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Sat Aug 9 2008 21:22:42

Marketing through Package Inserts

By: Ina Steiner

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Julia Wilkinson writes in Sunday's newsletter about an effective way online sellers can market themselves by including inserts in their product shipments, and many sellers have done this for years. It would be interesting to hear from sellers about what works for them.

Years ago, David came up with a couple of customizable inserts for readers. Using these tools, you can enter three lines of text (such as your name, Business name and URL), and they will automatically display on a marketing insert that you can print out and include in your shipments. If your customers find the paper useful, they may keep it handy - meaning your name and URL are not far from reach!

David is looking for ideas for additional inserts and will add them to the line up if the idea is good (and if he doesn't have to update them as often as the postage chart). Feel free to use these as a service to your customers.




Comments (20) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: eBuyer Feedback

Sat Aug 9 21:48:04 2008

I don't have anything to contribute to this discussion but if anyone reading this makes/sells inserts and would be interested in creating inserts for my website to sell to other eBay sellers please come by and contact us.

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: David

Sun Aug 10 00:43:18 2008

I feel the possibilities are endless, but the most important to me is to make sure that every customer feels welcomed. In every package I send I will have something added, free of charge. All packages include an invoice with a thank you note, with my offsite information, phone numbers and URL, and a business card. Every package must be looking professional, with professional boxes, and wrappings, this is a must in my book. It's my company at stake and its very important to me. For the larger purchases I will include a light weigh item and the possibilities are endless. But very important to me is to make sure is not garbage it needs to be something useful, and it must be professional looking and done right by a publishing company, after all the idea is to have them come back and be diferent then the rest of the pack. I have many returned customers and for the ones that spend the most I will go out of my way and send them something larger like a calendar at the end of the year or a coffee mug as a free gift at my expense. Its called marketing and its part of business. We have always done this for our customers on /off ebay. Every chance I get I will send them a reminder that we are still here, or that we appreciate their business, and ask them if they need anything else, or if I can be of service to them. I think is common sense. But then again I have been doing business off ebay since 1983 and on ebay since 2001 you have to learn a few things...and I am still learning, that's why I make sure I read these blogs every week. Thanks folks for all the excellent information!

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: be careful

Sun Aug 10 06:39:51 2008

Postal regulations are different from Post Office to Post Ofice and each Postmaster has his own weird ideas what can and can not be inserted. LIE if you have to, say nothing eles is in the package or be likely charged an extra FIRST CLASS charge for a letter (insert).

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: meme

Sun Aug 10 12:35:46 2008

OK---How about---------- MOVING SALE
Dear Customer,    Because of the new management and massive recent changes in eBay (as I knew it  for 9 plus years) I am forced to move on.  I will be moving to a less stressful, more friendly atmosphere to do my selling.  It has not been easy to "cope" these last few months with my auctions being hidden from search and being charged for them, the DSR's (stars) rating and the flood of merchandise form the "Big Box Stores" (who pay no listing fees) and the "hidden agenda" that is operating the site now.

I value YOU as a customer, the years I have grown and learned about selling on auction, and most of all I value myself enough to seek a peaceful, dependable site without the insanity of changes that are non-productive.

I will be slowly moving my merchandise to ----------(don't know where yet) and I hope you visit me there and help me build my site....it's only a click away and the prices will be less, more fun, friendly and personal..the way eBay used to be.  I look forward to my future auction home and your visit.


(ok, -----I am working at it-------it is NOT easy)

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: Charli

Sun Aug 10 12:39:44 2008

We've been putting inserts in our packages since we began.  At first we added a simple beginners kit but later we made up announcement sheets for new products, samples of the various papers we carry and this month have started including our hint of the month! They seem to create more business and do make our customers happy.

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: Been there

Sun Aug 10 12:50:39 2008

TO be careful who believes that Postal regulations are different from Post Office to Post Ofice and each Postmaster has his own weird ideas what can and can not be inserted.

