Introducing: Subscriber Rewards that Pack a Punch 👊 Digital Punch Cards are here! Learn More
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.


  • 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!


Supercharge Your Subscription & Retention Strategy with Stay AI

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!

Learn More About Digital Punch Card

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.


Supercharge Your Subscription & Retention Strategy with Stay AI

Blog/Why Cobranded Landing Pages Matter

Why Cobranded Landing Pages Matter


Contributed by Anders Bill at Superfiliate

Superfiliate empowers brands to run end-to-end affiliate, influencer, and referral programs, turning every link shared by a creator into a cobranded landing page.

Stop leaving money on the table. 

Anders: Let’s start with why… why you should leverage cobranded landing pages is simple, you will drive more revenue from your influencers, affiliates, and customers. In other words… you are leaving money on the table without them. How cobranded landing pages drive more revenue breaks up into two categories:

(1) Conversion Rate Optimization

(2) Deepened Sense of Partnership

Conversion Rate Increases When Leveraging Cobranded Landing Pages With:

Personalization: Every customer who hits a cobranded landing page is greeted with the ultimate form of social proof. These pieces of social proof include a Superfiliate’s video content, photo, name, and personalized review. The Superfiliate who shared their landing page is still the most important part of a customer’s buying decision. Layering in authentic cobranded content is what drives a customer to buy. Instead of generic videos showing the product, it’s the Superfiliate’s video that will push the shopper to convert; instead of random customer reviews, it’s the Superfiliate’s review that holds the most weight for the shopper.

Curation: Decision fatigue is at the root of so many abandoned carts and massively hurts conversion, even when there are limited product options to choose from. That’s why every Superfiliate cobranded landing page turns a traditional shop all or product page into a curated product feed. This deepens the sense of trust from the end shopper who looks to this Superfiliate as a curator of top-quality products. The brand and the creator can control this curation across all Superfiliate pages. Some of our merchants have seen a lift of 25%+ from just adding this curation component.

Reduced Number of Clicks: The majority of word-of-mouth traffic comes directly from social media or an SMS platform like iMessage or WhatsApp. The attention span of this ecommerce traffic is exceedingly low as it’s competing with the most dopamine-fueled content. With that in mind, your front-end strategy needs to be both highly engaging and easy to navigate. With high-quality Superfiliate content and curation, most shoppers will find that they don’t need to navigate to shop all, collections or specific product pages. They have everything they need to go from product discovery to conversion. See our funnel below.

Deepened Sense of Partnership

Increase the Propensity to Share: Let’s face it, it’s nice to be recognized. In a world of ‘pay per post’, influencer and customer relationships have become overly transactional. This also reflects directly into the quality of content you as the brand receive from a customer or creator and in turn, how their audience feels when they watch a piece of content. The word ‘authenticity’ gets thrown around in these types of partnerships but building a cobranded experience actually allows you to live up to that promise. Instead of giving a creator a transactional link or code, the language shifts to, “We’re so excited to work with you that we built you this landing page on our website to showcase our partnership.” We have seen this be extremely effective when communicating with customers and creators. It makes them feel valued and deepens their sense of partnership. In turn, we’ve found that Superfiliates who are activated in this way have a much higher propensity to share their page with their audience. The experience goes from getting their followers to buy something to announcing a long-term partnership with your brand.

Net Creator Retention: Increasing the propensity of a Superfiliate to share their page not only drives more sales, it also increases the longevity of the partnership. The most effective brands on Superfiliate are focused on ‘Net Creator Retention’, aka over the course of a year, how many creators they continue to work with. This lessens the burden of constantly discovering new creators and creates a lasting relationship with the creator’s audience. I think one of the least discussed points in creator marketing is that shoppers may not be convinced to buy until the 4th or 5th post. That’s why you should try to turn any ‘pay per post’ relationship into a long-term partner. Not to mention, if you’ve selected the right partners, their audiences will continue to grow over time, giving you a constantly growing base of new shoppers. We think these trends are here to stay and that cobranded landing pages will become a standard across the industry.

Real Results, Meaningful Revenue: Equip’s Success Story 

Anders: Let’s talk about real results. One of our clients, Equip, tested our cobranded landing pages vs their traditional affiliate links… the result was a 30-35% increase in conversion rate. To go deeper, 32% of all traffic added an item to the cart and over 19% of traffic began checkout. Cobranded landing pages drive $10,000+ of additional revenue every month and have now become a standard for their top creators, some of which have generated over $75,000 in just the last 30 days. For Equip, cobranded landing pages have maximized Average Order Value (AOV), Return on Investment (ROI), and Lifetime Value (LTV) on every creator post. They’re not leaving money on the table anymore – they’re capturing every bit of revenue and treating influencers like true partners of the brand!

