How to Start a Meal Plan Subscription Service in Three Simple Steps

How to Start a Meal Plan Subscription Service in Three Simple Steps

Everywhere we look it feels like someone is trying to sell the idea of “passive income” for your nutrition business. So we want to come out right off the bat and say that we don’t believe passive income is a thing.

We believe that if you want great things to happen in your business, you need to consistently put in hard work.

That said, we don’t believe that health professionals need to grind it out seeing one-on-one clients for eight hours every day to build a successful business. Having a source of recurring revenue is totally achievable.

A meal planning subscription is a monthly service where you deliver meal plans to a large number of people for a lower cost than customized meal plans. Building a scalable subscription service like this which brings in consistent revenue is pretty much the closest thing to “passive income” that you can create.

We know that a lot of health professionals are striving to create something that brings more consistency to their bottom line every month. Today, we will walk you through how you can launch a meal plan subscription in your own business.

1. Pick a Theme for Your Meal Plans

When you create a meal plan subscription, you’re setting up a service where every single subscriber receives the same meal plan. Of course, different people have different needs, but that’s not what a subscription service exists to address.

It’s important to set some criteria for your plans so that subscribers will know what they are signing up for and what they can expect the plans to deliver.

People can get general meal plans anywhere. So you need to create and offer something unique. Instead of creating generic plans, try to be as specific as possible. Who is this subscription service going to help?

Creating specialized meal plans will allow you to charge more and not compete with low-priced, generic meal planning services. The theme should be related to your niche and the most common issue your clients see you for.

Here are some examples of successful meal plan subscription themes we have seen:

  • Low Fat, Plant-Based
  • Dairy-Free Ketogenic
  • Meal Plans for PCOS
  • Low FODMAP for IBS
  • Low Carb Vegetarian

2. Set Up Your Tech

Setting up your meal planning subscription is probably the most intimidating part, but as long as you are using the right tools it can be a breeze!

In terms of tech, you will need four key things:

  • Meal Planning Software
  • Email Software
  • Payment Software
  • A Sign-Up Page

Meal Planning Software

The most important piece of your meal plan subscription service is obviously the meal plans. If you don't provide awesome meal plans, your members will not stick around.

Creating beautiful weekly or monthly meal plans from scratch will take you hours, but using meal planning software will help you create professional plans without having to spend hours on it. That Clean Life helps you create meal plans with awesome recipes and automatically generates itemized grocery lists. Simply create your plan, export it as a PDF, and That Clean Life will add your logo and business information. This is the easiest way to provide epic plans for your subscribers!

Watch a Demo

Email Software

Sending meal plans to your subscribers doesn’t have to be complicated! You can use any email marketing software (we like MailChimp) to create a list of all your paying subscribers. Then, every week or month when it’s time to send out meal plans, just upload them as an attachment to an email and send it out to everyone on the list.

Once you set this up, you can easily log in and send out meal plans in just a few minutes per month.

Note that this is just one way to deliver the plans to your subscribers. There are other options, like using a membership site platform.

Payment Software

Simplify your service by setting up recurring payments for subscribers. We like using Stripe for recurring monthly payments and it’s easy to set up.

If you’re wondering what to charge for your subscription service, we have seen prices ranging from $50 to $200 per month depending on the niche. The more in-demand your meal plans are, the more you may be able to charge. This is why it is so important that your meal plan subscription service solves a real problem for your ideal client.

A Sign-Up Page

Sign-up pages will look different for everyone and will depend on your website and payment software. You can create your monthly subscription service as a product in your online store, or create a dedicated landing page for it. For example, if you are a Squarespace user, you can set up your shop to collect payments through Stripe and automatically add subscribers to your MailChimp list.

3. Start Selling Subscriptions

Once you’ve created the first month of meal plans and you're all set up, it’s time to start selling subscriptions! Here are some ways to get your first 20 subscribers:

  • Reach out to past clients who could benefit from the service.
  • Write a blog post about your service and its value. Include a call-to-action to subscribe.
  • Give a free talk focused on the theme of your meal plan service.
  • Create a three-day meal plan as a lead magnet to attract potential subscribers.
  • Generate interest with a social media giveaway.

Remember that consistency is key. Your list of paying subscribers will build over time so keep improving. It is much easier to keep a subscriber than it is to find new subscribers, so stay in touch with your community. Ask them for feedback on your plans so you can ensure they stay happy. You might even want to create a private Facebook group for paying subscribers to add value by providing a sense of community and a place to ask questions.

What questions do you have about building a meal plan subscription service? Drop them in the comments below!

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