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What are you enclosing with the package?
Catalogs? Coupons? Surprise gift?
jsinger




msg:3162652
 5:23 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've asked this question before but I think it's a topic worth revisiting.

When you ship an order, what do you enclose in the box to get repeat business? For many kinds of products, the best prospect is one who just bought from you (think of all the follow up products a camera buyer will need...lenses, memory, cases, etc.

We've tried a few things with only fair success:
- large expensive catalogs
- gift with next purchase after entering coupon code
- cheap one-page flyer showing some best sellers

To me this is such a vital issue that I've bought things from competitors just to see what they put in their shipments. Incredibly, often it's nothing but a packing slip.

 

sja65




msg:3162808
 7:10 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I include a 4 page (2 pages front and back stapled) b&w flier customized for each customer based on what they have ordered. As far as trackable sales (I use unique item numbers) it has a pretty low response rate, but it more than pays for the printer, toner and paper. We also have a couple of featured items on the receipt (again based on what they ordered) that brings in a few additional sales.

For more profitable customers, we send catalogs and gift certificates a month after the order has shipped.

CernyM




msg:3162917
 8:27 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

We enclose a time-limited $5 off coupon with each order.

Somewhere between 10-15% of purchasers come back and use the coupon.

I've got plans to re-do our confirmation emails and receipt system. I'll probably do something that auto-generates a page of two of recommended add-on products to put into the package with the order as well.

budgie




msg:3164793
 12:03 pm on Nov 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

We used to include a discount offer with orders and very few took up the offer. We now include an advertising leaflet or card as standard so they have something to keep or pass onto friends, though no doubt most of those get thrown away. I think it depends on your products as well -if you have something that is consumable and people will require regularly, then coupons are going to be more effective.

abbeyvet




msg:3164839
 12:23 pm on Nov 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

A friend of mine recently ordered some clothes from overseas and in the package was a nicely produced and illustrated leaflet outlining the companies environmental and social responsibility policies.

This was not some 'alternative' store, and while this information was on the site it was only available via a tiny link at the bottom of the page and she had not seen it.

She was very, very impressed. Made copies of it - gave them to several people including me (I have since ordered from the site), gave one to her husband who brought it to work where it was passed around with memos as a possible example for developing similar policies in their company, a multinational in a completely different industry. Dozens if not hundreds of people who had probably never heard of the company previously will have seen it as a result.

It's interesting what catches people's attention. It isn't always coupons or complimentary product suggestions.

jsinger




msg:3165843
 6:53 am on Nov 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

leaflet outlining the companies environmental and social responsibility policies

Omitting the paper leaflet would have done more good for the environment. LOL

California websites feel they have to promise to donate a portion of their sales to charities. I just want them to lower their prices. I'll take care of the donation with the savings and get a tax deduction myself.

[wandering way off topic]

ccDan




msg:3165864
 7:16 am on Nov 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

California websites feel they have to promise to donate a portion of their sales to charities. I just want them to lower their prices. I'll take care of the donation with the savings and get a tax deduction myself.

Thank you. I am glad I am not the only one that feels that way. It's not just California websites either. When I see a company donating a portion of their sales to charity, what I see is a company overcharging for their products. They're taking my money to give to their favorite charity. A truly socially responsible business will concentrate on providing a quality product/service at a fair price, and let the consumer decide what to do with the savings.

Back to the topic... I have tried coupons, but received little response from them. I also tried points based on the size of their order. Once you had enough points, you could get a free widget. I used to put in so many things, it turned out to be more work than what it was worth.

Two things that seem to work best are... (1) Freebies. Something related to your market, with or without your company name imprinted on it, that costs you under a buck. I think people sometimes get more excited over the freebie than the thing they bought. That may be because what they buy from me is a necessity, and the freebie is fun. (2) Gift wrapping. (Not a gift-wrapping option that you charge for.) Depending on what the product is, gift-wrap it before you send it out. Makes it feel extra special when the buyer receives it, like they're getting a gift rather than receiving an order.

jsinger




msg:3166654
 3:34 am on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

We enclose a time-limited $5 off coupon with each order. Somewhere between 10-15% of purchasers come back and use the coupon.

When we've tried coupons our response has been much lower. I'd be very happy with 3%.

I worry that customers would want to use the coupon on their original order and phone for a rebate. In fact, I've had people ask if we give a "new customer discount."

BananaFish




msg:3166655
 3:36 am on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

We usually include bubble wrap. It serves as a nice packing material and is fun for the customer to pop.

shri




msg:3166717
 6:06 am on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Last year we sent chocolates with the holida orders.

CernyM




msg:3167285
 6:23 pm on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)


I worry that customers would want to use the coupon on their original order and phone for a rebate. In fact, I've had people ask if we give a "new customer discount."

Never had that happen. If it did, we'd honor it - the coupon works out to less than 5% of the average ticket and our gross margins are large.

We do occasionally get the "new customer discount" request though. We'll usually toss in free shipping or something or similar value - depends on how much they are ordering.

sniffer




msg:3168201
 12:25 am on Nov 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

We enclose a time-limited $5 off coupon with each order. Somewhere between 10-15% of purchasers come back and use the coupon.

When we've tried coupons our response has been much lower. I'd be very happy with 3%.

We've done the same, but via the confirmation email. They were the most effective thing so far for getting repeat business. Our customers remembered that they had it.

The problems were:
- they'd lose the email or ticket and ring up and ask for their discount code. This was tedious for the staff
- the wholesale customers starting using them. We needed to issue them to the general public only (probably via a 'login')

I dont mind the charity idea. As a customer I would not see it as being ripped off. After all I decided to make the purchase didnt i?

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