Exploring Types Of Product Packaging Inserts

What are packaging inserts

💡Delving deeper into product packaging inserts and their capabilities
What is an Insert?
Types of Box Inserts
Types of Promotional Inserts
Benefits of Custom Box Inserts
Benefits of Promotional Inserts
Product Packaging Inserts Across Industries

Your packaging acts as an incredibly effective marketing tool for your business. However there is much more to consider for your packaging needs than just your box.

Adding box inserts to your packaging seems simple and insignificant yet may just be the cherry on top of your branding!

Not only can it elevate the unboxing experience for your customers but also provides effective cues for cross-selling, encouraging feedback and, of course, building a personal connection with your target market.

It sounds like a lot, and it is, but luckily box inserts can deliver all of this with one simple investment!

Let’s define inserts and discuss your options!

What is an Insert?

In its simplest form, inserts are an additional material placed into packaging to create a more impactful unboxing experience. 

Inserts can be divided into two categories:

  • Box inserts
  • Promotional inserts

Let’s briefly touch on the difference between the two. 

Think of box inserts as a warm, protective hug for your products until they’re handed to their forever homes with your customers.

For the most part, box inserts’ primary function is to protect and support your products from production to the unboxing experience.

While some box inserts can be printed on, this is primarily used for bringing the branding to the interior of the box through patterns, shapes and sometimes text.  

On the other hand, promotional inserts are used with the purpose of communicating with customers, rather than holding your products. 

Things like thank you cards and discount codes are known as promotional inserts and are typically used for marketing value and building connections with customers. 

Adding informational content to your promotional inserts offers a sense of authenticity with a bit of shameless promotion!

Example of packaging inserts
Source: Behance

Let’s delve deeper into your box insert options!

Types of Box Inserts

Box inserts range from simple to more complex materials depending on the product.

Some of the most common box inserts include:

  • Corrugated inserts
  • Molded pulp
  • Plastic
  • Foam

Corrugated Box Inserts

Corrugated box inserts are a very versatile option across many industries.

Popular in the e-commerce industry, corrugated material offers durability, structure and rigidity tailored to the shape and size of your product which offers optimal support and protection during shipping processes. 

This type of box insert also allows for a broad range of high quality printing and finishing capabilities allowing for an enhanced sense of your brand and product inside of your packaging. 

Furthermore, your box insert can help in establishing brand credibility and strengthening your customer connection through:

  • Creating a high end unboxing experience
  • Ensuring your products remain safe
  • Enhancing your brand narrative

For the most part, corrugated box inserts are especially useful for packaging more than one product in one box.

Example of cardboard packaging insert
Source: Maapilim

In other words, packaging is an experience.

Making sure your items are sitting tight within your box decreases the risk of damage to your products during transit and therefore ensures your unboxing experience remains just the way you intended for it to be.

Molded Pulp and Plastic Box Inserts

Molded pulp and plastic box inserts are incredibly successful for the food and bakery industries.

Popular for its cost-effectiveness, molded pulp and plastic box inserts are typically not printed on as the output tends to be lower quality due to surface texture. 

Think of the packaging your eggs come in. 

They are for the most part either molded plastic and carton. 

Molded plastic box inserts tend to be much less protective in comparison to molded pulp.

The material is molded to the product making it convenient and durable for packaging food and bakery products, however it also does well in the cosmetics industry too. 

Coatings and varnishes can be added to the surface of molded pulp inserts to create a more luxury feel.

Example of molded inserts
Source: Vogue

For instance, think of those jewelry boxes you get with the indented mold a necklace sits in. 

This too counts as molded pulp or plastic.

However, it is usually covered with a coating, material or laminate to give it a more high end feel.

Foam Box Inserts

One of the best characteristics of foam box inserts for packaging is that it’s an incredibly lightweight option, so it won’t drive up your shipping costs!

If you’re looking for box inserts that are more resistant to scratches and wear, then foam box inserts are your best bet.

You’ll see foam box inserts in toolboxes a lot for this reason, and they too are fully customizable to fit your product.

Your customization options with regards to shapes, sizes and designs are nearly endless.

example of foam inserts
Source: Pakfactory

Foam box inserts also offer a higher degree of protection than the options discussed above.

Think of it this way; your products are cushioned from all angles, even if they are handled roughly, they’ll fall onto a soft padding of foam.

Can you print on box inserts? 

The answer is yes for paper based box inserts, but it’s not very common to feature much text or marketing material really. 

Your printed box inserts essentially bring the branding from the exterior of your packaging to the interior of your packaging by adding laminates, color or patterns. 

Especially for e-commerce businesses, shipping your products may not necessarily call for extravagant designs on the exterior of your packaging.

Why? Because the risk of damage is high and you probably don’t want to spend your budget on printing just for it to be ruined by the time it gets to your customer.

