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Blog/Ashvin Melwani Q&A: Maximizing Meta Performance for Subscription Brands

Ashvin Melwani Q&A: Maximizing Meta Performance for Subscription Brands

Ashvin Melwani Q&A: Maximizing Meta Performance for Subscription Brands

Ashvin Melwani is the cofounder and CMO of Obvi, one of the world’s fastest-growing health and nutrition brands. Since launching in 2019, Obvi has surpassed 250K customers globally while bootstrapping its way to $40m in sales in just 40 months. We sat down to discuss how subscription brands can maximize their Meta strategy.

Q: What do you see as the most important element or tactic to get a first-time prospective customer to convert on a subscription offer?

Ash: I think the subscribe and save model is dying. Most of the time brands are showing a 15% discount if they subscribe, but they also promote a 15% discount on their main pop up. So there really isn’t any incentive to hop on a subscription. 

What I do think brands need to do is offer value elsewhere. This can be in the form of free shipping on subscription orders, free gifts with subscription orders, or maybe even access to a private community for subscribers only. I have seen brands also outline certain things they unlock as they progress through their subscription and with Stay.AI a lot of this stuff is possible which is why we love working with this platform.

Q: Do you highlight subscription at all in your ads, or is that messaging saved for post-click? And how do you think about the full purchase journey as it relates to promoting subscriptions?

Ash: As of right now we don’t really highlight any mentions of subscriptions in our ads. The messaging in our ads are purely meant to target the right consumer and get them to our website. Then when it comes to landing on our website, that’s where we will do everything we can to sell the product and also give the customer an option for opting in to a subscription or not. We see brands force customers into a subscription and I don’t necessarily agree with this. If the product is good and the brand is relatable, people will naturally opt in if they see value. 

You can definitely use the tactics I mentioned before to highlight the benefits of subscribing on the first order but it’s not the end of the world. In fact I would be weary if you have too many people opt-ing into a subscription for their first order. It might mean you have too high of a discount that people are just taking advantage of. You may see this reflected by a high churn.

Q: Brands are seeing creative have a much higher impact on performance than targeting, calling creative the new targeting. How have you shifted paid social strategy alongside Meta’s constant platform changes and diversification?

Ash: Whether its a video or a static the main goal of our creatives is to do one thing and one thing only: make sure that I can get the RIGHT person to click on my ad and get to my landing page. Sounds obvious but a lot of people are still doing this wrong. They think Meta will do the heavy lifting for you and even while those days are gone, Meta still is king, you just have to give the algorithm better inputs.

Let’s take our static ads for example. Each ad has a massive headline on each one of them. Each headline has the job of attracting the eyeballs of the right person who we believe our product is the best fit for. If we’re able to get the right person to click and engage with our ad, Meta starts to see this as a positive signal and starts to show this ad to similar people. Now if those people start to convert on your landing page that’s an even better signal back to Meta showing them that this experience in general is a positive one and now they’ll start to optimize for the right audience and conversions.

So our entire creative strategy is based on getting the right people to our landing page and really optimizing our landing pages to increase conversion wherever possible.

Q: What unconventional strategies have you experimented with on Meta? Can you share examples of successful campaigns that utilized unique approaches that boosted conversions?

Ash: My whole approach when it comes to Meta, especially now a days, is to leverage Meta to amplify what’s going on in my business.

What I mean by this is I utilize cost caps in all of my campaigns. This allows me to set my target CPA and Meta will only deliver me results if they can hit this target. Now in order for me to scale my ad spend I need to focus on two things. My organic visibility for the brand and improving my conversion rate on my landing pages. If I can introduce TOF traffic and introduce net new eyeballs on my brand and generate that awareness outside of Meta, Meta can now leverage this data and amplify it further by funneling down these people to become buyers by showing them the right ad at the right time. I don’t have to rely on Meta to generate demand and awareness for my brand. This is where I think a lot of people waste their time and money.

The second point being CRO, if I can continuously improve my CVR and Revenue Per Session, I can afford to spend more and account for rising acquisition costs. I am not sure many people think like this but this has been my strategy in 2024. 

Q: Recently, you said that one of the easiest ways for brands to increase revenue by 10-15% would be to sell on Amazon. But for DTC brands that offer subscriptions, selling subscription on Amazon can cannibalize direct subscriber sales (on-site) and lead to 3rd party fees and smaller margins from your most loyal customers. That said, how can subscription brands respond to Amazon subscriptions? Is there a way to have the best of both?

Ash: If a customer decides to set up a subscription on Amazon vs your site you have to ask yourself one thing. Would that customer have bought from the website? For us we have seen an incremental lift of 10-20% every time we have products available for purchase on Amazon. If we are doing $50k in revenue per day on the website, and then we send some inventory to Amazon, we’ll start doing an additional $8k-$10k. There are customers who will ONLY shop on Amazon and I want to cater to those people. If I can prove there is incremental revenue, automatically I know that is incremental profit. No matter the margin difference, I do not believe there is cannibalization there! 

Q: What tips and tricks can DTC brands leverage today to maximize conversions and impact on Meta?

Ash: There are 3 levers every single operator needs to pull –

  1. Increase your creative pipeline. Assume that you will have a 10% hit rate on all the new ads you test. If you’re testing 10 ads a week, you can expect MAYBE 1 to hit. If you test 50 ads a week, your odds are finding a winner are way better. Some people may disagree and say they would rather work on 10 quality ads than 50 not so quality ads. To that I say, there is no possible way anyone can accurately predict what is going to work and not work when it comes to creative testing. So test as many things as possible. 
  2. Focus on CRO. Ad costs will continue to rise. It’s an inevitable truth. If you can increase your conversion rate and revenue per session on your website/landing pages at a higher rate than ad costs rise, you will always continue to win. Simple as that.
  3. Focus on Organic visibility. Work with influencers, build up your own social channels. Don’t rely on paid media to drive awareness for your brand. Use paid media to amplify what’s happening around you. It will make things much much easier for you.

Q: Last but not least, for new DTC brands vs. more established players, how would you allocate acquisition spending to maximize results and move toward breaking even / most quickly achieving profitability?

