Having [...] a subscription service gives me the financial stability to focus on content and let the billing/retention kind of handle itself with little hands-on work for me

Gentle + Classical Press
Alabama, USA

Subbly is thrilled to support founders like Erin Cox. As a homeschooling mother of four, Erin decided that sometimes, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. After struggling to find educational materials and curriculum that suited her needs, Erin created it herself. Keep reading to learn how a mother of four turned a blog, email list, and social media following into a thriving subscription business that helps moms deliver high quality homeschooling to their children.

Tell us the name of your company and briefly describe your business and product.

The Gentle + Classical Press is a homeschool curriculum company that specializes in materials for preschool and elementary students in the Classical and Charlotte Mason philosophies.

What inspired you to start your business?

As a veteran homeschool mom of 4, I was seeking out materials that met my particular needs and ideals for my 4 kiddos. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, and so I felt inspired to create it!

Every business is on a mission. What is your mission as it relates to The Gentle + Classical Press?

The mission of The Gentle + Classical Press is to equip and encourage homeschool moms with materials that strengthen their confidence, make their days easier, and help homeschooling to be a joy!

What accomplishment are you most proud of so far?

Most recently, we launched a quarterly magazine - called On Mission - that is really a completely unique product in the homeschool market. It’s a curriculum but is delivered in the form of a magazine to subscribers (which is where Subbly comes in!). Up until this point, all of my products were one-time, digital purchases. I’ve never created or edited a magazine, shipped physical products, or managed subscriptions. I also normally create all of my material myself, but now I’m leading a team of writers to create this content. Everything about this project is completely new to me and it’s been received so wonderfully! I’m incredibly proud of everything about it.

Free Webinar: How To Quickly Build a Business With Recurring Revenue

Every week, Subbly hosts a free webinar to teach budding entrepreneurs and business owners how to create recurring revenue. You’ll learn how to build a subscription ecommerce store from scratch and how to start selling subscriptions with any existing store.

How did you get your first customers and how long did it take?

When I began my blog (Life, Abundantly), I utilized high-value freebies to build a substantial email list and grow my social media presence. The Gentle + Classical Press grew from a demand for more of these products. When launching my subscription magazine, On Mission, I was able to draw from this established email list and social media network.

Why is it necessary for you to have a subscription billing model and not just one-time purchases?

When creating a magazine, you spend a huge amount of time curating the best content available and designing it in a user-friendly, visually appealing way. You absolutely can’t start from scratch with your customers each issue. Having the ability to implement a subscription service gives me the financial stability to focus on content and let the billing/retention kind of handle itself with little hands-on work for me.

What made you decide on Subbly to support your business instead of something else?

I researched for months. I needed something affordable but very customizable. Subbly fit my needs perfectly with their low monthly fees and the ability to specify a month AND day for all subscribers to renew. I was shocked at how unusual that option was and was incredibly thankful that the least-expensive option fulfilled that need! Furthermore, as I sent emails out to several companies, exploring features, Subbly was over-the-top in excellent customer service- always available, helpful, and kind. I truly feel like Subbly offers the greatest value.

What is your advice for someone who is just starting a subscription business?

Don’t rush into sourcing products or creating content that you don’t have an audience for. Take the time to build a high-quality email list before anything else. Your email list is your lifeline. Create high-quality content that you offer for free to build trust and enjoyment of your brand. Once you’ve established an audience and tested your ideas through freebies and polls, then begin sourcing materials to start a subscription service.

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