Subscription Box Basics

Claim Your Free Listing on A Year of Boxes

June 10, 2024 Julie Ball
Claim Your Free Listing on A Year of Boxes
Subscription Box Basics
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Subscription Box Basics
Claim Your Free Listing on A Year of Boxes
Jun 10, 2024
Julie Ball

In this episode of Subscription Box Basics, host Julie Ball is joined by Jessica Principe, founder of All Girl Shave Club and the new owner of A Year of Boxes. They discuss the tremendous benefits of being listed on third-party review sites like A Year of Boxes, including increased visibility, SEO advantages, and access to a new audience. Jess shares her journey in the subscription box industry, the importance of having accountability partners, and tips for leveraging features in gift guides to boost sales. The episode also highlights the upcoming Subscription Box Awards and offers listeners a chance to get a free directory listing on A Year of Boxes.

00:00 Introduction 

00:55 Jessica's Journey in the Subscription Box Industry

02:31 The Importance of Having a Box Bestie

06:22 What is 'A Year of Boxes'?

08:36 Benefits of Being Listed on Third-Party Review Sites

19:16 How to Get Involved with 'A Year of Boxes'

24:27 Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Resources mentioned:

📌 Going to Sub Summit?  Book a free 15 minute consultation with a subscription box expert at The Experts Bar! Come pick our brains! Renae & I will be there Mon 6/17 (2:30-3:30 pm) and Tues 6/18 (9:30-11:30am.)

Book your session at https://bit.ly/experts-bar.

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Subscription Box Basics, host Julie Ball is joined by Jessica Principe, founder of All Girl Shave Club and the new owner of A Year of Boxes. They discuss the tremendous benefits of being listed on third-party review sites like A Year of Boxes, including increased visibility, SEO advantages, and access to a new audience. Jess shares her journey in the subscription box industry, the importance of having accountability partners, and tips for leveraging features in gift guides to boost sales. The episode also highlights the upcoming Subscription Box Awards and offers listeners a chance to get a free directory listing on A Year of Boxes.

00:00 Introduction 

00:55 Jessica's Journey in the Subscription Box Industry

02:31 The Importance of Having a Box Bestie

06:22 What is 'A Year of Boxes'?

08:36 Benefits of Being Listed on Third-Party Review Sites

19:16 How to Get Involved with 'A Year of Boxes'

24:27 Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Resources mentioned:

📌 Going to Sub Summit?  Book a free 15 minute consultation with a subscription box expert at The Experts Bar! Come pick our brains! Renae & I will be there Mon 6/17 (2:30-3:30 pm) and Tues 6/18 (9:30-11:30am.)

Book your session at https://bit.ly/experts-bar.

Support the Show.

Speaker 2:

So you want to 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.

Julie:

Hey, everybody. And welcome back to Subscription Box Basics, the podcast. I'm Julie Ball, your head coach. And today I have a very special friend. Actually, my box bestie is here with me, Jessica Principe. Hey, Jess. Hey, Julie, thanks so much for having me. I always love joining you. Yes, you've been on the podcast several times now, but guys, if you haven't met Jess, let me just tell you, she's got some serious street cred in the subscription box industry. She is not only the founder of All Girl Shave Club, But also over the years, she's become a subscription box mentor, and now she is the new owner of a year of boxes. Yay! And that's what we're going to be talking about today.

Jessica:

Yes! I'm so excited to share more with everybody.

Speaker:

Yeah, it is such a great opportunity, whether you are brand new. In the subscription box game, or if you are an established box, this episode is for you. So before we dive into a year of boxes, Jess, why don't you just tell everyone a little bit about yourself and then we'll tell them too, about our history of how we met and became box besties.

Jessica:

Yes, for sure. So I started my subscription box business, all girl shave club back in 2000. Gosh, almost eight years ago now it goes by so fast, especially when you're working in the subscription box industry and you're planning monthly, like, oh my gosh, your years just fly by. So yeah, I've been doing it for almost eight years and over the Over the course of, of my time doing it, I just, like you said, started to take on some coaching and some mentoring and creating some digital products around things that I felt like would have been really beneficial to me in those early stages, like how to, you know, send and schedule emails consistently and prelaunch and all of that. So that's kind of what I've been doing. And then the opportunity for a year of boxes just came to me out of the blue. I was not looking for it. It was not. part of my plan. But it came to me and I kind of took advantage of the opportunity to grow my my business through, through that acquisition. So that's what I'm doing is running all three of those businesses and juggling my two little boys who are not so little anymore, 13 and 11 and just kind of living it up here in New Hampshire.

