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The Best Packaging Inserts for Your Hardware Shipments

Post written by Jeffrey Freedman

Offloading hardware distribution frees up critical resources for your VAR or MSP to re-invest. But completely removing yourself from shipping might cost you valuable relationship-building opportunities. After all, your customers bought product from you, so you should maintain a presence throughout the transaction.

In many ways, your customer experience hinges on the quality of the manufacturer's goods. This is why product selection is paramount. However, your customers will form impressions on the product from the moment it arrives. Therefore, seek some involvement in its packaging and documentation.

Quality distributors will allow you to personalize the shipped goods to maintain control over your brand. Here at Gentek, we call this kitting: you provide the marketing materials and we drop them into the box. Also known as packaging inserts, these materials reinforce a customer's decision to work with you. Research even shows inserts can increase recurring sales and enlarge future order sizes.

Targeted Marketing Collateral

Some businesses default with thank-you cards in their packaging. Although a kind gesture, it does little besides add a personal touch. Ideally, your inserts should:

  • Acknowledge the customer mindset—thoughtful package inserts assure the customer that they are on the right path to success;

  • Encourage the user to get involved—productive package inserts passively prompt users to take action (i.e. discount, referral, etc.).

Selecting the right marketing materials for your hardware shipments can turn a neutral experience into a memorable one. Customers don't expect to receive anything additional, yet when they do they appreciate it.

Inserts can foster an affinity with your brand and generate positive feedback or referrals. The key is to always demonstrate that you appreciate the customer—not just his or her financial contributions. Thus, give-backs like discounts, small gifts and other free resources establish genuine relationships between customer and provider.

Note that it's important to follow-up offline efforts with online calls-to-action. For example, provide a URL to your knowledge base or service department. Alternatively, ask the customer to join you on social media, opening new channels of communication. The more engaged your customers become during their first few days, the more value they will bring to your business.