#121 - In this week's episode of Subscription Box Basics, Julie interviews Samantha Foster of The Pink Envelope who is an online influencer that shares YouTube videos dedicated for Subscription Boxes Only.
Samantha will share all about The Pink Envelope, how she helps her clients grow their subscriber base and the importance of Influencer and Affiliate ads for your Subscription Box Business.
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So you wanna launch a subscription box and don't know where to start. Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach, and your host here at subscription box basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper, and let's have some,
Hey everybody. And welcome back to subscription box basics. I'm Julie Ball, your subscription box business coach. And today I have a guest on here, so full of energy and so fun. I know you're absolutely going to love her. I have my friend, Samantha Foster from the pink envelope. She is a content creator and buckle up people because we are talking today about influencer and affiliate ads, as opposed to Facebook ads. Can I get an amen? Raise your hand if you're tired of Facebook ads and the pain that they cause us all the time as business owners. So Samantha, welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited to have you.
Hey Julie, thank you for having me I'm to be here. Good,
Good, good. Okay. So we have so much to talk about, but a lot of people will be meeting you for the first time. So why don't you just tell everyone a little bit about yourself?
Well, hi, y'all my name is Samantha and I own the pink envelope and we create YouTube marketing videos for subscription boxes only. Um, I'm a small business, just like many of you guys. We have three paid employees and one voluntold employee. My husband, I
Was just gonna say, was that Jonathan
Yeah. Yeah, he does a good job of just being a little bit of everywhere all at once. Um, I'm a mid thirties, mama. I have two girls, nine chickens, two cats, a bearded dragon. We're running around, um, doing the kid an animal thing. Uh, Jonathan and I have been married 15 years and we've worked together full time for 15 years.
Wow. That's amazing.
Yeah. With all we know is, is teamwork and, uh, he's definitely the brains behind anything y'all are seeing on computer web, the beautiful camera footage, the lighting, the clean sound that all comes from him. So we're really, really thankful to have him. He's been in video in photo production for about 16 years now. So we're very happy to have him. And then I started this whole pink envelope venture as a hobby six years ago.
I Remember, I think that's when we first met.
Yes, because that's when I started sparkle hustle grow. Yes. And I started following you and I was like, uh, this woman does things differently. Like she, you just felt, so all of your content felt so genuine. Like you were really excited about things or you'd like, tell it straight like, mm, this is not a win in my book or, you know, so I just really loved that. It wasn't this F fake influencer kind of thing that you see on, um, Instagram and on YouTube and TikTok right now. Like you just felt so much more real.
Thank you. That's a really, if I could paint out something, I want to define the pink envelope as it would be real. Um, and of course that's right. A big subjective, but we have a very niche crew of Watchers and, and they're a lot like me and, um, I really want to be able to define and describe until computers can let us taste feel, smell, sound, we're gonna have to teamwork this. And yeah, that is my biggest goal. Um, in playing with product is being able to articulate well, an accurate description or experience for someone who's on the other side watching.
And you have so much experience now, six years in that you really know what to look for. And I, I love that too, because there's a lot of people that just, you know, they get their mail, they unbox it and then they move on with their day. Yeah. You're actually like, well versed in the subscription box world and you go to sub summit and, you know, so I, I feel like you just bring this different vibe to the table. So let's talk a little bit about some of the content that you create, um, and what, what the goal of the pink envelope is and, and what you do for subscription box business owners, like those that are listening to this podcast episode.
Sure. Yes. Yes. That's a great question. Um, in this world of influencers and bloggers and bloggers and content creators, it just makes you kinda just wanna grab your head and, and shake it, I, for me here at the pink envelope, we create content and my job, um, as, as, as it has defined over the last six years is I don't want to just unbox product, toss it to the side. I want to strategically partner with the right subscription boxes for my Watchers. where they are getting product that every time they watch a video, it is a struggle, do they order or not? Because yet Samantha found another box. It just defines our crew so well, but in the same, right, I wanna partner with the subscription box owner that when I am bringing them, these people, that I am bringing them people who are a real match for their goals.
