Packaging 101: The Complete Guide

Britt Martin, Arka's Partnerships lead, blends e-commerce expertise with sustainability advocacy, nurturing startups as a Founder in Residence at NYU.

Key Benefits of Packaging Inserts

Here are some of the top benefits of including custom inserts in your packaging:

• Memorable unboxing experience: Give customers the ‘wow’ factor when they unbox a product, making that experience unforgettable. By adding packaging inserts, customers will feel special and be sure to remember the moment.

memorable unboxing experience

Cross-promotion and upselling: Adding packaging inserts is a great opportunity to notify customers about extra offers, such as an exclusive discount or free samples for existing members. By using this tactic, you can upsell and encourage customers to make additional purchases via your business and ensure client retention and loyalty.

box cross promotion

Access to valuable customer insights: If you want reviews or feedback from customers, you can insert cards that provide ways for customers to share their thoughts, such as a website link or a barcode – allowing for your brand to receive valuable customer insights instantly.

access to customer insights

Encouragement of user-generated content: Some people love sharing their packages and products on social media. You can add inserts to encourage customers to share photos of their products on social media with the brand’s accounts tagged. This spreads awareness and can generate traction and virality.

user-friendly box

Increased brand loyalty: Packaging inserts increase brand loyalty and boost customer retention. If customers receive inserts with thank you messages, special deals, and exclusive offers, they’re more likely to order from the brand again and stay loyal.

box increasing brand loyality

Creative Packaging Inserts Ideas: Crafting Perfect Inserts

Now you know the benefits of packaging inserts, it’s time to get packing! Here are some creative packaging inserts ideas to help you craft the perfect inserts and impress your customers.

creative packaging insert

Personalized Thank-You Notes: A Grateful Greeting

Customers like to feel acknowledged, and gratitude is powerful, so say thank you to your customers for buying from your brand. Add a personalized “thank-you” note inside the packaging with the customer’s name to show that you appreciate their choice to purchase from your business.

thank you not

Surprise Gifts: Unexpected Delights

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Customers love surprise gifts – the feeling is akin to a child unwrapping their presents on Christmas Day and birthdays. Surprise your customers with unexpected delights such as free samples, exclusive discount codes, and an exceptional gift tailored to the individual customer.

box with surprise gift

Exclusive Promo Codes: Encouraging Future Purchases

Give your customers a cheeky discount as a reward for their purchase. You can add an exclusive promo code – such as 20% off the next order, free delivery on orders over $50, or a free gift with the next purchase – to encourage customers to spend with your business again.

box with exclusive promo code

Product Usage Guides: Helpful Information

With every purchase, it’s good to provide guides that help inform the customer on how to use the product and utilize it in the best way – so they don’t have to second-guess and spend time and effort figuring things out. Provide a helpful booklet containing advice and detailed steps, top tips, and helpful hints to guide and instruct the customer.

box with product guidline

QR Codes for Exclusive Content: Digital Engagement

Nowadays, content is a key aspect of marketing, and one way to connect customers with your brand is to provide exclusive content to help them digitally engage. You can provide QR codes for exclusive content and offer access to premium content such as e-books, guides, or videos to enhance the customer’s experience of using the product.

box with QR code

Customer Testimonials: Social Proof

Add a card politely requesting a review, testimonial, or social share from your customer. This is a really good way for customers to interact and share their thoughts and opinions on the products via social media, as well as helping your brand determine what’s working and what needs improving. The more positive customer testimonials and social proofing your brand receives, the more valuable and credible your brand becomes.

box with customer testimonials

Eco-Friendly Tips: Promoting Sustainability

Encourage your customers to be much more sustainable by adding sustainable credentials on packaging inserts or just add instructions on how to use the product sustainably (e.g., a guide on how to recycle.)

eco-friendly box

Survey or Feedback Cards: Customer Insights

Gain insights from your customers regarding your brand’s products by creating surveys and feedback cards to add inside packaging. You can get your customers’ thoughts on what works well and what could be improved on. With feedback and insights received via surveys, you can get an idea of how customers perceive your brand.

box with feedback cards

Product Care Instructions: Ensuring Longevity

Some products must be handled with care to ensure effectiveness and longevity. Include product care instructions on packaging inserts so that customers are aware of how to use and care for the product and how to keep the product in good condition.

box with product care insert

Product Samples: Fun Packaging Inserts Ideas

One of the ways to boost sales for your business is to include product samples in the packages. This allows customers to enjoy a discovery phase of ‘try before you buy’ – testing out products they may not have tried before making future purchases.

