Marketing Material to Include Inside eCommerce Box

Marketing Materials to Include Inside eCommerce Packaging

The issue: Many eCommerce brands don’t showcase personality and tell their brand story.

The solution: By having clever marketing materials inside your eCommerce boxes, you can gain more loyalty amongst your customers and strategically promote other products you offer.

As an eCommerce company, there are a ton of opportunities to market to your customers right inside of the package you’re sending them. If you’re fulfilling your own orders (as opposed to using a 3PL), your eCommerce packaging is the perfect place to showcase your brand’s personality and tell your story. The entire eCommerce unboxing experience is important and is something that can make your company unique and memorable.

So many eCommerce companies overlook this prime marketing space and don’t take advantage of having a captive audience (your customers) to deliver any message you want! Leveraging the fact that you’re already sending something out to your customers by including clever and memorable marketing materials will allow you to gain loyalty amongst your customers, strategically promote other products you offer, and encourage your customers to reorder from you. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Your eCommerce Package serves as Prime Marketing Space

My Authority on eCommerce:

As the owner of an eCommerce company myself, our packaging and the entire unboxing experience is something I’ve spent a lot of time on. I’ve always known that making this experience unique and memorable is one factor that would keep our customers coming back to us and make us stand out.

DermWarehouse.com is a reseller of professional strength skin care brands. We sell about 100 brands on our site and I’ve always recognized our packaging as an opportunity to tell our story and make our customers remember us. When any of our customers go to place a skin care order, I want DermWarehouse to be the first place they think to go. We accomplish this in several ways: We have a great product selection, our customer service is outstanding, and because of the story we tell on our website and through our eCommerce packaging. Our customers remember our story and we’ve gained loyalty because of it. Over the years, we’ve tried out tons of different marketing materials in our packages. Some were a flop and others have performed really well (more on that later!).

Based on my experience over the years in seeing what has worked (and what hasn’t), I know how much of an impact these marketing materials can make. Let’s dive into what it takes to formulate an idea and strategy for your marketing materials, the costs associated, potential results, and some examples from our own brands.

Table of Contents: Marketing Materials to Include Inside eCommerce Packaging

  • Formulating Idea/Strategy

    • It’s important to have a clever hook where there’s alignment between your product and brand story.

  • Example from our In-House eCom Brand

    • I’ll walk you through how our eCommerce company leverages samples and marketing collateral inside of our boxes.

  • Costs

    • I’ll walk you through the costs associated with samples and marketing collateral from our company so you get a better understanding of what this costs us, so you can prepare for costs.

  • Results

    • We’ll share the results we’ve seen with our brands and discuss the potential benefits it can have for your eCommerce company!

Formulating Idea/Strategy

Coming up with a great idea and formulating a strategy is the first and most important step in getting materials into your packages that accomplish your marketing goals and will really stick with your customers. First, you need to think about your objectives. Don’t just throw something in your packages for the sake of throwing something in, because you think you’re supposed to. Think through the strategy and determine what you’re looking to accomplish. Regardless of your business, your main goals are likely to 1) get customers to remember you, and 2) get them back to your website!

A local Columbus T-shirt company, Homage, includes a pack of cards (baseball, football, etc) in each of their packages. They also include stickers. This aligns with their nostalgic-based apparel theme and it’s extremely memorable. If you’re a customer and get a package from Homage, chances are next time you go to order a vintage t-shirt, you’re going to remember this box. There’s great synergy between sports cards and the sports apparel they sell.

Maybe you’re launching a new product that you want to announce. Maybe you’ve gotten some great press that you want to share with your customers. Maybe you’re planning a sale or want to give a discount for repeat customers. Maybe you just want to surprise everyone who opens your box with something fun. Bottom line is, think carefully about what you want your message to be and how you’re going to achieve it. Think about your brand and how you want to come across, and then go from there.

Another important factor to consider is what resources you have at your disposal. Do you have a graphic designer that can create some great marketing collateral or do you need to decide on something that you can design yourself (or that requires no design elements)?

There’s a lot to consider when developing your unboxing strategy, but make sure you’re putting in the time to think it through and develop a unique, memorable idea. Also keep in mind that you may have to try a few different ideas before you succeed.

