You’ve heard of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
Now there’s a new shopping holiday. Fosina Marketing Group has declared this Sunday “Subscription Box Sunday.”
Subscription boxes are surprise packages of “cool stuff” that are automatically delivered to the doorstep. They can be sent as gifts, or as presents to yourself.
Fosina sees them as the new gift cards. And it has created a website — PollyDrop — to support the holiday and draw consumers to subscription box offers.
One featured offering is the Gentleman’s Box, which costs $25 monthly for over $100 value per box. Another is the Bulu Box, ranging from $8 to $10, depending on the monthly plan. It contains healthy snack samples.
Research by Hitwise shows that monthly visits to subscription box sites surpassed 40 million in January and March of this year, Fosina reports. The major growth was in the pet, lifestyle, apparel, beauty, food and kids.
Overall, there are an estimated 5.3 million subscription box shoppers.
Even without the holiday, email is “a critical component” of marketing subscription boxes,” says Jim Fosina, CEO of Fosina Marketing Group. “More than just shipping notifications and order confirmations, email can be used to establish a dialogue with the new customer that transcends the operational and engages in the conversational,” Fosina says.
He adds that “from the moment the consumer enters their credit card number and signs up - It is mission critical that the marketer connect leveraging email with a range of messaging that is hyper relevant and personalized to the new customer.”
Now it’s not certain whether this “holiday” will take off. In New York City, to name only one locale, it must compete with the running of vintage subway trains and other such thrills.
And in some ways, subscription box marketing bears a resemblance to the old “Shop Around the World by Mail Club,” a direct mail scheme that flourished for a time in the 20th century. It offered “a surprise gift from a foreign land,” every month.
Fosina concedes that “early stage marketers in the subscription box arena are dealing with challenges in terms of building affinity, loyalty and life time value among those who are "opting in" to a subscription box relationship with customers.”
The solution is to “engage from the moment of transaction and beyond in a highly contextual manner,” Fosina says. He concludes that the messaging has to “transcend the promotional and build on the social aspect of a relationship.”
Fosina Marketing is a digital agency that help brands with multiple tasks, including email marketing. It recently merged with advertising firm Agency212 and tech provider iFuel Interactive.