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Blog/4 Strategies to Boost On-Site Subscriber Revenue on Prime Day

4 Strategies to Boost On-Site Subscriber Revenue on Prime Day

We know you’re likely gearing up for Prime Day sales on Amazon, but have you considered extending the excitement to your site with a sale of your own?

Amazon’s two-day Prime Day sales promotion generated a whopping $12.7 billion last year, with customers purchasing over 375 million items. With that level of volume, your brand deserves a slice of the pie, too. 

Whether you sell directly on Amazon or just want to get in on the fun with a sale of your own, we’ve got you covered with strategies that your brand can use to capitalize on Prime Day profits – and how to create added incentives for your subscribers.


Wait – Should I Sell on Amazon?

Many brands choose to sell their products on both their website and Amazon in an increasing effort to meet shoppers where they are and streamline the customer journey. Selling on Amazon can boost brand awareness and discoverability, increasing sales and web traffic.

On the other hand, selling on Amazon comes with a loss in customer data and additional 3rd party fees and costs.

When customers shop directly from your site, your brand can collect valuable insights into purchase behavior and demographic information alongside contact info, including email, phone number, and mailing address. This information is necessary to implement post-purchase flows, build a long-term relationship, and grow LTV. When customers shop through Amazon, your brand forfeits these data-rich benefits. As a result, every brand has a different approach when selling on a 3rd party platform like Amazon.

Regardless of whether your brand is selling on Amazon, our Prime Day best practices capitalize on the high-purchase intent of this event with tips and tricks geared toward maximizing your owned marketing channels – including email, SMS, social, and directly on your subscriber Customer Portal.


4 Strategies to Extend the Prime Day Deals to Your Site:

1 – Get Creative with Your Sales Promotion

Will your brand offer a blanket sitewide discount to all customers? Should you bundle specific summer-related products? What about a unique deal for subscribers?

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box on your site’s Prime Day deals! Offer customers and subscribers a variety of compelling offers guaranteed to move some inventory.

By offering unique deals for one-time customers versus your subscribers and offering a deal beyond a standard sitewide discount, you’re more likely to excite shoppers and get them to convert beyond the 20% discount they’ve seen a million times before.

Our retention experts recommend choosing one to two of the following price strategies –

  • Offer a limited-time product bundle combining new or existing products that have yet to be released on your site in one convenient pack. To seal the deal, offer a slight discount on this bundle.
  • Install a clock widget on your homepage either as a banner or a popup ad that tells customers that the first 100 orders today will receive a crazy deep discount of 40% off their order while all others will receive 20% sitewide. This strategy adds a sense of urgency that prompts customers to act, while also taking a playful spin beyond the traditional 20% sitewide sales offer that customers are used to.
  • Announce a limited-edition product, exclusive to Prime Day! Alternatively, if your brand is low on inventory on an old product SKU, you could use this sales event as a chance to “bring it back one last time” as a final surprise for customers. For example, bring back a limited-time flavor or fan favorite from a past promotion for one last run, like an exclusive summer Mango flavored seltzer.
  • Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO) deals work great for big sales events, encouraging customers to purchase more products in bulk at a perceived better value. 
  • A/B test a BOGO vs. a sitewide sale vs. a timed, tiered discount promotion to see which resonates more for your customers and subscribers ahead of time. If your brand has run versions of these promos in the past, consider past data trends to decide which sale will likely have the highest conversion rate for Prime Day.

2 – Offer Your Own “Prime Day” Free Shipping on All Orders

Shipping is expensive – and not every brand can offer complimentary free shipping on all customer orders. If your brand is in the latter camp, offer all customers free shipping for Prime Day as a playful mimic of Amazon’s two-day free shipping for Prime members.

By leveraging one of our sales tactics combined with free shipping, your brand is sure to see success for your sitewide takeover of Prime Day.

3 – Extend the Sale Beyond Amazon’s Two-Day Promo

Extend your sitewide sale beyond Amazon’s two-day promotional window. This way, your shoppers have extra time to decide and purchase. We’d recommend waiting until Prime Day officially ends, then sending an email or SMS blast announcing a “Prime Day extension” exclusively available on your site.