Major shoutout to Anders Bill & the team at Superfiliate!

To learn more about Superfiliate, you can [check out their website here].


Supercharge Your Subscription & Retention Strategy with Stay AI

Blog/Tiffin Q&A: Bridging the Attribution Gap with Effortless In-Store Offers

Tiffin Q&A: Bridging the Attribution Gap with Effortless In-Store Offers

Q&A with Tiffin from Aisle

Aisle allows brands to turn any marketing channel into an attributable, verified in-store purchase when customers text a photo of their in-store receipt to Aisle and receive a cashback reward within 24 hours. Brands can also leverage Aisle to retarget submitted customers with additional redemption reminders, winback flows, and more.

Tiffin, CEO and Founder of Aisle, sat down with our team to share his insights on how DTC brands can bridge the data attribution gap between DTC and retail. Let’s dive in.

Q: Thanks for chatting with us today, Tiffin! We’re stoked to hear more about what you and the Aisle team are up to. I’d love to know, what inspired you to create Aisle?

Tiffin: My boss back at Super Coffee would say ’Tiffin, you’re spending all this money on ads and you can’t tell me who’s buying in-store?’ After hearing that every day for two years you’re like, I’ve gotta solve this problem. We had no idea who our in-store shoppers were, we had no idea why they were buying, and most importantly, we didn’t know how to get them to rebuy. And if you think about all the tools that existed, all the cashback apps that tried to solve the problem of how to activate someone in-store, they didn’t work for two reasons. The first was user friction, and the second was that all of the current solutions weren’t built by people in the [ecomm] space. There’s no customer empathy.

Q: For brands that have traditionally kept their DTC and retail channels separate, why should these omnichannel players care about creating a bridge between the two in their overall strategy?

Tiffin: A lot of people will give you a much sexier answer and use lots more buzzwords, but very simply it’s because you can sell more units. I avoid using words like “connecting the online shopper and in-store shopper” or “omnichannel attribution” because at the end of the day, what matters is providing these brands an opportunity to sell more in-store because it’s going to be their retail and units per store per week that get them acquired. 

Aisle allows brands to turn any marketing channel into an attributable, verified in-store purchase when customers text a photo of their in-store receipt to Aisle and receive a cashback reward within 24 hours.

Explore Aisle’s Features

Q: Do you think a direct-to-consumer brand must have a retail presence to get acquired or to have a competitive edge, then?

Tiffin: I’m going to speak to what I know. When I was at Super Coffee, DTC was a nice accelerator and made revenue bigger, but at the end of the day, the questions we were being asked were ‘Did you sell in Walmart? Target? Sprouts? Did you sell in Middle America?’. DTC brands will win on the coasts, LA, NYC, but can you sell to Karen in Wisconsin who goes to church every Sunday? If she’s buying her stuff in-store and she’s buying your product, you have a much better chance. Look at Essentia Water which got acquired by Nestlé – they didn’t get bought because Patrick Mahomes talked about it on their Instagram. It’s because of the crazy volume they were moving at retail.

I’m the biggest believer in DTC, but ultimately, if you’re a consumable, you’ve gotta get into the big box retailers.

Q: Hypothetical: Let’s say your brand boosts spending on Facebook Ads, and you see a low ROI on the platform but a spike in retail purchases at the same time. On one hand, you could assume there’s some cause/effect relationship there, but at the same time there could be any number of other factors at play, like if there was a shift in end-cap displays or the sales team had a big week. With so many attribution factors to consider, how can brands develop a cross-DTC-and-retail attribution strategy that doesn’t rely too heavily on assumptions? 

Tiffin: Good question. For us on the DTC side, it’s very easy to point to something and attribute it, like changing a button on a PDP and then it converts better. But think about you as a grocery shopper. On one hand, you literally can’t assume because any number of things can change from store to store. Did the shelf packer display the product right? Were we on a store promotion? Was the product expired or even put out on the shelf? There are factors you can’t even begin to model there. Or even if your brand runs a Superbowl commercial and you run the ads based on zip codes and see a 20% lift – even then, you’re just guessing, right? There can be a legitimately limitless amount of stuff that influences retail success that I don’t even think it’s worth it. But the short answer is you can’t make any assumptions because they’re all wrong.

Q: So what you’re saying is that, in regards to retail, there are so many factors that you can’t possibly have a sustainable direct attribution model.

Tiffin: Exactly. With DTC you control every part of it, you can control what percent of traffic goes where, what percentage of the population that lands on your site will see this page, and more because you’re essentially the traffic director. You’re in control. But with retail, you just hope and cross your fingers. There’s some directional stuff, but beyond that, you’re just taking a guess.

Q: Where does Aisle step in to solve that attribution problem, then?