Not only does printing minimal designs on your box inserts save you on artwork design costs, but it also allows for a more exciting experience and aesthetic for your product.

Example of custom printed insert
Source: Pakfactory

For the most part, shipping boxes tend to come in your classic brown box. We all know it’s what’s inside that counts the most in these instances.

Having printed patterns or colors is where you’re able to establish your brand narrative and create an impactful unboxing experience from the comfort of your customers’ homes.

This not only adds value to your brand but also compliments the products inside.

Types of Promotional Inserts 

Adding a personal touch to your packaging establishes an authentic connection with your customers and an enhanced unboxing experience.

As briefly mentioned, promotional inserts hold a lot of marketing value and acts as a vessel of communication between brands and customers. 

Not only will you appeal to your customers on a more personal basis, but you’re able to establish a strong and defined brand narrative that runs throughout your product packaging.

Let’s discuss some ways to utilize promotional inserts below!

Thank You Cards

Thank you cards are a really easy and genuine way to communicate with your customers. 

Consumers look to make authentic connections with brands they shop from. So, something as simple as a ‘thank you for shopping with us’ note, plays heavily into connections brands build with their target market. 

Thank you cards are the most inexpensive way to personalize your unboxing experience and really establish a vessel for communication with your customers. 

Let’s face it, people enjoy feeling appreciated, so why not create an unboxing experience that gives them a sense of appreciation. 

The unboxing experience is the key to building customer loyalty and thank you cards have proven to be successful in creating positive first impressions of a brand. 

Here is a quick list of suggestions for creating successful thank you card inserts;

  • Use a good quality paper grade – don’t worry, it’s still cost effective! 
  • Express gratitude for your customers and explain why it’s important to your brand
  • Hint to future interactions with customers, for example – Thanks for shopping with us, we hope to see you again soon!
  • Keep your sign-off  professional but sincere, for example – Warm regards, PakFactory

Discount Codes

Offering your customers personalized discount codes is also a way to express gratitude and build customer loyalty for your brand. 

Furthermore, they offer an opportunity for a bit of shameless cross promotion for other products you have available!

Think of it this way; if your cosmetics line has a few other products to offer, talking about how to use one product in collaboration with other products in your line makes your customers aware of what else your brand has in store for them to try!

You can even go as far as having personalized discount codes for your most loyal customer base. These tend to do extremely well in creating sharable packaging for social media platforms. 

Customers will feel special having a discount code personal to them that they can use and share with friends and family through their social media. 

Instructions and Information

You’re able to communicate much more than just your brand name through promotional inserts.

For instance, you can communicate information such as;

  • Instructions 
  • Ingredients
  • Warnings

The cosmetics industry often uses this technique to help guide their customers with make-up looks and how best to utilize their products.

Communicating key information is important to maintaining a transparent relationship with your customers.

Printing important information onto separate substrates that sit inside of your packaging ensures your customers get the message loud and clear.

Example of instructions
Source: The Dieline

For instance; if you are selling vitamins and you know that some people may experience side effects, it would be key for your customers to know the risks that come with your products right away.

While this may seem counterproductive to the unboxing experience, customers appreciate full transparency when it comes to the products they are purchasing.

This also allows you to establish strong brand credibility while still maintaining a healthy relationship with your customers.

Furthermore, listing ingredients straight onto your promotional inserts could be beneficial in preventing your product from causing damage to your customers.

While these are things that are typically listed on the product itself, we are seeing a huge emergence of minimalistic packaging.

This often calls for very small prints of ingredients and side effects, which, let’s be honest, not many people tend to read.

Therefore, printing it straight onto your promotional inserts may just be the only way to get your customers to pay full attention!

Benefits of Custom Box Inserts

Beyond adding value to your unboxing experience, box inserts serve a functional purpose for your products too.

This all depends on the custom box insert you choose for your product, as briefly discussed above.

Different box insert materials serve different functional purposes. However, all box inserts share a few value props.

  • Protection
  • Cost efficiency
  • Customizability
  • Communication
  • Enhanced unboxing experience

Protection

As alluded to earlier, custom box inserts such as foam, serve for measures of protection.

They will protect your items during the shipping and distribution process ensuring your products land in your customers lap as you intended them to.

Furthermore, box inserts open doors of opportunity if you’re looking to package an experience rather than just one product.

With custom box inserts you’re able to package multiple items without the worry of them moving around in your box, damaging each other.

Example of multiple products with box insert
Source: PakFactory

While box inserts seem insignificant to your packaging design, they may just be the saving grace that your products and customers need.

Beyond being protective, box inserts serve multi functional processes that may be very beneficial to not only your products and customers but to your business too.

Cost Efficiency

Box inserts won’t necessarily drive your costs up drastically.