box with sample size perfume

Custom Stickers: Aesthetic Packaging Inserts Ideas

Add an element of fun within packaging by inserting custom stickers. Customers can get creative, play around with custom stickers, and use these to enhance the aesthetics of products.

box with stickers

Exclusive Access: Special Packaging Inserts Ideas

A powerful marketing tactic to attract and retain customers is to offer exclusivity. Use special packaging inserts to provide exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content to give customers a glimpse into the creation of the product. Offer a sneak peek of upcoming products due to launch soon before they go live. Provide a private VIP sale event for loyal customers to reward them for continued support.

exclusive access wwith box

Charitable Donations: Unique Packaging Inserts Ideas

Many customers love supporting important causes and businesses that give back to society, so let them know that their purchase matters. You can place a message notifying customers that a portion of the purchase price (e.g., 10%) will be donated to a charitable cause. By doing this, customers will feel good knowing that the brand they’ve bought from is being charitable.

box with donation card

Unboxing Playlist: Innovative Packaging Inserts Ideas

Consider placing packaging inserts that are innovative and unique. You can add an unboxing playlist – a playlist of songs that complement the brand and convey the vibe of the product. Incorporate the playlist so that the music starts playing as soon as the customer unboxes the product and gets them into the mood (e.g., happy, calm, excited, etc.)

innovative packaging

Return Shipping Label: Enhance Customer Loyalty

Sometimes, customers might change their minds about a purchase, but if the return process is complex, this can be frustrating.

Save customers time and effort and allow for ease by including the return shipping label so customers can send the products back easily and quickly. With the ease of the return process, you can enhance and maintain customer loyalty because this shows that your brand cares and understands.

return shipping label

box with return label

Referral Cards: Attract New Customers

One of the best ways to gain new customers is through referrals, so create a system that allows for this and place referral cards within the package to encourage existing customers to bring new customers. Offer incentives for referrals, such as ‘20% off your friend’s first order and 20% off your next order’ or ‘Introduce your friends, get them to sign up to the website, and we’ll give you 30% off your next order.’

box with referral card

referral card for packaging

Handwritten Notes or Postcards: Personalized Approach

Sometimes, the old-fashioned way is the best. It might be time-consuming, but handwritten notes and postcards are thoughtful and give a personal touch to a customer’s purchase – making them feel proud of their purchase.

handwritten note for box

3 Brands That Mastered Packaging Inserts

Here are three examples of brands that have mastered packaging inserts in the best way.

Glossier: Personalized Notes and Samples

Launched in 2014, Glossier is one of the most prominent beauty brands that aims to make makeup, body, and skincare products that are fun, fantastic, and accessible. It’s known for its minimalist packaging design, and it’s also known for its pastel pink boxes and cute pouches. In its packaging, customers can expect to find personalized notes with casual messages, special samples for beauty lovers who want to test out products to try before buying, and customizable stickers to stick on the products and containers for fun.

Chewy: Pet-Centric Inserts

Chewy is a website ‘where pet lovers love to shop’ and can shop for food, treats, and medicines for their beloved animals. As a subscription service, customers can receive extra samples and treats for their pets to try out.

Blue Apron: Interactive Recipe Cards

Blue Apron is a meal delivery service that delivers fresh meal delivery kits and ingredients to your door. To help customers prepare meals, Blue Apron’s packaging includes interactive recipe cards to help guide customers in preparing meals and give step-by-step instructions to help customers cook delicious meals.

Final Thoughts

We are sure that now you have all the inspiration with our creative packaging inserts ideas! Packaging inserts are essential for marketing your brand, increasing brand visibility, enhancing customer experience, and maintaining loyalty from existing customers. It’s a cost-effective strategy that boosts significant sales and demonstrates gratitude and appreciation for customers’ purchases.

At Arka, we also offer premium custom packaging options for any niche; whether you need custom mailer boxes or shipping boxes, we can help create the most eye-catching packaging for your brand!

FAQs on Packaging Inserts Ideas

Here are a couple of FAQs on packaging inserts ideas.

Should I include inserts in every package, even for smaller items?

Yes, definitely! Consider including packaging inserts in every package, no matter how big or small, because including packaging inserts is a marketing strategy that is guaranteed to increase sales for your brand.

How can packaging inserts encourage user-generated content?

Packaging inserts can encourage user-generated content by encouraging customers to take pictures of the products and post them on social media with the brand accounts tagged – furthering awareness, generating traction, and potentially boosting virality.

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