Here’s a familiar situation for you: A shopper finds your auto parts website, browses for a bit, and then purchases a part. Success! Time to package their order, ship it out, and never hear from that person again.
But after putting time into your parts website and spending marketing dollars to bring that customer in, are you really willing to let them go so easily?
In that moment when a shopper becomes a customer, the iron is hot, so to speak. That customer just reached out to you in a show of trust by buying a part, and as long as they had a positive experience, they’re more open to you and your brand.
Need some proof?
According to the book Marketing Metrics, businesses have a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer, and only a 5%-20% probability of selling to a brand new prospect.
Take advantage of that! Slip a special “thank you” into their shipment to connect with them, build that relationship, and encourage them to shop with you again.
Why packaging inserts are a smart idea:
- They’re cheap—It’s only a sheet of paper, after all! If you want to save on resources, you could even make them half sheets. Even if you upgrade to colored paper to make the insert stand out, the paper will still be a cheap investment!
- It’s an easy set-and-forget marketing tactic. It only takes time to create the insert once, and then it’s a simple matter to print out a stack and add one to orders before shipment. (Read about some other set-and-forget tricks you can try…)
- You’re already paying for the shipping, so you might as well make the most of it. It’s basically free marketing to your customers, and they’re more likely to glance at it compared to sending out a promotional email.
- They build customer loyalty. If your customer had a positive experience on your parts website, then making them feel special with a packaging insert will increase the chance that they buy from you next time, too.
Creating your Packaging Insert:
Now that you’re convinced, ready to start creating a packaging insert for your parts website? There are a lot of ways you can go with a packaging insert, so take a moment to decide what goals you have for it.
Set your Goals
- Do you want to increase repeat customers?
- Do you want to build up a following on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?
- Do you want to collect customer testimonials for your parts website, eBay Motors store, or Facebook page?
- Do you want to focus on building a relationship with the customer?
- Something else?
Your packaging insert can address more than one goal, of course. But if you want your insert to do everything at once, the message may get muddled and ineffective as a result. You want the insert to be quick and easy to read, for one, so if you write too much on it, they may ignore it completely.
In addition, customers prefer having one clear call to action. Saying simply, “Shop again with us soon and get 10% off your order with this promo code” is a very clear next step for your customer.
We recommend that you have one main goal and perhaps a smaller, secondary goal. For example, your main goal is to generate repeat business, and your secondary goal is to build up your following on social media.
Once you have a goal in mind, then it should give you a clue of what to include on the template.
What to Include on the Packaging Insert:
Based on the goal(s) you've chosen, here are some of your options for what to include on the sheet.
1. Encourage Repeat Buyers
Who would turn down the chance to get more sales? It goes without saying that enticing the customer to come back is a fantastic goal for parts websites.
For this one, it’s as simple as including a coupon code for a discount of the next purchase. Don’t forget to tell the customer what kind of coupon it is, too.
Get free shipping on your next order over $100 with the code: THX2017
Or, tell customers that they can find your latest sales by following you on Facebook or subscribing to your newsletter, if applicable.
Get more coupon ideas: 5 Types of Coupon that will Drive Sales to your Parts Website
2. Get customer testimonials
Most customers won’t think about leaving a review, so reminding them in a straightforward way really makes a difference. Reviews can do a lot of work for your website as far as improving customer trust and confidence, especially if you’re selling auto parts on eBay Motors.
Start by making your customer feel special! Tell them how much they mean to you. It can be as simple as saying:
Your opinion matters!
How did we do?
Next, ask for the review. Although it seems obvious, tell the customers exactly what you want from them:
Please leave a review for us at [YourPartsWebsite.com].
3. Promote your DIY guides or videos
Has your parts department gone above and beyond to provide some DIY guides? We’ve talked about how powerful How-To Videos can be for promoting your parts website, even though they do take a fair amount of time investment.
After putting all the effort into those guides, you want to squeeze as much out of them as possible! Tell customers that these guides exist. Offering free information is a great way to make customers see you as a credible and reliable source of information.
And that’s not to mention an improved opinion of your parts website! After all, people like getting free stuff, and they’ll appreciate you for offering the help.
If you make these guides, let them know! Give the shoppers a link to where they can find your guides online.
Need help with installation? Check out our series of installation guides at [PartsWebsite.com/blog].
4. Increase Social Media Following
Getting customers to connect with you over social media has plenty of benefits. It can lead to repeat purchases, improve customer loyalty, and serve as a regular reminder to past customers that you exist.
Be clear about what you want. Tell customers where to find you! Include links to the social media accounts where you’re active. It also helps to encourage them with a promise of what they get out of following you, like staying up-to-date on promotions and sweepstakes.
Here’s an example:
Connect with us on social media to be the first to know about the latest sales and promotions for auto parts and accessories!
Except, of course, include your links instead of ours!
5. Build a relationship with the customer
Although this can be added on to any of the other goals, it’s worth mentioning by itself.
You can choose to keep the message fairly generic, or take a more conversational and friendly tone. It’s the difference between “Thank you for your purchase” and something more personal.
Thanks for shopping with us! All of us here at PartsWebsite are dedicated to providing you the best service possible, and we’re sincerely pleased you choose to do business with us.
John Doe, Parts Manager at PartsWebsite
With a goal like this, you might also want to sign the note with the name of the Parts Manager, so the customer has a human name to remember instead of the company. This can help humanize your parts team and remind shoppers that you’re a group of real people behind the computer screen.
Encourage the customers to call or email you. Adding contact information opens a new channel for conversation with that customer, and really can make a difference.
Multiple RevolutionParts dealers have told us that they’ve gained some loyal customers just from having conversations with them over the phone.
You’re Done! What next?
Putting together these packaging inserts are incredibly easy, and they’ll pay off. (To save yourself even more time, grab a copy of these Time-Saving Templates)
Once you have an insert typed up, all that’s left is to print them out in bulk. Get a huge stack of them so you don’t need to print more copies every other day. If you included a promo code on the sheet, don’t forget to set that code up in your eCommerce platform, too!
You can leave it at that, if you want. But if you want to optimize your packing slips, there's more you can do.
1. Add your logo to the packaging insert before printing! Even if you print in black and white, the logo can make the sheet appear more professional than just plain text.
2. Every now and then, create a new insert to use. You can cycle through previous inserts, but mixing it up will keep it fresh for the customers that buy from you often.
Alternatively, you can have unique inserts for different seasons, such as the winter holidays. Switch to your holiday insert from October to December, and then switch back to your standard insert for the rest of the year.
3. Create more than one insert so you can customize based on what the customer bought.
For example, if you’re selling more than one brand, you can have a version that specifically mentions Dodge or includes a Dodge logo, while the other specifically mentions Jeep.
As another example, if sell parts to local and national customers, you could create custom inserts for each. Local customers might get a coupon for a discount on their next oil change at your dealership, while national customers get a discount on their next online order.
4. Take your design up a notch with Canva.com. This is a completely free, browser-based design software you can use to create custom designs
They have so many templates that even if you’re not creative or design-savvy, you can easily create a powerful, professional packaging insert!
If you take this route, consider how you will print the inserts. Fancy designs with full-page color might not look as nice from a normal printer! Print a test sheet first to see how it looks.
If you need a better printer, you can get high-quality, low-price printing at your local UPS or FedEx.
In short, packaging inserts are an easy yet effective way to market your auto parts website and improve customer loyalty.
After investing time, effort, and marketing dollars to attract a customer to your website in the first place, holding onto that customer will make your job much easier!