I love getting packages in the mail.
It doesn’t matter what season it is, a package makes any day feel like Christmas morning.
Fighting through bubble wrap, taking inventory of the goods, maybe laying them out for an Instagram photo.
I can’t get enough of any of it, and with the surge in popularity (and profitability) of the 23 monthly subscription boxes in this article, it’s clear I’m not the only one.
According to Forbes, Birchbox began the subscription box movement back in 2010, delivering its monthly care package of beauty samples for only $10.
Since then, the beauty and grooming company has grown to offer a men’s box, serve more than 800,000 subscribers worldwide, and earn over $96 Million in sales annually.
Today, there are over 600 subscription box services like Birchbox running in the United States alone, and even retail giants like Walmart, CVS Pharmacy, Amazon, and Lancome have entered the market.
With them proving to be a hot ticket holiday gift, this year, let’s take a minute to unbox the secrets behind their success and talk about 21 we can’t resist.
How Do Subscription Boxes Work?
The process is simple. A new user signs up for a monthly fee (could range anywhere from $10 to hundreds depending on the service) and usually completes a short survey about their tastes and preferences. After that, the subscriber gets a box of personally selected goodies automatically delivered right to their doorstep.
They're the holiday gift that keeps on giving -- at least for a few months.
Why are They So Popular (and Profitable)?
Targeted Buyer Personas
Whether you’re a chocolate lover, a wine connoisseur, or even a comic book geek, there’s a subscription box for you.
Most subscriptions (with a few, rare exceptions) are catered specifically to very distinct interests. These distinctions allow brands to curate products as well as create content and overall experiences that will truly resonate and delight their buyer personas.
Aside from providing the brand with their tastes and preferences, subscribers have no say in the products they receive each month.
Each package becomes a mystery waiting to be solved. Psychologically, the anticipation and suspense created by this “curiosity gap” makes receiving the box each month that much more satisfying.
Value & Convenience
While this depends on the brand, a large part of the consumer appeal of subscription boxes comes from value and convenience.
With a Birchbox subscription, for example, subscribers get five high-end beauty samples for just $10 a month for women and $20 for men.
Not only is this a fraction of the cost of purchasing all the products individually, but members also get to try out and shop for products, all from the comfort of their own home.
Overall, like every consumer business venture, the secret to subscription box success is customer delight. If you can wrap a usually ordinary task (like shopping for your grooming products) in a unique, easy, and overall “delightful” experience, people will not only pay for it, but spread the word.
23 Subscription Boxes We Can’t Resist
While the subscription box market is expanding every day (just check out the selection on CrateJoy if you don't believe me), here are few that have really caught our eye with their unique offering and delightful experiences.
You may have seen this one pop up on Pinterest more than once.
For the foodies or jetsetters in your life, TryTheWorld is a God Send. Offering Snack Boxes for $19/month, Pantry Boxes for $29.99/month, and Signature Boxes for$39/month, this mouth-watering subscription delivers gourmet snacks, drinks, and ingredients to your doorstep so you can truly "discover the world" through your tastebuds.
Speaking of international treats, why not try a taste of Japan?
In this unique, family-created subscription box (available for as little as $14.99) you'll get a mix of authentic Japanese candies and snacks delivered right to your home.
Including both a savory and sweet selection (not to mention some of the most intriguing flavors we've ever seen, i.e. chicken curry and pizza) as well as an English key, Freedom Japanese Market ships free worldwide and includes many limited edition varieties. I'd highly recommend it to anyone with an adventurous appetite!
3. Club W
Based on your Palate Profile, Club W delivers 3 bottles of wine, starting at $13 a bottle ($39 total) plus a $6 flat shipping rate. They work directly with winemakers to get you better quality at a lower price and you can cancel at any time.
Also, with satisfaction 100% guaranteed, you never have to pay for a bottle you don’t like, and you can manage your account from their handy iPhone app.
NicelyNoted is a perfect match for the content writer or snail mail lover on your shopping list. For $20 a month, the stationary company will deliver three unique cards and stamps to their door, and who knows, maybe you can expect one back as a thank you.
Unlike most of the others on out list, FabFitFun is a seasonal subscription box sent out four times a year -- and is probably the one I wish I had most on the list!
For $50 each (or $180 for a full year), FabFitFun delivers a mix of full-size beauty, fashion, fitness, wellness, and home treats for subscribers to enjoy and touts a $200 value!
6. Blue Apron
With this tasty box, Blue Apron ships you recipes and the fresh ingredients needed to make them up to 4 times a week. Offered in either a 2-person or family-sized 4-person plan, over 100,000 home chefs are enjoying Blue Apron every week.
I can’t go any further without mentioning the one that started it all! As we shared earlier, Birchbox offers both a monthly women’s beauty box (5 beauty samples) as well as a men’s box (4 samples and a lifestyle product) for an affordable $10 and $20 respectively.