Want to gear this promotion toward subscribers? Make the extended sale only available to subscribers or offer the extended sale sitewide but give subscribers an additional incentive or better deal to keep everyone happy.

Capitalize on this purchase occasion by offering customers a better discount than competing products on Amazon. For example, share a limited-time code with your shoppers using Amazon-centric keywords like PRIME or PRIME20 for 20% off their sitewide orders for a limited time.

For subscribers, offer an even greater discount than the sitewide offer to ensure your most valuable customers feel appreciated during this sale. 

To accomplish this, we recommend running a sitewide promotion directly on your website that capitalizes on the high-purchase intent of shoppers on Prime Day. Leveraging a limited-time homepage popup, banner ad, or a unique landing page, your brand can use language like:

  • “We’re having our own Prime Day sale! For a limited time, BOGO on products sitewide.”
  • “Until Prime Day ends, receive a special offer on subscriptions for an extra 10% off in addition to your usual 10% subscriber discount. Act fast, once this deal is gone, it’s GONE!”

Prime Day Checklist: What to Do Before the Big Day

Now that you’ve got some ideas floating around for what deals and messaging you want to offer to your shoppers and subscribers, let’s take a step back and make sure you’ve got everything dialed in before the big sale with our Prime Day checklist – 

  • Check your inventory levels – the last thing you want to do is sell out too soon!
  • Prioritize specific SKUs – ask yourself which products (if not all) will best resonate with new and existing customers on Prime Day. Are there certain products you want to prioritize in your on-site sale?
  • Optimize your PDP pages for Prime Day messaging, sales language, and more
  • Plan ahead! If you’re running paid social around Prime Day, get your creative and ad messaging locked and loaded before the sale begins! 
  • Start A/B testing your ad creative early. Trial run some of your ads in the days leading up to Prime Day to see which have the highest sales conversion. When the sale begins, ramp spend accordingly
  • Check your customer reviews – Are your reviews looking good? Be sure to address negative reviews or customer complaints before the big day.

Choosing to sell directly on Amazon is not for everyone and depends on many variables unique to your business model and overall revenue strategy. But in whichever case, these Prime Day strategies are bound to boost your brand’s midsummer revenue and help give your subscribers a delightful shopping experience.


For additional strategies around boosting AOV & LTV, check out our other posts here. 

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Blog/Subscription Best Practices During Sitewide Sale Events

Subscription Best Practices During Sitewide Sale Events

With the right strategy, your team can segment and deliver exclusive offers to subscribers during sitewide sales, effectively capturing first-time shoppers without cannibalizing your existing subscriber base.


Memorial Day Weekend, Black Friday & Cyber Monday, New Year’s – there are plenty of sitewide sales opportunities your brand can capitalize on each year.

However, during these significant sale periods, it can be challenging to retain subscribers if they see a better deal or one-time sale offered to first-time shoppers or non-subscribers. They may opt to cancel their subscription or, worse, churn altogether.

To combat sitewide sale-related churn and as a best practice from the experts at Stay AI, you should always ensure that your subscribers – your most valuable customers – receive the best deal on your product, no matter the occasion.


Implementing Automatic One-Time Subscription Discounts During Sitewide Sales

Let’s say Labor Day or Black Friday is right around the corner, and your brand wants to run a 20% off sale sitewide. If your evergreen offer for subscribers is 15% off, these subscribers may pause or churn on their subscriptions to grab a better deal. 

To prevent this, give subscribers an additional, one-time 5% off code directly in their Customer Portal that matches the 20% off offer – or give them a slightly better offer as a thank-you for their loyalty and repeated business. This way, your one-time discount will aggregate to match the total discount amount your first-time shoppers receive during the sitewide sale.

If your brand already offers a Subscribe & Save percentage discount, you should exercise caution when implementing additional one-time discounts. Because your Subscribe & Save discount is set up within the same Shopify Selling Plan as a one-time discount, if not set up correctly, you may accidentally give subscribers a stacked discount amount that’s not great for your bottom line.

Our friends at Olipop applied an automatic, one-time discount code for subscribers during their sitewide BFCM sale to ensure their most valuable customers, their subscribers, were still receiving the best offer. The team also implemented a BFCM-themed in-portal banner ad in the Customer Portal to ensure subscribers saw their special offer and could apply it to their next order with ease.

