Yogi Surprise marks my 5th subscription box business startup. I’ve seen varying amounts of success from each previous business, but I definitely made a lot of mistakes. It’s always exciting to build something new from the ground up, especially when you get to use new skills and knowledge from lessons learned in the past. Here’s what I’ve done differently this time with Yogi Surprise and how I sprinted to $27,000 in revenue with a net profit of $9,750.00 in the first month.
1. We ran a pre-launch phase and generated buzz before accepting memberships
I hadn’t really done this with previous businesses yet. In the past, we simply launched first and then tried to drive traffic to our site. Now I’m a strong believer that the most successful businesses have very strong launches. With Yogi Surprise we used a service called LaunchRock to set up a ‘teaser’ landing page that collected interest via e-mails. The landing page then prompted the user to share with friends for a chance to win a lifetime membership to Yogi Surprise. After building a list of yoga bloggers and asking them to spread the word about Yogi Surprise (that’s a whole topic on it’s own), the landing page went viral in the yoga community and we ended up with 8,000 pre-subscribers on launch day (some individuals had driven over 500 pre-launch signups on their own). Leading up to the actual launch we frequently updated the list and ‘leaked’ new teasers about Yogi Surprise to keep the buzz going (it’s important to keep these leads ‘warm’). Finally on launch day we sent out an announcement and the response was incredible!
2. We built a solid brand and fully executed
Before we setup the pre-launch landing page we spent the better part of two weeks developing a solid brand, logo and voice that would carry the business for years. I’ve seen many business owners try to skip over this part and are later forced to go back and ‘revamp’. I’m an advocate for perfection out of the gate and doing things right the first time. Solid branding is not one of the things you wait to do before validating your concept. Customers notice this attention to detail – it enhances your credibility and increases conversions. By the time we launched the site we had also completed our box design (notice the intricate purple box in the photo at the top), but our box manufacturer (I use NW Paper Box in Portland, OR) hadn’t run our boxes yet. As a solution we made a digital 3d prototype and created some very nice product images to launch the website with. Check out the illustrator plugin, Origami for making 3d prototypes.
3. We picked a good niche
I had the idea of a Yoga Subscription Box stirring around in my head for while and by the time I got around to executing it, I was extremely surprised no one had done so yet. The yoga community has all the characteristics you’d look for in a good niche. Yogis are very passionate about what they do – it’s not just a form of fitness, it’s an entire culture/lifestyle to them. They’re often more affluent and willing to spend a little extra money for something that complements their lifestyle. Most importantly, yogis are VERY active online and on various social networks (especially Pinterest and Instagram). In addition, the yoga market is not saturated with consumer products yet and it’s one of the fastest growing categories in consumer spending.
4. We’re passionate about yoga and it shows through
Choose something you’re passionate about and live the brand. Your passion (or lack thereof) for your business will show through and customers will see it. Don’t select your idea based off of ‘what hasn’t been done yet’ choose something you love and strive for authenticity.
Thinking about starting a new subscription box business? Learn more about the right away to launch a subscription box business.