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A Crafter's Guide to Starting a Subscription Business

Lesson 19 of 21

Common Challenges for Subscription Businesses

Mei Pak

A Crafter's Guide to Starting a Subscription Business

Mei Pak

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Lesson Info

19. Common Challenges for Subscription Businesses

Lesson Info

Common Challenges for Subscription Businesses

Let's carry on to some of the common challenges of a subscription product so really plan ahead and have a design calendar for this the problem that I have if you know anything at all about me is I work at the last minute um I will be shipping out products like on friday and I'll be working on the products on monday or tuesday or maybe even wednesday maybe sometimes even thursday I am really really last minute but I always make it work so because of that the problem that I experienced is that sometimes I just get really stressed out with creating the right the best products eso it to avoid that overwhelm it's a really great idea for you to have a schedule for for planning out what you what you're going to be shipping out for me doing six months in a year it's really not that much so have planning out the six different products that you want to be designing and creating for your customers is a great idea on dh time is back to uh what stacy said in our interview earlier you know even just...

having a three month calendar three months projection or a forecast for what you're going to be making is always it's always that that in itself is good enough you don't have to do for the four year just knowing what you're making next month or the next two months is pretty good so another common challenge, which I think stacy also talked about earlier with paypal. What happens with paypal is if your customers, for example, your customers will have their credit card linked to paypal, I believe that's the only way that they can create subscriptions with you is that they need toe have their credit card linked to paypal. If you don't have a credit card cling to paypal, I don't believe they can check out with your subscription, so if that credit card somehow gets stolen and then it gets avoided or if that credit card information changes or if for whatever reason, you know that credit card is no longer valid, paypal is going to try to process that payment and it's going to fail to do so, and then you're going to get an email saying that this process fail this payment processing failed, and I believe your customer also gets this email a lot of times your customer uses a different email address for papal than they do with where they regular, which regularly check their e mails, and in that case they may not notice right away. So the moment you get an email that says some so and sos payment failed to process, I would send them an email right away and I have I have this in my canned responses I have this is the template I would just say hey it looks like paypal tried to process your payment but it didn't go through for whatever reason and I say for whatever reason because they don't want to embarrass them in case they just don't have the money for you know I don't want to put them on the spot and then I would say I just wanted to let you know that this happened just in case you want to stay on in the subscription because I don't want to assume that this is their passive aggressive way for trying to quit out of the club you know so I would normally always send that the moment I get that email and I believe I know stacey said they only allow one failed payments but I believe it's two times paper will try ones if it fails try again and three days or couple business days though try again twice if they fail the second time they will completely suspend and cancel that subscription so you've completely lost the customer so it's really important that the moment you get that email from paypal you send that email to your customer to let them know lost packages we kind of talked briefly about that um what I like to do with los packages with as I mentioned with this whole customer service experience I want to give people you know this this experience you give people is really the experience that they have with your brand in general so I want it to be completely positive lost packages are really not my problem because it's really usps his fault right? And the thing with customer service is that I have this priced into my product that I'm able to just send them a new piece yeah I'm not profiting as much for this person who's package got lost but at least they're not left with nothing and it's just a really sucky feeling if they've paid for this product their package got got gets lost it's not your fault it's not their fault but they're out a whole package so I would normally what I would do is see by the time sign ups close you would know exactly how many pieces you need to make I would normally make a few more just in case packages get lost just in case for those few people who are like I saw this I really want it can I buy it and I'm sure you can buy it um but just just keep in mind that lost packages may happen um and I think the best customer service you can give your customers is to just make a few extra and on your own penny just ship it out to them again you also definitely want to be promoting your subscription consistently and frequently on social media, so don't drop the ball on that if you want your subscription to keep growing you definitely want to keep promoting on social media on your email list, keep doing the blogger outreach that we talked about earlier in the marketing segment, in going back to talking about how, when customers kind of outgrow your brand, creating a new subscription is a great way to get them to stay on and teo kind of get them to stay a little bit on longer with you. So, as I mentioned earlier, we're actually going to talk with another great interview guest, the windy gratz, and in talking to her over the phone, just prepping for this course. She gave me a great idea like so I've always done necklaces off the month, and a great way would be to I have say, for example, a charm bracelet off the month where I would give people a charm bracelet, starter set, which would just have the chain and maybe their first charm on dh this would be something kind of exciting for my customers, who are bored with the necklace off the month, who have been on it for two years and who want something new. So think about new ways that you can create new subscription products for your customers, so really listen to them, like maureen said, you know, keep asking feedback from them, what to your customers want and give it to them. Design your products to be the best they can be. This is something that maureen also talked about with how this helps lower your unsubscribe rate you really want for every every subscription you're sending out to be the best it can be. I have been guilty of this, I admit, just out there there there was one time when I was so stressed out and I was struggling. Tio, create this design for this upcoming shipment and I created something using a new technique that I thought this looked really cute, and I think my customers really like this. I personally was not proud of the necklaces, but I sent it out anyway because I know in historically there have been times where is I'm not proud of something. If you guys remember the cotton candy necklace I showed, you know, previous workshop, I was not proud of that, but my customers really, really loved it. So I thought maybe, you know, knowing my customers, I think they would like this new design. I sent it out to them and it was it was awful. I mean, like I told you earlier, when you asked me how often do people ask for exchanges? This was the most number of exchanges I've requests I've ever gotten, so to me, you know, it's a learning lesson, I really need to schedule this in advance to not work so closely to my deadline and to make sure that I I myself and proud of the design I myself, and I'm sure that my customers are going to love this thing, right? So really be enthusiastic really be passion about what you're making and don't you know, I dropped the bomb that so I'm telling you, don't drop the ball on that because that will cause people to unsubscribe that will cost people tio send you e mails with like, you know, I was not happy with this design, it doesn't have as much detail as your other products, and there was another time where I created a gummy bear necklace, which I thought her not to be really, really cute, but also this was one of those failed times where I was actually proud of this design, but other people weren't because they didn't think that is the design was as good as my other designs, so you know, that's going to happen every now and then, so just be prepared for that

Class Description

Not sure where your next sale will come from? A subscription product or business eliminates the guess work and is a great way to secure a steady paycheck. Find out how it is done in A Crafter's Guide to Starting a Subscription Business with Mei Pak.

Mei is a veteran jewelry-maker who earns her living by selling online. In this class, she’ll teach you everything you need to launch and run a successful subscription business. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create the ideal product for your subscribers
  • Package your product to move
  • Add more subscribers every month
  • Establish and maintain organizational systems
  • Engineer an amazing customer experience and keep customers happy

You’ll learn all of the logistics for running a subscription product business. Mei will show you how to manage your tasks including how to; collect payments, get existing customers to buy a subscription, print bulk shipping labels, and much more.

If you have a product your customers love and want to earn a consistent income by selling more of it every month, A Crafter's Guide to Starting a Subscription Business with Mei Pak is the perfect class for you.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Email Pitch Template and Checklist.docx

Email Pitch Template and Checklist.pdf

Subscription Management and Shipping Tools.docx

Subscription Management and Shipping Tools.pdf

Your System For Selling Subscriptions.docx

Your System For Selling Subscriptions.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

Great course, especially the interview with Stacey (part 6).


Mei gives lots of practical information and resources in this course.