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Episode 100!!! The International Panel Discusses Trends in Subscription!

Episode 100!!! The International Panel Discusses Trends in Subscription!

by eric musick

A year ago

This interview was a ton of fun. Here I had the honor of interviewing 8 subscription entrepreneurs from 6 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES OVER 3 CONTINENTS!
1. John Roman of Battlbox/Carnivore Club (USA)
2. Anthony Coombs of Splendies (USA)
3. Bili Balogun of Tribe Beauty Box (Nigeria)
4. Jon Butt of Blue Coffee Box (England)
5. Liam Brennan of Busterbox (Ireland)
6. Halim and Sherihan Hassibo of Av Tree (Egypt)
7. Olivia Canlas of Meowbox (Canada)
8. Ryan McKenzie of Tru Earth (Canada)

Transcript from video:


hey everyone welcome here to this year's
virtual 2020 sub summit uh i'm super
excited to be the host of this event
called setting up your 2021 trends from
an international pal panel
of subscription box experts
so before i introduce my esteemed guests
i want to take a quick second to
introduce myself if you don't recognize
me or my voice i am the host of the
subscription box show which is a podcast
where i interview some of the most
successful and brilliant minds in the
subscription business three days a week
so make sure to subscribe and follow if
you aren't already and stay on top of
the latest subscription trends
you should also join our facebook group
if you haven't already for exclusive
sneak peeks insights and giveaways but
enough about me you're here for the
panel uh and the guest that will help
your business and the latest trends tips
and insights for 2021 i wanted to have
representatives from all walks of life
from different countries all over the
globe men and women that have seen and
created success in all of their very own
niches so without further ado here is
your 2020 sub summit international panel
of experts in no particular order feel
free to raise your hand guests when you
hear your name called
representing the united states of
america john roman of battle box and
carnivore club
there's john anthony combs of splendis
i should mention too um john you're in
atlanta georgia and anthony is in los
angeles california
representing ireland from dublin liam
brennan of buster box
representing egypt sherry and haleem
hasabo of avitree and av tweens

representing england john butt of blue
coffee box
and last but certainly not least
representing my home country of canada
ryan mckenzie of true earth
olivia candles of meow box
and billy bologna of tribe beauty box
which billy you're actually originally
from nigeria so is it fair to say you're
going to be co-representing nigeria and
canada today yeah definitely it's yeah
it's also a big hub for my industry so
it makes sense yeah for sure and
actually just a side note on that i got
a message today i think it was on maybe
in the facebook group talking about
there was a lady from ghana that
mentioned she listened to your episode
and she was really um really inspired by
it because i've been getting a lot of um
messages about that side note i actually
got a consult from that episode so
thanks for putting 100 bucks in my
pocket i bought this box
that's great pleased to do it it's all
right so let's get right into it not all
of you will get to answer each question
rather i have
picked specific questions for each one
of you kind of from what i know from you
guys so if you feel like you really have
something to add feel free to do it but
otherwise you'll each have your own
questions so without further ado let's
get right into it
question number one goes to billy
belogan of try beauty box billy you're
an expert when it comes to organic
growth and intelligent ways to grow a
subscription box without a massive
hence this is how you start your company
with just 300 and four years in a new
country thousands away thousands of
miles away from your home 2021
billy what do you see as the best way
for someone that can go out about
growing their business with a limited
budget or maybe if you want to say it in
a different way organically
um so thanks for the question i think
that when people think growth they
make it equal
fast growth and sometimes growth can
just be very steady growth that's still
you know it's still numbers are still
increasing it just takes more time so
that's where organic growth came for us
and what i did there is just leveraging
a lot of community
um platforms and i feel like in 2021
with an increasing number of people kind
of feeling alone
um with you know the with covid um some
people live alone like myself
and um just in general having
less opportunities to go and go to
events i think that platforms like
facebook groups but more emerging
community um hubs like patreon are
popping up
and um that is a hub that people are not
looking into to market and a lot of
generations different generations are in
platforms like patreon
um and are just there to learn but there
that's also a place where you can um
present your idea for lead generation so
that's one of the things that we're
looking forward to doing for next year
and affiliate marketing you know a lot
of people are looking for
new ways to earn income and maybe they
have a blog that they never thought
about monetizing more more people are
putting what they have their resources
on the internet to monetize it um and
affiliate marketing i believe is
something that will see a boost um next
um and then i think marketplaces as well
are something that you should definitely
take advantage of
um as of 2021 if you're not already
doing that we just got on amazon
subscriptions and literally like two
days ago we got 207 subscribers in one
day i don't know what happened
but that was like the biggest like hike
we've seen on that platform so
definitely take advantage of that
because those platforms drive a ton of
traffic to their own
um urls that you don't have to pay for
all you have to do is be there and take
advantage of it so we found that you
know amazon works well for us
um and then i think that in terms of
relationship building back to the point
of people um
you know putting themselves more out
there people are trying to start
businesses so if you as a business owner
you can be a bit more transparent in
your business practices i believe that
people will be able to relate better to
you and almost be
an advocate for your company because not
only are you selling your business
and your product but you're also
transparent about your business
practices which helps people really