Ash: I think most brands should aim to be profitable on the first order. It makes life easier. If that means you grow a little bit slower than you’d like then the trade off is a cash healthy business with a solid foundation. If you want to grow quickly and would rather play in to a CAC to LTV model, then make sure you are looking a tight window for LTV. Don’t look at 2 years don’t look at 1 year, maybe look at 6 months but definitely start with 3 months. We cannot predict what the future looks like in 3 months. Macro headwinds, political issues, platform issues, etc. If you are relying on time to make your money back and you can’t guarantee that, then you may end up in trouble. Book the profit first in my opinion! 

Thanks for chatting, Ash!

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Blog/Bridging the DTC & Retail Gap: Omnichannel Strategies to Boost LTV

Bridging the DTC & Retail Gap: Omnichannel Strategies to Boost LTV

Retail Incentive Strategies for Crushing Churn & Boosting Loyalty

As the eComm industry becomes increasingly crowded each year, the sharpest brands are moving away from a strictly DTC model in favor of a cohesive omnichannel strategy, leveraging both DTC and retail to improve the overall customer experience, max out retention, and scale LTV. In doing so, these brands better position themselves against volatilities that can take place in the eComm space and maneuver their overall strategy to lean more toward their DTC or retail channels as needed.

With the help of omnichannel attribution tracking platforms, SMS cashback programs, and creative loyalty strategies, brands can deliver a multidimensional customer experience that meets shoppers where they are to maximize LTV.


4 Omnichannel Strategies to Boost LTV

Providing personalized retail offers to subscribers who cite pain points around online shipping costs, higher costs of goods, or SKU variety can provide the flexibility needed for shoppers who’d prefer to find your brand locally.

For these customers, we’ve put together some nifty retail incentive strategies that’ll fit right into your existing DTC subscription and retention channels. This way, your brand can offer subscribers (and new customers) the flexibility to find your product where most convenient for them – keeping ’em happy and coming back for more.

(1) Incorporate Personalized Retail Offers into Cancellation Flow Rebuttals

Instead of serving the same generic message or discount to every churning subscriber, a personalized offer that relieves the pain points mentioned in their cancellation survey can do wonders to win ’em back. For example, if they select:

(a) “Product or shipping cost is too expensive”

Offer an in-store discount to incentivize finding your product at a more convenient, local retailer.

(b) “Want a different flavor”

If a churning subscriber has exhausted all of the flavor or product options available online, retarget them to a retail-exclusive SKU or promotion offering a redeemable in-store single-pack that’ll reignite interest and excitement in your brand.

(c) “I prefer to shop local”

Encourage these customers to visit a local retailer and offer a redeemable in-store gift thanking them for their feedback.

(d) “Flavor is out of stock”

If the flavor a customer wants is out of stock online and they don’t want to wait for a restock, offer them an in-store discount to find and purchase it locally.

(2) A/B Test a Retail vs. Online Discount for Churning Subscribers

If a churning customer selects any of these cancellation reasons, your brand can test a retail offer or A/B test one against an online discount to see which deals your customers prefer. If a high-churn risk customer or segment has been identified:

(a) Offer the same 10% discount both in-store and online and see which offer converts better.

(b) A/B test different offers, like $20 off online, versus an in-store BOGO, and see which converts.

(3) Include a Retail-Focused Offer on a Store Locator Landing Page

If customers are already trying to find your brand at a local retailer, chances are they prefer to shop in-store or may want to try your product before committing to a subscription. To help push them over the finish line, include an in-store promo or cashback offer exclusively on your store locator landing page that you can later track for clicks, conversions, and more.

(4) A/B Testing Free Retail Gifts for High-Churn Risk Subscribers

If your data shows that customers at a specific LTV cap or order cycle number are very likely to churn, surprise and delight them with a retail-exclusive gift that’s sure to win your brand some extra brownie points. We recommend:

(a) A/B testing a redeemable in-store gift using an SMS cashback and retail attribution tool like Aisle

(b) Building a CTA link that directs customers to a store locator page, where you can later compare the click and engagement metrics of this cohort to those who did not redeem a gift. Even if the customer doesn’t bite on the in-store redemption but does keep their subscription, then the offer at the very least aided in encouraging them to continue their subscription.

PS: Stay’s predictive forecasting allows you to identify and deliver promotions to your highest churn-risk customer segments.

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Blog/7 Subscription Landing Pages To Test in 2024

7 Subscription Landing Pages To Test in 2024

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Landing Pages That Convert

While we do see brands acquire new subscribers by driving directly to the PDP, the brands that have the most success doing so have extremely subscription-optimized product pages.

If you are running paid traffic with the intention of acquiring new subscribers, and want to test out a landing page built specifically for that audience, we’ve got some tips/tactics for you! 

More awesome examples from Stay’s top brands coming up – broken down by a few of the most effective landing page strategies implemented for subscriber acquisition.

The Starter Kit LP

Clevr directs a significant amount of their ad traffic to their “Starter Kit” page, where shoppers select two lattes to start their subscription. The LP includes information on free gifts with purchase, a $15 credit towards future orders, and information on the flexibility of recurring subscription orders. This is a masterclass in nudging a shopper to become a high AOV subscriber!

The Starter Kit LP

ARMRA’s welcome offer landing page presents customers with a $43 discount on their first order, tossing in a free branded glass water bottle with new subscriptions. They’ve got all the juicy elements for strong CVR – pricing strikeouts, free GWP, powerful customer reviews, deep supplement information, and more. A must-see.

The BYO Bundle/Box LP

Beauty by Earth has absolutely nailed their BYO bundle subscription landing page. What we love about it: loaded with compelling UGC, emphasis on flexibility and personalization, callouts for $ and % discounting, spotlights on free GWP…the list goes on and on. We love to see it.

The Welcome Offer LP

Teabox‘s welcome offer landing page checks all the boxes, highlighting the free GWP, subscription discount, order flexibility, and more. Their use of emojis and neon-colored callout boxes is awesome, too.

The Welcome Offer LP

We couldn’t fit all the best parts of Lifeboost Coffee’s welcome offer landing page in the image above, so we recommend visiting the link to check it out. We love how effective the above-the-fold messaging is – it makes the welcome offer feel insanely generous as it includes free coffee, free shipping, and over $350 worth of free gifts.

