How to Build a Winning Subscription Product
We join a dream team on today’s episode of the Hungry Founder Podcast. Hannah and Mike have become connoisseurs of the subscription box business space, starting theirs during the subscription box craze back in 2015. And though getting their first thousand customers took longer than either of them had hoped for, careful marketing strategy, thorough cost analysis, and creating real relationships between customers lead Shaker & Spoon to be the widely-spreading business that it is today.
Hannah and Mike aim to honestly share their journey with host Steve Krakower--the good and the bad--as they open up about dealing with the uncertainty of the pandemic, handling a big fall in summer sales, and anticipating the potential cost-waste of online advertising. Learn from their advice on how to advance through your marketing options naturally, the most effective ways to spread the word, and how to navigate the Facebook/IOS battles that are changing the future of ads.
3 Key Takeaways
- The one thing Hannah suggests you do for your new company/product that they didn’t.
- Why you should make a Facebook group if you have a subscription product.
- Why you need to first and foremost gather trustworthy cost and metric data.
[0:22] Hannah and Mike talk about what they do
- Their company, Shaker & Spoon
- Corporate gifting/bartenders/etc.
[2:15] Where they got their idea for the company
- Considering it during a time where subscription boxes become popular
- Identify a need for a service Mike wanted to have a specific experience
[5:00] Learning how hard having a company in the subscription space is
- What’s different about Shaker & Spoon
- Having a great people in leadership
- Transitioning into manufacturing without experience in bartending
[9:20] How they got their first 1,000 subscribers
- It didn’t happen in only a few months
- Getting reviewers to talk about it
- Creating partnerships with the spirits they recommend
- Superior customer support
[13:50] Retaining active subscribers
- Designing a user friendly, sophisticated website
- Establishing a fun community
- “I consider our box an experience box. Truly it is. It’s this communal experience.” -Hannah
- One of their subscriber’s community road trips as an example of their bonds
- Keeping their new material fresh
[21:43] Their key factors for scaling past the 10,000 subscribers
- Signing up with Steve during the algorithm era
- Steve talks about how great their product was from a marketing standpoint
- Reframing acquisition costs and metrics
- “Having a trust in your data is hugely important.” -Mike
- Go organic for as long as you can in order to execute later with confidence
[27:19] What you need to know when you get into Facebook ads
- “Make sure that your email game is tight and that you’re collecting email addresses because that is going to give you the best conversion rate…” -Mike
- Do the cheap things first
- Make space for the ad experience to be the best experience it can be first.
[30:19] Marketing in the pandemic
- Having a product that is naturally complimentary with quarantine
- Supporting demand instead of creating demand
- Sales went back to normal after vaccination/low summer sales
[33:58] How they work around IOS
- Bing, YouTube, and Google ads
- Growing an affiliate program
[36:53] One piece of advice for people looking to quickly scale their subscription box business
- “Gather your team, make sure they're in the right spot, and make sure you know what’s of importance to you.” -Mike