reinforce their loyalty to your brand
so those are the few things that we will
be doing differently in 2021
and um try them out
yeah lots of gold there so make sure i
hope i hope you guys have your notes
your notepads because there's gonna be a
lot of stuff to write down and um
hopefully this is gonna be downloadable
especially for the um the premium ticket
holders so question number two without
further ado let's go to liam brennan of
buster box liam you have your own
mastermind your own subscription box
academy for the experts and you're seen
as a self-taught facebook ads expert
2021 will be interesting things have
been affected and are affecting facebook
ads in 2020 like the us election um that
won't be there in 2021 black friday and
christmas will almost be a calendar year
away so what are some of the things you
and your team at buster box are looking
at to take advantage of in 2021 maybe
when it comes to facebook ads
specifically so facebook
have been pushing something called the
power five
and for a while now it's basically the
way they want companies to advertise
going forward on the platform so the
power five is using five core
elements and when you use them together
you get the best performance on the
platform so those elements are auto
advanced matching simplified account
structure cbo
automatic placement and dynamic ads now
they won't be fully relevant for all
subscription boxes and i'll give you an
example with dynamic ads
that's really only beneficial if you've
a big store and you've lots of different
products and that you're able to
actually sell but you should try to base
your campaigns going forward around the
the lines facebook have hit so that
means switching from campaigns and
going cbo when possible big budget cbo
campaigns with a open target especially
if you have a seasoned pixel and you've
made a lot of sales over the last few
years you're going to have a lot of data
built up there and you won't even have
to put any targeting in facebook will be
doing all the heavy lifting and they
just want you to focus on the creative
so put some time into developing as many
creatives as you can testing them and
making sure their creatives your target
audience actually like and it's going to
be a good user experience for people on
the platform if you can crack those
things there's great opportunities
around facebook advertising in 2021
love it good stuff thanks liam
question number three goes to john roman
of battle box and carnival club john
with the rise of subscription boxes do
you see many or more companies looking
to sell in 2021 you guys cried
we all know you acquired in 2019 i
believe it was carnivore club so as a
acquiring expert if you want on this
panel if so what is the best way to go
about acquiring a company
i i don't think we'll necessarily see
more companies getting acquired in
uh 2021 i think we'll see the same
amount as
as as this year um and last year i think
you know this year you're right there
was a rise and there were a lot of
new subscription boxes coming out
um is very similar to 2015
which was like uh the first uptick of of
or the second uptick of crazy when it
came to the amount of boxes
what we saw in 2016 was a lot of them
just went away right um they were they
were side hustles that people lost
interest they were
were more hobbies and not viable
so i think we'll see you know the
unfortunate part of business i think
we'll see several subscription boxes go
um ones that just couldn't break it to
the needed thresholds to be successful
and be
self-reliant and then we'll see
the some of the bigger ones fail
due to the usual suspects of you know
improper forecasting
you know
bad bad spending not really running a
business as optimally as you should um
your second question when it comes to
where do you go like
what's the best way to acquire one
a subscription box
honestly i think it's it's your network
a combination of your network
and just
cold outreach or getting connected to
any um
subscription boxes you're interested in
you know um
there's dozens of those sites like flip
is the first one i think of where you
can buy
buy an e-commerce business or buy a
subscription business
those are
i'd say and it's probably a bold
statement but maybe out of 100 listings
97 of them are garbage right there's a
there's there's a huge
um reason that those 97 are selling and
most are not because
it's for good reasons you're not trying
to get out when it's when it's going
like this right um there's normally a
huge fundamental issue with with the
infrastructure or the business model um
or something with the business when
they're selling um that's not to say
there's you know that three out of a
hundred that might be gems in the rock
fit that are a good opportunity
when i when i look back at the
the the four the five acquisitions we
in in 2019 and 2020
all of them came
from from network
um with the exception one was a network
it was it was it was called reach out
and we said hey we're interested um
there was an event at the business
that was pretty public so we knew that
there was an opportunity
um but you know those are the the five
that came from that looking at we
probably met with ten
from those those sites like flippa and
none of them none of them even came
close to the finish line because there
were fundamental issues
with with the business and and
you know we're here on how we come up
with evaluation and they're they're here
we're trying to go uh a small multiplier
of ebitda and they're trying to get a
multiplier off top line revenue um
i think i answered the question
no you certainly did it was good
good stuff thanks john
question number four goes to ryan
mckenzie of true earth first off ryan
big congrats to you and everyone at your
earth for recently being named canada's
second fastest growing company
ryan true earth isn't your first company
this isn't your first rodeo for sure
you've been around e-commerce since the
turn of the century so i'm dating you a
little bit here what are you seeing as a
trendy choice to start a new
subscription box you've started multiple
um maybe as a niche or is it still wide
open uh that anything could be
yeah i think this is kind of a bit of a
a broad question there's a lot to unpack
but like
you know i think i like to look at
pretty much this space at least in my
head if i'm if i'm jumping into a new
subscription box if i was um
you know
there's a lot of boxes in a lot of
different niches so instead of trying to
specifically look at something that
might not be saturated i'd probably look
