Getting the Word Out with Subscription Box Marketing
Marketing a subscription box can sometimes be a challenge: once you find the right customers they’re all in, but like many other products, the process of finding customers can be daunting.
However, subscription boxes provide consistent income for a company once the initial subscription is sold, making them an incredibly good business model. Here are 8 ways to build, market and grow awareness of your box to gain new subscribers.
Perhaps the most well-known site for shopping subscription boxes, Cratejoy is a great platform to boost buyer awareness. It’s known as a place to browse new subscription boxes and is already driving traffic of qualified customers who are ready to buy. For business owners, the site’s strategy is to provide an end-to-end solution so that you don't have to code your own website (unless you really want to!). They charge a flat monthly fee plus transaction fees, but what you get for that price is an extensive collection of how-to’s that help get you up and running very quickly. The marketplace options may be less customizable than starting your own website, but joining a marketplace where people already go to find subscription boxes makes a lot of sense.
A challenger to the Cratejoy subscription box, Subbly also aims to offer an end-to-end platform for subscription box companies. Rather than having a marketplace, you create your own easy-to-start website through their platform. Online, Subbly users have mentioned standout features of the service, including their billing cycle options, fast customer service, and variety of sized-to-fit monthly fees that reflect different levels of subscription box volume.
WordPress + Subscription Boxer
This Wordpress plugin allows you to turn a Wordpress website into a subscription box site. The WordPress platform is easy to use and requires little coding to get your website started, but also supports full custom coding if you so desire. The Subscription Boxer plugin allows you to accept multiple forms of payment, customize the contents of different boxes, and theme your website to create an inviting experience for your customers, and has the best reputation among WordPress plugins for subscription box websites. Buyer beware: it won't deliver quite the same out-of-the-box experience as Cratejoy or Subbly, which charge for having eCommerce features and analytics. This is a more DIY solution that still allows you to side-step having to fully custom code your website.
While used for many different business models, LemonStand has emerged as an effective eCommerce platform for accepting recurrent payments, including those for subscription boxes. People rave about the customizable websites and that the entire software package is essentially an out-of-the-box solution, as well as great customer service. LemonStand processes payments well and is known for constantly adding features, which means that this may be the right solution for you if you intend to expand your business into new territory as you grow.
If Cratejoy is slightly more well-known than Subbly, Shopify is the heavyweight competing with LemonStand. Shopify is the go-to out-of-the-box eCommerce solution that allows you to create a substantial store, blog, and payment platform for your subscription box business. They are known for their customer support, easy-to-use features, and a platform that can support one-off purchases as well as subscription boxes. When considering all your eCommerce platform options, It would be silly not to include Shopify on the list.
This site doesn't help you with eCommerce at all, but instead aggregates reviews and advertisements for subscription boxes. You can get a review for no charge (though you'll have to send them a free box, most likely), and you can advertise or be listed in their directory.
This is a great way to start gain exposure, especially when paired with organic marketing as well – social media shares, your own website, and an email newsletter for those who are interested enough to subscribe!
My Subscription Addiction
Submit your box to the directory at My Subscription Addiction. The operators of this site perform honest subscription box reviews and list all boxes that are mentioned to them on their directory. This site’s high Google ranking in the SERPs means that when people are shopping for a new subscription box, they will run into this site early on.
When reaching out to sites like this, do your homework and move forward with care. Some review sites are “pay to play” and don’t advertise when they will want to charge you for exposure versus simply reviewing your box for free.
Other Options: Influencers, Networks, and Family on Social Media
While not specifically devoted to subscription boxes, one of the best organic ways to increase your customer base and awareness of your subscription box is to enlist a real-life team. This may involve paying/offering free boxes to Instagram Influencers, who will use the products and publish a certain number of photos or video content with them. It can also involve creating a wide network of support for your subscription box by engaging on social media platforms. If you’re a witty tweeter or take gorgeous photos that fit with your brand identity, a dedicated social presence should be part of how you advertise! As you grow more successful, it may make sense to outsource this work to a social media manager.
Lastly, don't underestimate family and friends. If you are willing to offer your family an informal "affiliate program" where you give them a cut of the profits when they sell your subscription box, you may have a pretty popular launch on your hands. These options remain important throughout the growth process of a subscription company.
Get going and get growing! It all begins with the box.
Regardless of what platform you use to sell your subscription box, turn to Fantastapack for packaging that draws in new subscription box customers! Your packaging is a big part of what makes people excited to get the box in the mail, so invest some time in checking out the options available to make your product stand out!