Generate More Orders with a Package Insert Program
Do you have a package insert program? If not, you should. Here's why.
Whether you call them piggyback or package inserts, ridealongs or bouncebacks, their mission is to cost-effectively generate orders from current customers.
Unfortunately, package inserts aren't viewed by many writers and designers as being all that interesting to create — and too often marketers don't give much thought into their planning.
Many of today's direct-to-the-customer marketers (B-to-B and B-to-C) appear to be clueless about the value and how-to's of creating package inserts. And this may explain why so few of the online purchases I made this past month arrived with package inserts. And when they did include one, the insert was disappointing. One was a product price list. The other extolled product benefits, but then didn't include the price. Duh!
These are clues that today's direct-to-the-customer marketers often lack strong direct marketing roots. In other words, they probably haven't been exposed to what made traditional catalog and mail order marketers successful for the long haul. Not just a one-time purchase. The goal is to increase a customer's lifetime value by using as many channels as possible to cultivate loyalty. Package inserts included.
A customer opening your box (or envelope or email confirmation) is one of your hottest prospects for an additional sale. She loves you and she loves your products. She anticipates receiving your shipments. And this means she's in a positive frame of mind when she opens your package and finds your bounceback offer.
So why miss the opportunity to make another sale when the cost of asking for the order is minimal?
- The cost of delivering the message has already been paid.
- Creative and production costs are low.
- Package inserts are perfect for cross-selling accessories related to the product being delivered.
- They provide a channel for liquidating, bundling, introducing new products, and encouraging reorders.
- You can use them to introduce a customer to product lines and categories he or she may not know you offer.
- Inserts provide an opportunity to test products and offers.
- They can make customers feel like members of an inner circle of friends that receive "customer only" offers.
- Package inserts can also ask for referrals ... or say "thank you." Both help solidify customer loyalty.
Here are some tips for creating successful package inserts:
- The headline and offer must be attention-grabbers to compete with the package contents.
- Offer a big benefit — e.g., Buy One, Get One FREE!
- Make the offer simple with as little fine print as possible.
- Discounts, FREE and "customer exclusives" have proven power.
- Keep the insert lightweight so it doesn't add to the cost of delivery.
- Make it easy to respond. This could be the time to use a QR code, as well as your URL and phone number.
- Don't try to sell a product that requires a lot of explanation. If you have to send a customer online to get more information, give them an incentive to do so.
- Study the inserts in packages you receive. Take note of what works and what doesn't.
- Remember package inserts aren't just for B-to-C marketers. B-to-B marketers use them, too.
And don't be embarrassed if package inserts aren't part of your current marketing. You're not alone. But if you're reading this, I hope you at least consider the value of testing them.
Pat Friesen writes for direct mail, email, blogs, catalogs, the Web, and other direct response media. She's also a sought-after copy coach, workshop presenter and columnist for Target Marketing magazine. Contact Pat at 913.341.1211 and Pat@PatFriesen.com.