I was unaware that there were so many subscription boxes available to consumers on the market, let alone book subscriptions. Regarding push and pull marketing, Book of the Month has a balance of both. In my opinion, BOTM is a bit stronger on the pull side because of its social media presence and general advertisements. I was attracted to it from a friend retweeting some of its content. On the push side, there is a newsletter that a user can sign up for immediately on the website without being a subscriber. Below is an example of a newsletter sent as part of BOTM’s push marketing tactics.
Overall, BOTM had a fairly high score in a majority of the areas. BOTM had an average of 4.6 on the worksheet, only suffering in areas such as user-friendliness because of its lack of search engines. Besides not having a search engine, the website is easy to navigate and has a clear message to its consumer. Within thirty seconds, a new visitor can easily tell just exactly what Book of the Month is about. Also, the title does give a hit. The color scheme and message goes well together within each page on the website, giving a consistency to the brand.
Using the mobile website is similar to using it as if you were on a computer. Not much is different except for the orientation. All in all, BOTM does a great job of having an easy navigation and consistent brand for its website. Its pull tactics include its use of social media, appearances of ads on social newsfeeds, and general word-of-mouth advertising. As stated above, the pull tactics are those of email marketing campaigns. Not much can be found for offline advertising, except for having the celebrities that pick out books from month to month advertise themselves.
One of BOTM’s competitor is Cratejoy. Cratejoy is a website where a customer can find any sort of subscription box they are looking for. From food, toys, and books, Cratejoy has a number houses a number of competitors for BOTM. While it’s not directly just a book subscription, it still offers plenty of options to compete with BOTM. I scored Cratejoy at a 4.6 also. One of the main differences on its website was that it does have a search engine, which is helpful to users for navigating their own paths.
Cratejoy uses similar push and pull marketing techniques to that of BOTM. As push tactics, a plethora of email newsletters are available to users. I believe that because these companies don’t have physical locations a customer can go to, their efforts are focused for mostly online marketing. As pull tactics, Cratejoy uses social media and SEO to be found. It’s easily found googling things such as subscriptions or subscription boxes. Also, if you spend more than two minutes on the website, this box appears in the corner:
One of the parts that Cratejoy scored the lowest in was content, forms, and contact information. The website is unclear regarding anything along the lines of social responsibility and doesn’t offer any downloadable content. However, for a subscription box, whitepapers are not usually necessary. This website is also very user-friendly when used in mobile. This is one of the most important marketing tactics because a good amount of website traffic is done through cell phones. Therefore, it is vital for companies to have an effective mobile website.
The website features its social media channels at the bottom, along with links that are easy to navigate within the website. Cratejoy also has a consistent brand throughout its website. Similar fonts, colors, and imagery is used no matter what subscription service a user is looking through.
A direct competitor of BOTM would be the book subscription service called The Book Drop.
I scored The Book Drop only a little bit lower at a 4.5. I was not as impressed with this website as I was with the others. However, it is easily navigable and easy to understand. Because this is a much smaller company than Cratejoy and BOTM, the website is limited. Its push pull marketing tactics are similar to that of BOTM and Cratejoy. An email newsletter is available, but it doesn’t seem to have many pull tactics. However, this could be because they target locals, and I am not considered in that target audience. While there is a clear message and brand, it isn’t as strong as its competitors’ because of it being a smaller business.
Certain content is a gated and requires information such as the “Get Started” button. The Book Drop does a good job in offering a sign-up form in many different places within its website. One of its lower scores was a part of the SEO. I found this competitor from a list of great book subscriptions. Another negative is that when clicking on a link such as its Twitter, it doesn’t open in a new tab. The Book Drop’s social media presence isn’t as strong as it could be. The last tweet was posted in June. However, the Facebook is much more active.
This website might have deserved a lower score, but I am known for super scoring when it comes to grading things. Therefore, it is likely there is some inflation.
Overall, I think these websites are doing well, but there is always room for improvement. In regards to branding, I think that The Book Drop could use more of a stronger brand. Because it is a smaller business, the brand is weaker than that of the larger companies such as BOTM and Cratejoy. I think that both BOTM and Cratejoy do well with branding and IMC. I would suggest that BOTM add a search bar for its user. Therefore, if I wanted to know what a certain celebrity picked months ago, I could easily find it.