If the Cratejoy Marketplace is your only way of growing your Subscription Box Business Read this post and it will help you…
(I don’t mean to be harsh with this post and please don’t be offended by it. I wrote it to help anybody who is in the situation and struggling with customer acquisition)
If you are depending on another entity for all of your customer acquisition you could end up in trouble and become an advertising victim…
If you don’t know what an advertising victim is let me explain. This is a situation you will find yourself in when you have no control over your marketing and you depend on others for all of your customer acquisition.
If the above statement explains the reality of your business you should do everything in your power to change this because it is extremely dangerous.
When you don’t have full control of your marketing you are at the mercy of another entity that can change the rules, stop promoting you and completely put you out of business if they feel like it.
This is a situation that many online businesses find themselves in when they depend too heavily on one source to generate all of their new customers.
The example I am going to use is The Cratejoy Marketplace.
I want to make it clear though, this is not an attack on Cratejoy.
I actually think The Cratejoy Marketplace can be very useful (especially if you are only getting started and want to validate your idea while still learning how to advertise correctly)
The Cratejoy marketplace is another sales channel and that is about it though. That means you should treat it as a sales channel and not a place to build your entire business on. By all means, use it to get subscribers but you shouldn’t be depending on it for all of your customer acquisition.
You need to have other marketing channels running side by side with it that you actually have control over. So if Cratejoy changes its rules or decides to promote one of your competitors ahead of you all of your new subscribers aren’t going to dry up overnight.
The other issue with depending on Cratejoy exclusively for sales is the fact that it turns your box into a commodity. You have no control over how you sell your product. You just have a listing. That means it is very hard to differentiate yourself compared to your competitors and you can find yourself in a race to the bottom where you are competing mainly on price.
When you control your own marketing this is not the case. As you can make many different changes to your sales process and offers to position your brand completely different to your competitors without price influencing the buying decision so much.
We have taken BusterBox to over $7 million dollars in sales and I can ensure you that if we were relying exclusively on the marketplace this would have never happened.
I have also worked with and spoken with many different successful subscription boxes over the years and I can’t think of one of them that got to where they are by only using CrateJoy to promote them…
Yeah, sure, Some of them have a CrateJoy listing and get some subscribers from that, but they also have other marketing activities going on in the background, which is driving the majority of their growth.
If you want to build a sustainable and profitable subscription box business you need to think and act like all of the big boxes that managed to scale up. I have studied most of them at this stage and again none of them achieved their success by exclusively using the CrateJoy marketplace to drive sign-ups.
As I said, Use the marketplace as one sales channel, but it shouldn’t be the only thing that you use. Otherwise, you are seriously restricting your growth and are heading for trouble..
Another thing you need to look out for when you are trying to grow your box is fake marketing agencies. This is a big problem in the industry these days.
The issue is the barriers to entry when it comes to setting up a marketing agency are very low. So you end up with a lot of fly-by-night agencies run by people who have no experience when it comes to running ads.
They will point to things such as video views, brand lift, likes and engagement as proof of success. When in reality they are really sending your money up in flames.
The only thing that matters for a small subscription box (or any business really) is sales and subscribers that’s it. If you are measuring your marketing success on anything else it’s a surefire way to run out of money and go out of business.
I have no problem with marketing agencies either. There are some really great ones out there who know what they’re doing and will do everything in their power to ensure you succeed.
I have a big problem with fake agencies though who use their client’s money to learn on the job and have no history of ever running a successful campaign before. Then when you realise they aren’t driving any sales they try to hide behind fake vanity metrics that don’t mean anything.
My advice is if you are looking to hire an agency make sure you do a lot of research before you sign anything. Ask for case studies of what they have done for other businesses in your industry. Then reach out to those business owners and speak to them to verify the claims. Otherwise, you could be heading for an expensive mistake that will waste a lot of time.
The solution to this problem is very simple (but not easy) you need to take full control of your marketing and ensure you don’t turn into an advertising victim.
The biggest misconception with this business model is the money is in the box. I am afraid this isn’t true. The money and the success are in the ability to acquire customers repeatedly and profitably.
If you can’t do this you don’t have much of a business. Your ability to acquire customers is the lifeblood of your company and you simply need to know how to do this if you want to have any level of success.
Obviously providing world-class service and having a great box is really important but if you don’t know how to acquire customers none of that even matters as there won’t be enough people signing up to experience it.
My advice is to go all out and become a marketing expert. Do everything in your power to understand who your customers are, and where they hang out and learn what you can do to sign them up at scale.
This isn’t easy and will be one of your biggest challenges as a business owner but you can do it. It just takes persistence and the understanding that marketing is a skill that takes time to learn.
There are many different marketing channels these days. Find out what is the best one for your business and then go all in on it to master it.
That could be Facebook, TikTok, Snap, Pinterest, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, Youtube, Google etc.. You will need to do some research to find out what is the best one for your business.
Then once you identify the channel and get it performing you should then work on adding more channels so you are never held hostage by anybody and you always have plenty of options. This is a lot of work but trust me. Once you start this process and start to see some success it will completely change your business forever and you will be delighted you did it.
That is the safest way of growing your company and the best way to ensure your subscription box will be successful.
I think there is a time and a place for hiring an agency. You may get your company to a certain level and then feel like it is time to hand over your marketing to somebody else. This can work out well, but my advice is before you do this you should have a basic understanding of marketing so you can at least keep up with the agency, understand the lingo and have some KPI’S To measure the success.
I hope you found this article helpful. I didn’t mean to offend anybody with it. It is simply the truth. If you want to get anywhere you need to have control and accountability over your marketing. This is a vital part of your business model and unfortunately, unless you take it very seriously you will struggle to get anywhere.