By Sharon L. Hadden on January 09, 2018
If you’re ready to hit the ground running with your subscription box, congratulations! It’s a fast-growing industry, and it can be an extremely profitable business. We just have one little piece of advice for you: create a marketing plan, before you dive headfirst into your 2018 year of sales.
If you’re in the creation phase of your box, this would be your pre-launch plan. If you’re a new box owner, this would be your plan to sell more subscription boxes faster.
Whatever your stage of business, your subscription box needs a marketing plan. I mean, even veteran box owners need a plan that documents what works, so you can ditch what doesn’t.
Here are 9 reasons your subscription box needs a marketing plan to grow.
1. You're More Likely to Achieve a Goal That's Written Out
Ever heard the saying, “Write it on real paper, witha real pencil, and watch s*!t get real”?
This applies to marketing plans, just as well as it applies to life goals and career ambitions. Our good friend Research says you’re more likely to accomplish your goals when you write them down.
Even a one-page marketing plan can help steer the ship toward success, allowing you to make adjustments in real time. At the end of your 1st, 3rd, 5th year of business, you’ll look back on these plans and be happy you made them.
2. Competition is Stiff
The subscription box industry has been growing at a rate of 200% a year, since 2011. There are so many subscription boxes to choose from, and that’s not letting up any time soon.
The good news is, while competition is stiff, there are enough customers for everyone. To market a subscription box, you just have to find your right audience.
A marketing plan will help you see beyond a few social media posts and a handful of new customers. Suddenly your long-term vision becomes clear, as you carve out your key differentiator and things just start to shift in your favor, because you’re taking strategic steps toward your goals.
Simply put, you need a marketing plan to make sure every ounce of effort works to bring in new customers and maintain current ones.
3. A Marketing Plan Will Save You Time and Money
Having trouble keeping focus, or deciding what social network to spend your time? A marketing plan will remove the guesswork out of any anxiety inducing distractions.
You’ll stop wasting time with marketing avenues that don’t align to your plan, leaving you will more hours in a day for other tasks like customer service, shipping and fulfillment, working with influencers, etc.
You might be tempted to try the latest new platform or invest in the trendiest marketing software, but a clear plan can help deter investments that move you away from your goals.
If you long for the chance to make marketing easier, your subscription box needs a marketing plan.
4. You Need to Attract New Customers and Keep Current Customers Engaged
Not only are you under constant pressure to attract new customers, you’re constantly bombarded with keeping current, loyal customers happy and satisfied. When you start a subscription box business, you agree to navigate these two audiences with grace, for the life of your box.
It costs nearly five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an old one, so you’re going to need to find ways to attract new subscribers, while keeping your current ones engaged.
A marketing plan can help keep you organized, when marketing to both audiences.
5. The Contents of Your Box Changes Regularly, and So Will Your Marketing
When you’re in the subscription box business, you’re the star of the show, and all of your sponsors, partners and customers are watching you perform center stage.
As the contents of your box changes, so will your marketing, and what better way to keep track of all of those upcoming changes than a marketing plan that outlines themes, content, collateral and campaigns.
6. You'll Know What to Do When Sales are Slow
We will be the first to admit it: running a business can be hard. There are natural slumps in sales and slow points in every year.
No matter how many walls you hit, a marketing plan will keep you on track to move forward. No matter how frustrated you feel, you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand, while making improvements that reduce the chance of hitting that same wall again.
7. A Marketing Plan Will Keep You on Top of Trends
If you market your subscription box online (show me one that doesn’t), you know first-hand that things constantly change across the web.
What worked last month might not work this month, and a marketing plan gives you space to experiment.
Your subscription box needs a marketing plan, so you can try out new platforms, tools and trends, and move on with clarity of what works best for your business.
8. A Marketing Plan Will Help You Scale Your Business
There are hundreds of things you have to worry about in a subscription box business. From fulfillment, to delivery, to partnerships and customer service, it’s a lot for any one person to handle.
If your goal is to grow and scale your business, so you’re no longer a one woman show, your subscription box needs a marketing plan.
A marketing plan can help you see opportunities for growth, as well as areas of improvement.
It can keep you on track toward your 5,000 subscriber goal, and remind you that you aren’t crazy for going after it.
9. A Marketing Plan Will Help You Run Your Business More Seamlessly
A marketing plan looks at the big picture of your business. Marketing activities are just an extension of your entire operation. Certain messages must be shared when your box is available, when the last order dates are near, and when boxes are headed out for fulfilment.
If you’ve documented the operational side of your business, it’s only fair to document the marketing side of your business. After all, it’s the side that brings in the sale.
We’re interested in doing social management for subscription boxes, and if your business is in need of a marketing plan, we want to hear from you.
Let’s work together to achieve big things in 2018, starting with a marketing plan for your subscription box.