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Leveling up: Righteous Felon

We caught up with the Righteous Felon team to learn more about the inspiration behind the RF brand, current business objectives, and how they’ve doubled their active subscriptions by switching to Smartrr.
Righteous Felon
Food & Beverage
81% increase in active subscriptions
Migrated From

The Inspiration Behind the RF Brand

Righteous Felon was born the moment founder Brendan Cawley was gifted a food dehydrator for his 12th birthday. After partnering with some friends, Brendan started selling homemade jerky in ziplock bags throughout his middle school, ending in after-school detention- hence, the name Righteous Felon.

Now, over 6.3 million individuals have purchased Righteous Felon jerky. RF jerky is handmade and produced in small batches with high-quality ingredients and pasture-raised beef. To ensure freshness, quality, and consistency, RF partners with the best Natural Black Angus beef producers to ensure that all beef is antibiotic and hormone free with no additives or artificial ingredients.

As members of the Conservation Alliance and supporters of Second Chance Employment and The Innocence Project, Righteous Felon prioritizes social justice and ecological sustainability efforts. Each RF jerky purchase directly helps protect national parks in North America.

RF’s Ideal Core Customer Profile

Originally, Righteous Felon thought that its ideal customer profile was the personification of the founder, Brendan Cawley, a hardworking, blue-collar, middle-class man around 35 years old. But, after a deeper dive into RF’s sales history, most product sales are actually women of a more mature demographic who are buying jerky for their husbands, sons, and family in general.

Pivoting from Wholesale to Ecom Subscriptions

Righteous Felon always had an online store but, at first, focused on wholesale and grocery store distributors before Covid. After online retail picked up due to Covid, RF pivoted to running Google and Facebook ads and began focusing on selling direct to consumers. RF found this to be a successful practice, as DTC has better margins and is one of the freshest, fastest, and easiest ways to get jerky. Because of this, RF saw this as the perfect time to introduce subscriptions for its customers. With selling a consumable product, it just made sense for customers to get it automatically delivered to their house and give subscribers a discount, resulting in brand loyalty.

“It just became more and more obvious that we weren’t going to be able to take it to the place that we wanted to with Bold. That’s when we started to look for other things, and we still weren’t really sold on anything. We needed something a little bit smaller and more focused on us, and that’s exactly when Smartrr came in.”
—Monica Fredericksdorf, Head of Marketplace Operations & Sales

Pre-Smartrr Days

Initially, Righteous Felon used Bold Subscriptions to jumpstart its subscription model but lacked the support it needed, which meant that most of the work fell on RF. RF was disappointed in the fact that there were limited subscription models available, missing a branded customer account portal, lacked uniqueness, and did not offer customization. Using Bold, RF could not offer member-only benefits just for subscribers, such as getting exclusive gifts or special promotions. Additionally, it was not easy for subscribers to skip or swap shipments; RF had to do this themselves when a customer requested it via email. RF employees became increasingly frustrated as they found themselves having to go on every day to reconnect each product. These pain points prevented RF from taking its subscriptions to the next level. RF then started looking into other subscription services, specifically Recharge, but felt that they might run into similar issues that they did with Bold.

Righteous Felon and Smartrr Subscriptions

Then Smartrr came into play; Righteous Felon described Smartrr as outstanding from the start, emphasizing our founder and CEO Gaby’s can-do attitude in the initial meeting. From there, our dedicated client success manager hopped in to onboard RF and made the migration from Bold a breeze. RF’s appreciation for Smartrr’s resourcefulness, adaptability, and eagerness to help only increased as the RF team became more and more familiar with Smartrr’s technology. Whenever RF had a question or suggestion about any additions to Smartrr’s offerings, our client success manager actively listened to either provide training to the RF team or feedback internally to the Smartrr team.

“You guys have been the best. You guys really take the time to get to know the details, what we want and don’t want, and then make it work.”
—Monica Fredericksdorf, Head of Marketplace Operations & Sales

With Smartrr, Righteous Felon has seen success in the customer’s ability to effortlessly manage their subscriptions in Smartrr’s user-friendly, customizable portal. RF now offers two subscription offerings: Build Your Own, where customers choose flavors and quantities, or Dealer’s Choice, where customers have three different subscription box options with quantities of 5, 10, or 15 snacks.

Smartrr has given RF the ability to offer member-only benefits just for subscribers as well as options to easily swap, skip, gift, or add items. Customers can customize the delivery frequency with options like one-time, one month, two months, or three months. Subscribers receive numerous perks, such as 15 percent off your first order and 10 percent off of every recurring order after. Other perks include free shipping with every order, exclusive merch, options to cancel or pause when needed, and the ability to customize to get your favorite flavors. RF is genuinely proud of the overall user experience, making its products and subscription option more marketable for consumers.

“We’ve been adding much more subscriptions per week than we did before using Smartrr. I think people see it as easier to use, and it’s much more marketable.”
—Monica Fredericksdorf, Head of Marketplace Operations & Sales


In just a quarter since launching their subscription program with Smartrr, Righteous Felon has nearly doubled their Active Subscriptions, total revenue is up 6%+. Not only that, Righteous Felon has seen better conversion rates on their ads that are promoting subscriptions. Monica, Head of Marketplace Operations and Sales at RF, credited this to the seamless brand experience they can now offer thanks to Smartrr’s advanced theming capabilities.

Moving Forward

Righteous Felon has seen success in its subscription program and has ambitious goals for further growth of its subscription program. RF is currently focusing on both retention and acquisition, utilizing Smartrr’s tools to uncover what else it can do to make someone want to be a subscriber and stay a subscriber.