Subscription Box Website Copy: Food for Thought

by Diana Ecker on August 13, 2014

With a snack subscription box, after you sign up you receive a selection of snacks in the mail on a regular basis. These three companies — NatureBox, Nibblr, and Graze — all specialize in “healthy” snacks — creative trail mix blends, nuts, dried fruit, and so on.

But is their copywriting as tempting as their snacks? Let’s take a bite-sized look at the copy on these three Snacks-as-a-Service home pages, with a special focus on the button copy.  

Join you? But I just met you!

The emphasis here on the NatureBox home page is to “join,” which you can see in green twice on the home page:

But none of the rest of the copy above the fold speaks to membership. So the question is: join what?

From the headline, you can figure out that joining probably means signing up for some type of recurring delivery. But you shouldn’t have to figure out anything.

NatureBox does a lot of advertising on podcasts (as an avid fan of comedy podcasts, I’ve heard their message many times). They’re reaching out to people who might never have considered having snacks delivered until now.

Why pressure these podcast listeners to “join” before they even have their bearings? A gentler on-ramp could be more effective.

Recommended Solutions:
If NatureBox is wedded to the “join” concept, they could shift the headline to be more about becoming part of a community, possibly including social proof, like the number of people who have already joined.

Alternatively, they could play off the mystery of the closed box on their home page and test out low-commitment button copy like “See your snacks.” This could play well for curious first-time customers who are new to the whole concept.

Options, options everywhere

It can be hard to choose between a variety of tempting options. Nibblr doesn’t want you to have to choose which snacks you want — just rate the snacks they send, and they’ll use your ratings to choose which snacks to include in your next box.

On Nibblr’s home page, though, it seems like there are a lot of choices.

The main image cycles automatically between four different photographs with different backgrounds (image #2 is pictured here), while the headline and buttons remain constant.

In a similar spirit, there are three buttons to choose from: Learn More, Subscribe, and New Snacks! Which one should you choose? They’re not giving any hints!

The brightest button — New Snacks! — also comes with an exclamation point. “Subscribe” matches the color of a number of elements on the page, which kind of makes it blend in. And Learn More just looks like an afterthought. It’s hard to decide which one to click on.

Recommended Solutions:
Narrow down the choices behind the scenes: choose one main image and ditch the other three. Replace the three buttons with a single button in a contrasting color.

If the idea is to target people at work (which this image with its computer keyboard would suggest), maybe speak directly to the hungry office worker who feels a bit trapped, with something like “Send me my snacks!”

Seeking specificity, stat!

Right away on the Graze home page, I’m digging the orange-gold circle on the right with a warm, handwriting-inspired font: “Just $6.49 a box (inc. shipping).” The left side of the page, though, could use some of that same clarity and focus.

Alliterations are tempting. Terribly tempting. But they’re never more important than creating an instantaneous connection with a site visitor. I’m still not entirely sure what “swap to a better way to snack” might mean. I think it’s a suggestion to trade my current manner of snacking in for an improved one — but I’m not sure why I’d want to do that.

The call to “Get started now” also feels puzzlingly vague. Get started with what?

The next page actually reveals some fun choices: Do you want the regular, presumably decadent box, or the lower-calorie one? And would you like it to arrive at work or to greet you at home? This is an enjoyable series of choices and deserves a better lead-in.

Meanwhile, back on the home page, the clearest, crispest call to action above the fold is “Have a special code? Enter it here.” So the one message that really lands is just going to make people feel bad if they don’t have a code.

Recommended Solutions:
Drop “swap to” and just keep “a better way to snack. True, there’s no verb left, but at least it won’t confuse anyone. Also, remove or move the bit about the special code.

Change the button copy from “get started now” to something like “personalize your box,” with a line in small print: “just answer two easy questions.” This way, a visitor is primed and eager for the next step.

UPDATES (8/22 + 8/23):

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