This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at Sub Summit 2023 in Dallas, Texas at the SUBTA Studios Stage. We shared 5 ways to gamify your subscription box experience. Why? To help increase engagement & loyalty, reduce churn and make it more fun to be a subscriber!
Your challenge: Choose 1 of the gamification tactics we mentioned and implement it, then share with us (either in the DMs or tag us on IG)...there will be prizes!
Our Free Game board template (Canva): https://bit.ly/3IUUcnM
There are thousands of ready-to-customize scavenger hunt templates on Canva: https://www.canva.com/templates/?query=scavenger-hunt-checklist
Example of a monthly challenge from one of our students, Active Life: https://www.instagram.com/p/CswI_ssu-90/
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It's open through Sept 27 and if you enroll using my affiliate link, you'll get some extra special bonuses!
Check them out at https://www.subscriptionboxbasics.com/dca-bonus.
So you wanna launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball. And I'm Renee Gonzalez, your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs wanting to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper, and let's have some fun. Hey everybody. And welcome back to subscription box basics. The podcast. This is Julie speaking, and I'm just going to do a quick introduction to the episode. You're about to listen to this past week. Renee and I were in Dallas, Texas for sub summit, 2023. We had so much fun. And in next week's episode, we're going to do kind of a debrief and like tell you about our experience, a recap, but today's episode is so much fun. We recorded it live at sub summit. And when I'm say we recorded it live, that means there was a live studio audience. So without further ado, here's the episode. All right. All right. All right. Good morning. Good morning. Morning. Good morning. Day two. Yes. Right. So good morning everyone. I am Candace, sleep, the c e o of the L Agency right outside of Washington, DC. I have the honor, the absolute honor of introducing this word, Ms. Julie Wall and Ren Renee, go. They are introducing the scavenger hunt, you guys, so get ready. They have some amazing tidbits for you guys, so, Let's get two big 10 toes down. Let's go. I feel like you need to be right here. How last introduction. Ever talk. Talk that can hire you. Like we need a resident hype girl for you. Gotta follow us around. I'm a girl. Yes, thank you. Oh my goodness. Welcome everybody. I'm Julie Ball. This is Renee Gonzalez, and together we are subscription box basics. Thanks for joining us today for the live podcast. We always love doing this. It's so fun to have a live audience. And so I'm gonna start with a little bit of introduction in case you are new to our world or if we're new to your world. And then we're gonna talk about gamifying your subscription box and we're gonna give you some tips and show you some examples. So let's just start off with the introduction. So if we haven't met before. I'm Julie Ball and I'm the. Subscription box, coach and founder of Sparkle Hustle grow a monthly subscription box for female entrepreneurs. After six years of running the business, sending 65,000 boxes, two and a half million in revenue. I sold the business last summer, summer of 2022, and now we are doubling down on coaching new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs. So if you're brand new to the game, that's our jam. We're here to help you. I am originally from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Bleed black and gold. But now I live in the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina with my husband, Kenny Daughter McKenna. She's a middle schooler. We're both middle school moms. Pray for us. And our, and I have a little mini Labradoodle named Bobo. So that's a little bit about me. And Renee an introduction. Yes, I am Renee Gonzalez. I am the marketing coach here at Subscription Box Basics. Before that, as Julie mentioned, when she owns Sparkle Hustle Grow, I was on her team as well. So I've been in the industry for over six years now. Prior to that, I owned a brick and mortar store for seven years. So I Worked there and did children's events and parties. So today's topic is right up my alley cuz regardless of what you're doing for your job, I believe it should be fun and you should incorporate games, which will tell you a little more about what we're gonna talk about in a minute. But I live in California with my two daughters, as Julie mentioned. One is newly teenager, 12 days. 13 years old in 12 days, so not counting. So yeah, she texted me the other day. I have a freaking teenager. Yes. So, and then I have a 10 year old daughter as well. just as pleasant, not as moody. And then I live with my husband as well, so that is a little bit about me. And we actually met in 2017 at a business event. So there's so much value in the community that you are be, that you're surrounded in right now. So even if you are an introvert, talk to the people you're sitting with. You never know. You may find your next box bestie. Yes, exactly right. So a couple core values of ours is that as Renee mentioned, we love to have fun. So we have that work hard, play hard attitude. I'm a corporate dropout and anti hussle culture. I believe we get to define what the hustle means to you, and so, You do that by figuring out what success looks like to you. It doesn't have to be that 24 7 365 hustle all day culture because it's toxic. I, I believe so. Absolutely. Anyhow, the topic today is gamification of your subscription box. And there's a few reasons we wanted to talk about that one, cuz we're running the scavenger hunt, which Renee will tell you. Shameless plug. Yeah, shameless plug. We'll tell you a little bit about that in a minute. But two, there's so many benefits of gamification. And when I say gamification, that's just bringing like a fun element to your box. You're, you can't just send a box of stuff anymore. You have to create this experience. So when you