Um, I, I don't basically, I, I don't want them to turn. I want them to hang out for a very, very long time. And if I can work hand in hand with the box owner to be able to articulate the type of clientele, they want the goals for their box, the goals for their subscribers. When I come in to film a video, um, I can make sure that I am speaking from that perspective so that we have wonderful matches being made. That lasted a very long time, which honestly, obviously, as a box owner, that's a great thing. Yeah. But it builds really great trust with my watchers and they know that I am not gonna say yes to a collaboration for anything other than we just found a really great box. Yeah. So
It makes it so much more fun. Um, when I partner with boxes like your crew, um, I sit the questionnaire unlike, you know, I guess an unbox Reese toss a box. And I don't, I don't know what they do as soon as your box comes in with me, whether it's, it just showed up in the mail and we start chatting, or you contacted me before your box showed up in the mail. um, I send out a pretty intricate questionnaire. It says, tell me about you. Tell me about your box. Tell me what your Box's goals are for this season for next season. Like what, what is the pathway you're moving into? And then at that point, I really lean into finding what could potentially be a hangup for a subscriber. I'm going to address it in that video. We're gonna talk about what could be a stopping point. I'll ask the box owners, Hey, what is something you've seen, that's stopping what we can take on head on let's let's show them why this isn't true or is true once again. And it kinda depends on what the end goal is. Um, I spend about five hours researching, filming, editing, writing, SEO base. Like my descriptions are all about your box. There's no other links, but talking about anybody else, we're really creating pieces that are hopefully beautiful and informative, but engaging in fun and key people shopping.
Yeah. And collaborative too. It sounds like, yeah, you really have the box owners best interest in mind, as well as your audience. So tell us a little bit about your audience. Cause some people might be thinking, okay, well, am I a good fit for Samantha and her unboxing videos, but what does your audience look like?
Sure. I y'all, I love my people. I have been blessed over the last six years of slow, steady growth. These, some of these women have been with me for all six years. Right. Um, and I say women because we are primarily female. We are primarily us based in average, age of 35 to 65 years old. And these women, people love beautiful things. They love to create things and they love to shop, but not just shop to spend money shop with intention or purpose or direction. I mean, even just the community I've created. Sometimes they shop because all of their friends and the community they're shopping, they, they really kind of function at we, we are one entity. And so it's a lot of fun. We have an exclusive pink envelope, Facebook group. And in that group, people can come in, as soon as they get their box and start posting pictures and we are designing and we're playing and talking to each other about what you get versus what I got it's it's truly, um, not many, one and DUNS in my group.
Yeah. Oh, I love that so much. Okay. So you told us a little bit about your audience. So how do you actually help us acquire new subscribers? Like what is the process? I mean, obviously we know you do an unboxing video, you have some links, but like tell us a little deeper about that.
I would say I probably have, I probably have like a million main points, but we're gonna, I think I can get down to like five main things that if you're like, okay, I I'm super burned out with the 500, 600, $700 a month towards Facebook ads that has every box owner I talk to who has, who has found themself in this, the snagged part of Facebook says it's a ton of money, very little return and a lot of churn. And so I, it immediately brings me into know, know what your needs are before spending money anywhere. So, um, what does your brand need? Does it need more content? Does it need photos and videos? maybe you're just need marketing. You need to get the word out about your box or maybe, um, you've changed the direction of, of your box or you found your original direction.
Isn't quite where you wanna go and you just need to change the narrative get brand affirmation out there. Maybe you just want more subscribers. Maybe it's a combination of a couple of things I said, but knowing exactly what it is that you want to achieve is key because then at that point, you cane your needs and your goals and strategically partner with someone someplace. So like, if you're like, gosh, I'm realizing I just need content. I need photos and videos. Yeah. Throwing $500, $600 a month at Facebook ads will never, ever, ever fulfill your need. Right? So it's say deep breath, work, cup of coffee and, and pound out. What are my main needs? in my marketing investments. I can't not go here. Don't send out a bunch of boxes, promo boxes, free boxes, whatever you wanna call 'em and think that you're gonna get the answer to what I just asked you um, in my consultation calls, that is the, well, probably one of the number one things that they're like, I, I started the box and I immediately was dedicated every month I sent at least 10 influencer blogger, blogger, boxes out. And I would be lucky if I got one thing out of it,
Yeah. I'm like, it's free stuff in their mind. They're gonna grab it and walk away.
