Birchbox has figured out a way to get women to pay money to be marketed to. The last time that happened: glossy women’s magazines, but this is a smarter, interactive version of that. The boxes cost twice the price of a newsstand magazine and you get five or six samples. They’re often themed (travel, summertime, partnerships with Gossip Girl, Gwenneth Paltrow’s Goop, or Glamour magazine). The boxes contain editorialized descriptions of the products that direct users to check out how-to videos on Birchbox.com. Friendly email reminders drive traffic to the site’s editorial content as well. Beauty obsessed subscribers tape themselves “unboxing” their package each month.
That doesn’t happen with a magazine.