After a series of high-pressure jobs, Christina Blok decided to start a subscription box based on what helped her de-stress and escape from everyday life: books and tea.
Cut to 2015, and Muse Monthly was born, bringing with it the perfect subscription for lovers of literature and tea.
Listing on Cratejoy’s Marketplace: The Results
It wasn’t long before Christina’s business took off, and the speedy growth is something she directly attributes to Cratejoy.
“The Marketplace single-handedly affected my subscriber count the most. Cratejoy is the biggest platform to get your name out there. There are other similar platforms, but they just don’t provide the same level of all-around service. This is especially important for somebody who hasn’t run a subscription business before or doesn’t know where to start.”
As of December 2016, 25% of Christina’s subscribers purchased through the Cratejoy Marketplace. She has also seen a 697% increase in gross revenue since she started on the Marketplace and a 314% increase in subscriber count from December 2015.
Beyond that, the Marketplace garners Christina around 4,000 unique impressions each month.
However, Muse Monthly wasn’t always this successful, as Christina faced a lot of challenges before joining Cratejoy…
Pre-Cratejoy Challenges, Post-Cratejoy Resolution
Christina originally funded Muse Monthly on Kickstarter, and then transitioned her website to Squarespace. After realizing she was unable to process recurring payments on Squarespace, she sought other options, ranging from moving her website to trying multiple third-party rebilling applications.
Unfortunately, the process was so messy that Christina lost subscribers during the process of testing various recurring payment options.
Around that time, Christina found Cratejoy through an OwlCrate Instagram post that attributed their success to Cratejoy’s support.
“As soon as I read about what Cratejoy did for OwlCrate, I was like, ‘That’s it. That’s what I need.’”
She decided to try out Cratejoy and soon fell in love with the ease and convenience of the platform. She no longer had to worry about payments, ultimately allowing her to retain customers. Staying organized also became easier because she could now easily keep track of all her customers and labels. Being able to link social platforms also helped to streamline Muse Monthly’s branding tremendously.
The Impact of Cratejoy’s Marketing and Subscription Community
When Christina joined Cratejoy, she assumed she had to do all marketing for Muse Monthly on her own. Regarding the most exciting aspect of Cratejoy’s marketing assistance, Christina was grateful for the YouTube influencer placements for her box.
“It was always a huge challenge for me to do on my own,” Christina said. “I had been trying for so long [to get placements] but wasn’t able to accomplish it without Cratejoy. Bigger-name YouTubers were not responding to me, and nothing happened until Cratejoy reached out.”
When Cratejoy stepped in to help, Christina saw a tremendous spike in brand growth. As of December 19, all the videos Muse Monthly has been featured in have reached more than 140,000 views on YouTube via four influencer channels: Tashapolis, King Books, Emmmabooks, and PeruseProject.
In addition, Cratejoy featured Muse Monthly in a Facebook ad (“That was so unexpected and wonderful! Cratejoy’s marketing is super on-point”) and included Muse Monthly in e-blasts that helped grow her email lists.
Christina points out that while she might get a spike on social media followers with e-blasts and influencer marketing, the biggest growth in sales can still be attributed to Cratejoy’s Marketplace.
“I’m a huge fan of the Marketplace – the ease of being able to gift through the Marketplace has been really great for holiday season sales. And I was actually using the Marketplace myself while looking for a subscription to send my brother and his girlfriend for Christmas!”
Beyond the marketing help Cratejoy provided, Christina was able to grow Muse Monthly internationally through help from others in the Cratejoy seller community group on Facebook. Christina notes that through the Facebook group, she discovered Pirate Ship, a shipping software built for subscription boxes. This helped her launch the international side of her business, which furthered Muse Monthly’s business.
Reflecting on Cratejoy & Moving Forward
From her success running Muse Monthly, Christina’s found that a few things, in particular, have especially helped with her Marketplace sales growth:
“Ask for reviews, whether they are new or old subscribers. Reviews help so much because personal recommendations are always good and make people want to buy more. Also, product shots are SO important. It doesn’t matter how good your product is, if you don’t have good pictures, people aren’t going to be interested.”
Christina now runs Muse Monthly through Cratejoy full-time and feels fulfilled by creating a life centered around her passions. “I’m so excited to see where the business goes, and I love that I get to be creative.”
Want to launch your own subscription box like Muse Monthy? Cratejoy provides all the tools to run your subscription business.