The Trial-to-Subscription LP

As mentioned in the ads section of this edition, Clean Skin Club runs specific “free trial” ads to a listicle-style landing page – and they don’t let you forget about the free towel offer at any point as you scroll. The sticky CTA combined with regular offer reinforcement infused throughout the page makes it pretty hard not to action on the deal. Super compelling.

The Prepaid Subscription LP

If you aren’t familiar with the brand, Hunt a Killer is known for their murder-mystery game subscription (though you can buy their boxes as OTP as well). They offer 3 core plans: a basic monthly subscription, a six-month subscription at a discount, and a 12-month subscription at an even deeper discount. The 6 and 12 month plans are sold as prepaid subscriptions, and include free GWP based on the tier. If you offer prepaid subscription plans, we recommend checking out this landing page – it masterfully tackles the pricing breakdown, FAQ, and more.

Beekeeper’s Naturals directs traffic from some of their subscription ads to the evergreen subscription page built into their site. It breaks down the subscription discount, additional program benefits, includes reviews from subscribers, and even covers FAQs. Their most-popular subscription products are featured on the page with quick add-to-cart buttons in addition to a button that directs to a subscribe and save product category page.

Similar to the above example, Perfect Snacks also runs some subscription ad traffic to their evergreen Subscribe & Save webpage. We dig how they emphasize core subscription value props above the fold, roll into a “how it works section”, and then include a block featuring best-selling subscription products with quick add to cart buttons.

Technically we’re cheating a little bit with this one, since this example is actually a PDP, not a landing page. But if we’re being literal, MDrive is sending folks who click their subscription ads to land on this page…so we’re going to count it. MDrive has crushed turning their PDP for Boost & Burn into a blend of a traditional product page + landing page. Their subscribe & save option is the default on the buy box, they emphasize subscription value props throughout the page, and overall, it’s insanely compelling when it comes to content.

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Blog/How to Get Your First 1,000 Subscribers

How to Get Your First 1,000 Subscribers

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The early days of launching a business or introducing a subscription plan are some of the most exciting– and the most critical. You’re literally building the foundation for your brand, so you want to hit the ground running and bring in customers in a smart, scalable way. Having a specific milestone to work toward can help you stay focused and motivated, so here is your guide to getting your first 1,000 subscribers!

Fine-Tune Your Offering

Acquiring your first 1,000 subscribers is all about finding the right product/market fit and really dialing in your subscription offering. Here are some of the areas you should look at:

Structure: The structure of your subscription offering makes a big difference in securing consumer buy-in. How do your customers respond to different price points, products, and bundles? What’s the ideal structure for your target audience?

Usage Rate: Understanding the usage rate for your products is key to a successful subscription model. How much of a product does someone need for a given time period? When will they need another order? Answering these questions will help you understand the ideal order velocity. You can then fine-tune your customers’ options for scheduling their orders on the Stay Ai platform so your brand fits as seamlessly into their lives as possible.

Entry Offers: When done well, entry offers are a great way to pick up new subscribers. The key is finding the promotional offering that will have the biggest impact. Whether it’s free shipping, a percentage off, or a lower-priced trial, different audiences will respond to different offerings, so it’s important to understand what your demographic will enjoy most. Run a few tests to see what drives the most engagement.

Messaging: Every audience is unique. What marketing messaging really resonates with your audience? What product value propositions and brand positioning are impactful?

Targeting: Understanding who you want to target and why will help guide your marketing strategy. Who are your ideal early adopters? How will you target them? How does changing the targeting criteria in a paid ads platform impact a cohort? 

Friction Points: Figuring out the issues that prevent people from converting is vital. Is it the site experience, the price, the shipping, or another factor? How can you address those friction points to make the experience more streamlined?

Establish a Marketing Strategy

If you already have an established ecommerce business and are now working on adding a subscription option, you may think all you have to do is throw a subscription plan into the mix and people will flock to it. But while you’ll undoubtedly gain some subscribers just by launching the service on product pages, brands that have a marketing strategy to drive subscriptions are the most successful. For example, using unique landing pages that help steer new traffic down funnels that are specifically designed to convert them into subscriptions can make a big difference. Rather than passively hoping people will see your subscription program, be active and market your offering specifically.

Consider Your Channels

To acquire new subscribers, we recommend starting with one channel and mastering it before adding more to your marketing mix. That way, you can really dial in rather than trying to balance a complex strategy all at once. Facebook and Instagram make it easy to control your traffic by optimizing your audience. Influencers can also be a great acquisition channel once you’ve established a strong subscription offering. Just utilizing Facebook ads with rapid content testing, landing pages, and strong email/SMS automations customized through Stay Ai, you can build up to a significant monthly revenue. Then, when you’re ready to scale, you can start pulling other levers.

Analyze Data

As you kick off your subscription offering, we recommend paying much of your attention to optimizing your offer. You still want to look at acquisition cost, churn rate (when it becomes relevant), and other metrics, but the most important thing is to dial in your offer and who you’re creating it for. Provided you aren’t hemorrhaging money in order to bring people in, it’s okay to focus on really nailing your offering.

That said, looking at data across each cohort (by timeframe or by product, depending on the KPI) will help you understand how making adjustments to your marketing mix impacts your KPIs. Create an SOP around your data analysis so you can quickly identify trends and change course effectively and efficiently.

In addition to your ad-specific data, your Stay Ai dashboard will offer key data insights to help you understand how your efforts are performing. You can select the timeframe you want and then see metrics including new subscriptions, revenue, churn, AOV, and average products per order. This will make it easy to see how things change over time so you can focus your energy on the strategies that are working and adjust the ones that aren’t performing as well.

Get Your Products Out There

People who already know and love your products are one thing, but for people who are interacting with your brand for the first time, the idea of setting up a recurring order can be a big ask. If you aren’t getting the traction you’d like on your core subscription offering, it may be worth testing a sample program. Using “just pay shipping” offers, you can introduce people to your products in a way that brings them back for more. Once they’ve had an experience with your product, you can then guide them to your subscription program.

