Are you looking for new ways to increase brand awareness, customer loyalty and sales? Marketing with package inserts can work for you, helping make your online store the success it should be!

Since the beginning of time… ok, not really. Since the beginning of online shopping (that’s more like it), shipping and product packaging have been two of the key functions in how eCommerce businesses complete a sale. Shipping was taken care of by the USPS, or a faster delivery service, while everything that made up packaging was designed to be inexpensive and practical. Marketing with package inserts was not even a consideration. Ideas and business understandings are constantly changing, however. Nowadays, marketers realize that business owners are missing a great opportunity when they deliver products in utilitarian packaging, with only a receipt insert.

Spending a ton of money on customized packaging is not always an option for small or start-up businesses. Fortunately, there are many ways that online merchants can send their products off in style, without breaking the bank. Promotional inserts that are added to common shipping packages cost a lot less than elaborate custom packaging does. This makes the inserts a more practical marketing tactic for businesses with limited marketing budgets. In general, promotional inserts are a fairly low-cost way to increase sales and improve brand awareness. With the proper technique, this unique form of marketing can work to make your company more of a success!

According to Forbes Entrepreneurs, “The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while it falls to just 5-20% for new prospects.” What a difference! With statistics like that, marketing with package inserts should be included in every retail store’s marketing strategy.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to make marketing with package inserts work for your online store.

1. Maximize the Boring Sales Receipt– The actual slip of paper that serves as the product receipt in your shipping box can be used for so much more. Be sure to add a witty note that lets your customer know you appreciate their purchase. Also, include a loyalty promotion code that will entice your shopper to return and buy more of your awesome products. You can’t get more targeted than marketing based on what they just bought!

2. Capture Their Eye with Catalogs – Adding a catalog of your current selections or the up-and-coming line is a colorful way to keep your customers attention, even after the shipping box has been recycled and the product is being used. Even small catalogs will go a long way towards exposing shoppers to additional or related products that they may like.

unique packaging for marketing

unique packaging for marketing

3. Sweeten Them Up with Free Samples –According to the Harvard Business Review, most product launches fail because Americans tend to buy the same 150 products, over and over again. That habit accounts for the purchases on 85% of our household needs! One way to make sure a recent or under-appreciated product line gets the exposure it needs is to send it out as a free sample to your existing client base. It’s so fun to receive bonus items you didn’t buy! Tossing some free samples into a package that’s ready to mail is an excellent way to begin marketing with package inserts. That extra product will cost you very little but will go a long way towards increasing customer satisfaction.

4. Stand Out with a lil Swag – Promotional giveaways, aka schwag or swag, are often used at trade shows, industry conventions or in other marketing and communication programs. Swag usually consists of small advertising gifts that keeps a company name in the minds of its target audience. This is a marketing technique that can also be used in marketing with package inserts! (The underlying idea of swag is different than sending out free samples is because its main goal of swag is brand promotion.) If a clever enough item is used for the swag, it can go a long way towards making your brand standout and keeping your company name at the top of consumer minds. Swag works for audiences across the board, from teenage brands, to political campaigns, to business promotion. Don’t forget that it can also work for you!

5. Throw in a Clever Shout-Out Request – With the right design behind your message, you can ask a happy customer for almost anything. Be confident in your products and take marketing with package inserts to a new level by requesting social media shout-outs, product reviews, or other customer feedback. Also make sure to include current company information, in case they’d like to call with any concerns or complaints. By making both options available, you’ll likely direct negative feedback to your phone lines and positive feedback to social media outlets. Most people love hearing their own opinion (just think of Yelp’s success) so help your customer understand that their thoughts matter by asking them for shout-outs and other opinions.

  • Include Random Surprises and Treats – Going back to the idea that it’s fun to get free stuff you didn’t order… everyone loves a surprise! Sculpt the mind of your shoppers and help them realize that your company is the best by rewarding them for their online purchase. Random surprise treats will go a long way in customer loyalty and get you some social media mentions, to boot. If you work together with other companies, you may be able to exchange products and treat your shoppers for free! Help promote companies you love, while they also promote you!
unique packaging for marketing

unique packaging for marketing

  • Add a Handwritten Thank-You Note – Depending on the size of your company, it may be possible to include a handcrafted thank-you card to your customer packages. A personalized move like this is another great way to show your appreciation, but you can also add another loyalty promo code (in small letters) somewhere on the back of the card. Handwritten notes are a great tactic for start-ups, as they are inexpensive and thoughtful. This type of correspondence provides a customer experience that the big boys can no longer provide, giving you an advantage in our current market.
unique packaging for marketing

unique packaging for marketing

Make sure you are exceeding customer expectations by marketing with package inserts! If done properly, it will bring shoppers back for future purchases, strengthen brand loyalty and increase word-of-mouth marketing! Don’t be put-off by fears of the increased costs that may come from marketing with package inserts; the benefits outweigh the price tag. Instead, realize that promotional inserts are a fun, fairly inexpensive way to increase brand awareness and loyalty. They also produce an extremely targeted ad campaign, are great for product recommendation selling, and hey… the delivery system is already paid for and in place!

Marketing with package inserts is a great way to test your current customer market and increase the sales of your online store. Don’t let this important opportunity pass you by. Brainstorm what would work best with your customer base and start working on a way to make marketing with package inserts work for your eCommerce store!

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