Note: You would never create a one-time subscriber discount of 30%, as this would stack on top of their usual discount and incorrectly discount their order substantially.

For additional info on setting up a “Subscribe and Save” Selling Plan and associating this with specific products, check out Shopify’s step-by-step guide here.


More Subscription Strategies to Consider During Your Next Sitewide Sale

  • Consider making your subscribers’ discount slightly higher than the sitewide sale amount (ie. 30% off rather than 25% off) as your most valued customers.
  • Implement a site popup that provides non-subscribers a sneak peek of the exclusive offer(s) they would receive as subscribers during the sale period.
  • Segment between first-time shoppers, existing customers, and existing subscribers in your email & SMS campaigns. Exclude subscribers from sitewide sales communications or popups meant for first-time shoppers to ensure the right messaging and promo offers only reach their intended audience.
  • Further segment subscribers to deliver a special discount that can be directly applied to their next subscription order with just one click using our Klaviyo Quick Action email feature.


Creating a Promotional Banner Ad Directly in the Subscriber Portal

Need help putting together your first in-portal banner ad? We’ve got you covered – 

In-portal banner ads are one of the most effective strategies to communicate exclusive limited-time offers, seasonal promotions, holiday sales, and more to your subscribers. Enabling the in-portal banner ad is so easy, you’ll be done in just three steps.

  1. To create one, navigate to the Stay AI merchant portal, click Customize Portal, then click Design
  2. From the left-side navigation panel, select the option to include a banner ad. 
  3. Upload custom graphics featuring your chosen products and promotions offers and link the most popular product to enable a two-click purchase.

For additional AOV optimization, add an upsell carousel featuring selected sale products with a special discount so subscribers can quickly add those to upcoming orders.


For more best practices and tailored strategies for leveraging customer portal banners during promotional periods, check out our full strategy breakdown here.

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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/Turning One-Timers into Subscribers: The Power of Establishing Routines

Turning One-Timers into Subscribers: The Power of Establishing Routines

Unlock greater post-purchase revenue with the power of brand storytelling and establishing routine.

Routine-building and brand storytelling will always be the best strategy to unlock subscription revenue. 

Think about it: the driving factor pushing a one-time customer into a repeat, high LTV subscriber is never rooted in the 10% or 15% discount received as part of a Subscribe & Save deal. Instead, the real value lies in the product itself and how it impacts the customer. 

Educating customers on the value your product presents as a part of their ongoing routines makes them all the more likely to buy.

Let’s look at the Health & Wellness vertical – if you sell a haircare product, the results will look different after two weeks, one month, two months, or over a year of using the product routinely. To convince a customer to commit to that level of product adoption, the post-purchase journey must carefully build customer expectations around specific timelines and consistent product use. By showcasing tangible results that customers can see or look toward, they are more likely to see it through.

For non-subscribers, post-purchase emails should act as brand-building touchpoints highlighting product benefits. Messaging like “Step one of your health journey begins today!” or “Don’t lose the amazing progress you’ve made toward healthier hair!” are far more impactful than a notification like “Hooray! Your order is on the way!” or “You’re halfway through your order! Time for a refill.”

Visuals or UGC images that educate customers on what to expect at each step of their journey are also important in showcasing the value of routine. Our friends at Graza do a wonderful job of guiding customers through their olive oil journey with a robust PDP that visually maps out the lifecycle of each variety of olive oil, including best use cases, and even links out to several fun recipe ideas. 

Once your post-purchase email flows are dialed in, expand to SMS. Short and punchy SMS reminders can be a great motivator for staying consistent and reaching product-use milestones.

By reframing these touchpoints as storytelling opportunities centered around the main benefits of your product and showing support along the way, customers seamlessly funnel into a routine mindset which makes a subscription a no-brainer. 

This strategy extends beyond Health & Wellness – many subscribers (myself included!) have subscriptions to clean, low-acid coffees, olive oil, pet food, and much more. 

By honing your post-purchase content around product storytelling, you build a brand narrative for customers that focuses on value and why they need to come back again and again.

