What You Can Learn from the Subscription Box Industry

As you grow your subscription business, theres a lot you can learn by studying marketing techniques of todays fastest growing subscription box companies. Some

Image of shipping boxes and a subscription box entrepeneur

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Subscription boxes are the fastest growing sector of the subscription economy today. While there are dozens of new subscription box offerings each month many subscription box companies are growing their subscriber base at unprecedented rates. 

As you grow your subscription business, there’s a lot you can learn by studying marketing techniques of today’s fastest growing subscription box companies. Some of the discoveries will be unique and new, other will be some of the marketing strategies others have used for years. How many new ideas can you find for you and your team to implement? 

A Social Media Presence Is Key

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It’s no secret that more and more people are spending time online visiting a number of social media sites. Subscription box businesses can harness this powerful tool by posting blogs on trending topics or investing in Facebook advertisements. Rick Patri, Founder and CEO of Lucky Tackle Box states that he has been telling brands for years that social media is the way to go. “I use social media every single day to reach my clients.”

When asked about the value of social media as a marketing tool, Eli Rosenberg, director of PR and media partnerships for Mystery Tackle Box, said: “We focus a lot of energy on social media, whether that’s organic posts on Facebook and Instagram or paid campaigns on the same platforms. We also have a strong community of creators on YouTube who have large audiences endorsing and promoting our product. On Facebook, we can tailor our message about a specific fishing technique that’s popular in a region and target fishing enthusiasts in that specific region. So for generating new subscribers, Facebook and Instagram, as well as YouTube, are really powerful tools for us.”

Leslie Emmons Burthey, the VP of marketing at FabFitFun also believes social media is an invaluable tool. “We deploy a wide range of tactics depending on where we are in the customer lifecycle,” Burthey said. “A large majority of our efforts go to paid social media channels because it’s a great way to tell our story and showcase our product, and the targeting is really top notch so we can reach the right people for our brand.”

Deena Bronz, co-founder of KitNipBox, stressed the value of paid advertising, like Facebook ads. In a statement, she said: “So, it really is paid advertising. We do obviously participate in all the usual suspects user acquisition ways that an e-commerce company would. But, really, paid advertising with Facebook ads being our biggest channel is the number one most scalable way of generating new users.” 

Good Old-Fashioned Customer Referrals Continue to Attract Subscribers

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Other business owners have found great success generating subscribers through customer referrals. Dustin McAdams, the founder and CEO of PupJoy, is a big advocate of customer referrals. “We feel honored each and every time our customers refer us, and we try to demonstrate it through our exclusive PupPoints Loyalty Rewards program,” he said. “In fact, we are planning for some major upgrades to the program, representative of our focus on loyalty and advocacy. We would much rather reward our customers for helping us to grow our brand – through referrals and sharing – than pay advertisers.”

Customer referrals are also showing up under the label of “Influencers”. Influencers are customers who share the value of your product with their large audience of followers. Matt Dukes, Co-Founder and CEO of VINEBOX said, “We’ve focused on influencer marketing lately and it’s an incredible channel.

In agreement, Erin Krex, president of Brick Loot shared their success is through “refer a friend program and influencers. We love working with smaller mom bloggers who can share Brick Loot with the world.”

Investing in Relationships Goes a Long Way

For some businesses, it’s all about strategic partnerships. Paul Jarrett, the co-founder and CEO of Bulu Box, swears by strategic partnerships. “I really like some of the strategic partnerships we’ve developed. In the past, I hated strategic partnerships because they took so long, but like anything worth doing, it takes time and effort. The companies we build subscription box programs for all have some interesting advertising channels, and the more I do this, the more across the board it is.”

Lisa Sugar, co-founder and president of PopSugar, also states this as one means of successfully growing subscribers. “We do have affiliate partnerships with great sites like My Subscription Addiction. There’s no question that the hard-core loyalists are there at those sites, so creating partnerships with them is important.”

The Takeaway

There really are a number of ways that subscriber box businesses can attract subscribers. How much time and effort a business is willing to put into connecting with customers will determine its level of success.

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