Advertising is allowed in all commercial packages as are in invoice sheet and other information to inform your customer.  The only mail I know that has restrictions is media mail (which says that all must be books, CD's and other media) and even then you're allowed to create an invoice and you decide what that invoice says.  Our invoice includes the list of contents and a comment section where we tell what is backordered, what their points are and announcements of upcoming sales.  
I checked with our post master last year when some PO didn't scan a package that had a delivery confirm on it.  She said postal regulations are the same for EVERY US Post Office.  If your postmaster (or another in a different PO) is not following the rules as they are laid out you can report him or her to the Post Master General.  

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: Patricia

Sun Aug 10 13:00:17 2008

Inserts are a great marketing tool.  I've been doing it for years.  I used to give away pens with my name and website on them but now save those for higher priced sales.  For regular sales (mostly under 10.00) I have made up magnets from tiny prints of my own paintings and I'll put my name and website on the back of them and laminate them.  I'll put a couple of those in each package along with my business card.

www.ACEOart.net

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: julia wilkinson

Sun Aug 10 16:01:28 2008

Sounds like people have some great package insert ideas! I've been putting a post card for my book, my business card and a thank-you note in packages, but I am now going to include multiple cards, and also considering a free issue of my Yard Salers newsletter.

Thanks for the input, all!

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: Jacob

Sun Aug 10 16:12:25 2008

Ina, thank you for this article. I have procrastinated for too long. I need to have flyers printed with an invitation only special to my site http://www.rexxsales.com and send them with every order.

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: Lars

Mon Aug 11 00:45:56 2008

I have designed a thank you note on a business card from Vistaprint.com I give my customers a coupon to use on my off eBay site. What's nice is that it's easy to track the results of the campaign and my profits are much better with my website than they are with Ebay. No insertion fees, no final value fees, and when I use Google Checkout, no merchant fees since I get a credit. Bottom line is the bottom line and inserts work. If you haven't started an insert campaign, now is the time.

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: meme

Mon Aug 11 15:33:22 2008

I posted above MOVING SALE---AND now I want to share what I actually send with my packages.  I send a thank you note that I personalize and attach it with "FIVE STAR SERVICE IS OUR GOAL" stickers made by eBay user name=charlie.foxtrot.  I am on my second batch of stickers=they are wonderful---and he is too.  He has ALL 5.0 STARS and fantastic feedback. Just wanting to share.

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: ss

Mon Aug 11 18:24:34 2008

Hogwash. When is the last time your mortgage company sent you a thank you note. I been selling for 9 years with over 17,000 positive feedback, DSR's 4.8, 4.9, 4.9, 4.9 and have never kiss a customers patude. If you just do what is right when you sell, right price, timely shipping and a fair shipping price your DSR's will take care of themselves. Sellers need to concentrate on doing what is right and not spending all day checking DSR's. Gee get a life

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: Shadow Fire Promotions, Inc.

Mon Aug 11 23:39:24 2008

For those that are not presently inserting things in your package, whether you sell on ebay, or off your own site, these are valuable tools to help buyers remember YOU more than ''that other guy''.  Business cards are very inexpensive, but we've found that they just end up on a desk, clipped together.  As such, we have a very simple flyer made up, two images to the page, in PowerPoint (meaning, for every page printed, you have two flyers).  Buy a clip art package, or Google some stock images, insert website (or even better, put your own site logo!), but make it MEMORABLE!  Follow RULE #1, which is to make whatever you have as an insert more catchy than the ''other guy''.  If you so desire, staple your business card to the flyer.  Since we sell in a variety of ways from face to face to auctions (altho auctions are mostly junk) to our own site, we like to save business cards for people who might be interested in associating with our company in the near future (prospective clients, as opposed to potential customers - there is a difference as it relates to us!), but there is nothing wrong with a small flyer, maybe a thank you card or note.  We started encouraging customers to leave feedback by leaving a note detailing the instructions of how to leave feedback.  However you elect to use handouts/inserts as marketing, no one can really underestimate how useful this might be in attracting new customers, especially if you have several different companies under your umbrella that do different things, and you just never know who might be interested that wasn't aware previously.

