Rule Tutorial: Charging a one-time delivery fee after signup

Let’s imagine that you give customers a cooler when they first sign up, so you want to charge them a one-time $10 fee after they pay for their first order. (Other scenarios might be you charge them one-time fee to join your service, or any other time you might want to charge customers an additional amount after they place their very first order).

We have a new tutorial in our help docs showing you how to create this rule: “IF a customer pays you for the first time, THEN charge them a one-time $10 delivery fee.”


Bottle is the best way for meal prep businesses to sell to their customers week after week. Combining a simple text-based CRM with powerful subscription, e-commerce, and marketing tools, Bottle helps you grow your revenue, retain customers, and keep your cool.

Cutting out the middleman: a business model revolution

Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

When Lean Cuisine launched in 1981, my parents got all their food at Bruno’s Grocery, a five-minute Volkswagen Bug ride from their condo.

Bruno’s had three frozen aisles. At the end of one of those aisles were all the ready-to-eat meals available for young Allen and Stella: Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, and a couple others.

My parents might have seen the “Try Lean Cuisine: Good tasting entrees at less than 300 calories” marketing campaign on the local news. But unless Bruno’s carried the meals, my parents would have had no way of buying them.

Because shelf space was scarce, Lean Cuisine needed to sell Bruno’s on the idea of carrying healthy ready-to-eat meals.

You know who wields the most economic power by noticing whose names are attached to the newest buildings in town. In Birmingham, it was the Bruno Family. Across the country, local grocery chain moguls were supporting parks and hospitals and theaters. Competition was minimal and groceries were recession-proof.

Over the next few decades, Bruno’s faced increasingly more competitors as Walmart and others grew into behemoths – doubling and tripling shelf space supply in Birmingham. But the new shelf space supply never outpaced the shelf space demand. Hence why Maxwell House and Jell-O and and Kool-Aid and Honey Bunches of Oats all got rolled up into one conglomerate; it took banding together to fight back against the pricing power of shelf space scarcity.

And then the Internet came along. The doubling and tripling of shelf space supply got multiplied by several magnitudes. Nowadays, shelf space is an endless scroll of pixels on an iPhone.

Shelf space scarcity is dead. Distribution is a commodity. Attention is the new scarce resource.

Before Amazon, Lean Cuisine’s customers were grocery store executives. Sure, they ran Super Bowl ads; but what really mattered was that the product was on the shelf when my parents went to Bruno’s.

After Amazon, my parents had an explosion of choice. Lean Cuisine needed to convince my mom to choose their meals over the hundreds of other options proliferating everywhere.

Nowadays, it’s Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Sergey Brin who’re building the hospitals. Companies pay the Facebook Tax in order to convince you to buy their product over the other 1,000 options popping up on Instagram. Companies pay the Google Tax to appear at the top of search results. Your attention – not Bruno’s shelf space – is now the product.

And it’s not enough to buy a customer’s attention once. Brands have to sell their products to the same customers again and again in order to make money. To keep the customer’s attention, they’re up against competing products, email inbox saturation, Instagram ads, web ads, cat memes, Trump tweets, news and everything in between screaming for mental headspace.

What’s the new business model innovation? How do brands maintain a relationship with their customers in this hectic environment? How do they repeatedly sell to their customers over and over again?

Two ways. First, by having a real relationship with their customers. Second, by getting them onto recurring plans.

We at Bottle want to help brands text with their customers, and keep the customers ordering every week.


Bottle is the best way for meal prep businesses to sell to their customers week after week. Combining a simple text-based CRM with powerful subscription, e-commerce, and marketing tools, Bottle helps you grow your revenue, retain customers, and keep your cool.

Redesign Updates: Bigger logo at the top, customer page improvements, more coming soon!

We keep making incremental improvements to the checkout redesign pages. These include:

  • Expanding the width of your logo at the top of the page (so wider logos appear bigger!)
  • Dietary options now spill onto a second line on the customer’s profile if there’s a lot of them
  • An improved “Referral Code” box on the customer page

Some other updates coming in the next week:

  • A refreshed “Customer Account” plan and open order navigation area at the top of the screen
  • Better past-order management

Please keep sending your feedback our way. We want to make these checkout pages as beautiful for your brand and your customers as possible.


