You did it! Your subscription box business has officially gotten off the ground — literally! If you followed our list of 10 things you should do before launching, we trust that you’re off to a great start. But, of course, we don’t want to leave you hanging. That’s why, in this article, we’ll be detailing what you should do after launching. From campaigns to marketing to customer retention, your journey as a new business owner is far from over. But, if you play your cards right, you’ll have nothing but clear skies ahead!
If you’re ready for the next phase of your subscription box journey, take a deep breath, grab a snack, and get to reading. The hardest part is over, so enjoy the ride.
1. Begin a Pre-Launch Campaign
DJ Khaled has his major key, and so does eCommerce. That major key is called being prepared, and pre-launch campaigns are a great way to get ahead. If it’s your first time around the block, here’s the gist: a pre-launch campaign is a marketing strategy that serves to generate buzz around your product while securing an email list of people interested in purchasing it.
The outreach methods for a pre-launch campaign can include blog articles (either on your own website or as a guest writer on someone else’s), social media posts, and paid ads. Regardless of the tactics you choose, they should all have the following in common:
- A call to action, or the preposition of a problem your subscription box would solve
- A freebie, discount, or early access to your subscription box
Besides scoring you some hot leads, pre-launch campaigns allow your prospective customers to get a taste of what you offer, so dazzle them with a fabulous first impression.
2. Begin a Pre-Sale Campaign to Collect Your First Paying Customers
A pre-sale campaign is similar to a pre-launch campaign in the sense that it also generates buzz around your product and garners a list of interested customers. However, when it comes to pre-sale campaigns, you can assume the customers are ready to buy. If you’ve ever excitedly bought your favorite band’s album before it even came out, you have engaged in a pre-sale campaign.
Aside from serving as an excellent way to gauge interest (and your ROI), pre-sale campaigns can also be an exclusive way for loyal customers to have early bird access to their favorite subscription box service. (That’s you!) In order to fully take advantage of these perks, make sure to stay on top of your game. It takes years to build a reputation and seconds to destroy it, and customers not getting products they paid for in advance is pretty in line with the destroying part.
3. Focus on Marketing and Customer Acquisition
You know what they say: You can have the greatest idea in the world, but it won’t mean much if no one knows about it. That’s why every awesome subscription box has to be paired with an equally awesome marketing plan, otherwise you just wouldn’t be doing your business justice. Think of marketing like a buffet of scrumptious choices. You can do it all, or just focus on the things that jive with you the best. If you’re just beginning your entrepreneurial journey, we recommend starting small and ramping it up once you’ve got the right appetite.
Right, so what exactly are those options? Here are a few:
- Creating awesome landing pages
- Doing giveaways
- Publishing original content in the form of blog articles, eBooks, and videos
- Improving your SEO
- Running targeted ads on social media and building a constant rapport with your growing fanbase
- Running a referral program
- Word of mouth
As you can see, customer acquisition can happen in many different ways. The important thing is to be consistent and stick to a cohesive campaign. Meaning, if your tone is upbeat, stay upbeat across all platforms. If you’ve got a more luxurious vibe, then make sure to maintain that throughout your marketing efforts.
4. Ship Your First Boxes and Celebrate Your Launch!
Before you start popping bottles, there is one small (read: big) detail you’ve got to iron out: How are you gonna ship these puppies out? We already talked about the importance of defining a fulfillment strategy in our previous article, so by now you should have an idea of what your options are. If not, we’ve got a handy little guide for you, where we cover everything from the kind of box you should choose to the best shipping methods available.
Luckily, the next step after this one is super easy, because it involves celebrating all your hard work! Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, and maybe an extra pat for good luck… even though we’re sure your customers will dig what’s coming to them.
5. Gather Feedback to Continuously Optimize Customer Retention
When it comes to your customers, you have two goals: retaining old ones and acquiring new ones. Kill two birds with one stone by gathering feedback from returning customers to enhance the shopping experience moving forward. How do you do that? Simple! You just gotta listen… aaand listen some more. Social media posts, unboxing videos, and product reviews all reveal valuable information about your business that you literally can’t afford to miss!
If you fancy making the first move, emailing your customers to review their purchase and overall experience is also a great idea. While you don’t want to bombard them with questions, here are a few you might want to zone in on:
- Why did you buy our subscription box?
- What did you think of the products in your subscription box? Is there anything you would like to see more or less of?
- How are you using the products you received?
- How can we improve our next subscription box?
Pay attention to the positives as well as the negatives, and don’t forget to thank your customers for their (hopefully) kind words! One of the best parts about being attentive to your customers’ needs is that it builds a strong relationship between the two of you. They want to feel heard and valued, and that’s what you’re there to do. In turn, they will feel compelled to continue to support your business. Win-win!
Whew! That was fun. If you can’t tell, we’re pretty enthusiastic about subscription boxes here at ShipMonk. If you have any questions about what you just read, or perhaps want to upgrade your own operations, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help!