The subscription box industry is a growing one and companies are applying different tactics to boost not only consumer interest, but their own bottom line. Subscription box contents are the magnet that will draw new customers and keep existing customers coming back for more. The unboxing experience is one of the main things that customers look forward to when they receive their subscription box. Customers love freebies, which increase their excitement and amplify the suspense they feel before unboxing their monthly delivery. That’s why it’s important that your subscription box contents have small giveaways, marketing collateral, or promotional products. What can you do to elevate your subscription box contents?

Though it’s the early days for this emerging industry, we at Ironmark have many years of experience with subscription box clients, having produced all parts of the actual box and contents, so we are happy to share our experience. First, let us start with the basics.

What is a Subscription Box?

A subscription box is a consumer retail concept that is difficult to define without arriving at an overgeneralized definition. One source defines a subscription box as “a recurring physical delivery of curated niche-oriented products packaged in a box designed to create an experience and offer additional value on top of the actual products.” Both the products and experience delivered are crucial aspects of subscription box offerings. A subscription box must have the following elements: a physical delivery, a recurring subscription/membership, and one or more value propositions, such as convenience, discovery, surprise, savings, curation, and thoughtful presentation. 

Subscription Boxes and Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing, sometimes known as "engagement marketing,” “live marketing,” or “event marketing," is a marketing strategy that requires consumers to be drawn into live experiences where they interact with a brand or business. With experiential marketing, you want to add a human touch to your subscription business and boost consumer excitement by creating lasting, positive brand impressions in real life and in person. Amplify your marketing efforts across channels by utilizing both social and content platforms. Applying experiential marketing to subscription boxes can prove beneficial by creating brand awareness, connecting with customers in their comfort zone, creating a positive brand image, allowing consumers to experience the product firsthand, promoting word of mouth marketing, and enhancing brand loyalty and authenticity.

Demographics Committing to Subscription Box Purchases

While both men and women gravitate towards various types of subscription box offerings, according to a 2019 survey, the average subscription box consumer is most often female, in the 25-39 age group, and has an above-average income and higher education level. While hipsters and millennials make up a large portion of the subscription box customer population, baby boomers are also subscribers as well. 

Inside Subscription Boxes: Company Products and Other Content

In 2020, some of the most popular subscription boxes include Birchbox, Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Dollar Shave Club, FabFitFun, Bespoke Post, Ipsy, and Stitch Fix, among others, each offering something unique to their customers. What are companies putting in their subscription boxes aside from their products? While customers want the products that are the primary offerings in a subscription box, they are excited to get little giveaways from companies as well, which helps to make the subscription box a whole experience. Customers look forward to something extra in their monthly subscription boxes. On top of the company’s products, customers often find other content inside their subscription box, such as:

  • Stickers: Represent your customers’ interests and display your company’s brand.
  • Booklets and mini catalogs: Let your niche customer base know of your wider product offerings not included in the subscription box.
  • Business Cards and Postcards: These can increase sales and grow your company, and showcase other products sold.
  • Magnets: These can increase brand awareness and feature a cool design, conversion chart, or calendar.
  • Samples: Product samples are a good way to promote and introduce customers to a new product, build relationships, and delight customers.
Related: Promo Products: Making Them Pop

Forgotten Additions to Subscription Boxes That Can Help Increase Sales and Marketing  

It’s crucial to keep existing customers and gain new subscribers if you want to grow your subscription business. Superb marketing techniques can help to increase sales, and there are a few things that you can place in your subscription boxes that can help. What’s missing from subscription boxes that can boost sales and marketing?

  • List of Special Sales Items: If you have limited inventory that you’d like to get rid of, create flyers and add them to the boxes of customers who purchased related items. Customers will get a special deal on a product and you can earn some extra cash.
  • Friend Discount Coupon: Offer customers a discount coupon they can share with a friend and also benefit from as well. For example, slip a “20% off first purchase” coupon into your boxes. The existing customer can give that to a friend, and when the coupon is used, the existing customer gets 10% off their next order.
  • Coupon Code: Offer customers a special coupon code as they will feel like they are winning by not paying full price, and they will also feel more inclined to try out your product.
Related: The Utility of Promotional Apparel

The subscription box industry is saturated, and if you are to achieve business success, you have to find ways to stand out in a growing crowd. You can begin by elevating your subscription box contents with promotional products and inserts. By adding stickers and sample products into your subscription boxes and applying experiential marketing tactics, you can increase marketing and boost sales and put your subscription business in a position to perform well. Contact Ironmark for help with producing some promo products for your next box and make it a smashing success.


Written by Juliet Hulse

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