Hype Socks

The below case study demonstrates the significant impact I made for a client in the apparel industry. For more case studies featuring Offsite-Team's work, please visit our website at

At Hype Socks, my responsibilities encompassed managing company operations and automating processes through strategic outsourcing leadership. Over the course of three years, I automated over 90% of the company's operations, enabling the sales team to concentrate on selling with minimal distractions. This approach contributed to generating seven-figure sales from email marketing that more than doubled annually, with the database establishing B2B relationships with channel partners from multi-billion dollar athletic apparel companies and coaching clinics.

Initially, my focus was on bookkeeping and accounts receivables. As I progressed in the role, I learned every aspect of the company's operations, eventually outsourcing them by creating instruction manuals and delegating tasks to overseas teams. The following are the primary processes I oversaw on a daily basis at Hype Socks.

Lead Generation – Users can scrape leads from the internet in two ways. One approach involves using a directory, which can either be done manually by a team of employees copying and pasting directory contacts into Excel/Google Sheets or through a licensed data extraction tool. Acquiring a directory membership is relatively inexpensive, whereas purchasing a directory can be costly. However, with a large team of skilled data scraping contractors, manual extraction can be ten times more cost-effective. This process requires an experienced project manager with exceptional leadership skills and the ability to effectively manage global teams. The project manager is responsible for task delegation through well-written instruction manuals on directory scraping and for routinely performing quality assurance checks to ensure contact information is accurate and up-to-date.

The second lead generation method is more complex and non-traditional, as it applies when discovering a new market with no available directory for lead scraping. For instance, Hype Socks initially attracted customers who were youth athletic team coaches, such as those for wrestling clubs, youth football, and AAU basketball. By examining closed sales deals, I recognized the potential for building a youth market database. After extensive research, I discovered no centralized directory for youth coach emails, so I took on the challenge of building a youth coaches directory for Hype Socks. This database would later be sold to multi-billion dollar sporting apparel companies for data sales. Hype Socks amassed over 1.2 million youth athletic industry contacts across 12 markets, creating North America’s largest youth database. In 2020, the CEO established a new company that leveraged the youth database I built to foster B2B relationships in the athletic industry for data sales.

The second process for database building requires hiring a team skilled in keyword searches, SEO, and deep web research. To create a new database without a centralized directory, I first had to test lead-finding processes. I spent hours each day scraping contacts using Google keyword searches like “Youth Football,” “Youth Baseball,” and “Youth Soccer.” I timed myself in sixty-minute intervals to determine the most effective keywords for optimal results. Cold web searches for data are more challenging than directory scraping, often requiring social media searches to find contact information. After a month of self-experimenting, I compiled an instruction manual and hired Upwork contractors to automate the keyword search-based data scraping process.

I further refined the process by having the team organize the database by state, starting with the highest populated cities and moving to the least populated. They would exhaust all search results for terms like “Columbus, Ohio Youth Football” before moving to the next city. I also hired additional contractors for quality checking and database organization. This vetting process became even more stringent in 2016 when Hype Socks partnered with the largest football coaching clinic for a six-figure data partnership. After three years of effort, Hype Socks quadrupled its database size, generating millions of dollars in net profit from custom sock sales and partnering with multi-billion dollar athletic apparel companies for email marketing campaigns using our database.

Database Management, Maintenance, and Email Validation

Management – To manage large databases created by multiple teams of overseas contractors, it’s crucial to maintain a master list on a cloud platform like Google Drive, keeping it up-to-date. When a new database is built by a team member and has been quality-checked by the vetting team, I compare it to the master list to eliminate duplicates before merging the databases.

Our school and college databases have 16 columns: School Name, Contact First Name, Contact Last Name, Contact Title, Contact Gender, Contact Email, Contact Phone + Ext, Contact Mascot, Conference, Address, City, State, Zip Code, Email Validation Status, Territories, and Timezones. Sample file here.

Our youth athletic databases have 15 columns: Sport Name, Organization Name, Contact First Name, Contact Last Name, Contact Email, Contact Phone Number, Address, City, State, Zip Code, Website Url, Country, Email Validation Status, Territories, and Timezones. Sample file here.