Yeah. I mean, whether or not you get any content from that, it's kind of like throwing spaghetti against the wall, right? Yeah. And then whether it's quality, quality, I mean, they have no skin in the game. Really. They, they don't have a reason other than, you know, oh, another box sent me another, you know, freebie. So yeah. I love that. You know, you, this is your profess, like this is your career. Yeah. Versus someone that just like woke up and posted their highlight reel on Instagram, you know?
Yes. I'm booking June right now. Like I'm just not throwing things up. We spend a lot of time
In that. So that kind of, I guess, would lead me to my next point would be, be willing to in your investments. I hear over and over no qualms spending quite a bit of money on Google ads or Facebook ads, or even running through the hard shuffle of getting your box listed on Amazon where great, huge crowd. But you pay out the walls you know, to do that. So, and that's great. Those are avenues everybody should do. But then I turn around and hear them say, well, I'm gonna send this unbox or a free box and they should do five hours worth of work for that box. And, and it's just probably not gonna happen. Not a good one. Yeah. Um, and once again, once you know what your needs, you can strategically partner, like there are some trade agreements that are really great beneficial for both parties, but if you're like, I'm investing in marketing, invest in your marketing, you don't go to Facebook and Google and set up the ad, but never put your credit card in.
Cause then it would do nothing and nothing would happen. The same's gonna happen with an investment in a content creator, blogger, vlogger, influencer, or whatever. You gonna have to put a little bit behind it, but you know what it does. Um, it, it allows you to collaborate with people who want to create for your business they're gonna want to get behind what they're doing. Get behind your business. You're both invested. And when both of you are invest in a common cause a success of a partnership or a campaign, or, uh, maybe it's just driving sales, there is a huge difference. There is a huge change. Um, so yeah. Be willing to, to pay for your marketing with an influencer and, and let
It, yeah, it's, it's, it's a different ballgame than it was a couple years ago. Yeah. You know, it's definitely evolved. And as business owners, you know, I, I look back at what I've done in past years, what has worked a lot of that same stuff isn't working in the same way. Yeah. And it doesn't cost the same. And so you have to treat marketing channel in the same way. Um, so someone might be thinking, okay, I'm interested and potentially working with an affiliate or an, a content creator or a YouTuber. What are some of the basics of like, what do we need to know other than what you've already covered today? Like you gotta put some skin in the game, you gotta know what your goals are. But I remember very specifically, um, this was, I don't know, Samantha, if you remember this, like a year or two ago, you had collaborated with me.
And then I used a video in a way or a video clip in a way that I didn't have permission to. And so you were so kind and you reached out and said, Hey, just so you know, this is the way that we, we, you can use this content and, um, we can chat more about it, but I, I like to educate my on how this stuff works. And so it was this eye opening moment and you treated me with such grace. And I really appreciate that because it was one of those things. You don't know what you don't know. Yeah. Um, so what are some of those basics? If someone, you know, collaborates with you on an unboxing video, what do we need to, to know about how we can use it, how we can't use it and like what's use of that time and that energy and that money, that investment we've put into it.