Speaker:

Very cool. I love that you took over a year of boxes because I think it's so smart as a business owner to have multiple streams of revenue and they're, they're different. Like they're all very different. So real quick, before we talk, tell everyone what a year boxes is, our history goes back to when you started your box business. And when I started mine too, in 2016, we had met online in some groups, but then in person. In, let's see, October of 2016, this, that was the first month I sent any boxes. You were still in pre launch, right? Yes. Yep. We met in Nashville at an event called the Business Boutique. It was run by a business coach named Christy Wright. And it was this awesome event. There were what, like 3000 women entrepreneurs mostly in the early stages. Mm-Hmm. And Jess was there as a attendee and I was there as a marketplace vendor. And so we were like, we have to meet. We have to meet. And we still have the photo from the day we met, which is so cool. We look like baby entrepreneurs. And you came to the booth and you introduced yourself. We chit chatted just a little bit. We, we really didn't have time to talk a ton because there was so much going on at the event and we didn't want to miss anything. But over the years, we were able to be this kind of like sounding board for each other. And I love that. I think that's so important for everyone to have a box bestie or an accountability buddy to throw ideas against, to pick up when you're down, to encourage each other, and just to cheer each other on. Because What we found early on was the subscription box business model was so different than any other business model. And so, like, we couldn't just ask anybody for advice. We couldn't ask our friends and family for advice because they thought we were crazy, right?

Jessica:

It's so true. And it was you know, a business model that neither of us had any experience in either. So neither of us really had any e commerce or online services. Well, you did the digital marketing, but like we didn't have experience selling those types of physical products and stuff. So it was really, really helpful having each other to just understand what you're going through and support each other. And so we are big advocates of making sure you find somebody like that. And really meeting in person just helps like cement that relationship. Like it makes you real intangible. You're not just a face on the screen. You're like someone that I can really like hug and know and trust. And that's helpful.

Speaker:

Oh, yes, we and we've seen each other several times in person at the sub summit, boss mom retreat. So we've made a point to also attend events at the same time. Yeah. And if you have an accountability buddy, and you're like, Well, how do I actually manage this? The way Jess and I do this is we have Voxer. An app on our phones. It's like a walkie talkie app. We talk on that probably every single day. Yeah. And then we regularly meet and do little zoom calls or just sessions to help each other out. So if you're thinking, okay, like, how do I manage this with the accountability buddy? Yeah. Make sure that there's some sort of regular communication and schedule those Zoom calls, those virtual coffee chats, whatever it is you need to stay in touch. Put it actually on your calendar.

Jessica:

Yeah, I would agree because it's so easy to be like, oh, I'm so busy today, I can't really make it, or should I cancel, or should I reschedule? But when we commit to it and we show up for each other, like, it just, it's really, really helps and it goes a long way. So, and it helps you with your mood too, and your energy around running a business, which can sometimes be

Speaker:

very tricky. Exactly. And if we're, if we're being very honest here, Jess and I actually spent about 20 minutes on this quick zoom call before we recorded the podcast and did a little therapy session. We're there for each other in business and personal, which is just so lovely. Okay. So let's. Let's talk about a year of boxes. Jess, just tell us, what is

Jessica:

a year of boxes? Okay, so if you've been in the subscription box game for a little while, you may have heard of it. It's been around for over 10 years. Yeah, I know. Can you believe it? She started it, I believe, in 2012. So it was started by Sarah Colussi and it's a subscription box review website and blog essentially. So you can go to the Europe boxes and you can find the directory of all these amazing subscription boxes and filter by type or style or location or price point. And you can read reviews, find coupons, find spoilers. It is a lot of fun, lots of gift guides and editorial content on there as well. So it's just a great place for subscription box enthusiasts to go to find their next favorite box.

Speaker:

So I remember spending advertising money on a year of boxes back in the day when I was running my subscription box. And it was always such an easy yes for me because they spoke directly to subscription box enthusiasts. Like you said.

Jessica:

Yes.

Speaker:

The audience that. Spends time on a year of boxes. com They are looking for the next box to add to their collection. And so it was always such an easy Yes for me compared to Randomly throwing facebook ads out the door or sponsoring an event and I I find value in all of those things Yes, but when someone is able to come to you come to the table and be like I have, you know, X amount of subscription box enthusiasts on my email list, visiting my website, following me on social media. Do you want in on this? And it's like, yeah, I want in on this.

