box of cookies

It seems like just a few years ago, subscription boxes were a new and interesting way to get something exciting in the mail. Even though they feel new, they’ve been around for decades, but it’s true that the business model has changed a little. To be successful in the subscription box space your organization also needs to pay attention to the marketing. Today our Colorado digital marketing tips are all focused on how to successfully market an online subscription box.

You’re not likely to be the first to put together your subscription box idea, even if your idea feels very new. The first step to marketing your idea is identifying your place in the market. If you’re the fourth or fifth subscription box to come along, you’re going to need some clear differentiation from the other services out there. Here are some common ways to create your niche in the marketplace.

Price is the most common differentiator. Sure, users will love getting an assortment of jams and jellies each month, but how much jelly budget can you justify? If you’re charging $25 – $35 a month, you’re price competitive, and a clean, well designed website should win you some sales.

If you’re charging $50 – $75 a month, you’re going to struggle to win users on price. You’ll have to clearly define why your jelly (or your service) is superior. Do they have wild, artisanal or uncommon ingredients? Is your product 100% Organic? Is the user getting twice as much jelly?

During the shopping and checkout process, you also need to be crystal clear about how the pricing breaks down. A subscription is a monthly cost; the simplest way to describe that is:

$25 / Month for 3 Months

The user should understand easily that they are paying $25 a month and the checkout price will be $75. You might be amazed how many sites make the pricing and duration needlessly complicated! When you figure in taxes and shipping, the three companies below are in the same ballpark, but they’ve turned a simple price into an algebra problem.

3 Month Jam Subscription / 3 per Month = 9 Jams / $60
Jam of the Month Club – 3 Month Subscription $75.00 $88.80
3 Months – 1 Jar – $49.99

Another common point of frustration is being locked into a subscription. Making a one-time purchase substantially higher than the subscription price or making it hard to check out as a one-time customer makes your users feel trapped. If you offer multiple ways to buy, make the options simple and let the user decide if they want to buy again. They may want to try your product before they jump into a multi-month subscription. Don’t force them into a purchasing model you prefer.

Show your users what they are getting. If you’re selling fun, colorful jams you want the users to see them! If you’re offering variety and volume as part of your sales strategy, show them exactly what they will get in the mail. Justify your price point by showing off the fun colors and packaging you’ve come up with. Yes, you can convey your point with words, but users have a short attention span.

Back to the point at the beginning of the article, if you’re charging a premium price you need to have clear and concise reasons why. If your project is new, you can’t lean on name recognition or years of word of mouth. You’re going to have to explain clearly why you’re a $50 jelly of the month subscription.
For example:

  • Exciting Flavor Combinations Using Wild Ingredients
  • Free Shipping on All Orders
  • Four 6 oz. Jars Each Month
  • International Flavors Hard to Find in the USA

In combination with your value statements, you’ll need to have compelling product design and captivating images. Remember, raising the price on a known product (like jelly subscription boxes) only works if the users agree with you that the price is justified.

As you can see, a simple idea like ‘we make jelly and sell it online’ is a little more complicated when you step into the crowded subscription box marketplace. Hopefully these tips from our Colorado digital marketing team will help you design (or refine) your plan and grow your user base.

If you have questions about digital marketing for subscription boxes, get in touch. We’d be happy to discuss the specifics of your organization.