gamify your subscription box, you can boost the engagement. Boosting the engagement of your subscribers is going to keep them around longer. If they're having fun, they're not gonna hit the road they want to stick around longer, it is going to help reduce churn. So the same in the same breath, , keeping them around longer because they're having fun because they love it, and your important part of their daily life. Customer loyalty is going to skyrocket when they're having fun. They're gonna tell all their friends about it too. So the, and then of course, just having fun with your product is gonna bring that brand awareness. It's going to keep them hooked and coming back for more. So we're gonna give you five different ways that you can choose that are pretty easy to gamify your subscription box. And we don't want you to overthink this like you can do something. Fun with your subscribers today or you know, when you get back next week. So Renee, you're gonna start off with our tip number one. Yes. And before I jump into that, , if you are here live listening, we will have this on our podcast too. So feel free to take all the notes, but it'll be on the podcast. Soon. Mm-hmm. So definitely you can go back and re-listen to this whenever you would like to. So let's jump into the first one. The most obvious first choice because we are here at Sub Summit Live, is this scavenger hunt. If you have not started this yet, and you are here, then come to us at the end because we have more. It's not too late. It's not too late, and you get to check off one of them for being here live as well. But a scavenger hunt is a great way to incorporate fun into your business, into your box. You can do it as a live element like we're all doing right here . But really you can do it online as well. It doesn't have to be something that you're doing in a live component. You can send a game piece to your subscribers in their box. If you ship a box, you can even have it as a printable or a pdf mm-hmm. That they are able to download. And having a list of to-dos for your subscriber really helps take them along on a journey, but helps them use whatever's in your box and really incorporate it. You can do fun other little things too, like if you have set of five products that you're, you're doing pick products and see like, Using hint water, for example. Last year we. Read a book by the founder of Hint Water. Are you guys familiar with the flavored water? And then after we read the book, we would have subscribers go off to their grocery stores and take a picture when they found the hint water. So in the wild? In the wild, yes. So finding your products in the wild. Not only are they then, Being able to like think back like, oh, I got that in the box. But they're also then giving you content that you can repost and use on social media to, and they're actually opening your products and using it or looking it for it other places and not just using it once and forgetting it. So it really helps build that experience of your box and really keep them around cuz they're having fun with it. And you can get templates. For scavenger hunts on Canva. Mm-hmm. The free version has plenty of templates. And again, don't overthink this. This could be easy. This could be as easy as pick three things you want them to do this month and ask them to do that. Whether it's, a printout in the box, or if you have a private Facebook group for your subscribers, that's a really good place to share this type of thing because they're gonna see other people interacting and it's gonna make it really fun. It's gonna bring the community together and pro tip. There should be prizes. Yes. I was just, people love prizes. It doesn't have to be an expensive prize. You can even reach out to some of your vendors and say, Hey, we're doing this really fun scavenger hunt. Would you be interested in donating a product that we can feature as a prize? So there's a lot of ways to cut your costs on this but make it easy. And one more element too of the scavenger hunt, and this could be for any of the gamification things, but if you have a hashtag that is specific to that or specific to your box. Then you encourage your subscribers to use that hashtag and then it, it generates that community and people are able to go, like if you go to hashtag sub summit scavenger, you'll see people who have participated in this scavenger hunt right here too, but mm-hmm. But it's a good way just to generate community and really get some buzz going about your subscription box. Yes. So that's tip number one is to gamify with a scavenger hunt. So the second way that you can gamify is through a game board. And so I'm holding one up right now, and after we're done recording, if anyone wants to see this more closely, you're welcome to come up and check it out. But what the game board does think of like shoots and ladders or you know, what, what are some of those other games? The Game of Life. Mal madness, anybody. So think about going through a journey. What are some things you want them to do? And having a game board can show them how to do that in like have progress through it. So I'm gonna show, hold this up, and it says, introduce yourself in the Facebook group. Okay? So we're getting them to introduce themselves, get involved in the community, start reading your new book. That's the second space here. That was one of the things that we had in the box. We wanted them to pick up the book and actually read it. So that's why they could we, as soon as they started it, they could cross that off. Even these small steps working through this game board is going to make them feel like they're making progress. So we have things like make a connection with someone new, post a picture in your new hat, tagging us on Instagram. So there was a hat in this particular mailer as well. Again, Pointing them back to the products they received so that they use them so that they use them publicly too, which gets people talking, maybe some social shares. We also have on this game board