Rodale-owned Women's Health magazine is teaming up with Birchbox, one of the biggest subscription-commerce players, for a custom-box with a "wellness" theme next month.
The April Birchbox is timed to Women's Health's beauty issue (available on stands next week) and will feature products hand-picked by the editors at Women's Health.
As reported a few months back, publishers have increasingly been dabbling with subscription commerce -- a model in which users pay an annual subscription and receive boxes filled with products and samples at regular intervals -- as a way to help expand their reach, and importantly, to help demonstrate a value-add to advertisers. Cooking Light for example, recently partnered with a player called CraveBox to white-label a discovery boxes that put magazine advertisers' products into the hands of subscribers.
For Birchbox, it's part of an increased focus on branded boxes rather than those containing random selections of trial-size products. It teamed up with Gwyneth Paltrow's blog and newsletter service, Goop, for one last fall, but the Women's Health partnership is its first with a print publisher.
The company, which was founded in 2010 and has raised nearly $12 million in funding, is run by Harvard Business School grads turned entrepreneurs Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp. Ms. Beauchamp is speaking at Ad Age's Digital Conference on April 16.
"Birchbox's innovative service inspires women to optimize how they look and feel, which is core to Women's Health's mission," said Women's Health Editor-in-Chief Michele Promaulayko in a statement. "The box we partnered on delivers the smart, simple solutions and actionable advice that our readers and Birchbox's network of women crave."
The magazine's box will include an offer for a one-year subscription to Women's Health, which it values at $9.99. Dubbed "Tiny Tweaks, Big Results," the box is including products from Kiehl's, Cargo, Ojon, Caudalie and Supergoop, and the magazine is plotting an editorial feature to plug the brands.
A spokeswoman said the placement of products in the box is not paid. "The products and brands included in the Women's Health special edition Birchbox are not paying for inclusion."