at how you could do it differently a lot
of people get into subscription boxes
because either a their identity is
already heavily wrapped up in the topic
or or b
it's something they want their identity
to be heavily wrapped up around
so looking at subscription box outside
of just receiving stuff in the mail like
obviously people sign up for your box
because they want their identity to be
tied to whatever it is that they're
but for me i look at that as that's the
the first foot in the door you want
these people to like i'll give you a
good example we have an outdoor
adventure subscription box and uh the
box gets them to make the first purchase
and then after that we offer them
weekly monthly quarterly challenges that
basically allow them to further
experience that identity they want when
uh when they eventually have enough
stuff and they they don't necessarily
need to receive the box anymore what
we're able to do is we're able to
transition them into a lower priced
subscription where they get to maintain
part of the community they get to
continue having that subscription they
still get the service that allows them
to fulfill their identity so even when
there's attrition there's an opportunity
to continue having that person as a
customer and increase your lifetime
value so looking at the problem from
okay what's something that's not a red
ocean like what's something that's not
already busy versus like what else can i
to to fulfill that person's desire for
what they purchase this box for
yeah that's a great point love that
great answer
question number five goes to anthony
coombs of splendis ac you're a pioneer
in the subscription box industry and no
different in your particular niche which
is subscriptions for underwear you have
been able to not only
grow despite the rise of competition in
your particular niche
but also pivot when needed
anthony what would you say is the number
one thing subscription box owners owners
should be worried about for 2021
sure thank you so much for having me on
um without any question uh it's
unpredictability in 2021 uh because what
happened with the worldwide pandemic of
covid which has been awful and ravaging
communities and everything all over the
world um
what you saw as a spike in e-commerce
and in subscription boxes and so there's
no way that you were going to know that
that necessarily would happen to the
extent that it did for example for us
uh we at one point had uh over twenty
thousand person waitlist um for our
subscription box because we didn't have
the inventory and so i would say
forecasting um for next year is gonna be
extremely difficult it's gonna be
unpredictable but the ways in which you
can somewhat combat that is if you're a
company which has to
months and months in advance
you may want to think about just having
excess inventory on hand
which can you know sometimes create cash
flow issues but
that would enable you not to have to
deal with what can be a stressful issue
with a wait list or haven't forbid
having to turn away customers
um and then if you're a smaller company
which you can purchase more on the fly
where you can purchase maybe a month out
maybe have vendors just available on the
ready that way
if there's another huge spike you're
able to say hey you know we've already
negotiated this we want to go ahead and
get this product in uh right away
we don't know how long this is gonna
last we'd have no idea what it's gonna
entail for the next year and so you just
have to be aware that there are maybe
some very up months there may be
sometimes when it slows down but you um
are able to make sure that you're aware
of the unpredictability so you can
hopefully um deal with that when it
yeah unpredictable is uh an
understatement for sure it's been a
quick 2021 hopefully things get a little
better in 20 or 20 20 for 2021.
thanks dc question number six goes to
olivia candles of meow box olivia you
work very closely with influencers in
your particular space uh which if you
haven't guessed already by just the name
yao box it's cats guys it's for cats
where are some areas subscription box
entrepreneurs should be focusing on when
it comes to influencers in 2021 and how
do you approach influencers to get the
most out of them if that's even a fair
thing to say yeah yeah uh thanks for
having me on um
social media uh love this question
social media marketing
um so for for influencers our big focus
for next year is um going to be quality
over quantity um i've seen other
companies and even ourselves at one
point just sort of
getting as many boxes out there as
possible and seeing what happens and
we're going to
still continue with the volume of boxes
that we
send out um for influencers but sort of
more focused on people who um
we can see converting for us better
um new area for us to explore for next
year is going to actually be um always
we always focus quite a bit on instagram
but we would like to explore tick tock
so now that we know it's here to stay at
least for a little while longer um
it's just such a new landscape uh we
don't know exactly how we're gonna do
this but we're big fans of sort of
trying and seeing what happens and going
from there i don't even know if the
influencers in this space quite know how
to um sort of i guess uh
monetize um from supporting companies
like like us like mailbox and other
subscription boxes but that's an area
that we're really excited to explore
and then in terms of um
creating relationships with new
influencers one thing for
all seven years of of our company's life
the approach that we've always taken
um is to
develop real authentic relationships
with the people who we're we're wanting
to contact so
um we don't use contracts for probably
99.9 of our influencer relationships are
contract free and that has worked out
very very well for us um so we continue
to do so so we don't ask people to post
a certain number of times
we don't share any sort of major
expectations or any expectations at all
when we send a box of their way
i feel like that's a more sincere
approach and a better way to develop a
relationship and trust with uh with an
influencer treat them like a person i'm
a person they're a person um and uh that
sort of give always given us the best um
and we continue to have relationships
with these influencers like through the
yeah imagine that treating people like
people that's a
it was a great thing so thanks olivia
for that question number seven goes to
from blue coffee box john you've always
been creating successful businesses for
a long time you've personally worked