Sure. That's a great question. Uh, YouTube's becoming a little more fun. Uh, we, we, as creators can lean into them and say, here are things that we need. And for me, I might have a lot of smaller boxes who can't come in and necessarily purchase a, a really large marketing campaign. Um, so I have levels starting at $75, $75. We start creating beautiful things. And what's at the time
Of this recording
At the time of this recording. Yeah. Yeah. And then that pivots that's, that's a good note, but my goal is it on these small says, I don't, I want to work with you. We can make magic happen. And I can send you stats that have just literally I've quadrupled their box cells. It's amazing. And in the matter of a month, because we partnered together and we created something together. Um, and so YouTube has clips now. So even if you do that, a smaller investment where you're in a hall with a group of boxings, we can pull your portion of footage out and you don't even need me. You can do it on your own, on YouTube, hop on at your leisure and create 1530 second ad spots that fast
Do our are clips like Instagram stories,
Uh, know, Pulling out an excerpt of the video.
Oh, okay. So it's I was thinking it was something just like very complex, but it's legit. You just pull out a clip of an existing video. Oh, cool.
So if I opened your box and was like, oh my gosh, look at whatever product you can literally just pull that out, share the link and be like, if you're wanting the same reaction order the box below, or, and that
Could be used as
An app, you can pull any, and I it's great. And if you email me, I can, I have a little thing I can pound out and send to you and say, Hey, here's how use clips. And here's how it works. So, um, those are like the, just really surface level things that can happen, um, at your leisure at your time, once we got content created, but we can go much deeper into like what you actually purchased the rights to some footage that I did. And you've been making unlimited ads with it. I don't do as Lisa. Like you said earlier, as of right now, I don't run on per everything's on perpetuity. I'm not trying to like babysit times fans we're subscription box, our, our stuff kind of, it, it, you use it for a little bit. It goes right. We're every month we're creating new, we're doing something new.
So, um, yeah, I'm not chasing time spans. I know that every month we're gonna have a new goal, a new mission, a new theme, a new, whatever we're working towards. One hit wonders are a rarity. Do I have them? Yes. Do I have them often? No. Um, being willing to invest a long term really, really pays off every time it pays off every single time. So in that you can get content that you can stack quotes, photos, videos, and more at the end of the year, you look back and you're like, oh my gosh, I can, I've got stuff from spring 20, 21. That's ready to market my spring, 20, 22. Nice. And so, um, working with one creator really gives that ability to create a beautiful marketing campaign. It can fill up your deck with lots of good stuff, as well as if I'm selling your box for a year.
My people know you, you're a household name. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, um, not this one thing that popped up if they're still kind of side eyeing and trying to decide if it's for them. Um, and then just to kind of talk on that, Julie, dig in on your person, you're partnering with. I don't care what the influencer blogger, blogger. I don't care how popular they are dig in on, on some of the biggest influencers and content create. I have the privilege of knowing, make their money off of making fun of people, places and things. That's how they make their money. So when you send out your 10 promo boxes per month, and one of them lands in their hands, what are they gonna do? They're gonna make fun of your product. Not because it's bad. It's because it's how they make their money. Yeah. And so, um, before diving in and creating a, any kind of collaboration, uh, dig, dig in on that content creator, do they have the correct age of viewer?
Are they in the right geographical location? Do they have the same passions as you or your Box's avatar? Are they creating the type of content that you want? Remember that point I made earlier, you like, you need to know what it is that you need and are they doing that and gonna be able to fulfill that for you? Yeah. The comments going on those video comments, those photo, post comments are those nice comments. Are they kind comments? Are they purchase comments? Like vague, weird stuff? Um, or if you get on my videos, my people I'm so thankful for them. Every time we open a box, they talk about something maybe they wished was in there that wasn't or something that was in there that blew their mind. The feedback that comes in off my videos for box owners is priceless. Like you literally could just write a, okay, here's our, here's our what to do and what not to do in moving forward.
And so, um, yeah, do a little digging and make sure that you're moving forward with someone that you want to create that long term partnership with, who can help you create and understand your goals and needs. I had a box call me the other day box owner. She's like, well, my box just got ordered by an influence. Who's spending her time making fun of it. And I was like, okay, so where are we at? Who is it hopped on there and found out, I was like, oh, we can, we got this. And we were able to sit down and write a plan. I'm like, let's go like, yeah, that's her opinion. Let's get my opinion up. And we, that whole thing just on that. So when you do cultivate more intimate relationships with your marketing investments, which Facebook won't do for you, right. You can call that person and say, Hey, pivot.
Where we're going now we're doing so I don't know that I I'm a tangent girl. So I don't even know if I answered your original question.
You did. And I love, I have a couple takeaways. One of the things, you know, is make sure it's aligned with you as a brand and you as a person before you choose someone to collaborate with. Um, another thing that I was thinking of as you were talking was, um, just with any marketing channel, I give any new campaign, a minimum three months, 90 days. Like that's just my standard. And if I, if I see that there's potential opportunity, that just gives me that, that fuel, I need to continue investing in that marketing channel. If I don't see any movement at all within 90 days, like you said, pivot and yeah. Um, I think that's really important what you were saying about the people. A lot of the, the box owners that you're collaborating with, you build these long term relationships with them and they become household names. You know, you can just mention them in a video and your audience is already gonna know who that box serves, what they put in their box and you know how to learn more information about them. So I, I love that. I think there's so much strength in marketing when you like repeat yourself and you're in the same places over and over and over. So I love that.
And wouldn't you say, Julie, that you feel less stressed and save money and time by strategically and slow, only partnering with individual entities rather than just trying to do all the things at all the places.
Yeah. Oh 100%. And we can, uh, as business owners, we oftentimes feel spread thin not only with our time and energy, but with our budget. And so when you find something that is working well, that's converting, um, then you can really take that time and that energy and that budget and pour into it. Like you are working with these col with these collaborations, with these box owners, because you have heart, like you're, you're clearly in it with them not just like trying to get another free box. Like we, like we mentioned. So as I think about your audience, you know, you've said it's, it's very niche and that's intentional, just like we do with subscription boxes. Like you have to know who your audience is, what for your channel, what are some of your hot categories?
Ooh, so that obviously rotates, but right now home decor, subscription boxes are rocking. And somehow I became the home decor subscription box girl, which I am
More because you renovate your house every other month <laugh>
We are always doing something. So yeah, we're, we're unboxing reviewing, decorating with a lot of home decor boxes. Um, and it's so much fun. Um, but we do a lot of fashion as well, more mid to high end. So not, not like weird runway stuff, but we are doing more Nordstrom front door, fashion level, um, fashion, like your investment key piece is that you would put in your capsule each season. Yep. And then, um, our lifestyle categories always ran strong. Um, and it does well. Um, what else have we got going here? Have
Some skincare boxes they've seen.
Yeah. And in real, real skincare, not like, like, Hey, I'm turning 40 and I cannot be putting samples on my face every five seconds like that, that dermatologist backed for sure. And even like, when I say skin, but also like hair care, like multiple care, but like from a true investment that you're in we're, we're in the more midlife age range
With your girlfriend. I'm right
There with you quality than quantity.
Love it. Yes. Love it. Yes. Okay. So if someone would wanna work with you what would you say? Where do they need to go? Or like, where do you start that conversation where someone's like, I need to, I wanna learn more about this or like, I'm ready. I have a box to send you right now, Sam.
Uh, I'll give you a link. It's just pink envelope.com. Okay. Slash get slash SB. Okay. And that'll lead you right into a direct contact page, um, that they can put in the information. We don't say yes to everyone. So when you send good to immediately, my team starts to go back through the, what we can see on your box and say, is this a match for our people? If it's not, we'll just directly say, Hey, we're not a match. And here's why, but here are people we think that would be a match contact. These collaborators, these influencers, um, the, we love that work in your category, or we'll say, Hey, we need more information. Can we set a time to chat real quick? Whether it's, I mean, typically its just on email real quick, give us these questions, answers to these questions and, and we'll find out and then others, of course we can look at like, Hey, you're gonna be absolutely perfect.