Tiffin: Verified purchase. We say hey, take a picture of your receipt and send it to us and get cashback. That’s proof that a person saw an ad, scanned a QR code, or clicked a widget on your website, put in their phone number, and now we know 1:1 where a shopper came from, right down to the ad placement. So the short answer is that instant verification from the rebate gives us the proof to 100% tell you where a customer came from.

When Meta provides incrementality lifts, I think that’s kind of like hocus pocus. For us, at any time we can export their transactions, which shows you the customer ID, when they converted, and what store they purchased at down to the zip code. So when brands overlay Aisle’s transactional data with store-level sales data like IRI, SPINS, or Nielsen, the connection is incredibly clear. There were no assumptions or hypotheses. Is it this person, yes or no? Is that data reflected in the units per store per week scan data?

Q: If a subscriber cancels their DTC orders but starts buying at retail, do you view that as a good, bad, or neutral thing?

Tiffin: I always like to put myself in the brand operator’s perspective. I’m going to say this is Tiffin coming from Super Coffee, not Tiffin from Aisle. I think Tiffin from Super Coffee doesn’t care, because at the end of the day, going back to units per store per week, that person might say I don’t need my subscription anymore but now is picking up a bottle a day at their local store. At the end of the day, revenue is comprised of wholesale, retail, DTC, etc. It doesn’t matter as long as that person continues to buy.

I also don’t believe in this whole death of DTC thing. DTC will still be here, people will still shop on Amazon. Shoppers are gonna want to buy where they want to buy. It’s just more convenient.

And customers like Karen in Wisconsin will probably have a higher lifetime value. She’ll be buying it every single day. People on average go to three to four different grocery stores whether per week, or per month, what people like is variety, but it’s still a habit. You want that person buying in-store because they’re gonna buy from you every single day. Right? Like me with some energy drinks that I love, all my energy drink brands, I drink them all the time, and I’m not buying them online, you know.

So there are a lot of brands that are running pop-ups that are like “Do you want $20 off online, or do you want a BOGO in-store?” They’re allowing users to pick.

Q: How can DTC brands use a solution like Aisle to keep subscribers retained or maximize the value of their digital subscription program without inadvertently losing them to retail?

Tiffin: I believe there’s a better chance of a customer going from DTC to in-store, I’m not sold on in-store to online yet. Right now it’s a one-way attribution channel. People will go from DTC to in-store but people in-store like in-store, they’re not going to DTC. We’ve had some brands give some crazy offers online, like 50% off, an amazing deal, and nobody takes it – because nobody needs four things of toothpaste. But to answer your question, we surprise and delight. Aisle can be placed right in their subscription portal and brands can offer a BOGO deal as a loyalty perk retention play.

The second thing is knowing that churn is going to be inevitable, so instead of waiting for them to churn, let’s give them another option and also track attribution. Let’s say someone is going to cancel because they have too much coffee, you don’t wanna offer them 15% off – they’re literally telling you that they have too much. Instead, let’s say hey, sorry about that, thanks so much for letting us know. Here’s a free bottle of coffee you can redeem in-store. Now, at least if the customer churns online, it’s because they wanted to buy in-store, and we know that because they converted on a surprise and delight offer


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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.


Ready to see how AI can scale your subscription revenue?

Blog/How to Effectively Leverage Portal Banners for Sales Promotions

How to Effectively Leverage Portal Banners for Sales Promotions

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. So many brands miss out on untapped revenue from the most valuable shoppers in their network – their customers. For brands that run subscription programs, your subscribers are truly your VIP customers. But time after time, we see DTC brands so deeply focused on acquisition during sales and promotion periods, that they forget about maximizing revenue from those VIPs.

That’s where Customer Portal Banner Ads come in to the conversation.

Implementing a customer portal banner ad is one of the most effective strategies for getting promotional messaging in front of your subscribers, and nudging subscriber behavior to drive AOV.

During your brand’s – or the market’s biggest sales periods, presenting subscribers with an optimized customer portal experience can drive major profit gains.

Ready to make some money while making your subscribers feel special? Let’s dig in to the best strategies for leveraging customer portal banners during promotional periods. 

What is a Customer Portal Banner Ad?

A banner ad is an uploaded graphic that displays within the customer portal. With Stay Ai’s customer portal, you’re able to drag and drop portal components wherever you like – meaning you can place this ad at the very top of your subscription management page, or further down as subscribers scroll.

Stay’s banner ad displays at a 16:9 ratio on desktop, and a 4:5 ratio on mobile, meaning this is ample space to design a graphic that highlights a sale you’re running, exclusive subscriber discounts, or promotional offers currently available for customers.