with michael e gerber of the e-myth
revisited for the listeners if you
haven't already please read that book
it's one of my top ones that i usually
recommend but john blue coffee box
actually came to fruition as a bed of
sorts to your podcast listeners um side
note john has over 600 episodes on his
podcast by the way so i feel a little
underwhelmed being the host here um
but john for someone who's overthinking
their idea
whether it's analysis paralysis whatever
we've heard all the terms how would you
get them started if you were to start a
new subscription box in 2021 how would
you go about it and i know it's a loaded
question but i guess try to
if you can maybe
yeah um yeah
so most people who've not had a business
before get a bit worried where they
start what if it all goes wrong so so
one thing to bear in mind when you
launch your business
no one's looking no one's heard of you
except your mum
you know your mum will buy one that's
not gonna help you so so don't worry
nobody's looking you can improve it once
you've got something going
you can
make it better in fact in in my
businesses i always explain to my staff
that that there's nothing wrong no one
can ever do anything wrong
you know they look up to me and i've
been doing it for ages when i started i
was a complete idiot i knew nothing so
so uh but i had no one to tell me so we
have two states we have good enough for
better and we're constantly trying to
move good enough to now to better and
that then becomes good enough for now
better there's that's all there is
everything can be improved but there's
good enough for now so
when you start the most common question
for people is what do i use do i use
crayjoy or shopify we know what platform
most people make the mistake of asking
everyone else they never qualify that
person's expertise so you'll get a load
of people who'll say you should use
woocommerce um and uh or you should use
wix i use wix um have you you never see
that person say how many subscribers
have you got
um so so get over the platform
customers marketing is where you need
your expertise so pick something that's
simple i started with cratejoy because i
figured uh it is it just does the job we
didn't have to hire a programmer we
originally thought we were going to have
to hire a programmer then we found craig
joy it's like 40 odd dollars a month you
think really um and there's suddenly if
you if you get i've so i can only ever
talk to you about crate job because i've
only ever used it so don't ask me my
opinion on shopify i have e-commerce
sites there was no shopify when i
started we're fine with ours
so crate joy works and and we get on
with marketing so
pick something that is designed for the
job unless you are some kind of
programmer and if you are some kind of
programmer you are never going to sell a
thing because you're going to spend all
your time programming a site that nobody
is going to see because you're going to
spend time programming it and not
launching it so you've got to get
you cannot do it wrong it may not look
go back and look at
go back through the archives look google
it and look at what the original google
page looked like look at what the
original amazon website looked like
think of any great website and you can
find the original version
those were good enough for them and they
improved as they got customers and could
afford to improve
so you have to get launched
and you have to spend 80 percent of your
time getting customers and marketing
there is no business
that's right that's a great point
uh finally for the first round of
questions the question number 8 goes to
sherry and haleem from av tree and av
you guys when you start a subscription
box in a market where there were no
subscription boxes you guys are the
first one in egypt i think it's
still not a really a big thing there it
wasn't a thing in egypt anyways when you
first launched
you guys are planning a lot more
obviously sherry or helene whichever one
wants to answer this one here what would
you say to someone who thinks a
subscription box would never work or in
their country or maybe in their
particular niche
uh i'd actually say go for it
a virgin market is actually more of a
rather an opportunity than a difficulty
as long as the challenge your
subscription service is about to solve
is present in your market in a very
obvious way obviously your brand
you have a great chance to highlight
your brand and an even greater chance to
uh to market your service uh so with the
proper research uh preceding the launch
of the idea itself and the relative
market testing
uh you would succeed in placing your
subscription service easier i would say
easier easily um
not easily but easier
for either av3 which is our main box the
beauty subscription box or for av tween
that we are about to launch now the the
tween's essential box we take our time
really researching and creating like the
proper accurate analysis of the market
and then each we're about to address
first we give it a time frame of at
least four months just doing that before
putting the idea into any kind of action
and this validates the idea enough for
us to to help us tremendously one put
our minds at ease that this idea is not
going to fail
even if it doesn't do the it doesn't
reach the the best case scenario but it
will not fail and uh the second thing is
of course to
ensure that we are going to make profits
in an early stage that it doesn't affect
our growth plans
um and so yeah i'd say go for it but
with the
with the right um
research of the idea validation of the
idea before you go
yeah validation what a key um key point
for sure i mean that's obviously
number one when you're launching any
let's get back revolt as you guys have
all had the chance to answer one
question so thanks for that we're gonna
get kind of into the uh the second round
question number nine goes to liam
brennan of buster box you're gonna lead
us off in the second round here liam how
important is it to be part of a
community of like-minded individuals
and are there any tips to engaging in
masterminds or groups maybe specifically
in our subscription niche uh do's and
don'ts if you will
yeah i think a masterminds give you a
massive advantage
and it's just a great place to be part
of because everybody in the particular
mastermind will all be looking to reach
the same goal and we all might be
different experts and in different
stages of
advertising like i might be good at
facebook somebody could be good at
influencer marketing some somebody could
be doing really well with google ads
