In the world of direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, reaching subscriber milestones can be a major indicator of success. Going from your first 1,000 to 10,000 subscribers is a significant achievement that demonstrates your brand’s growth and engagement with your audience. However, this transition can be challenging, and it requires careful planning and execution.
While the exact goal number of subscribers for these milestones varies across different stores, the idea is the same: How do you launch a brand and build a following, and then how do you scale during that growth phase?
In this blog post, we explore some strategies that can help your DTC brand make the leap from 0 subscribers to your first 1,000 and beyond.
So you just launched & you want to build up your subscriber base
One of the most important goals for any new brand is to build a loyal following of customers, and reaching your first 1,000 subscribers can be a significant milestone in the growth of your business. At this stage, setting a solid foundation for a strategy to acquire customers is important and will help you find your customers where they are and offer them products and content that will hook them in.
- Create valuable content
Creating valuable content is one of the most effective ways to attract and retain subscribers. Content can include blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and social media posts.
The key is to provide your audience with content that is relevant, informative, and engaging. Identify your target audience and create content that speaks directly to their needs and interests. By creating valuable content, you’ll not only attract new subscribers, but you’ll also build trust and credibility with your existing audience.
- Leverage social media
Social media is a powerful tool for DTC brands looking to reach their first 1,000 subscribers. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook provide an opportunity to connect with potential customers and build a loyal following.
To effectively leverage social media, it’s important to identify the platforms where your target audience is most active and create a consistent posting schedule. Use hashtags and engage with your followers to increase your visibility and build relationships with your audience.
- Offer incentives
Offering incentives is a great way to encourage people to subscribe to your brand. Consider offering a discount code or a free gift with purchase for new subscribers. You can also create exclusive content or early access to products for subscribers. Incentives not only provide a reason for people to subscribe, but they also show your appreciation for their support.
In our Hit Subscribe podcast episode with Symprove we discuss the experience of reaching milestones with David McQueen Johnston, head of ecommerce technology development. He explains that he was able to reach a milestone of 20,000 orders by offering an incentive to customers through a promotion at a previous company.
“My first £100,000 day [or] 20,000 orders when I was at The Body Shop—that was a fantastic day because we did a promotion. We cleared some stock that we had in the warehouse and it will always live with me and it will always be fun.”
—David McQueen Johnston, Symprove
Needless to say, no matter how you get to your first thousand customers, it is certainly worth celebrating.
From 1,000 subscribers to beyond
Getting your first 1,000 subscribers can feel like a huge accomplishment, especially with the efforts to break into the industry from the beginning. But once you’ve hit that milestone, it’s time to start thinking about how you can take your brand to the next level and reach 10,000 subscribers and more. This stage is all about refining your strategy to create a competitive edge in your industry and encourage customer retention.
- Leverage your existing audience
Your existing audience is one of your most valuable assets, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to leverage it. Encourage your subscribers to share your content with their friends and family, and make it easy for them to do so. Consider running a referral program or offering incentives for customers who refer new subscribers.
- Focus on quality content & be consistent
Quality content is key when it comes to building a loyal audience. Make sure the content you’re producing is high-quality and provides value to your subscribers. Consider creating content that is shareable and will help you reach a wider audience.
Consistency is also key when it comes to building a loyal audience. Make sure you’re sending out regular emails and posting on social media consistently. This will help you stay top-of-mind with your subscribers and keep them engaged with your brand.
- Collaborate with other brands & engage with your subscribers
Collaborating with other brands can help you reach a wider audience and gain new subscribers. Look for brands that share your values and target audience, and consider collaborating on a content piece or offering a joint promotion.
Engaging with your subscribers is crucial when it comes to building a loyal audience. This can also be an opportunity for collaboration through UGC, or as part of a referral loyalty program. Make sure you’re also responding to their emails and comments on social media, and consider sending out surveys to get feedback on your brand and products.
To the moon
Going from zero to your first 1,000 to your first 10,000 and beyond subscribers requires patience, persistence, and a solid strategy. By focusing on building a strong brand identity, engaging with your audience, and providing a unique and valuable product or service, you can attract and retain subscribers over time. By continually evaluating and refining your approach, you can set your brand up for success in the competitive world and reach for the stars.
 Direct-to-consumer (Recharge ecommerce glossary)
 Creating valuable content for your subscribers: Making the most of Instagram (Blog)
 Symprove’s David McQueen Johnston on the evolution of ecommerce (Hit Subscribe podcast)