Updates from the Road: Prelaunch 2.0 | Week 1

Welcome back, subscription family! After announcing our Prelaunch Program 2.0 list of partners (of which there are a whopping 17!), we’ve got our first week of prelaunch activities under our belt and wanted to send you an update from the road.

If you’re joining us for the first time, the Prelaunch Program is a 2-month series of workshops, business development, and marketing for up-and-coming subscription box entrepreneurs.

We partner with the most promising business owners in the space to market their products, build an email list of hot leads, and launch their product on Cratejoy’s marketplace.

This week we held our first workshop, where we covered the outline of the program as well as general tips and tricks for prelaunching.

Here’s what we covered:

Ideal Length for a Prelaunch Campaign

Cratejoy’s Prelaunch Program runs marketing for our partners over a two-week period (this round will start July 10th). We recommend prelaunching your box for 2-4 weeks; anything longer and box owners tend to get preoccupied with hitting a certain number for their list, instead of launching their product and building momentum.

The idea here is to keep your business fresh in the minds of those who are interested – if you make someone wait 3 months to order your box, you may end up losing a subscriber entirely.

Marketing Sample Boxes vs. First Month Boxes

Perhaps you’re ready to start marketing efforts for your prelaunch campaign, but don’t have everything together for your first month’s box. It’s perfectly acceptable to photograph and advertise a selection of items that are representative of the types of items your subscribers will receive month-to-month.

It’s worth keeping in mind that for products to be representative of your box, you should match the quantity, quality, and value of the items you intend on sending.

A common mistake in the subscription community is to take photos that are misaligned with what you’re actually offering customers – whether that’s 3 times as many products as your box offers, or products that you won’t be able to acquire at wholesale prices. Meeting expectations is critical for sub box owners who are going to thrive and grow – so be as honest as possible when selecting stand-in items.

Ordering Products for Your First Month

So you haven’t even launched – how do you know how many products to order for your first month’s shipment? Depending on how fast your vendors are able to turn around product, there are a couple paths you can take.

  1. Run your prelaunch campaign and order based on the safe 10-20% email list conversion rate. 10-20% is what most sub box owners can expect to convert from a prelaunch list, so if you’re comfortable waiting until you’ve acquired emails, you can order based on that number.
  2.  Feel comfortable selling out. If you need to order product before your prelaunch is over, find a number that works for your financials in the first month. Selling out of 100 boxes and keeping subscribers on a waiting list is a far better customer experience than selling 1,000 boxes and not being able to fulfill those orders.

In fact, Jamillah from last year’s Call Number prelaunch only had 50 boxes for the month of November and sold out the night she launched (and hey, exclusivity and perceived demand never hurt anyone in the world of marketing)!


Finally, we talked about resources for everything from insert quality to shipping windows, seller communication, and more. Check out Cratejoy’s resource library, as well as Subscription School for more information on how to run a killer prelaunch program.

We’ll see ya next week!

About Cheyenne Smith

Cheyenne Smith is the Content Marketing Manager at Cratejoy and part of the Prelaunch team. Interested in the next round of Prelaunch? Watch our "From the Road" series unfold and keep your eyes peeled for round 3!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *