Prelaunch Success Stories: How STEM Reads Book Club Reached 100 Subscribers Faster Than 91% of Sellers

Welcome to Part 2 of our Prelaunch Success Stories series! (Pssst – if you missed our first installment, be sure to check out Jessica’s journey: How All Girl Shave Club Achieved 6x Subscriber Growth in 4 Months.)

Today we’re talking to Jay and Joel of STEM Reads Book Club –  a monthly STEM adventure for little readers.

STEM, of course, stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and is at the forefront of innovative children’s education and the premise behind our next Prelaunch Success Story.

Why We Chose STEM Reads Book Club: Niche Expertise and Community Support

“It’s said that a book is a dream you hold in your hand. I guess you can say that STEM Reads is in the dream delivery business.”

Sure, the baby Einstein in STEM Read’s prelaunch video is cute. But that also taps into the state of modern children’s education – a time where parents are dedicated to preparing their kids for a STEM-forward world. What made Jay and Joel’s idea stand out was not simply understanding the importance of STEM, but their personal connection to it.

Both Jay and Joel have careers in STEM fields and are parents to young kids. They combined those factors to create a business that aimed to make STEM a fun, lifelong passion for their children.

And as fathers to young girls, a group that loses interest and confidence in the STEM fields by age 15, there was an even greater impetus to create a product that could make an impact.

This passion was evident, as STEM Reads made the cut for the community vote for the last slot in the prelaunch program. In a pool of highly-qualified contenders, their idea and passion stood out to the Subscription School community as one worth investing in. We couldn’t have agreed more.

The Race to 100 Subscribers

As we mentioned in All Girl Shave Club’s story, the average seller takes 150 days to reach 100 subscribers. The goal of the Prelaunch Program was to scale our partners as quickly as possible, and the 100-subscriber mark is a critical milestone for both the growth of a subscription company and the morale of its owners.

In the case of STEM Reads Book Club, Jay and Joel crossed that checkpoint in a mere 14 days – 91% faster than the average seller, and the fastest of the Prelaunch group. Their lightning-fast ascent to the 100-subscriber mark helped build momentum for their business to scale quickly and efficiently.

Marketing STEM Reads Book Club

In moving toward the 100-subscriber mark and beyond, Cratejoy pushed marketing efforts behind email, social media, and content creation to build buzz and gather emails for our partners. Check out some of STEM Reads’ campaigns below:

Custom Product Photography

Each partner sent either a sample box or first month’s shipment to Cratejoy for in-house photography. These visual assets were used across all marketing campaigns and helped build the visual brand for each subscription box during the prelaunch phase.

Dedicated “Sneak Peek” Email

STEM Reads was featured alongside the other Prelaunch Program partners in an exclusive email to Cratejoy’s newsletter list. With an audience of over 200,000 in November 2016, email proved an invaluable resource for getting exposure to STEM Reads’ Marketplace listing.

Review on Cratejoy’s Blog, Box Insider

Each of our Prelaunch partners received a box review on Cratejoy’s blog Box Insider. In the case of STEM Reads Book Club, we partnered with a writer who had a background in children’s library science to dive into that month’s space-themed STEM books. The reviewer could tell the box had been curated by experts, and helped legitimize a new business in the critical audience-building phase.

So What Did Jay and Joel Think of the Prelaunch Pilot?

How did the Prelaunch Program affect the trajectory of STEM Reads’ success?

“The prelaunch program gave our efforts a helpful boost. It put us on the radar with a lot of potential customers and influencers. They essentially validated our concept with their Instagram posts, emails, and Facebook ads of our product.”

What was the most valuable aspect of the Prelaunch Program?

“Cratejoy’s professional photography of our product, their copy, and their influencer review of our box review were invaluable and provided us with material that we could use for a long time.”

Why do you think the Prelaunch Program is important for new subscription box sellers?

“There is so much to learn about how to launch and run a subscription box business. You have the experts at Cratejoy at your disposal. We even got private phone consultation sessions with Mr. Subscription School himself, Mr. Jesse Richardson. You can’t put a price on any of that.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

“We could not have made it this far this fast without any of you. Your mentorship, your advice, your excellent platform, and especially Subscription School have all been invaluable.  It even worked out that we weren’t an automatic pick for the prelaunch accelerator program, which allowed our idea to be validated by the popular vote.”

About Cheyenne Smith

Cheyenne Smith is the Content Marketing Manager at Cratejoy. She's married to a STEM educator and was ecstatic to help such an impactful subscription make it onto Cratejoy's Marketplace.

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