How To Make a Text Template at Zazzle

by dustytoes

Make products easy for the customer to personalize by adding template text to them.

Zazzle gives it's shop keepers the option to add templates to products and thereby enable customers to more easily customize their purchases.

Templates are lines of text, or photo holders, that are shown as examples to customers and make the products more appealing. All the customer needs to do is change the text, or photo, that is shown, to something of their choosing, and the product becomes more personal and unique.

This page has step-by-step instructions with pictures so that you will be able to make your own text templates (photo templates are a bit trickier) to use on products you sell at Zazzle.
Your customers will love you for it!

It's all About Personalization!

Templates make it easy for customers to personalize items before purchase.

sunflower return addressPeople love to have the ability to personalize something. From monograms, to names and messages, giving a personalized gift is special.

Zazzle offers customers the opportunity to personalize almost every product they sell. But the creator of that product should make it easy for the customer to do so. That is where templates come into play.

Templates are simply place holders that can hold example text which the buyer will change.  Designers can also create photo templates, but this page is dedicated to making text templates only. 

Now that Zazzle is ranking our stores, one of the requirements is to make more template products for sale.

This picture tutorial page will show you how easy it is to make products customizable by turning text into an easy-to-use template.

In my example I will use this round, sunflower sticker which I've created as a return address label.

How to make a simple text template

This round sticker has one area of custom text.

Once I have created a design, it is ready for the sample text.  I could sell this round, return address sticker as a plain item, but it's more appealing to customers to be able to visualize it with wording.  And it will give them an easy way to put their own address in the space.

Add some sample text and choose a font style,size and that looks good with the design.  Sometimes you may want the font to stand out as part of the overall design, and at other times it's best to keep it simple for any occasion.

In my example font is a printed, happy style that I feel matches the happy sunflowers that are the background.   My sample text is centered over the white strip.  I try to fill my template with a lot of text to make sure the customer has enough room for their wording.  

For some items, like greeting cards, business cards, and invitations, you may want to align the text to the left or right.   In doing so, the customers text will not run off the side of the design when they change it.

 

Choose a font style that matches your design, and will fit the space.

I chose the printed "Hank" font. Click on the little blue "f" to bring up the font box.
Choose from the list of Zazzle fonts
Choose from the list of Zazzle fonts

Put the text where it works best.

In my example, I centered it on the product.
Center the text
Center the text

It's important to align the text in a way that will work for any text the customer adds.

Choices are center, right or left alignment. Use the drop-down by the little lines to bring up the alignment options.
Align your sample text correctly
Align your sample text correctly

Ready to Make The Templates

It only takes a couple of clicks and you're done!

Once you have your sample text in place, click to highlight the line of text, and then click the cog icon - looks like a little wheel.  The Advanced Options box appears and you will check the box Make this a template object.

The other box, Allow editing, will automatically be checked, as they go together.

In the Product page label area, put anything that describes your use of the text.  In my example I put "name and address" but simply "address" would work.  

Don't worry about the URL parameter line, it's for something else more advanced and won't affect your product.

Making the text a template

Return address template
Return address template

The finished product is customer friendly

Once my text templates are set, the product is ready to be posted for sale in my Zazzle store.

When it shows up for sale there will be a line (or lines) of text showing for the customer to easily change (see the image below).  If the product was not a template, the customer would have to go into the "customize" area and then change the text.  If the customer could figure that out.

My sticker allows the buyer to quickly print his or her name and address that will show on the end product, before they buy it.  Templates allow the purchaser to know exactly what they are getting before they buy.

 

This sunflower return address sticker is ready to be purchased

This is what the customer sees on the product page. That box of text will be deleted and replace by the buyer, to be printed just for them.
Custom Sunflower Paper and Gifts
Custom Sunflower Paper and Gifts

For product with more than one line of template text

guys birthday invitation

The sunflower sticker needed only one template, but when creating a product such as an invitation, more templates are usually required. Whenever the font style or size changes, you will need a separate line of template text.

For example, this deer and antlers birthday party invitation contains 5 lines of text.  The additional step you'll need to take is aligning the lines of text so they are spaced evenly, and appear centered on the paper.

For a simple invitation like this one, highlight (by clicking on) every line of text you want to use.  To do this on a Mac, hold down the Command key while clicking the text.  Then, use the Arrange tab to bring up the options menu, as seen in my screenshot below.

1. Choose Space selected evenly (vert.) from the list, and every line of text will be separated evenly.

2. To be sure all the text is centered directly over each other, click Align selected, which takes you to a new menu.  Choose the blue center Horizontal option.

horizontal and vertical text alignment

Now your text is looking good, but lastly you will need to make sure it's centered on the paper. Before de-selecting all those lines, use the icon which centers things - it's the one with the arrows, to make sure the text positioned correctly on the invitation.

If you fail to complete all these steps, and just eyeball the text, hoping it is in the correct place, the printed, end product may not look right. This is the general way to set up an invitation.

Play around with the template options to get a feel for all the fun you can have.

Aligning many lines of text vertically on a product

Aligning the text
Aligning the text

Why Text Templates Are So Important

Zazzle is known for it's personalized stationery and gifts.

You can find cards and gifts anywhere online, but not every place offers the option to add your own text yourself, before purchasing.  Zazzle's customers love this and come to Zazzle looking for unique gifts and paper that can be personalized.  

I recently sold 50 note cards all in one design.  I have a line of template text on the front of the card and a custom, sample message inside.

The customer apparently wanted to create a separate message or text for each individual card (except for a grouping of 15 that were bought together) as the cards were sold one at a time.  This tells me that each card was individually personalized.

He or she liked the card design and really liked the idea that each one could be changed easily to what was needed. 

Templates give the customer options.  Make text templates on every item you can and the sale opportunities for those items are better than blanks.

Newly Created Products at my Zazzle Store

Yellow Roses Big Birthday Greeting Card $24.95 by PartyPr...
Flying Witch Trick or Treat Halloween Wooden Gift Tags $8.00...
Black Cat Party Witch Halloween Kids Sunglasses $11.95 by...
Updated: 09/29/2015, dustytoes
 
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Are you using templates to increase your sales?


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dustytoes on 08/30/2015

@Cyn, Zazzle changes things so fast that my articles quickly become out of date. It's basically done the same way. I'll have to update the page.
Put sample text where you want it on the item, click on the line of text, then use the cog icon and check off "make this a template". It should show as a customizable template for the customer.

Cyn on 08/29/2015

How do sellers create templates where the customer can just fill in field boxes on the item page? I've seen some products like that and can't figure out how to do that. It's different than the example in this tutorial.

dustytoes on 01/07/2015

I wrote this page before Zazzle did it's updates, so I'm glad it still makes sense to you. The text templates are still pretty much the same.

Tiffany on 01/07/2015

Wow! Thank you for sharing! You are a great teacher and I have always been afraid of adding a text template b/c I didn't understand how to do it right. This makes it easy!

dustytoes on 10/15/2014

Good for you Larraine! Glad I could be of help.

Larraine on 10/15/2014

Just made my first birthday card after reading your tutorial. Thank you!

Mira on 06/04/2014

I haven't done birthday cards yet, but I hope to create some soon as I now have some nice photos of roses I could use.

dustytoes on 12/29/2012

Way to go Mira... look for sales soon! ;)

Mira on 12/29/2012

Thanks again, Pam, I just did my first templates on Zazzle and it was so very easy thanks to your article! Cheers!!

dustytoes on 12/15/2012

I don't use the quick create tool much, but others here do and have written pages on using it.


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