Jessica:

Yes, please. Yeah. Actually, when I first took over your boxes, I wanted to learn more about the audience. And one of the things that I asked in the survey that I sent them was how many boxes did they subscribe to? And the large majority of our readers subscribe to four or more boxes. So they are very actively engaged in the subscription box community and they are really looking for their next favorite box. So it is a great place to get visibility. Of course, the ultimate goal is always sales and transactions, but there are lots of other benefits to, to being listed on the site.

Speaker:

Well, let's talk about them. There are so many benefits of being on a third party review site. One. I mean. I just said it. It's a third party. It's someone else doing the research, doing the unboxings. It's not me as the business owner unboxing my own box saying, this is great. It's someone else. And I know you, Jess, like you're not going to open a box and recommend it if it doesn't meet kind of, what's the word I'm looking for? Like,

Jessica:

Yeah, a quality standard. Right? We want to have some standards and we want to make sure we're presenting boxes that consumers would really love and find value out of. So, for sure.

Speaker:

Agreed. So, other than it being a third party, go ahead and talk to our audience about some of those benefits of being listed on a year boxes.

Jessica:

Yeah, exactly. So what you just said is definitely spot on is being able to kind of add a little bit of credibility to your box. So having a third party, whether it's a year of boxes or somebody else who has a blog similar to this or some kind of platform, they are giving you valuable social proof for your box. So this can be in the form of a review or a video or an unboxing or something like that, that you can then repurpose in Lot of different ways. So not only can you just share the article and say, Hey, look, like we were just featured, like that gives you instant credibility, but you can also pull marketing language from the content that they're using. Like maybe you never considered marketing your box from a specific angle that they did, that could be a great way to test a new angle for marketing, or you can repurpose the actual images or the videos or different clips of the images or videos. Again, every third party site is going to work a little bit differently. A year of boxes. I give my clients or my brand partners usage rights. So you are totally welcome to use any photos, any videos, clips of our YouTube unboxings, whatever we create for you. You are totally welcome to repurpose that on your own channels, on your own website, use it in ads, like I want you to take it and run with it.

Speaker:

Oh, that is so helpful because it's going to look professional. It is going to be done for you. It's not a new ad or new content that I have to create as the business owner, which gets exhausting.

Jessica:

Yes.

Speaker:

So I love that. So content you are able to repurpose in all the places. So

Jessica:

valuable. Definitely. And then another benefit is SEO. So if you're kind of dabbling in SEO or search engine optimization, this is a great way to acquire quality backlinks from a reputable high ranking site. So by doing that, when we post about your box on our high ranking site, it gives you a boost of SEO to and improves your rankings and can drive more organic traffic your way

Speaker:

as a result. So what that means in the end, when you have your SEO boosted, that gives you more opportunities to get on that coveted page one of the search engine ranking. So when someone Googles relevant keywords, your. A year of boxes listing can actually show up as an additional listing. Now the goal is say you want to get all of the listings of say the top 10 for example. Well that might be your product page, that might be your home page, that might be your subscribe page, but that gives seven other listings in that top 10. And so it's great to have those as third party review sites that are still pointing to you. And so you want to use that SEO, I like to call it like the juice, the link juice. It's going to help boost you in those rankings.

Jessica:

Yes, for sure. And it's something that I'm learning about as well, but it's super, super valuable, especially for newer boxes that maybe don't have as much history. It's a great way to kind of establish that authority for you.

Speaker:

Yeah. And those, those listings also, those rankings can include your social media. So it can be your YouTube, it can be your Instagram. So the more of them that have your name in it, the better.

Jessica:

Yes, for sure. And along the lines of that, like kind of talking about like your name and the touch points that go along with being visible with your box is, you know, we are also providing the opportunity to have more of those touch points. So I forget exactly what the statistic is. It used to be seven marketing touch points before you make a sale, but I think it's gone up to like 20 or something crazy like that. I don't even know, but you know, it's all, it all works together. It's kind of like. filtering in more of those touch points, the reviews, the, the directory listing, any types of social media mentions on another platform, all of that is kind of working together to like help expand your reach and visibility.