somebody could be getting thousands of
people signed up through affiliates if
we all meet together and combine that
it improves everyone and in the group
and the deals and don'ts i'd probably
say if you are getting involved is don't
take more than you give and don't be
silent actually participate you'll be
surprised at how much information you
know even if you feel like you're in the
early stages and because you'll probably
have some information that will be able
to help other people solve a big problem
in the mastermind
yeah it's pure gold
i think what was it give more than you
take that's that's so true and i think
not to be silenced is another huge one
i've been part of a few masterminds
where you barely know one person but you
know that it's too bad because they're
not really taking full advantage of that
of that community
question number 10 goes to anthony combs
of splendis anthony
in your opinion how can subscription box
entrepreneurs best utilize paid that
paid ads picks videos carousel now i'm
hearing is a popular thing on facebook
for the ads or maybe it's an error they
might not have thought of such as tick
tock or pinterest kind of like what
maybe olivia mentioned are there certain
trends you see coming in 21 that folks
can take advantage of
uh sure so uh as olivia said tic toc is
definitely something that a lot of
are getting into and should be but
across all platforms um the content has
to be good that's one of the biggest
mistakes i see it's it's like day one
line one but they'll put out you know
photography which isn't professionally
done and be like my facebook ads aren't
working and it's like well you know here
you go here's why um and then also short
videos i mean like everything in the
world is getting shorter and so you want
to you know
we when we first started we could do
five or six minute videos um and no
one's watching a five or six minute
video anymore so
now we're looking we we whittled them
down to about three minutes and now we
are about 15 seconds or less so um
can you convey what you are offering in
five seconds it's hard but that's where
pretty much everything's going and the
other thing i would say um as far as
a big mistake that i see a lot of
first-time entrepreneurs do is that they
try to master every single platform and
that is near impossible um we know this
for a long time and you know we maybe
only have a couple down pretty well
if you can figure out one and do it
really really well congrats and then
just double and triple down on that and
you can do really really well
as opposed to trying to spread yourself
so thin to where you're trying to do
just okay or just doing a mediocre job
on many different things find the one
that works and then just go for that and
short videos and good content
yeah know where your customers were
hanging out right and kind of maybe
double down on that one is that sort of
fair to say yeah triple down triple down
love it
uh question number 11 goes to olivia
from yao box olivia you originally spent
a lot of money on your domain or what
seemed to be i guess a lot of money back
then which is actually even today would
still be enough
going forward how important is it for
subscription boxes to have a really
catchy domain is it a problem if they
don't barkbox mailbox or whatever your
niche is dot com is most likely already
taken and maybe if you want to touch on
social handles at the same time if
that's a way to gauge how to go about a
um yeah back
when i first purchased the domain it was
a lot of money especially for a company
that was not even a year
old but um but i knew that the name meow
box as opposed to
get meow box or my mailbox was gonna be
key um and so i invested in it so if i
recommend if
if you've proven concept and you have an
opportunity to purchase a nice clear
simple domain name to go for it
um i definitely don't regret it but like
you mentioned um those names might not
be they might not be available anymore
or they're going to be a price that's
going to make it so you can't continue
to do your business
so i think that if the catchy names not
out there
and you decide or if there is and it's
too expensive um that consistency across
uh platforms is key
so if let's say for meow box i could
only get um my mailbox then i would want
to make sure that it's the same handle
that i'm using across twitter across
facebook uh instagram just too many
times um when i'm looking for
a company's information online or on
social i'll notice that it changes um
across different platforms and that's
confusing especially with the saturated
market you think okay maybe this is a
different brand that i'm looking at
of course if your branding is clear
across the board that helps but i think
in terms of if you can't get that short
sweet catchy
name then at lea at the very least to
make it consistent across all of your um
all of your platforms
and then so so yeah like in in terms of
um like you mentioned on social for us
we sort of at the beginning we we
switched we had like mailbox canada
get mailbox my mailbox and then
eventually we did everything we had to
do to make it all the same and i think
that's that's key
yeah i couldn't uh i couldn't agree more
on that one for sure to make it easy for
people to to find you
question number 12 goes to john of blue
coffee box john you started blue coffee
box when you could argue coffee is one
of the most saturated or red ocean
niches yeah you once mentioned to me
google adwords google adwords how much
should subscription businesses
regardless of how saturated their niche
is pay and pay attention to google
adwords in 2021
a lot
but it does depend very much on what
you're selling because so hello
millennials um yes you all think that
facebook is an instagram of the only
we used to run businesses uh well some
of us great uh used to run them before
the internet but uh but businesses were
fine before twitter before facebook
there was a time uh but when you're
searching when you're on facebook so
you're sitting in your office you're
scrolling down you are not looking for
stuff you are trying to avoid what
you're supposed to be doing it is a
distraction so the ads cleverly are
distractions in fact you don't even like
most people don't even know their ads do
they but on google google is intent if
you want to buy coffee you're not going
to go onto facebook
you are going to go on to google and
look up coffee
now we happen to have a like a single
so if you are a surprise
people are not looking
people don't look to subscribe to stuff
because subscribe
