcamps & at work (I am a webdesigner)

Of course we in Austria - Europa want to help spread your super-hero identity!!!

Don't know do you ship in Croatia, but it would be really great to wear one on my job :) i would sure be unique :)

I'd love an awesome t-shirt please please please - I'm ready to slash the web. I doubt you will send one to Germany, though, even if it would be very shrewd international marketing …

Non-US folks are blown away when they find we actually will mail a shirt to them.

Comments (5)


Wow, finally someone said it. Useless marketing tactics on things like massive banners. I'm amazed at what some people spend on useless advertising. This tshirt thing is a great idear. I'm wearing mine at the nudist colony.


It helps that you've got a shirt design worth wearing.

So many companies have fugly shirts that are basic white with ugly lettering and logos all over. I don't know what those companies are thinking... those shirts only ever get used as rags.

Just wanted to say thank you! I got my confirmation from Cheralyn about 15 minutes after sending in my email saying it was being shipped!

Talk about fast turn around.

Anand S:

And the shirt arrived next day in Fremont, CA. Brilliant. I will be at Blekko tomorrow wearing it visiting Krishna :).

Where is the catch? Well, there is none. It's free, it's a quality shirt with a great design & it arrived in Germany just one week after I wrote a mail to blekko. Thank you!

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