5 Ideas for Subscription Box Direct Mail

It’s been a while since I’ve been a member of a continuity club or program. Maybe it was coffee, or wine, I’m not sure.
But seeing so much mail from subscription box services has got me thinking. Here’s my take on what works across this growing retail niche.

It’s been a while since I’ve been a member of a continuity club or program. Maybe last time, it was coffee, or wine, I’m not sure.

But seeing so much mail from subscription box services has got me thinking about joining one of the many startups from the last few years.  Food and clothing are pretty popular. Then there’s shoes, cosmetics, pet stuff, gamer items … it just goes on and on.

They’re convenient. You can save time and aggravation by getting your shopping done without setting foot in a brick-and-mortar store, or wandering among the thousands of choices offered by many retailers online.

Based on what I’ve collected for Who’s Mailing What!, here’s my take on what works across this growing retail niche.

1. Show What’s In The Box
trunkclubotherbox_01An element common to these direct mail pieces is the box that the delivery arrives in. Simplicity sells, like on this postcard from Trunk Club, another curated fashion service. It helps the shopper make the association between shopping and shipping.

2. Demonstrate How It Works
letoteprocess_01Maybe the most crucial task is to convince the prospect that the process is easy to understand and follow.

Le Tote, a women’s fashion rental service, does more. An entire panel of its self-mailer lays out the steps every member takes. Each one is described in simple terms, and accompanied by an illustration.

3. Provide Some Content
hello-fresh-recipe_01Hello Fresh ships ingredients for meals to its subscribers, as well as recipes. In a recent promotion, it included one in the envelope. Printed on an 8-1/2”x11” sheet of glossy card stock paper, it’s intended to help convince the prospect of the service’s value.

4. Be A Curator
stitchfix2fer_01A clothing shopping service, Stitch Fix, highlights the work performed for its clients by its stylists. Each employee profiles her customer. Their expertise builds credibility in the eyes of the prospect. And in turn, each customer provides a testimonial for the brand’s personalized service.

5. Keep Yourself Top-of-Mind
freshdirectmagnet_01Fresh Direct, an online grocery service, mailed a 5-1/2”x10-1/2” vertically-oriented postcard. “Fill your fridge in just a few clicks!” says the front. And, it has a checklist of the types of foods it carries. A magnet’s attached to the address side. Following the advice here provides a solution for when the fridge or cupboard starts to run bare.

At the end of the day, arriving home to see a package waiting on the doorstep  kind of feels like getting a present. And, depending on the company, it may include a few surprises as well.

4 thoughts on “5 Ideas for Subscription Box Direct Mail”

  1. I’ve been in the subscription marketing biz since the 1970s (when we called it clubs and continuities) and I can’t tell you how many articles I have read about the impending death of the business model. Yet it rocks on. My current favorites are the prepared meal services like Plated.

        1. Maybe I was unclear. What I meant to say – I think – was that continuities have been around for decades, but a big tech update is what was needed to bring them up-to-date and make them “hip”. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tries that with vinyl records.

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