Best of Both Worlds - Digital and Physical Subscriptions

blog Jan 14, 2024

Learn how digital subscriptions could be a more profitable way to serve your audience and why you should consider adding one to your physical subscription box business.


 

We talk a LOT about subscriptions and subscription boxes around here. Sourcing and receiving products, packaging and shipping, all the things it takes to create an outstanding experience for your subscribers. Oh, and you need to stay profitable, too. 

What if there was a subscription that delivered on the profit and the outstanding experience for subscribers without the sourcing, packing, and fulfillment? 

There is. 

Subscriptions aren’t always physical products delivered to your home. Think Netflix, Disney+, or your favorite online newspaper. 

 

 

Have you considered starting a digital subscription or adding a digital subscription to your subscription box business? 

Today I will introduce you to two members of Launch Your Box, Emily and Stacey. Both have successful digital and physical subscriptions. Both listened to what their audiences wanted and delivered it. And both continue to serve their audiences. 

 

Emily’s simple but brilliant digital subscription. 

I tell members of Launch Your Box not to overcomplicate things when planning their subscription boxes. That simpler is often better. 

Emily Vincent of Polka Dot Poodle might have the simplest subscription I’ve ever seen. 

By leaning into what she loved and delivering what her customers wanted in a way that was easy for her, Emily has grown a very successful subscription box business. 

And it’s all thanks to digital gift tags. 

Emily first started her business when she was expecting her first child. Her tax accountant husband worked long hours and she wanted to find a creative way to fill her time and make a little extra income. 

Emily started out selling a variety of personalized giftable items to her customers. All that personalization took a lot of time and energy. Before long, Emily started to feel burnt out. 

 

 

 

When she was trying to figure out how to get rid of the burnout and overwhelm she was feeling, a friend of Emily’s asked her an important question. 

“What brings you joy about your business?” 

The answer came quickly. Emily loved the details. All the special little touches that make a gift extra special. 

Emily decided to focus on creating gift tags. That’s right, just gift tags. 

Instead of running to the grocery store or a big box store to pick up a card, Emily’s gift cards added a unique touch - the kind of thing that takes a gift to the next level. 

And because technology is not Emily’s specialty and she didn’t have special equipment, she decided to offer these gift tags as a digital subscription. 

Emily realized with a digital subscription, it would be the same amount of work for her whether she designed gift tags for 10 customers or 1000. And a digital subscription would be more profitable than a physical subscription. 

 

 

That made offering a digital subscription to her customers a no-brainer. 

On the 1st of every month, Emily’s subscribers receive a digital file with their gift tags. They print the gift tags themselves and add them to their gifts. 

So simple. 

No printing, no packing, no shipping. Just a digital file delivered to her subscribers via email. 

When Emily launched, she started with 37 subscribers. Those numbers grew steadily and she now has hundreds of digital subscribers. 

 

Giving subscribers what they want. 

Emily’s digital subscription was exactly what many of her subscribers wanted. 

However, some of her subscribers were asking for printed versions of the gift tags. They struggled to remember to print them when they came and would find themselves wrapping a gift and not having time to print out the gift tags. 

Emily wanted to serve her audience and give them what they needed. 

 

 

So she figured out the tech and the logistics and started offering a printed version of the same gift tags. Those subscribers loved it! 

Emily still has more digital than physical gift tag subscribers and enjoys serving both audiences. 

Learn more about Emily’s subscription box journey on episode 141 of the Launch Your Box Podcast

 

Stacey’s digital subscription brings in over $20k every month. 

Ask Stacey Collins about digital subscriptions and the first thing she’ll say is: 

“No shipping!”

Stacey’s journey started as a home decor and DIY blogger. She has a passion for home decor and a talent for crafting and creating using affordable materials. 

She has also built an incredibly engaged community over the years. They LOVE her, what she sells, and how she serves them. 

One of my favorite things Stacey does is “Whisper Shopping,” when she takes her followers along on a shopping trip, finding deals and suggesting ways they could use the items in their own homes. 

During COVID, one of the ways Stacey served her audience was by showing up and crafting with them. Some of those crafts included printables that Stacey designed. 

Her followers LOVED the printables and wanted her to create more and sell them. 

So she did. As digital products. 

Soon, Stacey noticed she had customers who bought all of the new printables every time she released them. All of them. 

These ladies were spending a lot of money on printables. 

Stacey wanted to find a way to serve her customers and save them money. 

The Printable Club was born. 

The Printable Club offered Stacey’s customers an opportunity to receive a digital bundle of new printables every month at a big savings over what it would cost them to buy each one separately.  

She never expected what happened.

800 subscribers. In the first launch. 

By the end of the first year, Stacey had almost 2,000 subscribers and was bringing $20,000 into her business every month. 

 

 

 

Much like Emily’s subscription, Stacey’s subscribers receive it digitally and then turn it into something physical. 

Emily’s subscribers print the gift tags and use them to add a special touch to a gift for a friend or loved one. And Stacey’s subscribers print out their printables and use them to create home decor items! The best of both worlds! 

Hear more about Stacey’s amazing digital subscription success - and how she has created an amazing community - when you listen to episode 82 of the Launch Your Box Podcast

Just this past year, Stacey added a physical subscription to her business - the Pillow Cover Club. There was only one thing she knew she didn’t want to do - pack and ship her pillow covers. So she found a solution, using a fulfillment center. Happy subscribers and a happy subscription box owner - a perfect match! 

 

 

 

Have you considered offering a digital subscription? Is there something in your business your current subscribers want that you could offer digitally? Talk to your audience. Find out what they want or want more of. Then consider whether it’s something you could offer digitally. 

Higher profit and no packing and shipping? It really is the best of both worlds!

Learn from me:

  • Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
  • Launch Your Box: My complete training program that walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.
  • Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired!
  • One Box at a Time: Inside my book One Box at a Time, I show you the steps you need to follow to start and launch your subscription box. To turn your dream into reality. This book is filled with proven teachings, valuable resources, best practices, and action steps for you to take.

 

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Are you ready for Launch Your Box? Our complete training program walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. Join today!

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