Maintenance – Every quarter, the QA team (typically a BPO company with dozens of employees) reviews each contact in the master database, verifying the website URLs for each contact to ensure validity. For directory projects, the team quickly re-scrapes the directory. However, for youth databases, the vetting process takes between 4 and 6 weeks. By accessing the website URL, contractors can determine if the organization still exists, identify new emails, and see if any coaches have been replaced.

Quarterly database updates are essential to reduce bounceback emails during seasonal campaigns and grow the database, as youth organizations often add new staff members with emails listed on their websites. Additionally, the lead generation and research team must find new youth organizations quarterly, as dozens of new youth athletic organizations form each week. Building a database is only half the work; maintaining it is an entirely separate challenge.

Email Validation – Email validation is crucial when creating a new database and must be done before sending any emails. Validation enhances IP address reputation and significantly reduces bounceback rates. In the company’s early stages, hard bounces negatively impacted our IP address reputation, leading to exclusion from email marketing platforms like Campaigner. After researching top email verifiers, I chose ZeroBounce for its 99% accuracy rate, fast validation speed, and affordable pricing. ZeroBounce can validate a list of any size within an hour, providing a .Zip file that categorizes emails based on validation status, including Valid, Invalid, Catch All, Do-Not-Mail, Abuse, Rejected, SPAM-trap, and Unknown emails. Only Valid and Catch All emails are safe to send.

Email Marketing – Hype Socks attributes 90% of its sales to email marketing. Each season, the company sends over half a million emails across its databases in the athletic industry. The emails sent to Hype Socks customers are short, concise, and to the point, without graphics or hyperlinks, and optimized for mobile phones. This is because coaches are often on the go and attending games. The company consistently achieves a 40% email open rate from its email blasts. In 2019, I explored a different email marketing approach, having our overseas team send emails one-by-one from the inbox using a mail-merge tool instead of traditional email marketing platforms for campaigns. This more manual process resulted in a higher deliverability rate compared to platforms like MailChimp, Campaigner, or GoDaddy. As email systems have advanced, they can detect email blasts from marketing companies, often directing them to the recipient’s SPAM or junk folder. Using mail-merge quadrupled the company’s average email response rate from 2.5% to 10% overnight, leading to $3 million in custom sock sales during 2019.

Hype Socks stands out due to the simplicity of its emails, which gives recipients the impression that the messages are hand-typed. This is achieved by personalizing emails using merge-fields from the database, such as first name, last name, address, mascot, etc. Below are two examples of email marketing templates the company uses for its email campaigns:

Example 1:

Subject: [External] Heritage Christian Academy High School Socks

Hi Brad,

Our US-based sock factory produces high-quality custom Softball socks. Over the past 8 years, we’ve become the primary custom sock supplier in MN.

I’d like to create a few team mock-up designs to show the staff and team. Could you please provide the logo you’d like me to use on the design?

If interested, I’d be excited to send a complimentary sample of our socks by mail. These samples won’t have your logo but will serve as great references for quality and style.

Is the address below suitable for sending a sample? Heritage Christian Academy High School {name} {address}

Thanks, Coach Horstman.

Warm Regards,

{Email Signature}

To unsubscribe, click here


Example 2:

Subject: Los Angeles Mission College Masks – Intended for Athletic Activities

Hi Abel,

Recently, our company pivoted to selling custom athletic masks. Our masks, designed for athletic activities, feature a patented DRYV Technology strip across the nose bridge to keep your face dry. Made from 2-ply breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, the one-size-fits-all rear ties ensure the mask stays in place during any activity.

I’d like to prepare a visual mock-up for Los Angeles International Charter High School’s mask.

Could you please reply with the mascot logo to use on the designs?

If interested, I’d be excited to send a complimentary mask sample for you to assess its high quality.

Is the address below suitable for sending a sample?

Los Angeles International Charter High School




As of June 2020, the company sent an average of 50,000 emails daily, gearing up for the busiest sales period during the upcoming football season.

Creating Visual Mockups for Customers

Selling custom products necessitates the ability to present an accurate visual mockup that represents the actual product shipped to the customer. Hype Socks personalizes each item by incorporating the company’s logo, color scheme, lettering, numbers, and mascot, tailored to the specific sport. The company offers various design patterns, such as elite, havoc, and easton, as well as five different sock lengths: knee-high, crew, quarter, ankle, and stirrups.