Next Steps

Once you start getting close to 1,000 subscribers, it’s time to start thinking about what it will take to scale up to 10,000 subscribers. Start creating strong SOPs around your customer service and churn analysis so you’re prepared for the influx of new subscribers once you scale up.

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Blog/Analyzing Subscription Program Data for 2024: Guiding Questions for Your Team

Analyzing Subscription Program Data for 2024: Guiding Questions for Your Team

To state it simply, the world of ecomm gets more competitive every year. New brands are hitting the market and quickly edging out competition, the cost of goods and services are rising, and the cost to acquire new customers isn’t getting any cheaper, either. Case in point: TikTok Shop announced they’re hiking their seller fees up to 8% per order.  

If you’re reading this article, you probably are already the type of person who’s invested in optimizing your subscription program to maximize revenue. But if you’ve been waiting for the right time to come around…it’s time. Here comes our cold, hard truth pep-talk. 

Subscriber acquisition, retention, and churn reduction must be optimized like any other lever of your business. If you aren’t giving yourself (or your team) the time to meaningfully improve things like your customer experience and retention marketing efforts, you are undoubtedly losing potential revenue. 

How do we know? Data.

In 2023:

OLIPOP saved over over 4,000 customers from canceling their subscriptions using strategically-designed dynamic cancellation flows with Stay Ai’s RetentionEngine.

Obvi scaled their recurring subscription revenue over 300% by better acquiring sticky subscribers, implementing preventative churn-reduction promotions, and further investing in their retention marketing efforts.

A Pup Above generated 140%+ in add on revenue from meaningfully marketing to their existing subscriber base, in addition to offering a purchase-optimized customer portal experience.

And before you can move forward into optimizing your subscription program, it’s critical to tackle a review of its current state.

So let’s dig into the numbers. Here are some of our favorite guiding questions to ask when analyzing your subscription program’s performance. We’ve chunked them out by the four core stages of the subscriber journey: acquisition, lifecycle, churn, and re-engagement (AKA winbacks). 


Stage 1: Subscription Acquisition

1) Did you test running subscription-specific versus standard ad campaigns? Segment the cohort of subscribers acquired through each method. Which cohort has the highest retention rates? Which cohort is spending the most money with your brand?

2) Did you test running subscription-specific landing pages, or did you first introduce your subscription offerings with PDP buy boxes? Segment the cohort of subscribers acquired through each method. Which cohort is the stickiest? Which cohort has the highest LTV/AOV?

3) Review the performance of any and all campaigns that nudged one-time-purchasers to upgrade to subscription. Look for commonalities to identify what led to the highest CVR. Then check out how those upgraded buyers are doing. Are they sticky?

Stage 2: Subscriber Lifecycle

1) Review your subscriber-targeted upsell & cross-sell efforts in 2023. When did you see spikes in add-on revenue or existing subscriber recurring revenue growth? Which campaigns or optimizations led to these wins?

2) Segment out your highest AOV/LTV and longest-retained subscriber cohorts. Which products are these customers buying? Are they regularly swapping things in and out, or are they committed to a few SKUs?

3) If you ran multiple existing-subscriber promotional campaigns – discounts, free GWP, etc – look for trends across your top performers. What types of subscribers responded best to these campaigns? Which promotional offers did they prefer? Is there a relationship between X type of promotional offer and delivery at Y timing in the customer journey

4) What actions were customers taking most in your customer portal? Did you have high skip/pause rates? How can you incentivize subscribers to make those transactions instead of skipping them

5) Review your subscriptions by subscription timing data. Did a significant amount of subscribers adjust their subscription timing during the lifecycle? How could you use this data to refine your acquisition offerings, or better educate existing subscribers on regular product usage?

Stage 3: Subscriber Churn

1) When in the customer journey are customers churning? After how many orders, months, or $ spent? Review data not only by timing, but also selected cancellation reason. How can you proactively intervene to prevent this churn? 

2) Were there specific days, weeks, or months where you saw notably high churn rates? What might have triggered that trend? 

3) Which of your products are associated with the highest rate of customer churn? 

4) Dig into churn by acquisition cohort, then map back to the acquisition efforts you ran that month. Which campaigns, channels, or pages seem correlated to high-churn cohorts?

5) What were your top 2-3 most frequently reported cancellation reasons in 2023? What tools or strategies can you leverage to directly address these subscriber concerns?

Stage 4: Winbacks & Re-Acquisition

1) Review your winback data. Which channels were most effective for re-acquiring churned subscribers?

2) Drill down into successful winbacks based on customer type. Segment based on purchase history, time on subscription, reported cancellation reason, etc. Which types of winbacks were most effective for these customer cohorts?

3) Review winbacks by month. Were there specific times last year that customers acted on winback offers? Why might that be the case?

4) Review time between cancellation and winback. Did you test sending winback offers based on specific triggers, or a variation of dates after cancellation? Where are the trends in conversion?


Find Out More About How Stay Ai Can Help You Make More Subscription Revenue in 2024

Stay Ai is more than just a subscription app — it’s a powerful revenue generation and retention marketing tool. AI-powered features enable you to effortlessly turn your subscription program into an optimized performance channel, so you can spend your workdays focusing on the the big decisions that AI can’t make for you.

At the end of the day, Stay is designed to make you more money, while ensuring that your customers have an unparalleled subscription experience along the way.

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Blog/13 Examples: High-Converting Subscription Welcome Offers

13 Examples: High-Converting Subscription Welcome Offers

13 Ideas for Subscriber Welcome Offers from 2023’s Top DTC Brands

Welcome offers are one of several ways you can consider to entice new customers to subscribe. Stay Ai merchants have mastered the art, deploying a range of innovative welcome offers to incentivize new subscribers. Let’s delve into some of the most effective strategies employed by these brands.


U-Calming-Co
1. Calming Co.

Calming Co., a wellness brand specializing in kava-based relaxation tonics, offers a super practical gift to new subscribers: a complimentary shaker bottle. Not only are new customers excited about the added bonus in their order, but they’re given a functional piece of merch that further enables regular product usage.