One of our former Account Strategists, Erica Dube, is a huge fan of the company as well as its approach to re-engagement, email marketing, and video marketing. Check out her full testimonial in this article.
With MistoBox, you get four samples of “the best coffee in the world” shipped to you, whenever you like (you can pick the schedule) and based on your personalized tastes. The service works with over 30 of the country’s artisan roasters and starts as low as $12.99 with free shipping.
Barkbox will ship you and your canine best friend a monthly box of dog goodies including toys and healthy treats for as little as $19 a month. All you have to do is pick your dog size, plan (available in 1,3,6, and 12-month), and it’ll be delivered to your doorstep on the 15th of the month.
For $11.99 each (the first box is usually free), you’ll get eight, “hand-picked” healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruits, chips, and bars delivered to your home, based on your tastes.
The packaging is 100% recyclable and sustainable, and when you use a reward code, a portion of the proceeds can go towards the Graze School of Farming in Uganda, which teaches the community to grow, maintain, harvest fruit from their orchards.
Know a self-declared choco-holic? Chococurb promises to send them (or you) extraordinary chocolate treats with any of its three subscription boxes. Depending on the size of your sweet tooth, boxes are available at $10, $20, of $35/month. Sign me up!
12. The Cravory
With a subscription to The Cravory, the gourmet cookie company will ship you a sampling of their newest flavors once a month. Available as a 6-cookie teaser, dozen, or 2-dozen box, this indulgent treat starts at just $9. Fresh-baked cookies, delivered right to my door? Yes, please.
13. Taste Trunk
Based on the category of your choice (gourmet, sweet, healthy chef, BBQ, or the sampler), Taste Trunk will send you gourmet treats for $39.99 to $99.99 a month (shipping included.) If the price tag seems a bit hefty for a monthly expense, you can also purchase a variety of single trunks for as little as $49.99.
14. Bespoke Post
Introduced to me by our Creative Director, Vin, as a "gentlemen's box," Bespoke Post sends subscribers a thoughtful, themed, small-batch goods once a month for $45/month. Past creative themes have included: Weekender, Brut, Churchill, and The Barber.
15. Loot Crate
For as a little as $19.95 a month, Loot Crate will ship you an “epic crate” of pop culture geek and gamer gear including collectibles, clothing, tech gadgets, and art once a month. In their own words, “it’s like Comic-Con in a box” and you can cancel at any time.
16. Candy Club
Candy Club is exactly what it sounds like. Available starting at $19.99 a month, the club and itcandyofthemonthados will assemble and send you a special selection of sweet treats from brands you love like Haribo and Sour Power.
Starting at $30.00 for a month-to-month subscription, Dana’s Bakery will ship you a oneHaribo, monthly variety pack Macaronr macarons that includes all of their original flavors, plus the flamacaronshe month. Their french treats are gluten-free and made fresh daily.
18. Kiwi Crate
Made with moms in mind, Kiwi Crate designs fun, creative activities for kids ages 4-8. For as low as $16.95 a month, they’ll ship you all of the materials for 2-3 activities centered around art, science, games, or imagination.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Dollar Shave Club and their marketing. Starting at just $3 a month, DSC will ship you high-quality razors and blades (choose from 3) along with their quirky monthly newsletter and the occasional product sample. It’s simple, fun, and amazingly affordable.
20. Sock Fancy
Having designed over 500 pairs to date, your friend or loved one's feet will never be bored again with Sock Fancy!
Starting at $11/month for men's or women's subscriptions, Sock Fancy will send you one, two, or six pairs that you can swap anytime if you don't like the (As long as they haven't been worn or open, of course.)
21. Tea Box
Not everyone's a coffee perjess including your truly. If you're a tea fan like me, you'll love having fresh and delicious teas delivered to directly to you every month compliments of Tea Box. In a fun twist, Tea Box has users take a short quiz then sends a selection based on the user's preferences. Plans start at $19.99.
22. Ozone Socks
Sock fancy not your fancy? Fashion-forward Ozone socks are a great alternative having been featured by Vogue, True Religion, Interview Magazine, and many other high-profile brands. Available in 6-month (7 pairs for $75) and full year subscriptions (13 pairs for $150), their Sock of the Month club will ship a fun new design to your doorstop to each month -- and having tried a pair myself, I assure you, they're worth signing up for!
Last, but certainly not least, Ipsy sends subscribers 4-5 high-end beauty samples in a collectible glam bag for only $10 a month, shipping included. On average, the retail value of the assortment is around $50 and each bag is tailored to you.
About Ramona Sukhraj
As Content Marketing Manager, Ramona approaches marketing not only as a profession, but as a creative outlet. She has a passion for all things artistic and strives to create content that is educational, yet quirky and entertaining as well. With a B.S. in Marketing from the UCONN School of Business, Ramona is a frequent contributor to the HubSpot blog and a nonprofit consultant. Outside of IMPACT, she is a design, movie, and pop culture buff, and a fierce advocate of free hugs.