Episode 80: Incorporating Subscriptions Into the BusinessAugust in Ecom-Crew-Podcast
On today’s episode I explain the process of incorporating a subscription into Color It. I also discuss tools and other opportunities our listeners might enjoy.
I developed a subscription model for Color It with the subscription fee of $4.99 for 30 drawings a month. The drawings are downloadable images that we have used in other books, so it is a cost effective way to repurpose our content. By offering this service, I am hoping to attract customers who normally may not engage with my other promotional emails. I’m really excited by the prospect!
One opportunity being offered for our listeners is our course on importing from China. Just visit ecomcrew.com/course and sign-up to be notified when we are ready to move forward with it.
Another opportunity is some upcoming events. I will be traveling to Austin, TX this week to speak at Ecommerce All Stars. I have a handful of these speaking events lined up for the year, including:
- Global Sources — Hong Kong, October 17-19.
- EcommerceFuel Live — Laguna Beach, CA, January 11-13, 2018.
If you are going to attend Ecommerce All Stars on August 4th and 5th, make sure you tell me hi!
Here are today’s topics:
- Ecom Crew’s Facebook page and live episodes.
- The subscription model we are using for the Coloring Club.
- How ClickFunnels.com has been super helpful.
- Why you need to know your core customer.
- Why we have launched the Coloring Club.
- How I sat up the Coloring Club.
- Ecom Crew’s up-coming course.
- My goals for the Coloring Club.
- My up-coming speaking engagements.
This episode is sponsored by Stamped.io. We have recently switched to Stamped.io, so we can get the most out of our reviews, and they have a really great product. We are proud to partner with them and there is a link below to check them out.
Resources Mentioned Today:
If you have any questions or anything you’d like us to discuss on the podcast you can now email us directly at ecomcrew.com! Just send those emails to [email protected] Also, we would really appreciate if you would leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks for listening!
Full Audio Transcript
Mike: This is Mike and welcome to the EcomCrew Podcast number 80, the big 8-0. I was just talking about this on the live show before hitting the record button. Only 20 episodes away from our hundredth episode, and already starting to think about some pretty cool special things we can do for the hundredth episode. I’ll be talking more about that as that gets close. But that’s still going to be about 20 weeks away from here which is pretty crazy. That’s going to get us close to the end of the year, right, pretty much to the end of the year which this year has flown by. So looking forward to that one when that time comes.
But in the meantime this week’s episode is going to be talking about how we are incorporating subscriptions into our business now which is pretty crazy. It’s actually something I hadn’t really thought about a whole lot up until recently, but now that we are doing it it’s actually pretty darn cool. So that’s why I just got a little bit distracted here, somebody was typing in the live chat and I always got to kind of keep my eyes off of that when we are doing the live episodes. Remember if you go to Facebook.com/EcomCrew, you can always hit the like button and be notified when we do go live. We record these live on Mondays and hopefully they go out on Thursdays. That’s kind of the schedule we try to keep on. So you know definitely go over there and do that.
And also I want to mention just real quick, I forgot to mention as well, but this episode is sponsored by Stamped.io. We have a sponsor now which is really cool on the EcomCrew Podcast. If you are ever looking for reviews for your Shopify store definitely head over to Stamped.io.
So let me get into the whole subscription model thing. Now it’s not necessarily what you might be thinking. It’s not someone buying a subscription to our books or our pens or something. This is taking actually a digital subscription and doing a downloadable item on a subscription on a monthly basis. So we are actually using ClickFunnels to facilitate this. ClickFunnels.com and it’s pretty cool. We’ve already been using them for landing pages and to do one click upsells for some offers and to do some testing that we’ve been doing right now for tactical.com. All of our contest stuff is now being run with ClickFunnels and they have a subscription area that you can build out that’s part of their service. And it was kind of like, well, let’s take a look and see what this can do, and it’s actually incredibly easy to put together.
So that’s kind of what started facilitating this thought process. I started thinking about it even more. I started thinking, “how can I incorporate a subscription digital-based thing into our business?” And really just started thinking about like our avatar for our customer. And we know that our customer, the average person coming to us is older, it’s an older woman, 45 years or older. The real bread and butter for our audience is 65 years and older. And most of them are living on social security or subsidized income or on a pension of some sorts. So they don’t have obviously the disposable income that they might have had in their heyday, or a lot of people that are listening to this. So it’s hard for us to kind of think about living on that type of income. And really the thing that we hear all the time is “I can’t afford your products,” even though our products are pretty affordable for what we have. I mean a $16 coloring book, yeah that’s expensive compared to other coloring books. But for what you get, it’s actually a pretty good deal. But even still we get that same response, “I can’t afford your products,” with some of our free plus shipping offers or else we are charging a shipping of $3.99.
So knowing that our average customer doesn’t have a whole lot of money is kind of like where this idea kind of married together. And what we are going to be doing and we’ve already launched it: coloring.club. So just www.coloring.club and it’s not a .com, it’s a .club. I’ll talk more about that here in a few minutes, but coloring.club. Very quickly I was able to put together with the help of ClickFunnels a subscription-based product that we then just notified people on our list. We actually haven’t notified our full list yet, we just made a post on Facebook to do some testing and we got well over some 50 sign ups in our first day.
And it’s been incredible and basically what I’m hoping to be able to do now is twofold. First of all, I’m looking for a way to convert people who are on our list that just aren’t taking advantage of our other offers. Either they are saying I can’t afford or don’t want to spend $16 on a coloring book. So the idea is okay, we will still be here, after a while we’ll email you about coloring club. And then that’s going to be $4 and 99 cents a month. And that’s obviously going to be a little bit more on people’s budget range, and they’ll get 30 drawings per month.
Now the cool thing here is that we are taking existing assets and repurposing them. That’s something that I’ve been talking a lot about on this podcast. The things that we do here take a lot of time, energy, money, effort et cetera. And the best thing you can do for your business is repurpose assets. So we’ve repurposed now a lot of our drawings, and we are doing that through a subscription basis. We repurposed a lot of our flows and email sequences for other parts of our business. And that again is just utilizing the time that we put into it and getting more out of that same manpower that we had already invested into it.
So we already have the drawings, right? I mean we’ve already paid the artist for these drawings. Now we are just taking them and repurposing them in a way that we can make a subscription product. And again with ClickFunnels it was unbelievably easy to set up. Basically what I did was I created a landing page for this click funnel. And I had – Erika helped me record a video to put on there. And then I used the WordPress plugin for ClickFunnels. And basically what you can do with the WordPress plugin is you can say okay, make my home page on my WordPress site this particular page.
So I basically took over my home page and made the ClickFunnel landing page that I had my home page. And then the funnel is a couple of different pages. The first thing it goes to is an order form once you click I’m interested. And when you click I’m interested on that same page it pops up and asks for your email address to get started. And it’s also the exit intent pop up on that same page. So we are looking, again just like anything else, to get their email address. So then they go to the order form and their email address is already going to be pre-populated and they can make a purchase or not.
Now if they don’t make a purchase, we have, as a part of ClickFunnels, we have an email sequence that goes out that then basically becomes an abandoned cart sequence. And we are emailing them four times over a couple of week-period trying to get them to sign up for this thing that they were interested obviously in but hadn’t signed up for yet. If they do place an order we then have a couple of one click upsell offers to put them through for our gel pens, and then our colored pencils trying to then convert people. Obviously some of them don’t have the money to buy the gel pens, or the marker or the colored pencils. But hopefully either the sale that we are offering them there or the fact that they might not have ever heard of us when they are coming to this point is the two upsells that we have for the gel pens and the pencils. And then they get to a thank you page.
So those are the — that’s the funnel part of it and then separately from that we have a membership area and that’s only two pages. It’s a login form and the actual membership area which is completely customizable. And I mentioned to you guys we are also looking at creating a course for EcomCrew. It’s going to be on importing that we are working on, Dave and I are working on here. And we are using ClickFunnels to do that as well. So it’s the same membership area that we’re using over there. So that’s also something that we are able to learn one thing from one spot and be able to apply it to other parts of our business.