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: shopkoolgifts.com

Mon Aug 11 23:52:35 2008

I enjoyed reading all the comments! I am a buyer with two ids on ebay and have not listed anything there yet. I get referrals more than anything from my customers and repeat customers off and also on my website and when I do craft shows (haven't done any in a couple of years but will this holiday season). I believe it's because I include more ordering forms and catalogs in packets for them and their friends to pass on to and extra business cards with  a calendar on back and business card magnets. When I do get a new customer, I always ask how they found me. They do not care to tell you. With so many businesses out there, it is amazing when they find you. As a ebay buyer, I always enjoyed samples of dif. products the sellers send me and I usually come back for more. My best and most useful item I rec'd free was from my State Farm agent and I have been using it for years and I have been meaning to get some to send to my customers. Most customers love to receive free stuff, but not junk and I also rec'd junk that wasn't even useful nor complimentary to what I ordered. Make sure what you send is lightweight for mailing or if it's flat rate priority mail, you don't have to worry about the weight. I had a customer I haven't seen in two years order 4 books from me. Maybe it helped that I gave her a business card magnet. And she will be ordering a gift for her friend who is having a baby next month. These gifts weren't even for any holidays. Just I love you gifts.

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: Barbara

Tue Aug 12 07:37:42 2008

It is a great idea and to the one who said "gee get a life" There is nothing wrong with being nice to your customers and to send little gifts, business cards or whatever. It is just a nice thing to do. People do appreciate the little things in life which shows that they are appreciated, whether you have 17,000 sales or feedbacks, it still pays to be out of the odinary. JMHO

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: Tom G

Tue Aug 12 09:31:34 2008

Don't forget the opportunity to market right on your eBay invoice. Big sellers with their own checkout urge you to shop their website prior to paying. It works! I needed 4 cell phone batteries. I bought one on eBay and when I saw I could get the other 3 I needed that easy, I bought them.

As small sellers, we can add comments to our invoices steering folks to our other sites.  Once I get my off-site set up, I'll offer free shipping on additional items or some other special incentive to drive up the total sale.

For a package insert, I've always had a printed 8.5 x 11 sheet that's essentially a Thank You letter. It asks the customer to let me know they've received the item, and to contact me if there's any issues. I have the sheet set up so when tri-folded, the outter fold is my company logo and THANK YOU.

I ship a lot of flat paper items (post card, bank note etc) in number 10 envelopes, so I also have this note printed on 80 lb card stock that once folded, is also the protecting packing for the item. Again, once I have my off-site set up, this card will include my links.

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: cloudninecat

Tue Aug 12 10:12:41 2008

I've been using this method for years with the enticement a $5.00 off coupon. However, it isn't as effective as I would have thought. People hate change and buyers are no different.

I have customers that keep coming back to me on eBay over and over again but won't buy from my off ebay website. It is a mystery as to why. My off ebay website carriers the same inventory and more, is much easier to use, and it is cheaper. I accept paypal so I know that isn't it. The funny thing is that I don't have the same problem with my Amazon customers. They immediately convert. I can only attribute this to problems with change. My item is one that has only recently become available on Amazon. Many of the sellers in my category are transplants from eBay. I'm assuming that the Amazon customers aren't as entrenched as the eBay ones.

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: Wendy

Wed Aug 13 14:49:45 2008

Cloudninecat doesn't understand why eBay buyers won't convert to his/her store.  I don't convert because of one thing that I wish the Internet as a whole had -- ''Items I'm Watching.''  Either I'm going to accumulate a bunch of one thing from various sellers for later winnowing, or I want to buy the minute I find the right thing, and I don't feel like going someplace else to buy it.  In other words, eBay is a huge department store and you want me to visit your boutique down the street.  It amazes me that in Europe people regularly go from one shop to another buying first bread, then veggies, then meat, then sweets, and then go home.  I love supermarkets!

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: enngga53

Sat Aug 23 21:13:19 2008

This is a great Idea its like Samples.
We have been using this at my Web Site and it is working very Well.
It helps the Customer to feel Special.
We also Put In flyers and post cards when we ship from our Ola site.
It all seems to help.
enngga53

Marketing through Package Inserts   Marketing through Package Inserts

by: xocai

Mon Aug 25 08:05:51 2008

Brian and Sarah McCoy offers home based business by selling or marketing xocai products.



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