When I joined Hype Socks, the company employed a graphic designer capable of producing around 200 mockups per day. After the designer’s departure, there was an immediate need for a replacement. I turned to the Upwork platform to find an experienced Photoshop designer. Following a few trial runs, I found a designer who could generate mockups at a lower cost and produce about 250 mockups per day—a promising start. As the company expanded, I eventually delegated the mockup creation process to a BPO company with the capacity to handle up to 1,500 mockups per day. The following are examples of the various types of mockups produced by the graphics team.

Creating Order Forms for Customers: Once the sales reps engage in email exchanges with customers and eventually close a deal, they generate an Excel order form that is uploaded to the CRM system as a new lead. Here is an example of a sample order form. To streamline the process for sales reps, I trained an overseas team to handle the creation of order forms for the company, which proved to be highly successful.

Managing CRM through Zendesk: Once the order form is prepared, it is uploaded to Zendesk CRM as a new deal. This CRM system enables users to access previous orders and monitor customers in real-time.

Invoicing and Bookkeeping using Quickbooks/Wave

Once the order is included in Base, it progresses to the ‘Invoice’ stage. Immediately after, an invoice is generated in Quickbooks and sent to the customer. Initially, I was responsible for invoicing customers, but after training our overseas team to handle it, the process became automated. During the busy football season, an average day sees around 75-100 orders. Here’s an example of an invoice being generated in Quickbooks.

Managing Orders on Trello for Knitting

Following the invoicing process, the order form is uploaded to Trello, a project management system that streamlines communication between the office and the factory team in Alabama. The order is then moved through different stages by the team during various phases of production. Trello’s user-friendly interface enables the creation of cards and columns representing different stages of project completion. The image below illustrates the progression on Trello during the various production stages of a Hype Socks order. This system ensures the factory remains highly organized with orders and knits the socks in the correct order based on production dates. Utilizing Trello has allowed Hype Socks to uphold its reputation as a custom sock company with the world’s fastest turnaround time: averaging 2-3 weeks throughout the year!

Creating Comprehensive Revenue Reports for the CEO

Once the orders are invoiced and uploaded to Trello, the next step involves adding them to Google Spreadsheets to generate sales and revenue reports. Initially, I managed this process, but it was eventually automated through the expertise of a virtual assistant to whom I delegated this daily task.

Creating Sales and Commission Reports for the Sales Team

While the orders are being added to the spreadsheet, Excel formulas are employed to generate sales and commission reports. These reports are then emailed to the sales team on a daily basis.

Generating Accounts Receivables Spreadsheets

The Accounts Receivables Spreadsheet is created following the invoicing and sourcing process. It is organized into various sections, depending on whether the payment is required before or after the delivery of goods or services. The Accounts Receivables team uses this spreadsheet to follow up with customers for payments, record notes, and assign different color codes to customers based on their payment status and updates.

Generating Reports for Shipping, Yarn Production, etc.

During the training of our team on report creation, we instructed them to incorporate additional content that assists us in monitoring further details, including shipping reports, yarn sourcing, and other relevant information.

Handling Customer Service Emails and Phone Lines

Customer service emails are managed through the admin account on Outlook. To handle this task, I enlisted the services of a virtual assistant who handles all customer and team communication via email. For inbound phone calls, our company utilizes Grasshopper, which enables our customer service agents to receive calls on their mobile phone numbers. To delegate customer service calls to our overseas team, I ensured that they obtained a local USA Skype number that could receive inbound and outbound calls. Their phone number was then configured to our company’s Grasshopper system, ensuring that all calls are answered at any time of the day.

Processing Check Deposits

Initially, online access to check deposits was via the company’s bank account. However, with the introduction of a lockbox system, accessing deposits and check images online in real-time has become easier. Upon receipt of check deposits, I receive an email notification, and my overseas assistant logs into the system, locates the check payment, and marks it as paid on the CRM system.

Website Development, SEO Marketing and Inbound Form Submissions

Improving the company’s website, creating an SEO-optimized blog page, developing a popup banner, and designing an interactive AI chatbot were some of the most enjoyable tasks I undertook. To create the chatbot, I built an extensive knowledge base and an FAQ page to provide answers to common queries.

As a visual design expert, I led our overseas team in developing the website. Below are images of the pages that I collaborated on. You can visit to fully experience our work.