answer a book prompt in the Facebook group. So that's creating conversation on the back of this game board. We gave them a little welcome and some instructions, and let me just read this to you so you can kind of. It'll more like paint the picture for you on how to implement this game board. And if you DM us on Instagram, we'll send you the template to this particular game board that you can use on your own if you want you can take out any of these elements, change the color, whatever. So we'll get you started. So on the back of this welcome it says, on the flip side of this note, you'll find a game board to help encourage you to do a few things this month. Like connect with others in the group and to read the book as you work through the action items. Cross them off. Don't worry, no one is getting graded, but if you complete the whole game board by the end of June, you get a prize. So we had them posting pictures every single time they did something, and that was one of the most engaged months we ever had. This was particularly a three month book club that we had. We were running in the summertime, and so we had a different game board for each month. And the engagement was skyrocketing. So this is definitely an easy way to incorporate gamification and really increase that engagement with your group. And when you were talking something about the prizes that we did for that specific challenge that you could do for anything is, Julie, you used excess inventory. Yeah. So we, , we just said we would send a prize. We had at the end of the month, one. One post where they in the comments would post if they completed their whole game board, and then we would ship them excess inventory in a fun little care package with a personalized note. Mm-hmm. So it's another good touchpoint to really connect with your subscribers and you're getting rid of excess inventory . That you had anyway. So you don't have to overthink prizes, you don't have to go buy new things. You can really just use stuff you have. I mean, and it could be as simple as giving them a $5 off coupon for their next renewal so you don't have to break the bank when you're giving them these prizes. And then one more thing about the game board is they're literally. Making forward progress. Mm-hmm. So definitely dms for that template. You can use your own templates, but it really helps your subscribers see that they're making steps forward and really like come to a completion, into an end point with the game board piece. So raise your hand if you have excess inventory. Uhhuh, every person in this room pretty much. But don't call it excess inventory. Call it a prize pack. So that is a great point though. Yeah. Surprise pack. So it's a, a great point that you don't have to break the bank. You just told us that you all have excess inventory. So use that to create buzz. Use that to create engagement. So, okay, so that was number two. Use a game board to gamify. That's pretty like, Gamification doesn't, does a bit more gamification than that. And then our suggestion number three would be to create a challenge. And this might be something that you're doing already and I see in the back, Carol from Sparkle Hustle Grow. And while we were thinking of ideas, She just started incorporating monthly challenges and that was my inspiration for having this be one of our topics for gamification. And it can be anything from a monthly challenge where you encourage your subscribers every day to take action and do something. I know a past month Carol did an I can affirmation every day. So our, the subscribers were writing down, I can. Do hard things every day, and they would have a little workbook and they would keep each other accountable by posting in the Facebook group, and it was really helping. Add that comradery and community and really give that momentum to really do the work and move forward. And you can do this for any, any industry. If you have a fitness box, you can keep each other accountable by doing the workouts. If I mean any of your products, you can challenge your. Subscribers to use it this weekend and post and tag you so you can repost it. Incorporating some sort of challenge that gives them a deadline, whether it's the end of the month or the end of the weekend, really makes them take action on what they're doing. And then again, there can be prizes to reward them as well. Always prizes. So think about your subscribers right now. Like what is something that help would help them in their journey? You created a subscription box to solve a pain point. What is something that you can challenge them to do personally that would help them again, take that forward progress and feel the transformation of not only the community you've built, but the products and the tools and the resources that you are providing. And again, if they have success, They're gonna stick around. Your churn will be reduced, their engagement will be high. It's a win-win all around. So the fourth tip for gamification , another option that you could do is a leaderboard. You probably have been in some sort of contest before where there's been a leaderboard. So this provides the opportunity to earn points by completing tasks. And so there, there could be a variety of tasks. It might be something like Share on Social with this hashtag. It could be a product survey, you know, fill out this product survey and you are going to get two points. Maybe it is show up to a virtual event and you get 10 points. But the point is, pun intended, the point is that they are trying to win something. They're trying to earn prizes There could be some like digital version of that. It doesn't always have to be shipping a prize. It helps, but there could be some sort of digital version, like subscriber of the month. So there's two different types of leaderboards that I think of. The first one would be, the one that you are probably familiar with is like the one, the person at the top wins. You want to have the most points Sometimes, however, that can feel a little bit out of