Buoy
2. Buoy

Hydration brand Buoy greets prospective subscribers with a dual approach. They offer a 23% discount on subscriptions for those who sign up for their newsletter, coupled with a complimentary welcome kit filled with resources and tools for effective hydration.

Roma-Designer-Jewelry
3. Roma Designer Jewelry

Roma Designer Jewelry’s monthly jewelry subscription service delights new subscribers with an even deeper discount on their first month of subscription orders – 30% off – layering on an additional incentive to subscribe.

Feel-Goods
4. Feel Goods

Feel Goods gifts a free wisk to new subscribers when they sign up for a 30 or 60-pack subscription. This offer not only encourages shoppers to invest in a higher-volume bulk purchase, but also provides them with a useful tool for using Feel Goods’ products effectively.

For-Wellness
5. For Wellness

For Wellness’ supercharged supplement coffee subscription welcomes new customers with a complimentary canister and scoop, branded tools for enjoying their subscription offerings.

Levate-You
6. L’Evate You

L’Evate You’s greens subscription gifts new subscribers with a free shaker bottle, designed to enable regular and effective product usage.

Portland-Pet-food
7. Portland Pet Food Company

Portland Pet Food Company’s pet food delivery service entices new subscribers with an extra discount on their first order, making it more affordable to try their products. This offer encourages trial and incentivizes potential subscribers to make the switch to Portland Pet Food.

Arterra-Pet
8. Arterra Pet

Arterra Pet leverages pop-up offers to capture subscriber attention. By offering a 10% discount on the first subscription order for those who sign up for their email list, Arterra Pet effectively gathers leads and encourages potential subscribers to explore their offerings.

Mint-and-Lilly
9. Mint and Lilly

Mint & Lily’s monthly jewelry subscription service delights new subscribers with a gift – a free piece of jewelry with their first month’s subscription order! All new subscribers that enroll in December of 2023 will be gifted a Herringbone Chain necklace, their featured freebie of the month.

2BETRUE
10. 2BETRUE

Skincare brand 2BETRUE new subscriber offer is more of a teaser than a direct offer! They captivate prospective new subscribers by metnioning a surprise free gift with the second month’s subscription order – a product worth at least $30, if not more.

Proxies
11. Proxies

Alcohol-free wine brand Proxies sends new Wine Club subscription members a free, limited edition champagne stopper “to ensure your sparkling Proxies stay bubbly and delicious”.

12. Clevr

Superfood latte brand Clevr sends new subscribers a free SuperLatte scoop with each new subscription order – another example of a merch item that enables regular product usage!

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13. Feals

Feals, a CBD brand, offers a super unique new subscriber offer – a 1:1 consultation with a expert to help guide customers on determining the right CBD dosage.


Wrapping Up

These examples illustrate the diverse ways subscription brands can use welcome offers to drive subscriber acquisition. Each brand’s approach not only demonstrates a deep understanding of their target audience but also lays the foundation for building long-term brand loyalty. Welcome offers are more than just initial perks — they’re strategic tools in cultivating a lasting subscriber base.

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Blog/9 High-Converting Subscription Buy Box Examples from 2023’s Top DTC Brands

9 High-Converting Subscription Buy Box Examples from 2023’s Top DTC Brands

How Stay Ai’s Flexible Buy Boxes Turn Your Shoppers into Long-Time Subscribers

For brands that live and die by customer loyalty, subscriptions hold a key to unlocking a stream of recurring revenue. But the million-dollar question — quite literally! — is: “How can I transform a casual shopper into a subscriber?”

Cue the buy box on your product pages — that’s where you can expose customers to your subscription program’s value at a glance, encouraging them to opt for recurring orders over a one-time purchase. At Stay Ai, we’ve got years of experience optimizing ecommerce sites for maximizing conversions, seamlessly funnelling shoppers through to checkout.

So, let’s look at some of our team’s best practices for crafting high-converting buy boxes, check out some of the best examples from Stay Ai merchant brands, and dig in to the design, functionality, and offer messaging that turns a browser into a loyal brand advocate.


Best Practices for a Stunning, High-Converting Subscription Buy Box

Before we explore specific examples of top-performing subscription buy boxes from ecommerce brands, let’s tackle a quick rundown of proven buy box best practices.

1. Default to the subscribe-and-save option.

The default option a new customer experiences on their first visit to your PDP has strong influence on the buyer’s decision making. To state it simply, shoppers tend to prefer the default option because it requires less cognitive effort. Even though you’re the seller that’s making the recommendation, customers love being guided towards the “best deal”, what’s “recommended”, or what’s “most popular”. Defaulting to a subscription purchase – when paired with highlighted subscription benefits, like a discount – makes customers consider why they wouldn’t act on snagging a better deal.

2. Incentivize subscription purchases with side-by-side comparison pricing.

Be sure to highlight the savings a customer will receive with ordering their product as a subscription, rather than a one-time purchase. Typically, we see that the highest-converting buy boxes feature some sort of pricing strike-through to reinforce the discounted pricing of the subscription offering. We also recommend A/B testing information on your PDP and subscription landing page to determine if your customers are more likely to convert when offered a % off discount, a $ off discount, or just comparitive pricing. No matter how you slice it, highlighting the savings a customer will recieve with a subscription order is a critical way to emphasize the long-term value and cost effectiveness of a subscription purchase.

3. Highlight the most popular delivery cadence.

Similarly to point #1, customers respond well to recommendations and direction, as it enables them to feel confident in their purchasing decisions. This is especially effective for first time buyers, who may not have an idea of their future product usage yet. Guide customers to the frequency option that you’ve seen result in the highest retention rate from other subscribers, and you’re no only more likely to make the sale – you’re more likely to keep that customer subscribed for the long haul.

4. Showcase your subscription program’s unique benefits.

Beyond your subscribe-and-save discount, make use of the real estate on your buy box to call out the exclusive benefits subscribers receive, such as early access to new products, lifetime free shipping, or surprise free loyalty gifts. This further woos new customers by emphasizing that in addition to a sweet discount, they get other perks too! If you’re looking to freshen up your program’s perks, check out this article with 15 unique ideas for subscription program benefits.

