One year ago, we caught up with the Righteous Felon team to discuss the results they had seen in just four months after migrating to Smartrr from Bold. At the time, Smartrr had helped to double Righteous Felon’s active subscriber base.
Now, a year later, we’re following up to see how Smartrr has continued to support Righteous Felon’s rapid revenue growth. TLDR, their growth has accelerated.
In the year following our initial conversation, Righteous Felon has seen a staggering 485% increase in subscription revenue and a 117% increase in active subscriptions.
“Not only did Smartrr put us in a better position on the backend, but it’s also easier for our customers to use — especially with the account portal. We used Bold before and it was really hard to manage on our end and the customers' end — plus it had a lot of technical shortcomings. Everything is so much easier and we feel so much better pushing our subscription program with Smartrr hosting it.”
— Monica Fredericksdorf, Communications Manager at Righteous Felon
Monica praises Smartrr’s user-friendly account portal and flexible backend capabilities for allowing Righteous Felon to offer a seamless subscription experience, directly leading to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. Their confidence in Smartrr powering subscriptions and the continuous success of their subscriptions have allowed them to invest more in marketing and advertising campaigns leveraging UGC and influencer content, all in an effort to further promote their subscription program.
Beyond these campaigns, the team attributes much of their subscriber acquisition success to their website layout, specifically, the fact that they have made subscriptions a key part of their website. With subscriptions being highlighted right on the home page, shown as the second menu option, and used as a key part of their build-your-own bundle page, Righteous Felon emphasizes to customers that subscriber is a no-brainer if they are buying their jerky consistently.
In terms of retention, the brand’s exceptional 3-month retention rates can be attributed to personalized communication with subscribers through Klaviyo flows combined with Smartrr’s barrier-free approach to subscriptions, seeing success in allowing subscribers to easily customize, skip, or gift their orders.
“The flexibility of the portal is awesome because when it comes to subscriptions, the second you add any barrier, people are going to cancel and run away. Being able to swap and add one-time products, easily skip orders, or gift it to someone doesn't give anyone any reason to quit their subscription besides not wanting to be subscribed to us anymore — and Smartrr’s functionality has helped a lot with that.”
— Monica Fredericksdorf
Righteous Felon’s collaboration with the Smartrr team remains a cornerstone of the brand’s success, with Monica calling out that her “feature of Smartrr is the people — you guys are the best. We don’t need you that often but when we do, you’re there and eager to help.”
“Smartrr allows their customers to have so many options and flexibility with how they want their subscription program to be. And that’s how brands differentiate themselves — with how user-friendly they are and how good they are to their customers. Because you guys are good to us, we’re able to be good to our customers.”
— Monica Fredericksdorf
As for the rest of the year, Monica is looking forward to Q4 and the upcoming holiday season, in addition to seeing the Righteous Felon team continue to grow as they consistently hire more employees over the year.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.