Additionally, Stay Ai’s banner ad is transactional, meaning that when customers click on the banner ad, they can directly add a featured product to their upcoming order. Within the merchant portal, you’re able to select which product you’d like linked to your banner ad, and if you’d like to offer it as a one-time purchase or a recurring subscription item.

Ultimately, banner ads provide you the space to highlight the promotion of your choice, while enabling subscribers to make a purchase within just two clicks. Check out the example from Lifeboost Coffee below.

How to Use Customer Portal Banner Ads During a Sale

Banner Ads offer a great opportunity to highlight limited-time offers, seasonal promotions, or holiday sales.

PS: If you’re new to banner ads and looking to learn more about different use cases for implementation, you can check out this article we wrote a few months ago.

Subscriber-Exclusive Sales

Reward your most valuable customers with early access to promotions before they hit general public. Using the banner ad, feature the products with applicable promotional offers, and make sure to link the most popular product to enable that two-click purchase. Then, optimize your upsell carousel to feature all of the products with a special discount, so subscribers can quickly add those to their upcoming order.

Example: Clean Skin Club

Clean Skin Club ran an awesome subscriber promotion for BFCM 2023, offering their most loyal customers early access to incredible discounts. Each discounted product featured in the banner ad is accessible for one-click add-on via the upsell carousel.

VIP Loyalty Discounts

During major market-wide promotional periods (like BFCM or the holidays), your customers are likely browsing offers across multiple brands. In order to keep them in your corner, it’s up to you to surface the most captivating deal. In combination with your email & SMS flows, get in front of subscribers’ wandering eyes with an exclusive subscriber-only loyalty discount. Not only will this result in more cash in your pocket, but will also incentivize subscribers to stay retained, rather than churning for one of your competitors.

We recommend generating a subscriber-only discount code and featuring it prominently in a unique, visually compelling banner ad. From there, subscribers can quickly enter that code into the discount field within their portal.

Example: Vita Coco

Vita Coco leveraged their customer portal banner to offer a subscriber-exclusive discount on customers’ upcoming orders during BFCM.

Example: UCAN

UCAN offered subscribers 30% off their next order during the entire month of November – an even juicier discount than the 25% listed on their website.

Example: OLIPOP

OLIPOP is using their customer portal banner in Q4 2023 to celebrate subscribers with a thank you discount! Subscribers can input a discount code in the customer portal to get 30% off their upcoming order.

In case you missed it, we recently dropped an article on unique subscription program benefits for boosting subscriber acquisition – and this banner ad strategy is where one of our favorites come into play! If you’ve got a specific product that you’re trying to sell more of, sell out of, or want to promote a limited-time SKU to see if it has evergreen potential, that’s a great time to engage your subscribers. Promote that product at a discount in your customer portal banner ad, so subscribers can add it on to their orders in just a few clicks.

Example: MYSA Natural Wine

Around the Thanksgiving holiday, MYSA offered subscribers a bundle-and-save exclusive. This banner ad featuring their most popular wines that pair well with Thanksgiving dinner, and presents a subscriber-only discount that they can add to their upcoming order.

Free Gift Offers

If you don’t want to provide additional or deeper discounts to subscribers during promo periods, we highly recommend offering a free gift with purchase instead. With this strategy, you can delight your subscribers with a little something to show your appreciation, and enhance their brand loyalty. Implementing this tactic during sales seasons will strengthen your connection with your subscribers and foster a sense of community, reinforcing their positive perception of your brand.

Example: Manukora

In November of 2023, Manukora is gifted their subscribers an automatically-applied free gift to celebrate the holiday season. All orders that fired in November automatically included the gift. Their banner ad encouraged subscribers that didn’t have a subscription order set to fire in November to change their delivery cadence, so they could cash in on the free gift!

Example: Truvani

During BFCM of 2023, Truvani ran an awesome Black Friday promotion that included a free shaker bottle with each new order. For existing subscribers, no purchase was necessary – they could add on a free shaker bottle to their upcoming order using the customer portal banner ad.

Wrapping It Up: Using Customer Portal Banner Ads for Sales

Banner ads in the customer portal are a powerful tool for engaging subscribers and scaling your subscription revenue. Combining the right offers and the right messaging can help you effectively drive average order value and loyalty among your most valuable customers. Additionally, the portal provides a unique opportunity to cultivate a sense of exclusivity and appreciation among subscribers, further strengthening their connection to the brand. 

Ready to take something live? We love checking out your banner creative. When you whip up something awesome, be sure to send it our way! You can always tag us on social @GetStayAi.

Want to customize your subscriber portal, but don’t feel like spending thousands on development resources? We’ve got your back. Stay Ai’s no-code customer portal allows you to fully customize the subscriber experience, as well as take advantage of AOV-boosting features right out of the box.

Supercharge Your Subscription & Retention Strategy with Stay AI