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Blog/Rand Owens QA: Boost AOV with Subscription-Oriented CRO

Rand Owens QA: Boost AOV with Subscription-Oriented CRO

We sat down with our friend Rand Owens, VP of marketing at Nostra, to unpack all things CRO and dive deeper into optimizing your subscription-oriented CRO strategies. Nostra helps top DTC brands drive conversions and lower cost per click through faster site speeds. Learn more about Nostra here.

Q: In your experience, what are the most effective methods for an emerging DTC brand to identify areas of improvement on their landing pages and increase conversions across their marketing funnel? What key metrics do you prioritize in their CRO analysis?

Rand: Emerging DTC brands must harness the power of personalization and prioritize site speed to boost conversions. Analyzing user behavior through user testing and heatmaps will highlight opportunities to personalize the landing page experience. Segment your audience and tailor content, offers, and layouts to match their interests or how they found your site. This could mean highlighting related products, offering personalized discounts, or showcasing specific items relevant to their previous browsing.

Closely monitor crucial metrics like conversion rate, bounce rate, time on page, and page load time. This data will expose how well your landing pages convert and whether your personalization and speed optimizations are working.

Q: How do you approach funnel testing and CRO experimentation specifically within the context of subscription-based services, considering factors like trial periods, differed pricing models, and landing page customizations?

Rand: For e-commerce subscriptions, focus your funnel testing and CRO efforts on the subscription box or product page. Emphasize the value proposition of the subscription – highlight variety, personalization, and the potential savings over individual purchases. Experiment with different themes, product assortments, and introductory discounts to entice first-time subscribers. Flexibility is critical, so test variations in subscription lengths, the ability to skip boxes, and even levels of customization over the box’s contents. If gifting is an option, ensure a seamless gifting process and consider special promotions to encourage this type of purchase. Test upselling tactics to boost order frequency and average order value for subscriptions offering replenishable items.

Remember that visuals are crucial throughout your CRO experiments – invest in high-quality product photography and unboxing videos. Leverage social proof with testimonials and user-generated content specific to the subscription experience. You can even try incorporating a quiz to personalize the matching of visitors to the ideal subscription box for them. Ensure site speed is at its best, especially at checkout, as slowness leads to abandoned carts. Track key metrics like free trial conversion rate, churn rate, customer lifetime value (LTV), cart abandonment rate, and average order value (AOV) for a holistic view of funnel performance.

Q: Offering too many SKU options can lead to fewer conversions, resulting from choice overload. How can subscription brands strategically leverage product bundling to simplify decision-making and boost AOV?

Rand: Subscription brands can combat the overwhelming effect of too much choice by strategically implementing product bundling. Focus on curating bundles based on specific needs, use cases, or customer profiles. A skincare brand might offer an “Acne-Prone Skin Essentials” bundle, providing a complete solution rather than forcing customers to research individual products. Offer bundles in tiers (like Starter, Complete, and Premium) to appeal to different budgets and encourage upselling. For optimal results, strike a balance between curated bundles and flexibility – allow customers to swap specific items within bundles for a more personalized experience.

To further increase average order value (AOV), promote volume-based bundles or multi-packs for consumable goods with bulk discounts. Strategically cross-selling add-ons that complement the core subscription enhances the overall customer experience. Where possible, leverage AI and customer data to personalize bundles dynamically. This ensures that each shopper is presented with bundles that perfectly match their needs and preferences, boosting conversion rates.

Q: For a lean, early-stage DTC brand looking to optimize its main landing and product pages, what 2-3 funnel testing strategies would you recommend to boost CRO? Conversely, what 2-3 tactics would you recommend to a later-stage DTC brand that already maintains a steady pulse on CRO but is seeking to go a step further?

Rand: For early-stage DTC brands, I’d focus on –

  • Headline and Value Prop Clarity: Experiment with different headlines that clearly articulate your unique offering and core benefits. Test taglines that resonate with customer pain points, and ensure your hero image supports the messaging.
  • CTA Optimization: Test variations in your call-to-action copy (like “Buy Now” vs. “Start Your Trial”), as well as button color, size, and placement. For multi-step funnels, refine CTA wording along each step to encourage progression.
  • Social Proof and Risk Reduction: Strategically add customer testimonials, reviews, and trust signals (press logos, badges) near key CTAs. Emphasize free shipping, trial periods, and guarantees to alleviate hesitation.

