Not sure what to include in your product insert? Here's the do's and don'ts of using this useful marketing strategy.
Amazon FBA Packaging & Insert Tips
November 25, 2021
One of the unique ways that you can foster the relationship you have with your customers is by including product inserts in your shipments. However, there are some important things to understand before you commit to this. Let’s dive in.
What is Product Insert?
A product insert is simply any printed piece of marketing that you, as an Amazon seller, can add to your package before it’s shipped out. These can vary in size and design, but all share the purpose of connecting your customer to your brand and communicating clearly with them.
You’ve probably received them before when you ordered an Amazon package. The simple business card, postcard, or small flyer with a thank you note, coupon code, or request for a review on it. Product inserts are a nice touch that a buyer won’t miss if you don’t include one, but will stand out to your shoppers when you do.
Should I Use Inserts?
If you’re able to use inserts, it’s definitely an easy win. As an Amazon seller, you have a unique challenge of trying to maintain customers and connect them to your brand when your only form of communication with them is directly through the Amazon fulfillment center. You’ll never be able to send them direct marketing materials unless you do so via the packages they are already receiving, so inserts are a great way to upsell your customers and keep them coming back to your brand.
You can utilize inserts as an FBM or FBA seller. If you are fulfilling your packages by a merchant, you will simply create/order these inserts and place them within your packages as you prep them. Easy!
If you’re selling via an Amazon FBA seller account, you will need to put more thought into this. You can either ask the manufacturer to add these inserts to your product with fulfillment fees, or you can utilize a third party who helps with all your packaging and prep work. Honestly, this is our favorite option. In general, having a good third party who can ensure your products are perfectly prepped is majorly helpful - so find one that can also print and include inserts for you. You’ll be grateful you did.
The “Do Nots” of Product Inserts
Amazon has pretty strict guidelines when it comes to your marketing other than FBA fees. They obviously want to keep customers satisfied with their purchases on their site, and they want to keep customers coming back to Amazon. So here are a few things you want to avoid to ensure you don’t get in trouble with Amazon.
- Don’t send customers to another marketplace or your personal website. Amazon wants to keep their customers. You actually violate your agreement with Amazon Seller Central if you try to send customers to your own platforms. Only ever advertise your Amazon storefront to your customers - no matter how much you're trying to build your own website or other selling platforms.
- Don’t attempt to buy reviews. Amazon gets a bad rep when they become known for fake reviews review requests and spammy products. For this reason, Fba sellers aren’t allowed to offer your customers free products (or discounted products) in exchange for a review.
- Don’t ask for 5 stars. You are not allowed to specifically ask for positive reviews instead of negative reviews. You are only allowed to request honest reviews and feedback, and you may not attempt to steer a customer toward a certain review number.
- Don’t talk about discounts, offers, or reviews in the same insert. Don’t try to be sneaky. If you offer discounts, offers, or free products in the same insert as you are offering reviews - it will be considered a form of buying the review, even if you’re not outright telling the customer that they are getting the freebie in exchange for a review.
- Don’t include inappropriate messaging. I don’t care what you’re selling - if your insert couldn’t be read in front of a 9-year-old, you can’t include it in your insert. Don’t try to be lewd, crass, or funny. Be professional.
The “Dos” of Product Inserts
While the above limitations may seem difficult, it really all boils down to keeping Amazon free from spammy behavior, protecting Amazon customers from unwanted messaging, and ensuring that orders stay on their site.
Here’s what you can do when including a product insert:
- Include DIYs, tips, tricks, or advice. A fun way to connect with your customers and add value to them with your insert is by helping them think of ways to use their new product. This can be a cool DIY for a crafting material, a tip for their workout gear, a cool trick they can try with their new piece of equipment, a piece of advice relevant to the instrument they bought, or a 5-day workout challenge for their new running shoes. Think of a way you can connect with your customer and give them something they can appreciate and hold onto (with your branding on it, of course!) with your product packaging.
- Include handwritten or customized notes. I personally have received only a handful of Amazon packages that I remember opening up and thinking “wow, they really put effort into this!” All of them were packages with well-designed inserts - often handwritten or customized. I don’t remember coupons, and I don’t remember the pleas for reviews. I do remember the thoughtful and personalized thank you letters. Consider including something of the like within your packages to create a memorable experience for your customer.
- Neutrally ask for reviews. If you do choose to ask for reviews, be sure to do so neutrally. Use phrases like “we’d love your honest feedback” or “tell us what you thought of our product by leaving a review.” Show the customer you care what they really think and don’t try to lead them to a specific kind of review.
- Provide a way for customers to get in touch with you. Customers like knowing they have an easy way to access the people they buy from in the event that something goes wrong. Give them a direct way to contact you (through Amazon, of course - you can’t direct them to external contact info). Good customer support goes a long way in building trust with customers.
- Advertise other products from your store. While you aren’t allowed to advertise products on other storefronts, you are allowed to “upsell” your customers by showcasing items within your Amazon store that you think they might be interested in.
- Connect buyers to your social media. You aren’t allowed to bring Amazon customers to your website - but you are allowed to ask them to like/follow you on social media. Feel free to do so!
How To Make a Killer Product Insert
If you want to reach some achievable goals with your inserts, follow these tips.
- Have a clear goal in mind. Decide what your goal is with the inserts. Do you have a CTA? Or are you simply trying to build your relationship with your customers? Decide beforehand to make your communication more effective.
- Do some testing. Make multiple inserts, and test them out. Testing is effective in every area of marketing - here is no different!
- Make them beautiful. Don’t end up with an insert that looks like it was made with clipart and translated by Google. Put the effort into using a real designer or easy-to-use design software like Canva or Adobe Spark.
- Be relatable, available, and clear. Don’t be gimmicky. Make your messaging clear, concise, and attractive to the customer you’re reaching.
Product inserts are a great addition if you’re trying to expand your Amazon marketing initiatives. Just be sure to follow the important do’s and don’ts in this article to stay on Amazon’s good side!
Julia Grant is a copywriter specializing in e-commerce and small business, helping businesses expand their reach with copy that clearly communicates their message and converts. She is a certified translator and interpreter and prides herself on providing culturally relevant content in both English and Spanish.See more posts from this author