sounds like
whoa i'm never going to be able to get
out of paying for this
it's a product so like like liam you're
selling dogs treats you know and anthony
you got underwear so these so certain
certain niches will work on google but
if you have a surprise box i mean
probably like on a loot crate and unless
you're looking for a surprise box or a
surprise gift or something like that but
gifts attract more expensive ads so
there is massive intent on google uh but

and it's still there and it's not going
away google
you know a lot of people would think
well google's market share is going down
and it's going to go away it's quite a
big company
know what they do they'll just buy up
the next thing
but um
but i think you should become an expert
at google ads and you should give it
time so many people i mean liam you'll
see this on facebook ads people say oh
i've just run these ads and i didn't
sell anything and
and you want to look at it you say well
your website is awful would you buy from
it but
they haven't got a clue because they
haven't studied everyone expects to be
an expert from day one you've got to
take your time when i started google ads
i followed uh somebody i followed a
course and i just did exactly what they
said simple as that i didn't i didn't
think i won't do that because that
doesn't look very interesting i just did
exactly what they said and i was selling
fire extinguishers
and uh
2007 or something like that
and um and now we do it with coffee once
you become an expert something you you
get quite confident but
google is
the intent engine so if you want to find
out information or you
they they're not necessarily going to
buy they want to find out about
something and you happen to be there
give them the information and whoa they
can buy it too
make it easy to find for sure yeah
question number 13 goes to billy bilogan
of try beauty box bill you literally
learned everything for your business by
searching online a lot of the stuff
probably on google reaching out to
hundreds and hundreds of suppliers going
to conferences trade shows and being
willing to be a student of the industry
with the possibility of more and more
conferences being shut down in all
industries and seeing how important it
is to physically shake hands and meet
some people how are you personally going
to stay on top how are you personally
going to stay top of mind with your
suppliers customers and colleagues in
the industry for 2021
um yeah thanks for the question so i
actually think that it might become a
bit easier now because people have no
other means of communication with uh
potential purchase orders and sales
orders but to actually respond to their
emails um so i'm finding that sales reps
way more responsive now even if it's
just to like the first call it may not
work down the line but at least they're
responsive um we've been doing a lot of
linkedin reaching out as well
um i think that it's it's it's a good
place to start you know looking for the
buyers or the pr person in that company
that's something that we've been doing
you know you can't always access
people's emails but that's what we're
going to be doing for 2021 so i'm almost
more excited um with the possibilities
of the kind of brands that we can reach
out to uh because they're getting paid
to respond to these emails you know
they're not only looking forward to the
trade shows now
um so it's it's great and obviously uh
building good relationship with brand
owners a lot of the brands say we get
like six brands
when we have good relationships with
we can have you know six more
uh brand relationships because we've had
good relationships with the first six
and then they refer us to other people
so keep that in mind um you know if you
for example there's a brand we worked
with like a year like two years ago we
noticed you know they released a new
eyeshadow palette and the lady also just
had a baby so we sent like those uh
um that like eternal flowers that
represent you know like her bond with
her child but also matching the colors
of the new palette so little things like
that and now we're the only subscription
box that she works with um little things
like that go a long way
yeah getting past the gatekeepers is
gonna be key for sure at any time
especially now with the more focus on
emails and reaching out and linkedin you
mentioned is probably a good one to go
through so
good tips there for sure question number
14 goes to sharihan and haleem of av
maybe i'm not fisher if it's haleem's
term here but you start multiple
subscription boxes in different niches
and continue to innovate the egyptian
market for someone looking to expand on
a new market what is the best advice
you'd give them for actionable things to
start doing in 2021
well um
expanding is a very risky step
especially in the vision market like
when you are targeting consumers or uh
audiences that they it's the first time
for them to hear about the subscription
since a new
service can affect one that's already
if it's not
done right uh for example uh
our the new av tween box that we are
launching uh it's in the pre-launching
phase now uh we started to announce it
uh as it's one of the avail three boxes
uh why we did that because uh already
ev3 is running for one year now and we
get the credibility in the market so we
engaged or
we related that the new box uh with the
old one that's already running
successfully but it's it adds a lot of
pressure uh because we have to keep we
need to keep the the same
this the same flow and the same success
successful things that we are doing in
the in the old box or in the already
running box to the to the new one
so my advice is uh
the innovation this is the key that we
we always distributed the company here
you have to innovate uh
to keep customers want your service
for example in 2021 we are going to
engage our customers with adding the
virtual uh the ar experience in the in
our boxes though that they can uh
see the products that they receive or
how to use it
in an ar experience that keep the
engagement higher and the
good and for the ones who might not know
ar experience you want to just maybe
quickly elaborate on that
uh aix is is something like the virtual
or augmented reality
when we send a box to our members in
egypt here now it's a beauty box so
there is a fly that inside the box that
shows the the products the retail price
where to buy how to use and all of this
it was printed at the beginning
then about two months ago
we we developed the idea to be a digital
version so they receive a barcode or a