Bottle is the best way for meal prep businesses to sell to their customers week after week. Combining a simple text-based CRM with powerful subscription, e-commerce, and marketing tools, Bottle helps you grow your revenue, retain customers, and keep your cool.

Redesign Updates: Max two columns, locked product width, images as squares, and more!

We hope you had a fantastic Fourth of July week last week! We’ve listened to your feedback and an initial wave of redesign improvements is now live. These include:

  • Locking the number of columns at two columns
  • Not allowing full-width products on desktop
  • Bolder section headers
  • Dietary options for each product always visible
  • A preview of the product description before expanding to show more
  • Mouse-over brand colors on each dietary option
  • A more clear “checkout” box for payment options on the confirmation screen
  • All product images are now square – always – on both mobile and desktop

Some other updates coming in the next week:

  • A refreshed “Customer Account” page with better messaging on open orders, past orders, and referral codes
  • A wider-width brand logo for customers who want a larger logo in the top header
  • And more!

Please keep sending your feedback our way. We want to make these checkout pages as beautiful for your brand and your customers as possible.


Bottle is the best way for meal prep businesses to sell to their customers week after week. Combining a simple text-based CRM with powerful subscription, e-commerce, and marketing tools, Bottle helps you grow your revenue, retain customers, and keep your cool.

New Subscription Option: Choose where to embed the order link in the reminders

In this example, the order’s link will be inserted at the beginning of the text instead of at the end!

Are customers complaining that their order link is getting cut in half by the carriers when delivered via SMS?

Now, you can choose to insert the order link at the beginning (or in the middle) of the automatic reminders that go out!

Bottle will automatically include the order link at the end of the reminder messages. But, if you put {{{order.link}}} in the reminder language box, Bottle will insert it where you’ve put {{{order.link}}} and won’t append it at the end.

So, if you’d like to put the {{{order.link}}} at the front of the message, just start the message off with {{{order.link}}} and then include whatever language you’d like. This should reduce how often customers complain about their order links being cut in half!

You can also use replacement variables other than {{{order.link}}} in the reminder boxes. For a list of replacement variables available to you, check out this article: https://help.sendbottles.com/article/49-replacement-variables


Bottle is the best way for meal prep businesses to sell to their customers week after week. Combining a simple text-based CRM with powerful subscription, e-commerce, and marketing tools, Bottle helps you grow your revenue, retain customers, and keep your cool.

New Rule Setting: Choose whether “Send Message” marks the conversation as Unread or not!

We’ve gotten a lot of feedback that when rules run and send messages to a bunch of customers, it’s annoying when the conversation gets marked as “Unread” – clogging up your inbox and making the messenger hard to navigate.

Now, you get to choose whether the “Send Message” action under a Rule marks the conversation as unread! When saving your rule (or Scheduled Rule, under the Scheduled tab), just select “Don’t Mark Unread” from the dropdown that appears left of the “Save” box before saving.

That’s it!

Now when that rule runs, the conversation won’t get marked as unread.


Bottle is the best way for meal prep businesses to sell to their customers week after week. Combining a simple text-based CRM with powerful subscription, e-commerce, and marketing tools, Bottle helps you grow your revenue, retain customers, and keep your cool.

How to pause plans for next week’s Fourth Of July holiday

The easiest way to skip a cutoff day (i.e. you want any orders to be for the following week) is to follow “Option 2” in our Skipping a cutoff time/day Help Article.

Here are the basic instructions:

NOTE: You’ll want to do this AFTER the hard cutoff of your current week. So if you still are taking orders for delivery before the Fourth, wait until after that hard cutoff passes.

  1. Go to your Dashboard -> Subscriptions tab
  2. Click “Edit” next to each plan you’d like to skip for the Fourth Of July
  3. Check the “Paused” box
  4. Scroll down to the cutoff times
  5. In the “Cutoff Time” box, you’ll want to hardcode the date to the next cutoff day you’ll want to accept orders. So if you want to skip the orders for Tuesday, July 2nd, then you’ll want to change the language to be hardcoded for the following week, such as changing “Tuesday at 5pm” to “July 9th at 5pm”
  6. You’ll want to do this for each cutoff day that you want to skip for a week

And that’s it! As always, let us know if you have any questions!


Bottle is the best way for meal prep businesses to sell to their customers week after week. Combining a simple text-based CRM with powerful subscription, e-commerce, and marketing tools, Bottle helps you grow your revenue, retain customers, and keep your cool.