Corrugated box inserts are an extremely cost-effective option that keeps your products safe while enhancing your brand narrative, so it’s really a win-win opportunity.

Corrugated, foam and plastic box inserts are not particularly heavy in weight either, allowing you to keep your shipping costs at a low and prioritize design features instead.

Furthermore, molded pulp and plastic box inserts are quick, easy and cost convenient to create.

Customizability

Ultimately, box inserts can be whatever you need them to be.

Whether you’re looking for something straightforward and easy such as functionality and protection or to add a more high end feel to your products, customizable box inserts are your answer.

Box inserts are made to complement and protect your products. Opting for generic box inserts most probably won’t fit your products perfectly and may harm your brand reputation.

That’s why the capability of customizing your box inserts is a win-win situation.

Not only will it fit and protect your products effectively, but you’re able to build beyond your packaging and create an unforgettable experience.

Enhanced Unboxing Experiences

When you go for the best fitted box insert, it shows customers you really care about not just the product but the overall experience.

High-end packaging and custom box inserts can ensure that the unboxing experience is a special moment.

This isn’t just useful from a customer acquisition and retention standpoint but also from a marketing perspective since it encourages customers to share the experience on social media.

We’ll now explore opportunities for marketing through your promotional inserts below!

Benefits of Promotional Inserts

Communication

Your promotional inserts can become a communication tool for your brand.

Whether you want people to get to know your brand better, learn more about the product or encourage them for feedback and review, promotional inserts accomplish that.

You have a line of communication directly to your customers allowing them to align themselves and build a reputable relationship with your brand.

Furthermore, they have the capability of interacting with your brand and products at a deeper level.

As a brand you’re able to further promote, build a brand narrative, establish brand credibility and much more through the use of custom promotional inserts!

Creating a brand story

Well-executed promotional inserts are an incredibly useful tool for establishing your brand story and creating a positive first impression on your customers.

Using promotional inserts, you can reinforce brand names and remind customers why they have chosen your product through creating a well established brand narrative.

This feeds into creating an authentic identity that your customers can slip right into.

Creating a brand story allows for more depth to not only your business but your products too.

For instance, explaining where elements of that necklace your customer bought came from, automatically adds more value to your product.

Think of it this way; you’re more inclined to feel drawn to a piece of jewelry if it features Jade found in Guatemala, rather than salt crystals from under someone’s sink.

Promoting that the Jade came from Guatemala automatically gives your brand and products more value.

Shameless Promotion

Promotional inserts are a means for promotion, so why not go all out?

You can use inserts as a means to cross-sell products and encourage users to check out your website and see what other items are available.

Packaging inserts are also important from a social marketing standpoint so that customers can discover your brand across platforms and ultimately gain your brand more exposure.

With the right packaging inserts, you can grow your e-commerce site and continue to build on your brand.

You can also add discount codes and product samples in your packaging to promote and cross-sell with ease.

Promotional inserts can be used in virtually any industry, but we’ll explore some examples in more detail.

Product Packaging Inserts Across Industries

Different considerations will dictate what kind of packaging insert your products will benefit from most.

For example, are you shipping multiple items in a box?

What are the dimensions of each product, and how do they fit into your packaging?

The material for your packaging will also be important to ensure that the right material is being used for the box inserts.

For example, molded pulp and plastic as well as corrugated inserts are useful for cosmetics and jewelry. It provides protection and structure, making them a good choice for box inserts.

Foam inserts, on the other hand, are useful for larger objects and for scratch-prone products.

For example, foam inserts for toolboxes are handy in this respect and are also used to keep electronics and luxury items safe.

Ultimately inserts are what you want them to be. They can serve a functional purpose, a promotional purpose or both!

Let’s explore some successful examples of how packaging inserts have been used across industries.

You’ll find that inserts are used in most packaging but here are some of our top examples.

To see what kind of brand value custom inserts bring, look no further than the ubiquitous ‘unboxing experience’ videos that influencers create.

For example, Glossier created a distinct brand identity through its unique packaging and custom inserts, seen in this unboxing video.

Although it’s not your traditional packaging insert, the bubble pouch works just as well and has become a memorable brand staple!

Your insert options are not limited to those mentioned in this post. Get creative and come up with your own custom insert options!

Additionally, luxury products can create credibility (and be memorable!) through their packaging and inserts.

Using a mixture of print and other materials, this ‘fanciest smartphone unboxing’ demonstrates how packaging and inserts come together to create an incredible experience for customers.

You can also see how cardboard inserts and print are used to keep products safe through shipping and create an exciting experience for customers.

Custom inserts don’t need to look boring for their protective qualities to kick in.

You can create beautiful packaging inserts that show off your brand story in collaboration with promotional inserts, and help your brand acquire and maintain a loyal customer base.

Get in contact with PakFactory today to create an unforgettable unboxing experience for your packaging.

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