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EXECUTION Building a subscription box business

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df1992

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Im in the middle of my own process, today I went out and offered free samples door to door knocking / flyers / calling....

Something to consider. See if people express interest from a sample of the product, you could start small and just give away 10 or so and see the response. Doesn't hurt, I handed out a few and got crickets, but just today asked the person why they didn't like the product and they quickly explained the problems.

''paid feedback'' is what I'll call it :clench:
I really like that... I think there is something in the "old marketing ways" as no one does it anymore. Weirdly it's probably an easy way to stand out from the crowd.

Paid feedback sounds very valuable!!
 
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df1992

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I was wondering about the survey you launched.

What software did you use to do it? Surveymonkey? Was it expensive to get 100 reviews.

—-

I have had landing page before to validate one of my products. I remember paying close to a $1 for email + feedback. I optimized my fb campaigns for “email”.

Once I switched to “lookalikes”, my cost per lead halved or even became less.

I wouldn’t do it again, just because it takes $$$ to optimize your cost per lead. Took me around 500. But worth it I’d say.
Yeah that's my reservation about validating an idea with landing pages, is that you need a fairly big budget to tinker with ads before you get the magic sauce right. Good idea about switching to LAA as soon as I have another data I think ill do that.

For the survey I used surveymonkey... it's free if you only do 9 questions (so it was limiting), in hindsight I think I may have preferred using a google/microsoft forms as I could have had a few more questions. Equally I wanted a short survey, so to actually get responses.. most people will not be assed if it's longer than 5 mins.

I did a giveaway for a £25 Amazon voucher and I posted it on my socials (I have an account with 2600 followers which helped) plus got my friends to share it round.
 
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df1992

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May 26, 2020
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A dump Questio: what exactly do people mean with a „subscription box“?
Is that something special or does it only mean a servic or deli thats payed monthly?
It's basically a recurring delivery of a box which contains a bunch of products focused on a particular niche. The customer might be sent a box each month, 2 months or 3 months. Generally they are really focused boxes, so could be anything from a kids craft box, beauty box, arts and craft box, coffee, tea, pet toys, wizard box, books, bird seed box, shaving, beer, gin, snacks etc...the list is kind of endless.

The consumer likes it as every month they get something new and different delivered each month in their particular niche, so there's a lot of excitement around the "unboxing" event. Basically a present getting delivered to yourself that's been really nicely curated.

Famous ones are: Birchbox, Craft Gin Club, Glossy box, Kiwi co, toucanbox

I'm a massive fan of the craft gin club and get it every 3 months and it's genuinely really exciting as I try gin, flavour, products that i would never try and there's always a nice story that comes with it.

Great for a business as you can build a great business from a small loyal customer base and focus on creating a superb box each month.
 
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df1992

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This thread is so exciting, some great info! I can't wait to read more about your progress @df1992 . I'm considering launching a subscription box for my community of around 500,000 people.
wow that's a hell of a lot of people, I think you have a MASSIVE head start over me haha.

What topic/interests is your community built on and would you build a box around this? Sounds like you have an epic launchpad, congrats for building a massive community!!!
 

spElle

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wow that's a hell of a lot of people, I think you have a MASSIVE head start over me haha.

What topic/interests is your community built on and would you build a box around this? Sounds like you have an epic launchpad, congrats for building a massive community!!!
The community is built around positivity, and the community are very engaged, I would definitely build a box around this. I'd love to get to where 1% of the fans subscribe, so it's about adding the right value that will attract customers.

I learnt a lot from practice and also the aforementioned Rachel Miller, I've always enjoyed growing organic audiences on social media platforms. Feel free to hmu with any FB related questions anytime.
 

Ing

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It's basically a recurring delivery of a box which contains a bunch of products focused on a particular niche. The customer might be sent a box each month, 2 months or 3 months. Generally they are really focused boxes, so could be anything from a kids craft box, beauty box, arts and craft box, coffee, tea, pet toys, wizard box, books, bird seed box, shaving, beer, gin, snacks etc...the list is kind of endless.

The consumer likes it as every month they get something new and different delivered each month in their particular niche, so there's a lot of excitement around the "unboxing" event. Basically a present getting delivered to yourself that's been really nicely curated.

Famous ones are: Birchbox, Craft Gin Club, Glossy box, Kiwi co, toucanbox

I'm a massive fan of the craft gin club and get it every 3 months and it's genuinely really exciting as I try gin, flavour, products that i would never try and there's always a nice story that comes with it.

Great for a business as you can build a great business from a small loyal customer base and focus on creating a superb box each month.
Thank you!
Your explanation make it from a vague idea ihad about it to the fact.
 

sparechange

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df1992

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Update 03/09/2020

I've stopped my ads, the results sucked and it was draining money. Hard to know whether my ad sucked, landing page sucked or idea sucked. I have a feeling it could be a mixture, but I still think the idea well executed could work and there is a big audience for it.

I've been so focused on ads, landing pages etc that I've lost touch on the actual concept. SO, rather than getting someone to sign up to an email list, I'm going to build roughly 10/20 x prototype boxes and put them on Etsy as a quick and low cost way to see if people will buy the concept... watch this space..
 

sparechange

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Update 03/09/2020

I've stopped my ads, the results sucked and it was draining money. Hard to know whether my ad sucked, landing page sucked or idea sucked. I have a feeling it could be a mixture, but I still think the idea well executed could work and there is a big audience for it.

