A Deep Dive into Packaging Inserts and Innovative Branding

Packaging Inserts

Your product’s packaging designs directly influence your customer’s purchasing decisions. At least, seven out of 10 customers have admitted it. Packaging shapes your brand’s identity and creates a unique shopping experience for your customers. Every element added to your packaging plays a role in creating a long-lasting impression on your customers. Statistics show that 81% of consumers tried a new product because the packaging drew their attention, and 52% of consumers switched brands as a result of new packaging. Also, packaging inserts have an important role to play. Packaging inserts are simply printed materials that you send your customers with their orders.

When you are running an eCommerce business, you need effective branding techniques to create a lasting impact on your customers. A couple of packaging inserts can do the trick. It’s a small element that can add immense value, enticing your customers to buy more. 

Inserts can do a whole lot more for your brand, find out everything there is to know about packaging inserts.

Significance of Packaging Inserts

Before we dive into the significance of packaging inserts, let’s understand what packaging inserts are.

Pieces of paper, pictorial cards, or small text-heavy messages that are included in a packing order are known as packaging inserts. It can be a message to thank the purchaser for making the purchase, marketing cards to ask consumers to follow them on social media platforms, or even asking a person to leave a review on their website. 

Customer loyalty and brand identity can be improved substantially with packaging inserts. According to Westrock, you might lose 52% of customers if your packaging design doesn’t appeal to your customers. Hence, being creative and leaving a lasting impression on your customers is crucial for packaging inserts to work. The various types of aching inserts include discount offers, personal notes, thank you notes for gratitude, social media advertising, a request for a review, incentives, gifts, coupons, product samples, etc. An insert can extend to something much more than this. It can be anything and everything that your imagination wants to be.

A little extra is something that every customer appreciates. It can help you boost your business and grow it on another level. That little something extra is also capable of saving you when you fall short with your products and services. It helps you shine throughout and even adds a little sparkle to your shopping experience. Here’s why packaging inserts are so important:

  • Effective tool at low costs: A simple yet effective way of marketing and giving your customers a personalised experience is by the use of cheap and effective packaging inserts. They allow you to give your customers a little extra something to look forward to.
  • Inserts use a targeted strategy: When the consumer receiving the packaging insert is someone who has purchased from you before, you can customise the packaging inserts to enhance the overall shopping experience.
  • The right fit tool for cross-selling: Since you already know what your consumers like, packaging inserts can effectively help you cross-sell. 
  • Inserts help you liquidate your inventory: The stuff that simply ain’t selling can easily be transformed into marketing expenses and improve your relationship with your current buyers.
  • The appropriate inserts enhance loyalty: Consumers often return to brands that are loyal and do not compromise on quality. packaging inserts can help you make your organic and returning customers feel extremely special.

Types of Box Inserts

Box inserts have a protective feature. They cradle your products and safeguard them during the entire shipping journey. They ensure that your products remain undamaged and reach their consumers in the same manner that they left the warehouse. Here are four different types of box inserts:

  • Corrugated inserts: Durable and lightweight materials give your products the cushioning safety they need to reach the consumer safely. These inserts are customised and can be made to any size. 
  • Foam inserts: These are extremely well-suited for fragile and breakable shipments. They give optimum shock absorption and cushioning. The type and density of the foam are chosen based on the delicateness of the product.
  • Plastic inserts: Strong and durable plastic inserts are also protective inserts. They are customised and can be made in different materials like polycarbonate, PVC, etc.
  • Molded pulp inserts: These are made to size using paper pulp to make the inserts sustainable. They are lightweight and offer great support. 

Printing Options for Box Inserts

According to Catalpa, if you are honest and transparent with information in product labelling, 74% of customers are more likely to trust your brand. This shows how important is product labelling for your brand. However, printing for inserts might not always be possible. Printing for box inserts works only if the packaging material is paper or cardboard. This does not imply that you cannot experiment to improve the unboxing experience. Different printing methods for box inserts include:

  • Digital printing: Digital printing enables you to choose from a wide range of colours. Hence, you can create your brand aesthetic easily. Digital printing offers quality print and is extremely effective cost-wise for small batches.
  • Lithographic printing: This process includes printing the insert onto a label that is stuck on the box. It is used in packaging that includes both foam and molded inserts as the texture of packaging creates issues. 
  • Flexographic printing: Non-quality designs and stamps are placed on corrugated cardboard materials in this type of printing. It is generally done for those packaging in mass quantities. 