While for later-stage DTC brands, I’d focus on –

  • Streamline Your Funnel: Identify potential areas to reduce friction—experiment with streamlining checkout steps, using lightboxes instead of separate pages or pre-filling form fields.
  • Hyper-Personalization: Leverage customer data for dynamic customization. Tailor page content, offers, and CTAs based on traffic source, location, device, past behavior, etc. Implement segmentation for targeted campaigns. Use AI tools for intelligent product recommendations and bundling suggestions.
  • Proactive Conversion Assistance: Test the use of a chatbot or proactive live chat assistance for hesitant users. Utilize exit-intent popups offering potential incentives on abandonment, and add elements like progress bars or “low stock” indicators to nudge hesitant shoppers.
  • Site Speed Optimization: For late-stage DTC brands, even milliseconds of delay can impact conversions at scale. Ensure your site is lightning-fast through image optimization, efficient code, and an Edge Delivery Engine. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help you pinpoint areas for improvement.

Site speed is critical – every second of delay hurts conversions. Optimize your site with image compression and efficient code, and leverage a solution like Nostra. Nostra’s smart caching and global distribution network combat latency, the #1 reason shoppers abandon their carts. Nostra expertly deciphers what elements of your site should and should not be cached in order to make it the fastest on the internet without any embarrassing hiccups.

Remember:

  • Mobile-First Focus: Prioritize the mobile experience for both stages.
  • Never Stop Testing: Even early-stage DTCs should regularly revisit core elements as they scale.

Q: I like to end these conversations with a fun question. What is the most unconventional CRO strategy you’ve seen that’s had solid success?

Rand: Lush Cosmetics employs an unconventional tactic with their handwritten product labels. These labels, often including the name of the product’s creator and quirky descriptions, feel far less polished than mass-produced cosmetic labeling. This tactic effectively reinforces Lush’s handmade and natural brand image. The personalized touch and playful descriptions add charm, making the products and brand feel more unique and memorable.

While this strategy wouldn’t suit every brand, it perfectly aligns with Lush’s core values and target audience. This highlights how unconventional CRO tactics can boost customer engagement and conversions when deeply connected to a brand’s identity.

Thanks for chatting, Rand!

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Blog/Varun Kundra QA: Unlocking Post-Purchase Subscriber Revenue

Varun Kundra QA: Unlocking Post-Purchase Subscriber Revenue

We sat down with our friend Varun Kundra, co-founder of AfterSell, to unpack subscription-oriented upsell strategy and post-purchase optimization. AfterSell is a software that helps eCommerce merchants scale their stores to 8 figures and beyond with post-purchase upsells and more. AfterSell was acquired by Rokt in Feb 2024. Let’s dive in.

Q: For customers who have just purchased from a brand for the first time, what key moments, timing, or behaviors are most valuable in evaluating and sending them with a post-purchase offer? Are there any upsell or cross-sell strategies you find to be the most “sticky”?

Varun: Our post-purchase offers happen right after checkout, so we encourage merchants to trigger targeted offers based on what was purchased (or collection it was purchased from), cart value, country, and many other options we have available. We have seen merchants who have a deep understanding of their customer behavior, segments, and consumer psychology succeed the most. One of the surprising strategies that is really effective, especially for CPG brands is just to cross-sell more of the same product at a slight discount.

Q: For subscribers specifically, cross-sells and upsells are a great opportunity to integrate more of your brand’s product catalog into their regular routines, whether you’re selling a monthly beverage subscription, toothpaste, supplements, you name it. Do you have a specific strategy around targeting subscription-oriented upsells and cross-sells compared to other customers?

Varun: For sure! One of the things we find the most effective is upselling a one-time product to a subscription. We have been pioneering this with Obvi where we can replace one-time products with subscription both in checkout and immediately via post-purchase upsells. 

Q: In what ways can brands integrate various marketing channels (ie. email, social, retargeting ads) to maximize the effectiveness of post-purchase reactivation campaigns without fatiguing their customers?

