Building a subscription box sales funnel is often seen as a complex and overwhelming part of the marketing mix. While it’s true that there are a lot of moving parts involved, they can be quite simple to setup.
Today we are going to look at a simple subscription box sales funnel that we have used for customers like Neiru to reduce the overall customer acquisition costs and evolve a feedback loop that strengthens brand communication with prospects.
This funnel assumes:
- You’re an established subscription box which is currently getting customer traffic.
- Your offer is getting sales.
- You are looking to put more fuel on the fire through paid ads or additional traffic sources and want to maximise the initial RPU (Revenue Per User) to offset your CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)
The goal for this funnel is to reduce your customer acquisition costs, retarget your existing traffic and ensure that you are maximising all opportunities for your initial sale to bring in new members to your box.
This is only the start and a pretty simple funnel to set up. There are other, more complex styles that work on like self-liquidating tripwire funnels that can work really well at scale. But for the vast majority of sub-boxes, this model is easily the best way to create a predictable and scalable customer acquisition engine.
Your job once you have a new member is:
- to serve them,
- give them an amazing experience, and
- maximise your CLTV (Customer Lifetime Value) and profit.
Addressing those are out of the scope for this post.
To build this funnel you will need:
- A budget for Facebook / Instagram / Google Ads
- An email autoresponder like Mailchimp, Active Campaign, Gist etc
- An Upsell offer – Something of high perceived value and low cost.
The picture below is the basic layout and here is the TLDR:
- Send PPC or Organic Traffic to your Homepage
- Homepage captures email address and pixels prospect for retargeting.
- IF customer signs up they are presented with an immediate upsell to maximise initial revenue and are then surveyed to find out more about them
- Retarget everyone who doesn’t sign up and send them to a product page with more benefits / social proof statements.
- Email autoresponder kicks in for all captured email addresses and a 3 part email sequence commences:
- Once someone signs up – customise your Thank You page to include a survey to find out WHY they purchased, WHAT they want and WHO they are. Use this information as a feedback loop to strengthen your initial ad targeting and website copy. This is how you improve conversion rates over time and better serve your member base.
Ok. Here are some breakdowns of the important bits.
Getting traffic to your subscription box sales funnel
The goal of the traffic is purely to spark interest in your box and attract new prospects to your website.
Quick tips on Paid Ads – The purpose of an ad is to get clicked. That is it.
Don’t blame your ads if you aren’t making sales, that is the job of your website. It is your website’s role to convert that initial curiosity into desire and ultimately a sale.
Your Ad should:
- talk to the benefits of being a member (treat your pup this National Dog Day and save yourself from those sad puppy dog eyes),
- pique their curiosity (we hijacked the worlds most rubbery toy from the NSA’s underground dog training bunker but we only have enough for our members), and
- give the prospect a clear instruction on what to do next (click here, join here, click the dog to find out more)
Building your Homepage
Once someone had clicked on your ad it’s time for the website to do its job. It really needs to communicate what your box is, who it’s for, why they should sign up and how to do it.
Realistically only a very small percentage of customers will sign up at the first contact point so keep expectations low here and put your effort initially into capturing emails via an email popup.
Demonstrate lots of social proof by way of video testimonials, photos from happy customers and logos of authority sites/brands relevant to your box.
Adding the Upsell
Upsells are REALLY easy now thanks to Cratejoy’s upsell feature. If you don’t already have this in place please go and do it now.
Someone has made the decision and committed to becoming a member – upselling them a few bucks more is the easiest thing you can do at that moment in time. They are caught up in the moment and super open to suggestion.
Make the upsell something that will maximise your revenue by not costing a huge amount, will fit in your existing box and will help the new member maximise enjoyment from being a member.
This will offset your paid ad costs
- A digital course
- An extra item
- A luxury item on discount
- Upsell to a higher tier box
Structuring your sales email sequence
Capturing email addresses are the cheapest and simplest way of getting new members. Once you have the email address you don’t need to pay to contact that customer. Setup a basic 3 part email autoresponder using your email platform of choice. Mailchimp, Hubspot, Gist are all good options because they are free initially.
The emails follow a very basic sequence of Show the Problem, Agitate the Problem, Offer a Solution.
- First Email: Problem – Not being able to show your dog how much you love them because you are at work all the time
- Second Email: Agitate – Doggies becoming depressed and bored at home, ripping up furniture creating havoc.
- Third Email: Solution – Dog Box is a convenient and hassle-free way of showing how much you love your dog, prevents them from becoming bored and helps strengthen the bond between you.
For bonus points you can structure each email as a Pain, Agitate, Solution with a tease at the end for the overall solution – your box/membership.
Finally – The Survey.
This part is a game-changer. After the purchase is made you want to find out exactly WHY they signed up. What are they looking to gain from signing up to your box – in their own words.
I’ve run many surveys in the past with The Whisky Order and it was easily the most effective way of getting a clear insight on my customers and generate sale copy and offers that resonate deeply with my target audience.
In addition, you can find out more about them beyond the data you can glean on an order form.
This forms a feedback loop that you use to tweak your ads, homepage and sales pages so that you can position your box as EXACTLY what you customers need to fill that hole in their life.