Subscription boxes are the health, wellness, and beauty version of the new glossy magazine in your mailbox. A delicious and mysterious little package of intrigue that you wait in breathless anticipation for monthly, only to be full discovered by clawing into the packaging and ravaging through the tiny health, beauty, and wellness bottles and envelopes…oh, I’m sorry-I got all “Fifty Shades of Grey” on you just then. What I’m trying to say, is the surprise variety of items that is delivered regularly to your home is a fun distraction from the day-to-day bills, real estate solicitations, political ads, and other usually recyclable upon delivery items that fall into my mailbox anyway.
Remember the “Jelly of the Month Clubs” that were all the rage in the 1970s? Today’s boxes contain anything from beauty, to health and wellness, female and male skincare, shoes, fashion accessories, art and craft kits, mama and baby products, dog and kitty items, gourmet food items, and the list goes on and on. You can even have boxes of goodies curated by one of your fave “cultural icons” such is the case with Quarterly Company who will send you “physical items in the mail from influential contributors” of your choice. In addition to the products, many of them are aligned with magazine subscriptions (“free”), reward and referral programs (BOGO opportunities when friends sign up), shipping perks like free or expedited, percentages to charities, and discount codes to turn your deluxe sample into a full-sized product for less.
These boxes are typically delivered monthly or quarterly, right to your mailbox or doorstep, and in some cases customized to your skin type, animal welfare preference (i.e. vegan or not), and ecological footprint/impact desires (i.e. green/recycled, etc.). The “uber premium” Beauty Army allow you to even choose the samples you receive while Lost Crates quizzes you and pulls up “matches” for your delivered crate of premium designer goods from notebooks, to housewares, and gourmet baked goodies monthly.
The subscription service is a pretty tricky and is handy way for
- Subscribers to try new product without the commitment and cost of a full-sized (potentially pricey) product
- Maybe the most genius way for marketers to reach markets that are pretty specialized. For example, most of the subscription services have you fill out a pretty lengthy “get to know you” questionnaire where you state what kinds of products you prefer, and before you know it, you have gone from skin-sensitivity and anti-aging/wrinkle product preferences to annual household income and age without batting an eyelash. The payoff is pretty high however for the consumer. I’ve been a member of Birchbox for about a year, and I have easily received more full-sized product for free than I have paid in “dues” for the year. I have also been able to discover through the boxes a few products I would have never had the budget to try that have now been folded into my daily regiment thanks to sampling power.
Thanks to Pinterest (curses!), I’ve most recently discovered Klutchclub which is considered by the industry to be THE premium wellness-specific monthly service box. So, you know how there are all these fitness and health trends and no one ever knows what the hell anything is and what to try or invest money in? Yeah, that's why Klutchclub exists. According to Grand Rapids' own Laura Pecherski, Klutchclub Marketing Director, “we have received a lot of customer feedback lately that people want more physical products in the box rather than gift cards to redeem online so we have NINE full sized products in July's box–which I personally think is awesome.” Another thing Klutchclub does that most other subscription box services don’t is that they allow you to see a month or two in advance for a sneak peek into the product selections and emphasis for the month. They also have a really great blog on their site which frequently tells you how to incorporate the new products into your life. Pecherski sweetened the pot for us and sent me a BOGO discount code for West Michigan Woman Magazine loyalists, simply enter code: WMKLUTCH to activate yours upon checkout.
So, where do you find all of these fabulous boxes? The single best list that I have been able to find online which has done a super job of cataloging, rating, and reviewing monthly delivery services is housed in the blog Fantabulously Frugal. I couldn’t determine when the list had last been updated, the blog post is from September of 2011, however, it seems that someone is keeping up with it semi-regularly and all the links worked that I clicked on. I’m sure this is not an exhaustive list but it is an amazing beginning nonetheless. Whatever you do, do NOT click on that link unless you are ready to have your mind blown by the variety of boxes that are out there to subscribe to and probably drop a few bucks per month of your allowance indulging in new treats for your house, health, and beauty.
And just like that I became the dealer of your newest addiction: boxes. I’m sorry, and…you are welcome!
Written by: Adrienne Wallace is a public relations manager at 834 Design & Marketing, amateur veg chef, and a subscription beauty box addict. Her drugs of choice include Birchbox, Klutchclub, Goodebox, Lost Crates and Healthy Surprise (all vegan, dairy free snacks). Follow her on Twitter or Pinterest for more legal addictions. Photo: Klutchclub Facebook Photo: KLUTCHclub