Speaker:

Excellent. So you talked about content and you talked about listings. And one thing that comes to my mind, That is a huge benefit for the box owner to be a part of a year of boxes is gift guides. So we are, when, as we're recording this, we're coming up on Father's Day. I know you did a Father's Day gift guide. I know personally, when I was running Sparkle Hustle Grow, I got listed in a gift guide that tripled our gift box sales that holiday season. And so I, yeah, so I know that being a part of gift guides has such a ripple effect. Not only are you getting, you know, the social proof that you can repurpose, you know, when I was listed, for example, in this gift guide in Forbes, we started creating ads that said, you know, best gift for entrepreneurs Forbes. Like we started putting that in all of our marketing messaging. So that is so smart. I love that. Think about that. Yes. Yes. So not only will Did I get links back from this site, but I was able to proactively create marketing based around that campaign. I was able to toot my own horn and tell all the people and then We actually then created inserts in all of our November and December boxes that said, best gift. And so this, this was encouraging our existing subscribers to gift it to other people. So there's just so many things you can do with a gift guide.

Jessica:

Oh

Speaker:

my

Jessica:

gosh, that is such a good idea. I feel like we could talk all day about how to leverage a gift guide now. There's so many layers to it, but I do think like you bring up a really good point When you partner with a third party site like this, especially in a guest guide or someplace where you're really like building up that credibility, like you are working as a partner in that, right? Like you can, you can use that and take it as far as you possibly can, like, expand it and share it with your audience, use it as content, use it in your ads. Like really give it the mileage that you can, because it's not, it's not just being amplified on one channel. You can take it even one step further. 15 steps further if you want to.

Speaker:

Exactly. It's funny. Years ago, we decided we were going to buy a white Honda Pilot. And then all we saw on the road was like white Honda Pilots were like, we see this everywhere. And it's kind of like that with advertising. And as a business owner, you have to make it like that. So maybe they're on Facebook, and then they get this ad or they see your post about being in this gift guide. And then they get their email from a year boxes that shows that you were in that. You know, you want to be in all the places when you have some sort of feature like that. And make sure that if you're featured in a gift guide, you put that on your website too. You have that as seen in section that you can put the Year of Boxes logo, for example.

Jessica:

Yeah, for sure. And when you are featured in a gift guide, share the link to that gift guide with your audience. Because if everybody in the gift guide does that, you're getting even more traffic and visibility on your box. Like you're working together. You're truly are working as a partner. So there's lots of things you can do. It's exciting.

Speaker:

Gift guides are some of my favorite things. I've definitely dug deep on gift guides. PR and media and visibility. If you guys are listening and you want to learn more about that, I'll make sure that I put some links in the show notes to some other episodes about that and to my mentor in that space, Selena Su. She does all kinds of cool programs. That is such a good idea. She does have great stuff. Especially her free calendar. Oh, I love that publicity calendar. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I'll put the link in there. She still offers that year after year after year. And every year I download it and I'm like, this is just the roadmap. This is so easy to follow when it comes to pitching yourself to media. It's so genius. Yep. There's a reason she keeps releasing it. Exactly. Exactly. Okay. So back to it. Let's, we're still talking about the benefits of being listed on 30 third party review sites, like a year of boxes. So what else is, valuable here?

Jessica:

you're definitely reaching a new audience. You're reaching a whole bunch of people that maybe you wouldn't have reached in other ways. Again, it's all about those touch points. So if you know you're, if you're featured in the newsletter and then again on YouTube and maybe in one of our private Facebook groups, you're getting those touch points in all the different places. And that can lead to increased traffic to your website, increased traffic to your social media channels. Thank you Maybe people will start joining your email list. Sometimes they're not as trackable as just straight up sales, but it all works towards that funnel of sales eventually.

Speaker:

Yeah. There's, there's again, one of the ripple effects of something like this. You get in front of new audiences. Maybe they click through to your website, even if they didn't buy right away. You can pixel them and start retargeting them with ads. So, that new audience coming to your website for the first time, you may have to take some additional steps to nurture them. So, retargeting ads, capturing their email address, things like that. But that first step of reaching the new audience member, reaching that new person, potential, Subscriber is oftentimes the hardest step. And so that's something that you at your boxes can do Yeah, for sure

Jessica:

And especially being able to reach people that are already well versed on what subscription boxes are like there's a benefit there in and of itself because sometimes it can be a little bit tricky when you're just running like a direct facebook ad where you're like people in the comments can get a little weird where they don't really know what Subscription box is or they get upset about the idea of a monthly charge, right? You But the readers on these third party review sites, they know what they're getting into because they know what a subscription box is.

