Starting a Subscription Business by Cocoa & Roast – Part 3 - Subscription Radar

Starting a Subscription Business by Cocoa & Roast – Part 3

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Hi, Paul from The Cocoa & Roast Club again. We supply and match artisan coffee and luxury chocolate and deliver direct to your door. We just started our subscription box and are sharing some of our experiences with you guys.

Paul, Founder @ Cocoa & Roast

In our first post, I explained how we got started, how we calculated the costs and expenses. Our second post we discussed how to choose the items in your box, working to a budget pricing and delivery. 

In this post I'm going to discuss our pre-launch and what we've done to attract interest in the company and getting people signing up to a pre-launch email list.

The email list is absolutely crucial to building the company and the more people on the list, the greater chance of sales.

Our Objectives : 500 emails in 3 months then launch.

cocoa roast

​Co-founder Jade set up a useful spreadsheet which allowed us to track our sign-ups each day and gave us an estimated launch date. Here is the template in excel for you to download and use.

We decided to use LaunchRock for our email capture page. There was no real science in this. It was mainly because it was free, quick and easy to set up so we went with it. There are plenty of other sites that do similar so see what works best for you.

We used a standard template, found a few good stock photos and got started. It literally took 30 minutes to set up and go live 🙂

At the same time, we also set up our social media accounts and got them fully functioning with the basic information. 

You can see how our social media accounts have developed below, but to start with all we did was add a profile photo, background photos and filled out the about/bio sections.

Twitter: @Cocoaroastclub
Facebook: /cocoaroastclub
Instagram: @cocoaroastclub

Creating/accessing content and media

The launch page needs to have some photos etc to draw people in. We did consider taking our own photos but because we didn't have a professional camera, or a real product to hand at this point, we decided to go for stock photos. We got lots of excellent quality royalty free photos from Pixabay, and I would recommend doing the same.

Many stock photo providers offer n amount of free photos if you sign up- just remember to cancel your subscription before you get charged!

This is what our launch page looked like…. I am sure you’d agree that its pretty basic, but it served a purpose and helped us to get off the ground.


We launched our email capture page on Tuesday 17th January!


We also started hitting the social media channels in order to direct people to the page. Tweets, photos, call outs etc etc. Start with your friends and family- they are your biggest fans and will help by sharing your pages.

The launch page mechanism is great to allow you to get signups. The issue is that it was difficult to get exposure. Getting a good launch campaign requires the campaign to go viral and have exponential growth. We were starting from zero everything so naturally getting traction was always going to take some time.

We realised that a successful launch page needs to give the customer something in return for their email address. We decided to run a competition campaign to get signups for the launch page and for that we used which is a a marketing tool that can be used for launches. Gleam basically creates a second launch page which allows people to enter extremely quickly but also captures their data, in return for entry into a competition.

From experience the competition has to be something quite amazing to get people signing up. We went for the ultimate prize of a lifetime subscription of our coffee and chocolate for free. Quite the offer eh 🙂

I fully recommend using gleam for your campaign as it makes it extremely easy for the signups to enter through all social media platforms and get that all essential virality. By the end of the campaign we were getting 100 signups a day!

It took us 6 weeks to reach our target and on the 1st March 2016 we launched 🙂 and it was a great success! We got 535 emails and were ready to launch our product.

The main points we learnt from the launch campaign were:

  • Utilise free stock photos to get some good quality media
  • Offer an incentive on your launch page
  • Consider using a competition plugin such as gleam
  • Work on making your website while you have the launch page active

I hope you find it useful any questions give me a shout, we would love to hear from you.

All the best. Paul - The Cocoa and Roast Club

A big thank you to Paul for taking the time out of his busy schedule to produce yet another great insight into his journey, with actionable tips and guidance for setting your own subscription box. 

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If your interested in trying out Cocoa & Roast Club for yourself then check out our review for more information and use discount code RADAR10 for 10% off your first discount from our site.

About the author

Paul from Cocoa Roast Club

Paul is the co-founder of start-up subscription company The Cocoa & Roast Club, who send out monthly micro-roast coffee and match it with fine chocolate from specialist chocolatiers. To help and inspire others, Paul is documenting his journey of setting up a subscription box company here on Subscription Radar.