PS: If you’re working on optimizing your subscription website, check out this article highlighting the best practices for creating subscription PDPs, straight from the experts!


Stay Ai Showcase: 9 Top-Notch Buy Box Examples from Leading Subscription Brands

First Day’s unique design nudges shoppers toward savings

Multivitamin brand First Day has truly raised the bar with their buy box design. With its sleek, tab-based layout that defaults to subscribe-and-save, it gently nudges shoppers toward the subscription option by highlighting cost and other benefits. Eye-catching? Check. User-friendly? Check. It’s built to make understanding the perks of subscription as easy as popping your daily vitamin.

Truvani takes an elevated approach to on-site subscriber acquisition

Personal care brand Truvani takes an unconventional approach to PDPs by crafting them like conversion-optimized landing pages. With intuitive radio buttons, it’s easy for customers to toggle between subscribe-and-save (the star of the show) and OTP so they can find the right option for them. The cherry on top is the “See all benefits” button, which puts customers right in the midst of subscription value messaging. All in all, it’s a stellar example of user-centric, subscription-forward design.

Dose maximizes impact with a minimalist design and program precision

A brand renowned for its minimalist yet compelling approach, Dose extends that ethos to their buy box design while highlighting subscription savings and customer flexibility. And when it comes to delivery cadence, Dose is precise, with a schedule optimized based on customer usage data. In short, Dose is a poster child for how clean design, crystal-clear messaging, and a customer-first approach can woo subscribers and make them fall head over heels.

Copper Cow Coffee brings shoppers an intuitive, optimized experience

Copper Cow Coffee serves up a subscription brew experience as smooth as their coffee. Front and center in their buy box, the Sub & Save option takes the spotlight, making it the first thing customers see. And if customers want to pick up the delivery beat? Easy-peasy with their convenient drop-down menu. Finally, they emphasize subscription value props, sweetening the deal with things like free samples to entice shoppers to commit.

Feel Goods incentivizes subscription with more savings and more flexibility

Supplement brand Feel Goods’ buy box really shines with an ascending savings structure — the more you grab, the more you save — to highlight the cost benefits of larger quantities. Shipment flexibility is built right into the drop-down menu, allowing customers to set their own subscription rhythm. Plus, we love how the brand weaves in subscription value props, with a free first-order gift offer limited to higher quantity subscription orders. 

Happy Viking delivers a buy box that makes shopping more fun

Happy Viking’s protein powder buy boxes are one touchpoint in a subscription experience that’s as rich and rewarding as their flavors. They drop shoppers right into a bundle builder, inviting them to mix, match, and subscribe in one fell swoop. Plus, this gamified page makes it even more tempting for customers to stock up as they see their order getting closer to the free shipping threshold. And when it comes to price? It’s even easier for shoppers to understand how much a subscription will save them, with “per meal” cost comparisons.

Sweetkick speaks their shoppers’ language with health & value messaging

Sweetkick really gets their sugar-conscious crowd. Their buy box speaks directly to the health-savvy, spotlighting the must-knows like protein and fiber right upfront. It’s not just design, it’s their mission in action, ensuring customers seeking healthier alternatives are well informed from the start. Bulk buying gets a sweet twist here, with ascending savings so the more they buy, the more they save. And the brand smartly reinforces their subscription value props right underneath the product photos, so customers are consistently reminded why they should subscribe. 

Graza’s buy box encourages bulk buying for extra savings

Graza, A.K.A. DTC’s favorite olive oil brand, is serving a buy box that’s as smart as their internet-loved squeezable bottles. With a subtle nudge toward quantity, the brand’s arranged their quantity options to make bulk buys look extra tempting — marrying free shipping with sweet savings. And for customers, selecting their desired delivery cadence is a breeze. The drop-down delivery frequency menu puts options right at their fingertips so they can tailor their delivery schedule to their unique needs.

Calming Co makes subscription a sweeter deal with a free first-order gift

Wellness brand Calming Co. has a buy box designed to spotlight subscription savings. Instead of sticking to price strike-outs for overall orders, they include a “per stick pack” breakdown for a clearer way to compare across options. Front and center, they flaunt the perks, like the freedom to “cancel anytime” and “invest in your long-term health & well-being.” Finally, a gift on first-time subscription orders incentivizes the leap to subscription while adding overall value.


Wrapping Up

If subscription is a driving factor in building relationships with your customers, the importance of a well-crafted buy box cannot be overstated. 

Stay Ai’s subscribe-and-save buy boxes are the VIPs of the ecommerce world. They’re not just boxes — they’re canvases for creative functionality, blending standout designs, slick experiences, and the kind of offer messaging that makes subscribers click ‘yes’ in a heartbeat. 

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Blog/Momofuku’s Kyle Seebohm Talks Subscriber Acquisition & Churn with Stay AI

Momofuku’s Kyle Seebohm Talks Subscriber Acquisition & Churn with Stay AI

One of the keys to retention, especially in subscription land, is continually anticipating and answering questions your customers may be asking themselves, like, “What can I do with this product?” “Why should I keep using it?” “How can I get better results?”.

This is just one of the things our team talked about with Momofuku’s VP of Growth, Kyle Seebohm. The whole convo is a peek into how the brand is thinking about subscription as a part of their growth story. Check out the interview loaded with Kyle’s expert insights here.


Kyle Seebohm
 is Momofuku’s VP of Omnichannel Growth Marketing. He started his career in consulting, then in 2020 moved in-house to consumer brands with a growth role at Quay Australia. He’s built his career around key skills across acquisition, lifecycle marketing and retention, and is now putting those skills to work at Momofuku.


Q: Thanks for sitting down with us, Kyle. We love the Momofuku brand and watching it grow. Can you talk a little bit about the current goals for your subscription program?

Kyle: Our biggest goal is trying to understand where and how subscription fits in our lifecycle, and the best place to message it for customers. In other words, balancing between pushing customers to subscribe on their first purchase, versus after they know what products they like. 

Q: What have been your most successful sources of subscriber acquisition?

Kyle: The biggest growth driver so far is our buy box on PDPs, whether it’s customers shopping our site who see the subscription value prop, or they tried it in-store and we haven’t seen them online yet, or shoppers who came via word of mouth. We’re also pushing subscription in our post-purchase marketing flows for customers who’ve purchased 2-3 times, reminding them of our subscription value propositions.