Here's the options to move forward, which is best for what your company's doing now because you know, we're monthly bimonthly and quarterly, typically all of us hanging out here, what we're doing now may not be what we're doing in two months. So we're just creating what we're doing now. Um, I have a few boxes, especially in the home decor, decorating beauty category where not makeup, but like fashion where they caught me and I tripled their subscriber account. So they were like, boo, I wasn't ready for that. And so we had to push pause, right? Because they need to catch up to where that is. And we don't wanna keep, so we're working on campaigns that are reducing churn that are adding a few more subscribers and keeping that base, um, really happy and having fun while they can grow that backend to get ready to double, triple I'd love to triple again.
That'd be super exciting. That would so, um, yeah, if they hop on that site, fill out all of those questions. It does say, Hey, who referred? You put in SB or what? Any kind of note from this podcast. So I know where you came from. Yeah. And yeah. And you can find me on Instagram and Facebook at the pink envelope, of course, YouTube envelope. And then we do have our exclusive group. I will, I do let box owners in it's not, but uh, it is for the people who shop I do, I that's who it's for and we hang out there. So, uh, that's just a little side note for that group. Yeah.
So don't join and drop your promos in there. You gotta work with Samantha on. So that's awesome. And you know, I assume that, you know, when they reach out, when they fill out that form, you'll give them information about what types of videos you're doing. Cause I know you do different types of videos. Sometimes you do these massive halls and sometimes you do like one or two or, you know, um, more, um, in depth video versus, you know, quick looks. So you'll share all that information then with them, as you go through those initial conversations,
We have, I guess, three most popular categories, which is our monthly hall. Everybody who's who hangs with the pink go knows exactly when my monthly hall they have reminders set on their calendars. And so, uh, like our next one is gonna be the may. What, what do you buy in the month of may? And that releases on April 29th and it repeats. So then what do you buy in June that releases on June 1st and it just boom, boom, boom. Um, those are yeah. Big box hauls. I go fast about three minutes per box and tell everybody if you like, what as you see, go down below, grab the URL and go play. And so those are wildly popular and do really well. But then we have our mini halls, which is the second most popular, um, where we don't do any more than five boxes. So each box gets five to eight minutes of time, a little more of a deep dive, you know, depends on how many products are in your box, right? so, uh, many halls are popular and then we have the dedicated unboxing videos, which is, it's all yours. What are we gonna do? So sometimes you'll see me, um, open a box and then do a full skincare routine or open a box and decorate my living room or open a box and go feed my chickens. And so kind of depends on what we decide we're gonna do there. And so yeah, those are the top three most popular offerings that we do.
Nice. Well, I am so excited. Thank you so much for sharing all this information. Yes, you guys, as you're listening, if this sounds like a marketing channel, that might be a good fit for you, then I highly recommend you check out the show notes. We're gonna drop all the links in there. So you can start following Samantha in the pink envelope. You can watch some of these past hall. That's like the first thing I would tell you to do, like make sure you go watch, see how it works and if it feels like it might be a good fit for you, then fill out that form and go have some fun with Samantha and her crew. Thank you again for kind of spilling the beans and telling us what it's like behind the scenes and all the information about a market channel. That's an alternative to Facebook ads.
And we'll see you in sub summit, right? You going,
Of course, yes. We totally got sub summit. I mean, we're coming up a couple days early to meet up with people and hang out and nice, uh, meet with our box editor. Cause right. I email with you guys
Faces. So yeah. Gonna get to meet a lot of faces. I'm excited about,
We can't wait to see you. We had so much fun with you last year and this year will be in Orlando, um, at the beginning of June. So if you guys haven't listened to that, go back an episode or two and you'll hear me talk to Paul Chambers. He is um, the co-founder of Suba and the sub summit and we give a awesome preview of all the activities that are, um, the going to be held at the what is it? The dolphin and Swan hotel. I think it's on a Walter Disney Disney. It's
Like fancy sounding. I'm excited. <laugh>
Excited. Okay, Sam. Well, thank you so much again. I look to seeing you in Orlando, everybody.
This is awesome. Check,
Check out those show notes and we'll see you in the next episode. Awesome.