I've been so focused on ads, landing pages etc that I've lost touch on the actual concept. SO, rather than getting someone to sign up to an email list, I'm going to build roughly 10/20 x prototype boxes and put them on Etsy as a quick and low cost way to see if people will buy the concept... watch this space..
I triple dog dare you to talk to ten people in the neighborhood door knocking & cold call 10 people offering a free sample.

Let us know how it goes, if they like the product, you just earned 10 customers. If they don't like the product at least you have some real data to work with.

g89v34eh7y.jpg
 

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df1992

Bronze Contributor
May 26, 2020
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London
Update 16/09/2020

The plan now is to make 80 initial boxes and to try and sell them as validation for the business before going down the subscription route. The reason for 80 is that it gives me a enough scale to create good packaging (which is vital) and to test a couple of different SKU's to see what people like etc.

It's really hard to create a decent prototype box that would actually do the real thing justice, so I'm just going to go for it. Investment wise, it'll cost me about £600-750 which can come from my "FU money pot" so I'm comfortable with it.... Plus I'm finding it really fun to try and create something.

Target is to have the boxes live for the end of October and especially in time for Christmas.

One thing I'm still battling with is do I go down the Etsy route or the Shopify route.

For some reason this thread seems appropriate, especially Rachel Miller’s videos linked to later on:
As recommended by Andy, I've started building an audience over the last 3 weeks and have a modest 132 followers on Instagram. The most interesting thing is that I've already had 3 people DM me saying they're excited to see me launch and grow, which is some soft validation. It's been pretty valuable to immerse myself in the industry and to look at the competition which basically all looks the same and I think it would be easy to stand out with a quirky brand.

Making content can be a bit daunting, but I've just been making 7 posts on Canva at once so I have a week's supply to quickly post when I have a spare 5 mins, which has been fine.

I triple dog dare you to talk to ten people in the neighborhood door knocking & cold call 10 people offering a free sample.

Let us know how it goes, if they like the product, you just earned 10 customers. If they don't like the product at least you have some real data to work with.
This makes me die inside lol... which is why I think it's a fantastic idea and I will be doing it once I've got samples to give.
 

spElle

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One thing I'm still battling with is do I go down the Etsy route or the Shopify route.
I'd go with Shopify. It gives you more control over your store and business. Many people have had experiences with Etsy where they're banned unexpectedly.

Alternatively, if you're wanting to take advantage of Etsy's search feature, you could always focus on your own site but list on Etsy too (although this could be confusing for customers).

Good luck with the samples, and nice job growing the Insta!
 

Andy Black

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Making content can be a bit daunting, but I've just been making 7 posts on Canva at once so I have a week's supply to quickly post when I have a spare 5 mins, which has been fine.
I signed up to Rachel Miller's postdeck.io, not that I've used any of the suggestions to create posts... I just wanted to see what it suggested. It's so damn cheap I'll stay subscribed and find some use for it.
 
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df1992

Bronze Contributor
May 26, 2020
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London
I signed up to Rachel Miller's postdeck.io, not that I've used any of the suggestions to create posts... I just wanted to see what it suggested. It's so damn cheap I'll stay subscribed and find some use for it.
That's an interesting product... does it come up with good suggestions or are they a bit generic? I can imagine it being useful, especially with the scheduler
 

Andy Black

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That's an interesting product... does it come up with good suggestions or are they a bit generic? I can imagine it being useful, especially with the scheduler
I think they're very good prompts. A lot of them are fill in the blanks.
 

sparechange

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Nov 11, 2016
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Update 16/09/2020

The plan now is to make 80 initial boxes and to try and sell them as validation for the business before going down the subscription route. The reason for 80 is that it gives me a enough scale to create good packaging (which is vital) and to test a couple of different SKU's to see what people like etc.

It's really hard to create a decent prototype box that would actually do the real thing justice, so I'm just going to go for it. Investment wise, it'll cost me about £600-750 which can come from my "FU money pot" so I'm comfortable with it.... Plus I'm finding it really fun to try and create something.

Target is to have the boxes live for the end of October and especially in time for Christmas.

One thing I'm still battling with is do I go down the Etsy route or the Shopify route.



As recommended by Andy, I've started building an audience over the last 3 weeks and have a modest 132 followers on Instagram. The most interesting thing is that I've already had 3 people DM me saying they're excited to see me launch and grow, which is some soft validation. It's been pretty valuable to immerse myself in the industry and to look at the competition which basically all looks the same and I think it would be easy to stand out with a quirky brand.

Making content can be a bit daunting, but I've just been making 7 posts on Canva at once so I have a week's supply to quickly post when I have a spare 5 mins, which has been fine.



This makes me die inside lol... which is why I think it's a fantastic idea and I will be doing it once I've got samples to give.
I finally got an order for a sample, now just need to figure out the selling part... :praise: Got a 0.2% conversion rate on a $12 fb ad (500 reach) seems quite low..

You don't need to have the full & ready product to pre sell them or at the very least have a free trial option on a website, capture emails...phone numbers and talk to people.
 

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