Q: Once you’ve got the subscribers, how do you keep them engaged with your brand and products?

Kyle: Educating them from the start helps them know exactly how to get the most out of our products. That makes us better able to increase the frequency of use. We want to give them inspiration versus just the core use case of opening up the bag and cooking per the instructions. And if they know they’re going to be using it more frequently, and they can use it in all these different ways, that strengthens the value proposition for subscription.

Q: How do you approach reducing churn and keeping your customers subscribed?

Kyle: The biggest thing we can do is make sure every shipment and every touchpoint is a great customer experience. So, that includes the messaging before each and every shipment, reinforcing the value proposition, and making sure that the delivery and fulfillment experience is very smooth.

Q: You’re also using Stay’s RetentionEngine to help with churn; what have you learned since implementing cancel surveys?

Kyle: RetentionEngine reinforced that one of the big reasons why people churn is because they end up buying too much, or buying in retail. We’re an omni channel brand, and one of the biggest questions that we’ll be facing is where subscription fits into that — thinking of ways we can increase our subscription value propositions will be really important.

Q: Now that you’ve been doing this for a while, what would you tell other brands to look for in subscription platform functionality?

Kyle: I would start with the service aspect — finding a partner that you trust and is going to give you the support that you need. We’re a smaller team and didn’t have the capacity to do it all by ourselves. Stay helped immensely. That’s honestly probably first and foremost for me.

From the functionality standpoint, you need a partner that’s forward-thinking about big picture retention questions. There are a lot of newer players in the space, so there’s going to be a lot more functionality built out in the coming years. Make sure your partner has that strategic vision.

Finally, of course you need all the table stakes functionality of seamless signup experience, the seamless portal, being able to report and visualize, and churn mitigation tools.

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Blog/9 Tactics to Turn One-Time Buyers into Brand Subscribers

9 Tactics to Turn One-Time Buyers into Brand Subscribers

Acquiring customers isn’t easy, especially with the rising expenses around capturing consumers’ attention where they are. But once you’ve gotten a buyer’s interest, how can you move them from their first purchase into a regular subscription?

Great products hook customers, but exceptional experiences make them stay. If you want to convert one-time buyers into subscribers, here are some tactics the top-revenue generating brands on Stay Ai swear by.


1. Trial or Starter Kits that Rollover to Subscription

Hook customers by offering trial kits that seamlessly roll over into a full subscription, sprinkled with personalized tips and exclusive sneak peeks. Bundle everything your customers need to get started, then leverage a workflow automation to switch buyers to a regular subscription shipment after the trial period ends.

Clevr offers customers the option to order starter kits as a one-time purchase or subscription – but once those one-time buyers have tried a few products, they’re hankering for more each month. Product education via email and SMS goes a long way when upselling customers from a trial starter pack to a recurring subscription.

2. Free Gift on Subscription Signup

Roll out the red carpet with a warm welcome gift! It’s an instant joy-spreader and a fabulous way to kickstart the subscriber journey. For brands with high same-day or 1-month cancellation rates, offering a bonus on the second order helps ensure subscribers don’t cancel right away, just to take advantage of the initial gift or discount.

Run Gum has a very generous offer for their new subscribers – free gifts with both their first and second recurring order. This not only helps them acquire subscribers, but also introduces new flavors to their customers – flavors they’ll be tempted to add on to their upcoming subscription order, boosting that juicy AOV!

3. Introductory Discount

Entice shoppers with an irresistible introductory discount. One caveat is that this can increase your number of same-day cancellations, so only use it if “you know that people who try your product have a very good experience and your churn rate is low,” recommends Zach Stuck, Founder of top ecommerce agency Homestead.

Buoy’s introductory discount includes an “eco-friendly” welcome gift on month one, then moves subscribers to a standard shipment of just 3 bottles of product starting on month 2. This is an especially effective tactic, as it helps subscribers to begin building a daily routine with their hydration drops.

4. Bundle & Save Options

Who doesn’t love a bargain? Curated bundle offers can be a total hit, enticing customers to explore more while saving big. Customers are also far more likely to subscribe to a brand when they have the opportunity to build a bundle of just the products they love. See the example from Mad Rabbit below.

Beekeeper’s Naturals offers a variety of curated bundles for both one-time purchase and subscription, enabling customers to test out products and build the usage routine of their choice.

The Beekeeper’s Naturals team has leveraged a variety of Stay Ai’s out-of-the-box revenue-boosting features, resulting in 62% growth in monthly recurring subscription revenue. Click below to read the full case study.

Read Beekeeper’s Naturals Case Study

Another bundle technique: let customers build their own bundle and realize extra savings on exactly the products they want. Mad Rabbit allows customers to shop from a variety of curated bundles, or create a custom order using the Build Your Own Bundle tool. In building a custom bundle, they can watch in real-time as their subscribe & save discount is dynamically calculated.

5. Leverage SMS for Subscription Upsells

If we’re being totally honest, we know our customers’ email inboxes are flooded. SMS alerts stand out in a world swamped with email. A direct nudge can sometimes be all it takes to steer a one-time-purchaser towards subscription.

Kaged strategically texts their one-time-purchase customers after they’ve had some time to use the product, reminding them of the brand’s subscription discounting and promotional offers. A simple nudge like this is quick to set up, extremely effective, and an easy way to get some subscription acquisition wins with little manual effort.

6. Exclusive Subscriber Promotions

Give subscribers a VIP pass to exclusive promotions. Subscriber-only perks leverage FOMO to entice one-time buyers to take the next step. For a deeper dive into subscription program perks, check out this blog article with 15 unique ideas.

On Graza’s subscription webpage, they highlight a unique subscriber benefit – “goodies from Graza”. Goodies include subscriber-exclusive discounts, and free gifts, such as cookbooks and treats.

7. Implement a Loyalty Program

Turn your customers into fans with a loyalty program that rewards and incentivizes them at every step. Keep it personalized and aligned with their preferences for that extra special touch.

