Package Inserts-Neglected Digital Marketing Revenue Source

6 Questions to Check if Package Inserts Will Work for Your Business

Package inserts, small advertisements placed in outgoing customer package shipments, are one way direct marketers promote their own offering and that of third party advertisers. Package inserts are in many ways similar to the ads that fall out of magazines and catalogs or the flyers that accompany the Sunday newspapers.

Digital marketers should include inserts for their product in every package to entice customers to buy more. Results should be better if the promoted product is targeted based on the current shipment, which can be done via the packing list and/or bill. Also, in the event that the package is a gift, it’s a good idea to include some means to encourage the recipient to engage with you directly since there is a good chance they are not be one of your current customers.

Package inserts, handled by list managers who merchandise of your offering, have your firm’s implicit endorsement since they’re in your package. Therefore, it’s critical that you review the actual insert that’ll be put in your packages to ensure that there’re no issues. You want the insert itself to be professional and non-offensive and the product being promoted to e legitimate and in good taste by the standards of your customer base.’

6 Questions to check if package inserts are right for you

Here six factors to assess when considering adding package inserts to your offering.

  1. Can inserts be efficiently added to our shipping process? If so, who will oversee the process since you can’t just hope that the inserts will be put into your packages. Checks and oversight are required. I once got a call from my list broker because a customer had zero response to an insert in my firm’s shipments. While low response may occur, no response is a sign that something is wrong. When I checked our warehouse, I found five cartons of inserts in a corner waiting to be used.
  2. How are outgoing packages organized, such as by geography or product? This matters both for your internal and third party inserts. It can influence which shipments are covered and what type of inserts are included. Remember, you can charge additional fees for more targeted shipment options.
  3. What internal cross promotions do we want to include? Assess your offering in terms of related products as well as other offerings across your organization. This can be a useful way to promote overstock items and/or bestsellers.
  4. How does this company, product and/or insert reflect on my company and/or brand? If you’ve any concerns, don’t use it! I’ve used package inserts to increase revenues and turned down offers for companies that weren’t in line with my business such as gaming companies or weight loss tea.
  5. Is the advertising clear? Does it make sense to your customers? If not, recipients will call your customer service representatives with questions.
  6. Can package inserts help extend my marketing budget? Since weight isn’t generally an issue for package inserts, think about what may be useful to include in your packages such as samples or special offers from distributors and media partners. Also, you can trade services with a complimentary firm to save some marketing dollars for other uses.

Remember, consumers are excited to receive your package. At a minimum, give them something else to entice them to buy from you again. At its best, you can be giving them a whole set of value-added offers.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Photo source: Vanessa Yvonne via Flickr

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  • http://www.careconnectusa.org David Moakler

    Good article. Companies which supply businesses, insert our free poster in their outgoing packages. Since the (folded) poster features national help lines for employees to find assistance, they are well-received and appreciated. We pay for the priviledge of delivery. Its been a productive combination since it spreads public awareness, helps american workers, and the supplier receives the goodwill attached. Once in a while a recipient contacts the vendor and says, “hey these are great… how do I get more for my other offices?” To learn more, or to inquire, see http://www.careconnectusa.org.