Speaker:

So they're automatically more qualified than a cold audience. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Okay. So we've talked about so many benefits by now. I'm guessing our audience is like, okay, how can I get involved? How can I get listed? What are the things? So Jess, walk us through that, what, what you've got going on, what to, you know, expect in the future and how they can get involved.

Jessica:

Yeah, for sure. So there are lots of different ways that we can partner together to kind of get some visibility for your beautiful box. But the first thing that I would love to offer is a free listing on the directory. This is normally a$25 fee, but I'm giving it away for free to all of our friends at subscription box Basics. You can just go to a year of boxes.com/free and clean your free listing there. It'll kind of walk you through how to fill out the. The form and what you need to submit and all of that, and then we'll create a directory listing for you. And with that directory listing, you'll automatically get a free post on the website that kind of shuts out your box as being a new box to the directory. So that is a fun first step. And then from there, you'll be on our box on our newsletter list. So you'll always hear about new opportunities to partner for gift guides or marketing or reviews, all kinds of fun things. And one thing that we do have coming up that I want to make sure I mentioned is the subscription box awards. Yes, I'm so excited. This is going to be the second. Sixth annual subscription box awards with a year of boxes. So I'm hoping that I can keep up the good juju with it. But yes, it's launching in July. So the first week of July, the first two weeks of July are for the Canadian best of Canada boxes, and then the second or the last two weeks in July are going to be the best of the U S. So if you have a box in Canada or the US, I'd love to get you involved. You just have your box nominated. It's a great way to kind of engage your community to vote for you and to support you and, you know, winning an award like that adds a whole nother level of credibility and Ability to repurpose and PR and that kind of thing. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. That's

Speaker:

so cool. I'm really excited and we'll definitely make sure when those go out, Jess, make sure that you give me a link so I can put it in our email newsletter too to make sure that you don't miss it. But guys, listen, get your free listing first of all. That's step one. Yeah. As soon as you're done listening to this. episode, go get your free listing, and then you will also be in the loop for future opportunities. So think about if you're sitting in Jessica's seat, she has two different audiences that she sends emails to. One is to you guys, to the box owners. These are the opportunities. Here, get involved. And so the second list then would be the consumers. And so that's where you'll get promoted. when you become a brand partner. So I love that you have two different audiences. You're sharing two different types of content, very specific to them. So there's, there's such a benefit to being part of that list.

Jessica:

For sure. It is literally where I go to share any opportunity. Like we had the Father's Day gift guide. We're going to have lots of those coming up. We have lots of different special marketing opportunities. We can do joint giveaways. We can do reviews, YouTube unboxings, lots of things. So

Speaker:

for sure. Well, I am so proud of you for taking over this Gear of Boxes site, and I'm so excited to cheer you on and see how this can impact the bottom line for so many subscription box businesses that are looking for marketing, that are looking for ways to improve their SEO, traffic just, and I, I like to think of this as really long term too. Yeah, a gift guide can be short term wins. But this is long term too. Once you have your listing, that's on the site for, I mean, forever, right? Pretty much? Yep.

Jessica:

Yep, it is. It is on there. It is long term for sure. Brand building and credibility building and, again, just all about building up that interest and those touch points for your box.

Speaker:

Nice. Well, guys, if you're listening and you're thinking about it, you'd be crazy not to go get your free listing. We'll put all of those links in the show notes so that you didn't miss anything. But again, that link was ayearofboxes. com slash free. F R E E. That's right. I'm so excited to learn more about all the awesome

Jessica:

boxes out there. I can't wait.

Speaker:

Oh, it must be so fun getting all the boxes, getting to experience them. Oh my gosh, it is

Jessica:

so fun. It is so, so, so fun. And my office is like becoming smaller and smaller and smaller because there's like boxes everywhere. It is awesome. I do love learning more about them. I think there are so many creative,

Speaker:

talented, amazing people out there. Yeah. Well, and I think it'd be so interesting to get your feedback at some point too. And maybe you do this on your list of like, What you see working really well and what trends you're seeing. Oh,

Jessica:

yeah, I think that's a great idea. I could totally add that to my box on our newsletter list. I love that. Yes, maybe I can

Speaker:

pop in sometime and do a takeover. Please, any day, any time, I would love to have you. Done. It's done. We're making it happen. Well, thank you so much for joining me on today's episode, Jess. This is so cool. I love the resource that you provide. And I'm really looking forward to the upcoming awards. Thank you so much for having me. It was such a blast. All right, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this episode, and we'll see you on the next one. Bye.

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