Varun: With AfterSell, you can target upsells on the UTM level. This means you show different upsell experiences based on where your customers are coming from. For example, you may want to show a different experience to customers coming from your abandoned cart emails versus those that are returning customers.

Q: Let’s say I’m a new Digital Marketing Manager for a DTC food & beverage brand that does not currently implement any upsells or cross-sells. What would be the easy wins for me to immediately knock out to increase AOV?

Varun: The easiest win right off the bat is a post-purchase upsell with the exact same product the customer just purchased at a 10-30% discount. Offering “more of the same” works great for consumable businesses. If you are providing a sizable discount, you can even test having higher minimum quantities for the upsell. For example, get 20% off if you purchase 2 more packs.

Q: Now let’s say I’m the Growth Manager for a larger, more established DTC brand that already implements the usual post-purchase flows you just mentioned. How metrics and tests could I perform to best optimize and boost existing post-purchase conversion rates?

Varun: Various components can be tested to improve post-purchase performance. There are 3 main factors you should test to achieve the best results. I have included a couple of questions below to ask yourself when you are working to improve your upsell offers.

  • The product you are upselling: How expensive is the product you are offering in relation to your AOV? Does it fit well with the product the customer just purchased?
  • The offer: How much of a discount are you providing? How many quantities does the customer have to purchase to receive the discount? Make sure you are optimizing for the right metric. In many cases, you may want to optimize for product profit per visit (PPPV) rather than revenue per visit (RPV)
  • The layout and copy: Are you showing multiple products on your upsell page or only a single product? Are you using social proof, urgency, and exclusivity in your copy?

Thanks for chatting, Varun!

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Blog/Introducing Digital Punch Cards 👊

Introducing Digital Punch Cards 👊

Our First-to-Market Rewards Solution is Here: Meet Digital Punch Card 👊

If you run a coffee shop and offer one free coffee for every 10th punch on a punch card, customers are more incentivized to come back to buy your coffee more often. 

But why is that?

Research into human behavior reveals that the closer customers see themselves reaching a goal, the more likely they are to come back and order again until they reach it.

This is why we’ve built our new first-to-market feature, Digital Punch Cards!

Using a format most everyone can recognize, Digital Punch Cards are embedded directly into your customer portal and allow subscribers to see and visually track their rewards journey in real-time and then seamlessly apply rewards to upcoming orders.

Now, you can engage customers with their favorite punch cards – digitized

How Does It Work?

At Stay AI, we believe in creating highly visual subscriber journeys that keep customers engaged throughout their order cycles and show them their progress toward exciting and exclusive rewards.

This feature is easy to set up and is customizable to your needs. 

  • Step 1: Choose the number of “punches” 
  • Step 2: Select the incentive or reward to give subscribers who reach the last punch on their card – this can be a free order, product, and more
  • Step 3: Select a minimum order value required for subscribers to receive a punch to ensure all rewards are met after passing a specific threshold

Our Digital Punch Card widget lives in the upper portion of the customer portal dashboard, making it seamless for subscribers to log in and view their progress at any time to see how close they are to their next reward.

By gamifying the reward experience with fun, punchy visuals, Digital Punch Cards take rewards strategy to the next level.

Digital Punch Card & ExperienceEngine Work Hand-in-Hand

With ExperienceEngine, you can utilize our AI to split-test different products as gifts or the same product with varying discount amounts on a subscriber’s upcoming order to see which offers are the most successful in reducing churn in the cohorts identified as most likely to cancel. Digital Punch Cards take this a step further by providing an opportunity to surprise and delight subscribers at key milestones. 

By first using ExperienceEngine to determine which incentive works best for your target audience, you can decide what reward(s) will work best as incentives for your Digital Punch Card.

For example, let’s say your brand is trying to determine whether a free shaker bottle or a free key chain best optimizes retention. You can use ExperienceEngine to set up a free shaker bottle on order three and A/B test it against a free key chain. Through that A/B test, see which one has the highest success rate for retention and how the product and order cadence drive AOV. 

That data will directly impact how to set up Digital Punch Cards, allowing you to make data-driven decisions when selecting which product and order number should apply as the punch card incentive.