In addition to their subscribe & save program, Harmless Harvest has a robust loyalty program for their dedicated customers. The program is free to join, and enables customers to earn “Harvest Coins” with each purchase, which can be cashed in for discounts on future orders.

8. Create Subscriber-Exclusive Perks & Events

Create a buzz with exclusive events and perks. Your relationship with your subscribers doesn’t have to be about just the products; it’s about fostering a community that thrives on exclusivity and connection.

Surely’s subscription program – aptly named the Wine Club – comes with a variety of unique benefits for customers. Subscribers gain access to virtual wine tastings, an online members-only community, happy hours, drink recipes, and more. Wine Club members also get to vote on the future of a lot of these perks, like new flavors, Surely merch, and upcoming events.

9. Feature Subscriber UGC

Spark conversations and built trust with user-generated content. The purpose? “[Show] the value of your subscription: ‘Here’s why you need this product in your pantry consistently.’” — Jess Cervellon, VP of CX, Feastables

Tenzo places subscriber reviews front-and-center on their homepage, some with more “subliminal” messaging than others. A strategy like this is especially effective for products that work best when used on a regular routine – like supplements, skincare, and so forth. This messaging not only assures the customer that they’ll like what they’re about to purchase, but inspires that “Sounds really good, so I might as well get the discount!” feeling, too.


A few final thoughts from our experts in the field…

Consider the Subscriber Experience

“One of the most tried and true ways [to turn a one-time buyer into a subscriber] is to make sure they have a really excellent experience with your product that convinces them they need to use it on a continual basis. Most subscriptions offer a thinly veiled promise and don’t give the customer a true reason to ‘keep it coming.’” — Daniel Okon, Founder & CEO, Activ

💡 Pro Tip: Overpromising and underdelivering is a surefire way to boost your churn. Be mindful about your pre-purchase messaging regarding product and customer experience.


Pinpoint the Right Timing

“The best times in the customer lifecycle to send these messages is related to consumption frequency. We have to ask them to buy again at the right time, versus just being greedy and missing the mark.” — Shray Joshi, Founder & CEO, Good Peeps

💡Pro Tip: Don’t go all willy nilly with your customer communications; leverage the product usage data at your disposal.


Emphasize Subscription Program Benefits

“[Showcase] the benefits of being on subscription: always 30% off, always free shipping, free cancellations, free gifts… I think that’s helped us turn more people into subscribers.” — Ashvin Melwani, Co-Founder and CMO, Obvi

💡Pro Tip: Just because you know your subscription benefits by heart doesn’t mean your customers do. Don’t be afraid to remind them and boldly highlight benefits on any relevant brand assets.


Looking to acquire more subscribers, or scale up your subscription program’s profit margins? Stay Ai’s out-of-the-box tools are designed to boost your subscription revenue, while delighting your VIP customers.

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Blog/5 Ways to Optimize Your Subscription Program

5 Ways to Optimize Your Subscription Program

To run a successful subscription program, you have to be prepared for continuous optimization and strategic implementation.

Wrapping Up

The ultimate goal is not just to attract subscribers, but to build lasting relationships driving customer loyalty and advocacy. By implementing these five tactics, you can optimize and elevate your subscription program to increase revenue and reduce churn. 

Looking to turn your subscription program into a performance channel?

Let’s look at five powerful tactics to optimize your subscription program and boost customer retention.

1) Call Out Subscription Savings on Your Buy Box

Using cross-outs over the original price and displaying the subscription price has been proven to help with subscribe-and-save conversion. Customers are most likely to commit to a subscription when they can see they’re really getting a good deal.

Featured: Moon Juice’s SuperHair PDP
By displaying the original price with a cross-out and showcasing the new discounted price, you anchor the customer’s perception of the product’s value. The discounted price becomes the reference point, making the offer more attractive and enticing.

First-Day-Add-to-Cart
2) Add a Subscription Upsell Button in Your Shopping Cart that Highlights Savings

Incorporating a subscription upsell button in the shopping cart can help nudge more customers to subscriptions. We’ve also seen that, when the savings is over $3, showcasing the dollar amount they’ll save instead of the percentage can sometimes drive higher conversion.

Featured: First Day’s cart
Displaying the exact dollar amount of savings (e.g., $5 off vs. 20% off) utilizes psychological pricing strategies. Consumers tend to respond positively to specific numbers, as they appear more concrete and tangible. The specific dollar amount here reinforces the idea of tangible savings, making the offer more appealing.

3) Show Add-On Options Front & Center in Your Customer Portal

Encourage customers to explore additional products and customize their subscriptions by placing add on products front and center in the portal. Stores with upsell carousels have reported increased add-on and swap usage, as well as a reduction in skips.

Featured: Clevr’s Subscriber Customer Portal
Presenting add-ons in an easily visible and accessible way nudges customers toward consideration and increases the likelihood of conversion. Like the items for sale in the checkout line of a grocery store, add-on products in the customer portal are strategically placed to capitalize on customers’ tendencies to make last-minute purchase decisions.

4) Enable Partial Out of Stock Fulfillment

Don’t let a single out-of-stock item hold up the entire subscription. Optimize fulfillment by setting up partial OOS fulfillment, allowing customers to receive the available items while waiting for the rest to come back in stock. Minimizing delays with partial fulfillment reduces some of customers’ wait time and frustration, since they don’t have to wait for the whole order to be restocked before receiving already-available items.

Featured: Dose’s Out of Stock email notification & Stay Ai’s settings
This has been shown to reduce churn by helping to maintain customer trust and satisfaction — and it’s better for efficient inventory management, too. You can always adjust the settings to require a minimum order value to make sure partial OOS fulfillment is both practical and cost-effective for your business.

5) Set Up a Canceled Subscription Flow in Klaviyo

When a customer cancels their subscription, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. Set up a canceled subscription reactivation flow in Klaviyo to win back these customers.
Featured: Stay Ai’s Klaviyo Quick Actions URL Builder
Send reactivation emails at intervals of 30, 60, and 90 days after cancellation, reminding customers of the benefits they enjoyed with your product and the subscription program. Include compelling content and quick action reactivation links that enable customers to reactivate in just two clicks.

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