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Packaging Inserts: 5 Strategies to Increase Customer Loyalty and Revenue


Successful ecommerce packaging needs more than a streamlined design, sustainable CPG packaging materials and fast production: it also needs strategic packaging inserts. Packaging inserts are additional items strategically placed inside shipment packages to spread awareness about promotions, campaigns, sales or new product lines. From the consumer’s perspective, packaging inserts might be a sweet surprise, a customized card or an attention-grabbing sample that’s thoughtfully nestled alongside of the product they purchased. Packaging inserts can do so much more than create an enjoyable unboxing experience for your customers. Regardless of what your brand chooses to offer, a great packaging insert can build your brand narrative and strengthen the brand-consumer relationship.  

Nowadays, customer loyalty encompasses so much more than people repeatedly buying your products; it also includes moments of establishing consumer trust and respect. Adding personal touches, maintaining consistency in all aspects of communication and showing customer appreciation are key aspects to building true customer loyalty. If your brand is searching for budget-friendly ways to increase customer loyalty along with company revenue, take a look at (matter)’s top five packaging insert strategies. 

1. personalized thank you notes 

The easiest and least expensive packaging insert is a thank you note. Simple and effective, thank you cards are a great opportunity to show your appreciation and build a strong mutual relationship. These custom inserts can be personalized or even handwritten to create a human-to-human experience and show customers in a very tangible way that they represent more to your brand than just an order number.  

Thank you notes might seem too small a gesture to waste time and resources, but little packaging insert touches like these can be extremely effective for brands of any size. When creating thank you notes, remember to clearly express gratitude for your customer’s purchase, communicate why or how their continued loyalty matters to your brand, and mention your delight at potential future interactions with this customer. 

2. discount offers 

Everyone loves to save a few dollars or feel like they’re taking advantage of a special offer, so receiving discounts via packaging inserts can feel like opening a bonus alongside a new product. Discount offers are one of the most common methods of building customer loyalty and retention through packaging inserts. Yes, it would be more cost-effective to deliver discounts via email but including them as a surprise within your product packaging gives your customers a tangible reminder of your brand and keeps your company in the forefront of their minds.  

Another benefit of utilizing the discount offer strategy is that it encourages consumer engagement. For example, you might choose to include two separate discount offers as packaging inserts: one for your customer and one they can share with a friend. You could also include a loyalty or punch card to help customers earn points or cash back when shopping your brand. Whether it’s a discount to a specific product, collection, or the entire store, tailor your discount offers to your customer’s previous shopping behaviors, so the discount feels relevant. And regardless of what you choose to offer as a discount—free shipping, a percentage off next orders, or a monetary ecommerce credit—you’re increasing your chances for the customer to shop with you again.  

3. product samples 

Have you recently released a new product? Including product samples as a packaging insert is a great way to introduce new products that your customers may not know about or have been interested in trying. Similar to a discount offer, product samples are a free bonus on top of the products ordered. Choose product samples that coordinate with items in your customers’ existing orders to encourage cross-selling and make the sample feel more personal.  

Secondly, many customers will choose to talk about or even share samples with friends and family. Since 20-50% of purchases are driven by word of mouth, these small but effective extras can become a cost-effective way to extend your marketing campaigns and increase brand trust.  

4. gifts 

While product samples are a type of gift, the primary difference between a gift and product sample is that a gift doesn’t necessarily have to come from your store. Gifts are included as packaging inserts not as a means of cross-selling or introducing new product lines, but as a simple way to reward your customers and show how much you value their business. A packaging insert gift also doesn’t need to be large or expensive. Some great gift examples could be small packs of candies, cute magnets or stickers, useful trinkets like keychains or notebooks, or spare parts for products you sell.  

The goal of including gifts as packaging inserts is to create an unboxing experience that feels special, thoughtful and taps into a customer’s emotions and needs. Gifts should be simple, small moments of surprise that make customers feel warm, happy and appreciated.  

5. review requests 

When customers enjoy opening their packages and also love the products they receive, they will likely honor your request and write a product review. This could come in the form of a business card mentioning your social media handles, or as a QR code that can be scanned with their smartphone. Including a sincere request for product reviews as a packaging insert is an exceptional way to connect with customers and build brand loyalty. It’s a great way to drive existing customers toward your social media channels that they may not yet follow or engage with.  

Firsthand product reviews and testimonials can greatly impact your brand’s social media presence as well as influence undecided consumers. Potential customers want reassurance before committing to a purchase—in fact, 93% of consumers say that online reviews influence their buying decisions—so utilizing packaging inserts to ask for reviews is a fantastic way to build consumer confidence in your products. To go a step further, you could also take the time to follow up and engage with those product reviews across your social platforms, which encourages brand trust and likeability even more. 

Cultivating customer loyalty is about more than delivering great products and customer service, it’s about communicating the message that your customers are valued and cared for beyond the profit they provide for your company. Strategic packaging inserts like thank you cards, discounts and gifts are simple but highly effective ways that your brand can stand out from its competition and create an elevated consumer experience. To learn more about how (matter) can help your brand increase customer loyalty and revenue through packaging inserts, reach out and connect with our team today!