So just by posting this on Facebook, just to see how this would go, we got, like I said, well over 50 people that signed up which I’m really, really thrilled about. And just kind of extrapolating out what I think that this can do for us. My initial goal and I’m still very convinced that we can do this is to get 1,000 people to sign up for this. If we get 1,000 people at 5 bucks a month, this is basically 100% profit. Let’s say it 98% profit because we already have the assets and we have — the only thing we need to really worry about is some support issues that you know, we’ll need to answer some support questions. And we obviously have our guys in the Philippines handling that for us, so that’s a pretty low cost.
Having that done there just makes it seamless for us. And I think that this is something that we can add quite a bit to our bottom line. And for us in the stage that we are in, that extra five or $6,000 a month that we will get from having these members on coloring club just allows us to do more hiring, to launch more products — just in a growth phase of our business. And maybe we would have to sell five or $600,000 worth of product every year just to make the same amount that we are off of this one simple thing that we did with coloring club. So I mentioned that this is two folds.
So the other thing I will be doing is that these digital downloadable products are actually pretty popular on Facebook and on the internet. So as a part of a top of funnel now I’m going to be using coloring club as a top of funnel to get people exposed to our art work and exposed to colorit.com. So again we’ll take the tens of thousands of people that are on our existing coloring email list and email them about coloring club. We are going to be doing that next week.
And then on top of that we’ll use coloring club as a top of funnel instead of dropping them into one of our giveaways or one of our free plus shipping offers or one of our downloadable giveaways as well or a deep discount offer of all the things that we are doing as top of funnel content right now. I also have another thing in my arsenal to use because again, not everyone responds to an offer the same. So some people might look at a free download and be like “nah,” but then they’ll look at coloring and be very, very interested in that. So I’m pretty excited to have this as a top of funnel mechanism. I think it can do really, really well for us.
So if you are interested in ClickFunnels, we have an affiliate account. If you want to support the podcast, you can go to ecomcrew.com/clickfunnels. There is a redirect through our affiliate link. It does again help us with the podcast. Obviously no pressure if you don’t want to use it, don’t use it. But if you go to ecomcrew.com/clickfunnels it does help us. Certainly not the reason I’m talking about that here. Again we are using ClickFunnels to do a lot within our business. It’s been a pretty amazing piece of software.
We are reengineering all of our funnels to go through ClickFunnels. We are using Ezra’s Zipify pages to do things that are within Shopify. I still think that that’s the best product for within Shopify. If you want to make a Shopify-specific landing page, that can’t be beat just because of its own integration rate within Shopify. If you are doing free standing funnels way the heck better than what we were experiencing with leadpages.net. And we’ve pretty much transitioned completely away from leadpages.net over to ClickFunnels now just because it’s just so much tighter of an integration with everything.
You can set up products right within ClickFunnels like we have whether it’s a physical product or it’s a digital product and do that sale right within ClickFunnels with a Stripe integration, and have a true one click upsell. So like when someone checks out and does coloring club, they immediately get presented, like I said, with an offer for the gel pens. All they have to do is click one button, “I’m interested, I want them,” whatever that button says and boom, it’s done.
There is no credit card information to reenter; there is no other personal information to reenter. Then there is a button that says, “I don’t need gel pens, I don’t want gel pens.” Then it gives them the pencil one click upsell and it’s the same thing. If they push that one button, “I want these pencils,” it’s immediately done.
We are using something called Orderlytics that will then take the order directly from ClickFunnels and import it over to Shopify for fulfillment. So we have all of our orders in Shopify. And then that actually gets a little bit complicated. It goes down from Shopify over to Skubana for us to get the fulfillment done. But it makes it so it’s seamless. We don’t have any human interaction fulfilling orders that come through ClickFunnels and Orderlytics; it is pretty darn cheap.
So that’s the process to just to reiterate what we are doing, because I like to always try to recap especially when we have a few extra minutes here. We now have a thing called coloring club that is built on ClickFunnels. We use the WordPress plugin for our ClickFunnels to launch a WordPress site on coloring.club which we’ve actually had up for quite a while. We’ve been adding content there for a number of months just to get some SEO seasoning done over there.