Types of Promotional Inserts

Promotional inserts do not have a definition. They can be anything that you can imagine. It is all up to the creativity and innovativeness of the seller. However, here are some of the most commonly added packaging inserts:

  • Discounts and promotional offers: This is a rather straightforward approach. These are mainly discount offers and promotional coupons that can be sent along with a parcel to your consumers so they can return as soon as possible to make another purchase from you. Although this can be done via email or other means, leaving a packaging insert can help you give them a tangible reminder.
  • Product samples: Your customer’s unboxing experience can be enhanced by simply adding a few samples of your other products within the parcel. Samples are a brilliant method to encourage cross-selling. Especially when you add product samples to returning customers' parcels, you can easily increase your cross-selling rates. 
  • Incentives and gifts: Small gifts and incentives can be a brilliant method to make your customers happy. It is a nice way of making your customers feel valued without pressuring them to check out your other products. These Incentives do not need to be extravagant, they can be extremely simple like a sticker or a keychain. 
  • Personalised purchase notes and thank you cards: Handwritten or personalised letters are a lovely, inexpensive, and special way to make your customers fall in love with your brand. A simple card can be a thoughtful way to make your customers come back and purchase from you.
  • Social media following request and product review: When you ship a parcel, it refers to the end of a specific transaction. Through inserts that request your customers to follow you on social media or even leave a review, you make them remain connected with you. This can not only keep your old customers updated about your latest products but can also help in influencing other people to purchase from you. 

Analysing the Pros and Cons of Custom Inserts

The pros of custom inserts include:

  • Custom inserts are extremely impactful and they enable instant brand recognition
  • It portrays your brand as a professional luxury brand
  • It enables trust-building and brand loyalty
  • It gives a complete and well-rounded unboxing experience
  • It gives both the business and the customer a little extra something to hold onto

The cons of custom inserts include:

  • It requires additional design and costs for their creation
  • It is time-consuming as ordering material takes time
  • It requires the knowledge of packaging specialists
  • The quality of the packaging is not the best for shipping

Versatility of Custom Packaging Inserts Across Industries

Versatility, agility, and adaptability are the three major criteria that packaging must govern. Several different elements will determine the type of packaging insert your products will benefit from. However, inserts are the means to impact the work in several industries. They are both for functional and promotional purposes. You can easily showcase your creativity and brand aesthetics and also your story. They enable you to gain loyal customers and will soon represent your brand. 


Packaging inserts are marketing tactics that allow you to provide your customers with a better unboxing experience. They allow you to give them a completely customised feel and the entire experience will represent the nature and essence of your brand. The brilliance of packaging inserts is that they do not have to be confined to a specific domain. They can be anything that your creativity and imagination dream. Regardless of what the insert is, it surprises your customers pleasantly and makes them want to come back and shop from you. Inserts can also be protective in functionality. They help in bringing the ordered items to the customers without any damage. Thus, their purpose is twofold, one is to provide cushioning and safety while the other is to act as an impactful yet subtle marketing tool.


What are marketing inserts?

Marketing inserts are marketing pieces that accompany your products. They can also be advertisements that brands place in magazines, newspapers, or other paper publications. Marketing inserts’ primary objective is to spread awareness about your brand, but it’s so much more than that.

Do box inserts benefit any fragile items?

Yes, box inserts benefit fragile items, including glassware, ceramic, electronics, artwork, sculptures, musical instruments, etc. Box inserts prevent movement during shipping and handling. 

How to choose the right box insert for your product?

When choosing the right box insert consider your products’ size, weight, and dimension. Other factors you should consider include, how much protection your products will need, budget, and sustainability.

What are the factors influencing promotional inserts for your products?

Some factors influencing promotional inserts for your products include your budget, promotional goals, target audience, availability of resources, and environmental factors.