Example from our In-House eCom Brand

For DermWarehouse, we went through a lot of different ideas before landing on what really worked. When we first opened our doors in 2016, I included a personalized letter in each and every customers’ package. I talked about the samples I was including and about the product they purchased. Obviously, this level of personalization isn’t scalable, as it took up so much time. As our business grew, I knew it wasn’t sustainable.

Learn More About Developing and Growing an eCommerce Business HERE.

At another time, we wanted to promote our social media channels so we offered to send customers a gift card if they tagged us on Instagram or Facebook. This worked well but it was also extremely hard to manage so we had to nix it.

After a lot of trial and error, we finally found our sweet spot. The key for us has been in showcasing our brand’s personality (and I always recommend you do the same!). We’re a family-owned and dermatologist-owned business. We make sure to remind people of this in our marketing materials and people love supporting us because of that (and also because we offer great products and great customer service, of course).

In all of our packages, we include a packing slip that has a hand-written letter printed on it (we were able to write something out by hand and have it show up on all of our packing slips). The message says “Thank you so much for your business! – The DermWarehouse team and Parks family.” It’s something so simple and was so easy to set up, yet our customers love it. I can’t tell you how many people reference this hand-written note in the reviews that they write about us.

Handwritten Letter from eCommerce Customer Showing Appreciation

We also include a postcard with a Parks family photo and discount code on one side, and information about our family’s skin care line, Park Perfection on the other. Again, I can’t tell you how many people mention in their reviews that they love supporting a family-owned business. While these marketing materials are fairly simple, they send a strong message and let people know who we are. They remember us because of this. Another key here is that we have a great graphic designer who was able to put these together for us. It’s important to make any marketing collateral that you’re including look professional and great.

Personalized Postcard to Put Inside eCommerce Package

The second part of our marketing collateral includes samples. In every package we send two samples. One from one of the brands we sell and the other from our family’s own product, our Park Perfection Instant Eye Lift. So many people come back and order the samples we’ve sent them. This is great on all accounts, but most of all, it has allowed thousands and thousands of customers to try our family’s product. Because of this, it has become one of the top five selling products on the entire DermWarehouse site (we sell over 2,000 products).

Examples of Samples for Beauty and Skincare Inside eCommerce Packaging

Costs for Marketing Materials to Include Inside eCommerce Packaging

We’ve ordered our marketing materials from various places, but we’re currently using UPrinting for our postcards. We’ve had good experiences with them, as our orders always arrive when they’re supposed to and the quality is good. We order 20,000 postcards at a time and the total cost comes to about $1,000, which comes to $0.05 per postcard. This is pretty great considering the great response we get from them.

As for our samples, the brands we work with provide us samples to promote their own brands so that’s a freebie for us. Our Instant Eye Lift samples come out to about $0.50 per sample.

All in all, we’re spending a very minimal amount on what we include in our packages, however, it makes a big impact. Many eCom owners think that adding marketing collateral to their packages is going to greatly increase their cost. I think this is proof that it doesn’t have to.

Results

The results you yield from your eCommerce packaging are going to be based on what you include and what your goals are. For DermWarehouse, the results of our marketing materials have been huge:

  • Consistent reviews where people are mentioning our hand-written note and the fact that they love supporting a family business.

    • This has garnered a ton of loyalty for us. People like supporting our family and knowing they’re getting a personalized experience with us.

  • Customers coming back to our website to take advantage of the discount we provide on our postcard.

    • We want to reward our customers for coming back to shop with us. This, combined with the family biz aspect are a dynamic duo.

  • Park Perfection Instant Eye Lift becoming a top 5 product on the DermWarehouse site out of over 2,000 SKUs

    • I mean, wow. This never would have happened without our samples included in each and every order.

As I mentioned earlier, we did have some ideas that either yielded great results and were just not scalable, or didn’t yield the results we wanted. Make sure you’re finding the right idea that hits your sweet spot and keep testing things out until you do. Keep in mind that some good initial goals should be to make customers remember you and keep them coming back to your site!

In Closing:

Your eCommerce packaging can open up a whole box of opportunities (pun intended!). The unboxing experience is a chance to garner loyalty, be memorable, and keep customers coming back to your site. So many eComm owners overlook the potential of the marketing materials included with each customer package, but hopefully now you understand the importance of this and the great results that can be generated.

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