qr code in the box so that they can scan
the qr code and they download the pdf is
it it's an engage it's an interactive
so if they decided to buy they click on
the product they need it will direct
them to the website directly
so it may it made
a level of engagement more than the
printed one uh and in 2021 we decided to
make the ar augmented race so that they
will be a flylet but when they scan the
products will pop up in a 3d
image or something
the information gum comes out from the
product in an interactive way it could
be a video of someone using this product
so that gives them a an idea of how to
use it or the best ways to to mix it
with other products exactly so enhancing
the unboxing experience and maybe just
quickly show of hands of those who have
uh maybe invested for their own
subscription box something like
captivate or the incredible unboxing
something like that where you're
enhancing the unboxing experience or
maybe planning to maybe just a show of
hands to see out of the nine here how
many have that
yeah you guys are lucky we don't have
anything like
everything ourselves yeah well there's
any subscription boxes you know
affiliate businesses that can help with
stuff like this yeah the only reason i
mentioned those two specifically
captivate and incredible unboxings
because they were both on the show and
that seems like it's a it's another
uptick in things that people are doing
to just separate themselves from their
competition is elevating the unboxing
experience through video with your voice
those kind of things so thanks guys uh
number 15 goes to ryan mckenzie of true
earth ryan you're famous on the
subscription box show anyways for saying
that copy is just the seasoning to the
offer we've talked about that on a
couple occasions actually what are
offers that you see working well in 2021
whether totally discounted percentages
adding products or some months that are
free maybe the first month for you that
sort of thing
yeah i mean
i think really like
what's more important uh with these
offers are that they're like they're
matching the correct segment
of of your audience so if somebody's top
of funnel and never heard of your brand
before what can you do to reduce the
friction to have them try your brand you
know in that case
a first month free
i know a lot of people that are having a
lot of success with that um
things like uh
10 off with uh when they sign up for sms
works really well although i'm not
really a big fan of discounting like the
this is the top of funnel layer um for
people that are already customers where
you want to uh drive up that lifetime
value or increase their commitment um
i i have something that i call like uh
like a second helping type offer where
what we'll do is we'll incentivize them
to change from a monthly subscription or
quarterly subscription to an annual
subscription and
there's a slight discount when you buy a
larger volume but we try to
day to day we don't offer any additional
bonuses but when when we do sales
instead of
instead of heavily discounting anything
i i just include a high margin item uh
for free with those annual subscriptions
and what winds up happening is we
convert so many people
to that particular offer just because
first of all they love our product
already um and then they see the value
in getting the bonus they're saving a
little bit of money and they're getting
a bonus um
that's really working really well bottom
of funnel and believe it or not even
even uh when we do these promos like
every couple of months and we offer
these packages a lot of people that have
kind of been following along um or
have you know watched some of our videos
or have engaged with our page they're
even taking that offer because they can
see that it's it's it's a good deal and
they've been kind of like sitting on the
fence for months waiting to take action
this finally the thing that puts them
over the edge
nice thank you for that and finally
kept the last question for good buddy
number 16 question number 16 goes to
john roman of bottle box and carnivore
club john being the cmo at battlebox you
see first and foremost marketing and the
challenges associated with that being a
cmo so the chief marketing officer at
battlebox twofold question for you john
in 2021 what do you forecast being the
hardest challenge when it comes to
marketing or getting in front of your
audience and how would you go about it
if you were a
a new bootstrap business
or b
an established an established business
so i think the the the answer to both
about the biggest challenge is the same
um it's already been touched on now
three times
um on this panel
customer experience
competition everyone is just
consistently moving the ball forward and
moving that needle of of expectations
and just what comes what happens in
addition to the box right whether it's
one of the
the amazon unboxing thing you spoke of
um to community that that comes along
with your subscription to the experience
of the unboxing
there's so much that goes into the
all-encompassing experience um from
innovation to ar
i think that's the biggest challenge
is that
we're seeing
really the envelope continue to get
pushed further and further so it's it's
and whether it's a direct competitor or
it's just another subscription box the
end of the day there's you know we're
all fighting for that wallet share so i
think that's the biggest challenge is is
how can you push your brand
uh to having a better experience whether
it's through ar whether it's through qr
codes or community that's that's the
challenge and i think everyone's going
to face it and um
i think
you'll see several companies
dozens of companies next year that
embrace it and are bleeding edge when it
comes to experience and thinking outside
the box um on concepts and ideas they're
they're going to be the ones that that
you see with that exponential growth and
just really they'll be the trailblazers
yeah yeah great points for sure so that
kind of makes the end for this kind of
segment which is the questions you guys
just got a chance to answer two
questions uh this is a surprise little
lightning round i did not send to any of
you just because i wanted you guys to
just answer quickly and anyone so you
can all unmute your mics anyone can just
pipe in it's just it's gonna be
basically yes or no questions
here goes the rapid fire round
if you could only spend money on one
marketing avenue in 2021 what would it
google ads
that's such a tough question
first thing that comes to mind you can
only spend it on one one thing
insert marketing
