The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Package Inserts in 2022

Make unboxing more special, delight customers with personal marketing, and increase customer retention by 14%. 

What is a packaging insert?

A packaging insert is a piece of printed marketing material added to an order before it is shipped. It looks to increase customer retention, and help brand awareness.

This blog explores how a simple insert can help your customer journey, by improving the unboxing experience.

Why are personalized inserts important?

In the wake of iOS 14, customer retention is even more important than it used to be. Acquiring a new customer now costs 5 times more than retaining an existing one.

Marketing inserts are the only channel where you have the customers' undivided attention. They boast 100% open rates, and are read by an excited customer, unboxing your product.

Packing inserts are key to a customer's unboxing experience. It's as important as the packaging of the actual product. The unboxing is the first time that someone will have a physical impression of your brand. That impression is lasting, and dictates the rest of the relationship.

By adding a piece of paper to each order, you have the opportunity to exceed customer expectations. So why wouldn't you?

What do most inserts look like?

Most companies that use packaging inserts will go for a pre-printed generic insert. These then get sent to a 3PL, and added into every order. Inserts like this look nice, but are vague in the messaging and design as they need to appeal to every customer.

Personalization is how you get inserts to stand out. You grab their attention with their first name, and then customise the messaging and design based on what they have ordered. But more on that later.

Examples of a successful unboxing experience 


Glossier, renowned for its minimalist pink packaging, successfully uses packaging to retain customers and create a positive unboxing experience. 

They effectively use cross-selling through a small sample and insert, marketing to a highly targeted audience likely to continue making purchases.

Customers are encouraged to share their thoughts about their purchase online, shown by the hashtags and Glossier account handle; this creates an online community involving the brand and the customers that promotes brand loyalty and customer retention. 

Ways in which they could enhance these inserts would be to add a new QR code feature linking a ‘How to’ video or perhaps links to customer support making customer service more accessible. These examples are just some of the ways in which marketing inserts can enhance a product, engage customers and expand brand messaging. 

As demonstrated by Glossier, packaging can successfully add value to your product and positively impact customer satisfaction, when used effectively inserts can enhance the unboxing experience and encourage a repeat purchase. 

La La Lab

La La Lab is an online photo printing company, specialising in turning pictures into polaroids. Despite its minimal packaging in hot pink envelopes, it contains a packaging insert referral scheme with a discount code and instructions on how to use it. 

The parcel/envelope also contains a sheet of paper and origami instructions, this task engages customers as there is a competition held on social media each month revealing a winner. This engagement builds a community and increases the likelihood of returning customers. 

With all social media tags clearly indicated on the packaging insert, the company increases its social media presence with followers wanting to find out competition results and what the business is up to. La La Lab effectively stands out from competitors and builds customer relationships through these inserts, just some of the ways it can be used as a relatively cheap marketing tool. 

The common packaging insert 

The common packaging insert is a key tool for any business as being a piece of paper it is fairly easy to produce and distribution costs are zero as they’re included in the parcel. With these low costs and high return they’re an essential part of marketing and provide numerous benefits to companies. Standard packaging inserts contain important information regarding the order but can lack elements of differentiation and personality. 

However, one of the best ways to gain customer retention is through personalization. This makes customers feel valued by the organisation and become loyal to the brand over its competitors. Personalization is more common in email and text marketing as it is a fairly straightforward process, however some businesses fall short in their unboxing experience. 

For smaller businesses, the unboxing experience being filled with personalization is one of the key methods to retain their smaller customer base. Offering discount codes, writing handwritten thank-you’s or including free gifts, small businesses often spent a lot of time personalizing their packages to grow their business. However, as a business grows this process becomes unsustainable as the demand becomes too high for personalisation. This is where Slippy comes in, providing the software, hardware and expertise to make personalization accessible on a large scale. 

How Slippy can transform your customer unboxing experience 

What is Slippy?

Slippy is a blank canvas for your team to design and personalize to customer segments as they see fit. It can include key fulfilment information, as well as personalized marketing material, gift notes and much more. This in-the box experience reduces the need for multiple pieces of paper per package.

Slippy aims to help brands create a more personal, unique experience with the intention to retain customers and improve the customer journey..

How Slippy can make your inserts easier and more interesting 

Slippy will allow you to personalize your inserts and gift note campaigns, giving customers content they care about whilst increasing their lifetime value by 14%. You are able to customize a Slippy however you see fit with help from the included templates, allowing you to expand your brand’s personality and show a more creative side to the business. 

A Slippy print could contain everything from product information, rewards, discounts and even an AI powered “handwritten” gift message. This “handwritten” feature allows your business to show a more personal side, connecting to customers and building relationships. 

Slippy looks to simplify your business with automated gift notes, printing personalized Slippy’s exactly when you need them. Through combining all the necessary information onto a single customised print, it looks to save your fulfilment team hours of printing and matching customer orders, making your business more efficient. 

With both consumer and staff benefits in mind, Slippy looks to help you build a stronger, more personal business with effective, unique unboxing experiences.

Use cases 


Slippy’s most common use is to increase customer retention, build brand loyalty and gain a better reputation as a result. With the customizable features, Slippy can be built into whatever your business requires to increase the likelihood of repeat purchases.  


Packaging inserts can be used to advertise a referral scheme, offering customers a code that they can share with their friends and family to both receive a discount. There are numerous ways of adding a referral code to a packing insert with Slippy’s flexibility that allows you to design your blank canvas. An example would be to include a QR that directs you to the app where the code is displayed or include all the information simply on the paper. 

Gift Messages 

Slippy inserts can be used for gift messages as a way of connecting to customers and enhancing relationships. The thank-you text can be typed but also ‘handwritten’,  setting your design apart from competitors and demonstrating an even higher level of care. Customers are likely to value this personalized touch and feel more compelled to use the business again. 

Returns Management 

Slippy can utilise essential tools in the returns process including a QR code or link that will take consumers to the returns page/policy. When using platforms such as Loop integrated with Shopify, a QR code or link can be attached to your Slippy and work seamlessly with the returns provider. Similarly to Slippy, Loop’s logistic tools and integrations give you control over where, when and how your products move. Therefore they are an effective match that both looks to improve your business’ efficiency and retain customers. A major benefit of Slippy for returns management is that each QR code can link to the user's individual order rather than sending customers to the generic returns page on your website. This is due to Slippy’s logistic tool that allows printserts to be printed when your business needs them and are not mass-printed. 

Helping customers make the most of the product

Slippy’s can be personalized to help consumers make the most of your product. One way of doing this would be to include a recipe that pairs with a bottle of wine in your collection, or including a how-to-style guide on the back of your order sheet. There are infinite ways your brand could utilise Slippy,  allowing customers to make the most of your products whilst showing off your brand’s innovative personality. Slippy enables you to enrich the unboxing experience, appealing to customers and increasing the chances of them returning. 


On your Slippy you could include the history of your company or the story of the product purchased, adding more depth to the purchase and creating a greater relationship between you and your customers. You will be able to explore your creative side using this product as the numerous customization options will allow you to tell your brand’s story in a way that you haven’t previously been able to. 

Social Media 

A feature highly recommended is including your social media handles on the packing insert however you like. By including these and encouraging customers to show their purchase online you are building a larger online presence and creating a more interactive community that will be more responsive to new products in your business’ future. 

Augmented Reality / Micro Games

Depending on your business and its products, more businesses are choosing to market products with augmented reality and micro-games, accessible to users through QR codes. These codes could be added to your insert and become a key marketing tool for your business to follow trends of increasing AR. These features could be what makes your business stand out from its competitors and demonstrate a more futuristic approach to your market.