Stay AI sets your brand up for success with real data-powered analytics, backed by rigorous split-testing, that you can then apply to a Digital Punch Card that will run for six months, a year, or however long you want it to.

Get ready to take the subscriber journey further by offering your customers an unparalleled brand experience—and an even greater LTV.

Interested in Digital Punch Cards?

You won’t see another subscription solution utilizing the familiarity of punch cards with customizable and easy-to-set-up rewards functionality. We’re so excited for you to engage subscribers throughout their journey and give them a rewards system that truly packs a punch 👊

The beta launch of Digital Punch Card is now available for current Stay AI merchants. If you’re interested in being one of the first to use this feature, contact us today!


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Supercharge Your Subscription & Retention Strategy with Stay AI

Blog/Stay AI Raises Additional Funds to Fuel Innovation in the Subscription Space

Stay AI Raises Additional Funds to Fuel Innovation in the Subscription Space

Stay AI Raises Additional Funds to Fuel Innovation in the Subscription Space

We’re thrilled to announce that in May of 2024 Stay AI raised $9M of additional funding led by Telescope Partners to support further innovation and bring new features to market for our customers. This brings our total capital raised to over $24M, following a successful Series A last summer. 

Founded to address the limitations of legacy subscription tools, Stay has migrated more than 500 merchants to our platform. The funding will be utilized almost exclusively to build new innovative products for Stay’s merchants so that we can continue to push the industry forward. 

So, what’s next for our customers?

Co-founders Gina Perrelli and Pierson Krass are excited to continue bringing first-to-market features to our merchants in 2024 including:

  • More machine learning and AI to expand personalization across every customer touchpoint and to improve business outcomes with automated optimization.
  • Expansion of subscriber rewards and loyalty, to continue to give merchants new options to engage with their subscribers, proactively reduce churn, and build community. 
  • Acquisition tools, to help brands acquire more high-value customers and activate recurring revenue programs in new and unique ways. 

Harnessing AI for Unmatched Retention Strategies 

Stay’s differentiator continues to be our AI-powered features to reduce churn and improve AOV. Trained on brand-specific data sets, these models provide customized and actionable data and performance optimization across key retention tactics. Top Shopify brands such as Armra, Olipop, Lemme, Tru Earth, Magic Spoon, and more, leverage this data in their programs to drive sustained growth. 

Our models have been perfected over the last three years, and as a result, Stay provides the most accurate churn-risk forecasting available for brands. Typically, our AI-powered features beat human settings and manual testing by 20-30%. In the last 12 months, we saved over $150m in lost revenue for our merchants.


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Supercharge Your Subscription & Retention Strategy with Stay AI

Prepaid Bundles

Allow customers to prepay for a subscription upfront. This is the perfect structure for subscription programs that last for a finite amount of time.

Gift A Subscription

Stay powers a split portal experience, so gift givers and recipients can manage their preferences and payments for a seamless experience for all.

Dale Selection Plans

Leveraging custom date selections allows you to create unique subscription offers and programs.

Minimum / Maximum Renewals

Set a minimum or maximum number of shipments. (Note minimum shipment terms aren’t available in all regions.)

“We are continuously impressed with the level of professionalism, thoughtfulness and dedication we receive from the Stay team. We can be tough on the team for product feature requests and minor Shopify limitations, but each time the team handles it with grace and patiently, while they work hard to proactively incorporate and address our feedback to resolve our problems. We are proud to build along side Gina, Evan and the Stay AI team!”

“We’ve literally tried them ALL! From Recharge > SKIO > Smartrr > Stay AI, we can NOW confidently say we have found a home; and it’s not even close.” ,
Begin Health

“Stay is by far the best subscription platform we have worked with. Their team is incredible, and makes sure we’re always satisfied. They go above and beyond to make our integration as seamless as possible, while creating a stunning end result. They are the absolute best and I highly recommend using them.”

“They go above and beyond to make our integration as seamless as possible, while creating a stunning end result.” ,
Refresh Gum

“I’ve been working hand in hand with Stay for the last couple months and the result is churn decreasing from around 60% to 30% at Month 2 for a beverage brand. I love the features and how easily it connects with Klaviyo to create a better customer experience with Subscriptions. I’m already recommending it to other e-commerce brands I know!”