still facebook
do we all have to respond no you know
you don't have to
i think here in egypt in 2021 we will
spend on tick tock tick tock
i say facebook and as i say it a little
part of me just dies inside
me meet me too john me too

35 days
favorite influencer size nano micro or
micro micro micro all day micro aldi
micro i was hoping someone would say
nano because it's cheaper for me but
okay micro is
free shipping or paid shipping
are you really asking that
i i am yeah
built into the price
we don't have free shipping on anything
which is like crazy right right
we have free shipping free shipping
makes a big difference for us because
nothing is on free shipping in egypt so
when we say free shipping already we are
so different yeah no that's right and
just funny story like their episode's
not out yet but when i interviewed uh
sherry han and helene they said that
when they shipped out their free their
box it was free shipping people at the
door were trying to pay the courier and
the creator was like no no it's free and
they're like what they're trying to
chase them
i can't believe it's free shipping um
next one quarterly then this is for 2021
keep in mind quarterly or monthly
on weekly
if i were to if i were to ever start a
new subscription i want to do a
quarterly uh without question because it
just gives you so much time to plan and
it's from what i can see a lot easier um
so i would say quarterly if you're gonna
start out if you can do it
yeah i i would say this too but i'm not
sure i would love to do it for the same
reason by the way quarterly if i'm going
to start over especially with the
covered 19 circumstances but i'm not
sure if quarterly would make you
lose interest of your um
customers that's the challenge right
just keeping them engaged
and this is a bit of a trick question
here what was the first ever
subscription box
does anybody know
first ever

well you're all wrong so there you go i
think we read before that uh the
subscription business started around 50
years or 60 years ago
in concert not a subscription box but
the concept of subscription boxes or
subscription service
you're close you're yeah you're probably
the closest so i did a little bit of
research on this and some say that the
book of the month club which was started
back in 1926 by harry sherman
was the concept that kind of was their
first one but there's others that say
the sampler which came out in 2004
that's uh ryan mckenzie circa era there
do you remember that one ryan the
sampler i don't but what about like
columbia house records and oh
vhs yeah i i seriously i cloned my mom
into signing up for columbia house like
eight times i don't know how like i have
so many shitty cds i'm sorry
you could get like 12 cds for a dollar
or 99 cents on the industry yeah yeah
they were like a penny each and then you
had to pay 20 like something bucks a pop
for the next nine
well i'm gonna date you all because i
used to collect columbia house tapes so
i beat you olivia's laughing are you
come on anybody else with the tapes
right now
yeah there you go
okay and finally this is just for you
guys here i guess what's the best place
for people to get a hold of you let's
just quickly plug each box i'm gonna
just name you so we don't all set the
same time so let's start with ryan best
place to find true earth in yourself
um and you can find me uh on facebook i
think my url is ryan.mackenzie
mckay mckenzie
or you can search me on linkedin
uh next up is go john
from blue coffee box
so there you go blue coffee box dot com
and for all those who think they don't
like it
um and that is the way to find me i'm
around but i'll be there
okay sounds good sherry and helene best
place to get ahold of you guys or av
tree and soon to come av tweens
yeah it's
basically and to reach us personally
we're active on linkedin
of course the names are not familiar i'm
not sure you'll even know how to spell
hopefully it will be written somewhere
hopefully for sure yeah
liam from buster box
and you can find booster box at
me personally you can find my blog at
the michael or my
subscription box group subscription box
resources on facebook
yeah great group for uh people who want
to join um facebook groups when it comes
to subscription boxes liam's got some
great stuff in his group a lot of great
uh content always being shared there uh
next up olivia with mailbox
um across any platform you can find us
at meowbox whether it's twitter
and all of the above
and to get a hold of me you can probably
literally just mention my name on any of
those platforms and the message will get
to me or just email me olivia awesome
anthony coombs from splendi's
uh yeah uh and uh can
always be reached at team
thank you billy balogun from tri beauty
box hey you can reach out to me at
create try by email and
the website is tribe
sounds good last but not least john
roman from battle box and carnival club
maybe you want to plug both johnny
sure uh battle box uh b-a-t-t-l-b-o-x
dot com there's no e in it and then
carnivore club dot c-o
uh you can find me probably best on
uh just john-roman
sounds good so i just want to thank you
guys all for coming on to this panel i
reached out to you and not one of you
blinked and i so really appreciate
having all of you guys come on this has
been a lot of fun and being part of the
international panel of experts for this
sub summit 2021. i just want to finish
off by saying that when paul chambers of
sapta originally asked me to be part of
this amazing event i felt humbled and
extremely honored so big thank you goes
out to paul and everyone at sapta who
helped put this together
lauren jennifer chris george chris
chambers and of course the hajj father
john yes you gotta you're gonna
keep you're gonna keep going with that
i'm yeah i'm kind of like that guy in
high school that had a nickname for
everyone and i'm gonna keep it going in
this uh in the subscription space so
expect some nicknames coming from you
guys too soon i'd also like to thank my
amazing editor junard asiva uh he does
all the editing for the subscription box
show as well so thanks to junard and of
course it cannot have been possible
without the amazing guests you guys
ultimately are the reason everyone else
is listening to this so thanks to all
the panelists who took time out of their
busy queue for schedules to do this uh
for the listeners of the subscription
industry so huge thanks to you guys
thanks guys for taking part and um we'll
see you around for the next couple days
around sub summit here so
cheers thank you for having us