reach for certain people if maybe they get got a late start. Or maybe if they don't like to do some of the things like social sharing. So I'd encourage you to also think about ladder prizes. Ladder prizes allow everyone kind of at the same level to earn based off of their particular actions, not based off of what anyone else is doing. So, for example, maybe if you say, earn five points and I'm going to give, send you this prize, earn 10 points and you're gonna get, $5 off your next subscription. The, the more that that particular person does, they can earn for themselves regardless of what anyone else's actions are. So that kind of evens the playing field a little bit more and gets people involved in their own journey, in their own leaderboard. But that's like called, we call that a ladder prize and it's like you're un unlocking new levels. Exactly, yeah. And it doesn't necessarily, again, have to be something you ship. It could always be a PDF download or something that's digital too, so doesn't necessarily cost you more shipping, but they're still able to unlock that level. Man, I swear to , when you are a brand and you share your subscriber's pictures and say subscriber of the month. That makes them so excited. If you just give them some sort of public validation that they're a good consumer. We love having them as our customer, as our subscriber. There's value in that too. So I know we all have excess inventory, so that is an option. But think about how can you digitally share about them and thank them publicly. That goes a long way. That sure does. All right, and we'll move right onto our fifth way to gamify, and this one is hiding Easter eggs. She said Easter eggs. Think back to when you were a kid and you or your kids now. And they went on Easter egg hunts, and they would hunt for those unexpected surprises or treasures. And that's what you're doing when you hide Easter eggs for your subscription. And it, again, it could be digital or it could be something that is included in the box, but you want to. Unexpectedly. They go to your website, they stumble upon something, they scan something and it brings them to a surprise or a secret or exclusive content. So really getting them to engage with not only your products, but your website and all of the things. And. Have little bonuses and fun things that come along with it too. So if you think of Taylor Swift, are there any swifties in the crowd? She is the queen of hiding Easter eggs, and she is so much so that people will hear her lyrics or see something she wears and they're like, oh, that's, that's a secret to her next album she's gonna release. So, Think of that buzz and that always talking and always like dissecting things, looking for other clues. And that is what you wanna do with your subscription box in the hiding Easter egg hints. A really easy way to do that is to do a quick video. Of you maybe thanking them or sharing something behind the scenes and hiding that QR code somewhere. And you can allude to it at first. Yeah. Especially be like, Hey, we're trying something new. We've got some hidden secret surprises for you. And start giving them some hints of where to start looking because you want to gain that momentum. You want them to interact with it. And so by kind of hinting to it, then it's more likely that they're gonna start taking action and find that Easter egg. And if it's a hint, rather than telling them like, Hey, go here. Then they start to talk about it rather than you having to talk about it. So it really creates that buzz like, Ooh, did, did you scan that QR code? Yeah. I love it. Okay, so we just gave you five tips. I'm gonna recap them real quick. Again, we're talking about gamifying your subscription box. So that you can boost engagement, customer loyalty, and reduce churn and just make it more fun. So our first tip was a scavenger hunt, which again, we have the scavenger hunt going on right now. So cross off that box if you have it. If you don't wanna have one of the game cards you have some extras, right? Yes. Come on up afterwards and see us. The second one was a game board, which is kind of like you're playing a board game, but it has a, a journey that you want your subscribers to go on. The third one was a challenge, whether that was a monthly, daily weekend challenge, whatever. It's getting your customers to take action and feel the transformation. Use the tools and resources you're providing them in the box. The fourth type of gamification we talked about was a leaderboard, which was either actual leaderboard, like whoever gets the most points wins. Or ladder prizes, ladder milestones, unlocking the levels as you said. And then the last one was Easter eggs. Be like Taylor Swift. So to wrap it up, we want you to first, cross off that block on your scavenger hunt card, and we want you to think about which of these five gamification tactics makes most sense for you. Maybe which one is like the easiest for you to implement right now? It is. Is this June 1st? It is June 1st. It's a new month. Yes. Try the Try gamification this month. That's our challenge to you. And yes, there will be prizes if you follow through with this challenge. We want to hear how you are using this in your business. We wanna be able to cheer you on, and so you can DM us. Tell us how you're using it. Or you can tag us on Instagram with pictures of how you're using it. And yeah, that's, we really appreciate you guys being here today. Hopefully this was helpful and we'll help you bring that fun element cuz again, you can't just send a box of stuff anymore. You have to create this experience. And why continue to do this if you're not having fun doing it? Yeah, you gotta fun with it. So again, we're gonna be here afterwards. If you guys have any questions about this particular topic or anything else we have some stickers to give out too. So if you wanna come up and get your stickers, let's have some fun with it. And join us on the next episode of Subscription Box Basics. Bye. Thanks y'all. Bye. Thank you guys.