“I’ve been working hand in hand with Stay for the last couple months and the result is churn decreasing from around 60% to 30%” ,
BRĒZ
Blog/Stay AI’s Director of Product Unpacks All Things Digital Punch Card

Stay AI’s Director of Product Unpacks All Things Digital Punch Card

Stay AI’s Director of Product Unpacks All Things Digital Punch Card

This week, to celebrate the launch of our new-to-market Digital Punch Card feature, we sat down with Karin Brashears, Stay AI’s Director of Product, to unpack all things Digital Punch Card!

Q: Digital Punch Cards are here! What would you say is the “TLDR” of Digital Punch Card for those who haven’t heard about it yet?

Karin: Digital Punch Card is a revolutionary idea that takes on rewards and loyalty with a fun, gamified customer experience. We’ve taken a nostalgic punch card and “digitized” it on the customer portal for your subscribers to actually see their progress and how they’re tracking toward a reward. Merchants have ownership over setting up a free order or a free product and can track those throughout multiple orders. So, it really is just a new take that we haven’t seen anywhere else in the marketplace for loyalty and retention. 

Q: Are there any specific elements of Digital Punch Card that you’re most excited about?

Karin: I’m really excited and interested to see how our merchants use the data we provide on the merchant portal already to tie into their Digital Punch Cards. 

We’ve set up some really cool analytics within the Executive Summary Dashboard that can be used to figure out the most optimal way to set up your Digital Punch Card. For instance, using AOV to determine your brand’s maximum free order value. Additionally, ExperienceEngine’s A/B tests can lead merchants directly to determine which products make the most sense for retention and should be used as incentives.

I’m really excited to see how merchants’ use of Stay’s features comes full circle in terms of application to using Digital Punch Cards.

Q: Can you tell me more about how Digital Punch Card weaves into Stay AI’s existing analytics suite and how it works in tandem with ExperienceEngine? 

Karin: So what I would do is set up an A/B test in ExperienceEngine with whatever products I want to offer as a promotion. Let’s say my brand is trying to determine whether a free shaker bottle or a free key chain optimizes retention best. I would set up a free shaker bottle on order three and A/B test it against a free key chain. Through that A/B test, I can see which one has the highest success rate for retention and see how the product and order cadence drive AOV. Because ExperienceEngine allows for fluid tests, I can swap out those products and order cadences to continuously gauge optimization. 

That data will directly impact how to set up Digital  Punch Cards, allowing me to make data-driven decisions when selecting which product and order number should apply as the Digital Punch Card incentive.

This is how Stay AI sets brands up for success with real data-powered analytics, backed by rigorous split-testing, to then apply to a more sticky and long-term Digital Punch Card that will run for six months, a year, or however long you want it to.

Q: What makes Digital Punch Cards different from other reward tools or features that exist in the market?

Karin: Digital Punch Cards offer a few differentiating factors. Firstly, it’s a simplified no-point loyalty system. Tracking points can be complex and overall challenging, whereas with a punch card system, you either earned a punch or you didn’t. 

For customers, the biggest thing with point acquisition and tracking rewards in that way is that it’s a variable reward at the end. So typically, point programs require in-depth messaging and explanation for customers to understand the benefit and justify the purchase. When it comes to Digital Punch Cards, it’s a one-to-one experience. You know that your punch will equate to a free order or product. The direct association of purchase to reward is extremely impactful in training customer behavior. 

Additionally, it’s really exciting to integrate the Goal Gradient Theory, the idea that the closer customers see themselves reaching a goal, the more likely they are to come back and order again until they reach it. We are truly putting that into place in a digital format.

Digital Punch Cards give customers a feeling of success, coupled with a dopamine hit after a successful purchase. That gives the user more impetus to continue being a repeat purchaser compared to maybe earning something that you can’t see or just aggregating points in the background.

We’re able to have customers see their action as an accomplishment and then further want to experience that dopamine hit over and over again, inching them towards that end reward.

Thanks for chatting with us, Karin!
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