And so we have content that’s on coloring club which is perfect for our WordPress installation. So I just installed the ClickFunnels WordPress plugin, configured the back end of the WordPress plugin to make one of the ClickFunnels pages my home page. So if you go to coloring.club it’s actually a ClickFunnels page that you are physically seeing there. And then we created several pages within the funnel.
So we have the order form, then a one time, what they call the OTO, one time offer, and then another one time offer and then a thank you page. Then I configured the email that’s a part of the thank you email, the fulfillment email from within ClickFunnels to tell people basically just create an account over here on membership area. And because it was all — the transaction is all done on one spot when they create a membership account with the email, just what they used to sign up, it lets them do that, and then gives them access to their first 30 days of drawings.
One thing I didn’t mention earlier, I’m glad I’m going through this step by step, ClickFunnels allows you to drip things out. So basically what we’ve done is we are dripping it out 30 days at a time. So every 30 days the customer is getting access to 30 more drawings. And we’ve set up a whole year in advance. So it’s all automated. Every month we are charging the customer another $4 and 99 cents. We do no additional work; they get the 30 extra drawings. We are happy, they are happy.
Again we are repurposing assets. Everything is pretty smooth. The only not perfectly smooth part of this is if someone wants to cancel, we have to manually go into our Stripe account and cancel their subscription which is a little bit of a pain. But we’ve already set up one of our Filipino workers to take care of that for us, and it’s really, really simple.
So you know, that’s really the whole process there. Not much else to go over with that. This podcast is going to be going out this coming Thursday. When that comes out I’ll be on an airplane heading to Austin for Ecommerce All-stars. If you aren’t going to be going there I encourage you, I implore you to go and sign up for the live broadcast. There is going to be a lot of really great content there. I’ll be speaking actually twice now as they just asked me this morning to talk again on Saturday for a second time for about 15 minutes about contests.
My big talk on Friday is going to be about landing pages, lead magnets, free plus shipping offers, probably stuff you guys have heard on this podcast. But there is going to be other amazing speakers besides Ezra. The one I’m looking forward to speaking to and meeting is Molly Pitman from Digital Marketer. Those guys do an awesome job over there.
So yeah, head over to Ecommerce All-Stars and get the live streaming pass so you can get all that content. I definitely encourage you to do that. Ecommerce All-Stars this weekend, August 4th and 5th. Then I’ll also be speaking at Global Sources over in Hong Kong, October 17th through 19th. So head on out to Hong Kong and meet me over there and listen to my talk there as well.
If you are going to be going to the Canton Fair as well, I’d love to catch up with you. It will be good to meet up last time and love to meet people in person. So definitely come out to do that. And then also January 11th through 13th Ecommerce Fuel in Laguna. If anyone’s out in the LA area that I haven’t met already definitely a good time to meet me there.
So that’s it for this week again folks. A reminder, this podcast is sponsored. I want to throw another shout out to Stamped.io since we have the few extra minutes this week, and head over to Facebook.com/EcomCrew. Hit the like button. When we go live you’ll get notified of our live recordings every Monday. And that’s about it for this week guys.
So happy selling. I will be back, I’m flying back Sunday morning. So I’ll be back next Monday to record another podcast, so I’m not going to miss anything this time. But again if you are going to be in Austin, I know a few listeners are definitely going to be out there please come out and say hi. I love meeting new people from the podcast. It’s one of my favorite things.
The last conference I was at was Steve Chou’s Sellers Summit and got to meet a bunch of you there. It was really cool. So if you are going to be in Austin, please come say hi and I look forward to meeting you guys there. And until next week guys happy selling and we’ll see you next Monday.
Outro: Thanks for listening to the EcomCrew Podcast. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/EcomCrew for weekly live recordings of the EcomCrew Podcast every Monday. And please do us a favor and leave an honest review on iTunes. It will really help us out. Again, thanks for listening, and until next week, happy selling.
Abby is based in the beautiful tropical island of Cebu, Philippines. In her past life she worked as a freelance tech and business writer, and was a top customer service representative at a big ecommerce company.