If you’ve been selling on Amazon from quite some time now, you might agree that getting reviews had been tougher than ever with Amazon banning incentivized reviews, closing buyer and seller accounts.
In one of our past articles, How to Get Amazon Reviews in 2018, we shared with you a refined step-by-step process to get legitimate product reviews using Facebook, which is an online marketing strategy. On this article, we’d be sharing with you an offline marketing activity that is definitely worth your efforts. And this is with the use of packaging inserts.
What are packaging inserts?
These are printed marketing materials that sellers can add or insert to their Amazon packages with the intent to deliver a marketing message. These can include promoting the rest of your other products, asking for seller feedback, product review or all of them. Packaging inserts can be in the size of a business or postcard.
These inserts if thought and created well can be an essential way of providing excellent customer service, achieve your marketing goals, as well as it will enable you to get more personal with your Amazon customers by directly communicating with them.
Why use packaging inserts?
You might have already know that Amazon doesn’t provide seller’s personal contact information to their buyers. And the one and the only way for buyers to reach out to us sellers is through the buyer-seller messaging which is fully and strictly monitored by Amazon. And this is why these inserts can play a significant role in introducing your self or your company to your buyer. (We’ll elaborate more on this later in the article so sit back and relax!)
Another great thing about packaging inserts is that it has the massive potential for upselling, incentivizing repeat purchases as well as encouraging reviews. Hopes up! Emailing customers aren’t the only way to get those much-needed reviews. And by getting more avenues to ask for reviews, it means you are also increasing the chance of you getting more of it.
BUT it is important to note that Amazon is still keeping an eye on these inserts to protect their customers from spam. Strict limitations are in place on what kind of marketing materials you can add to your packages so you need to be extra careful on what you include on your packaging inserts. You wouldn’t want to be in trouble with Amazon for violating their TOS, do you?
Who can use packaging inserts?
Though inserting marketing materials into packages is a lot easier for FBM sellers, still FBA sellers can and one to their products especially private label sellers like most of us.
FBA sellers can add packaging inserts by:
- Asking their manufacturers to print and add the inserts to their products as part of the packaging process.
- Pay a printing firm to work on the packaging inserts and have it sent to their manufacturer who will then add the inserts to the product.
On the other hand, FBM sellers can simply slip this inserts to the product/s they are to send off.
Packaging inserts DONT’S
1. Attempt to divert transactions or buyers away from Amazon
Amazon is keen on keeping buyers on their platform as well as ensuring that the purchase will be done on Amazon. And to make it happen, sellers are not allowed to encourage buyers to complete the purchase directly from you or your website. You are also not allowed to change or offer customers to use a different sales platform. There should be no URL or other kinds of website referral in any of your marketing materials. Even if you are not directly giving buyers a call to action to make a purchase.
2. Offer incentives in return for reviews
Amazon hates fake reviews. That’s why they are doing the best they can to ensure the rating system stays reliable and truthful. And what does it means for you as a seller?
a. You are not allowed to ask for a positive review directly.
b. You are not allowed to offer a discount or any kind of incentive to encourage customers to leave a review
Read more about Prohibited seller activities and actions on Seller Central.
So it is clear that you can’t use packaging inserts to ask for POSITIVE REVIEWS. But you can definitely use it to acquire HONEST REVIEWS and achieve loads of marketing objectives.
How can packaging inserts help you achieve your marketing objectives?
Even though Amazon still monitors packaging inserts, it is a versatile material that can help you achieve different marketing objectives depending on what matters most to you and your business.
1. Neutrally ask for a review.
As mentioned above you cannot ask your customers to leave you a POSITIVE review or offer an incentive or discount for them to do so. But you can politely remind them to leave you a review on Amazon.
2. Provide outstanding customer service to encourage positive reviews and to avoid negative reviews.
The only incentive you can use to encourage your customers to willingly leave you a positive review is excellent customer service. Not only you won’t get in trouble with Amazon, but you might as well get a tap on your shoulder for a great job.
Add a little extra on your packaging inserts like a discount code for their next purchase or some useful tips or tricks (e.g., usage manual) Customers who feel special are more likely to return the favor by leaving a great review without you even asking.
Providing excellent customer service can also help you avoid negative reviews. Use packaging inserts to let your customers know that you are there to help if they have any questions or concerns with the product or their purchase. And that they can easily get in touch with you directly via Amazon. This will give you a chance to resolve any issues as they arise thereby avoiding negative feedback or review.
3. Promote the rest of your products on Amazon
As mentioned above, you can offer a discount code to your customers to encourage them to make a repeat purchase but NOT to encourage reviews. This will not only make them feel valued but would also help you deplete slow-selling products or inventory. Keep in mind that you should not divert the customers to another platform not even to your website so the discount should apply to your Amazon storefront only.
3. Encourage your customers to engage with you through a variety of channels
Though you are not allowed to divert your Amazon customers to any of your other sales channels, you are permitted to encourage them to like your social media pages such as your Facebook page or your Instagram account. This is a great way to keep your buyer engaged and eventually turn him or her to a loyal customer.
3. Introduce and establish your brand
Establishing a brand on Amazon is a difficult but important task. This is especially true to FBA sellers. Even if you are a private label seller, customers perception is that they are buying your product from Amazon. Packaging inserts can help you create a branded customer experience by reminding your customers that the product is from you. Through this you can encourage brand loyalty.
10 Tips for an effective packaging insert
- Remind your buyers the benefits of your products to decrease buyers’ remorse and product returns.
- Offer support for any issues or concerns your customers might have. Whether it be about the product or the overall buying experience. Assure customers that you are ready to make things right.
- Add value to your inserts (e.g., usage manual or useful tips)
- Ask them about their satisfaction level
- Do not provide a discount code and ask for a review at the same time.
- Never ask for a specific star rating.
- Do not redirect customers to other websites other than Amazon.
- Avoid having too many calls to action in a single packaging insert. It’s strongly advised to have only one clear call to action.
- Be creative and design an eye-catching packaging insert with a clear message.
- Include your brand logo.
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