Wednesday , 23 May 2018

How to Get More Feedback and Keep Your Customers Coming Back

Lori had it right when she talked about making a good impression in one of her posts here on Handmadeology. One of my customers once told me, “I need that warm and fuzzy feeling when shopping.” We all know open communication with your buyer is key, as is shipping in prompt time frame. Their “overall shopping impression” will set the stage if they visit your shop again.

Most of the items for thank you packs are found in your own home and items which you normally may discard.
Sadly, I can’t wrap gifts even if I tried. (Spoken from someone who was kicked me out of Macy’s gift wrap as a teenager as I just couldn’t get it down.)  So my packages go out looking a tad bit sloppy, wrapped in recycled newspaper or bubble wrap and adorned by a shoestring, old ribbon or lace.  What saves me? A “thank you pack” which is strategically placed on the front so that’s the first thing the customer sees. You will see some of the contents above and read about them below–these are things that will cost you nothing to salvage from your home, office, or art studio.
A bunch of “stuff you would normally toss out” make cute and colorful packages!
All of us have the components of these packs in our own homes without having to spend much except for time making them.  For starters, you can use card sized envelopes, pieces of fabric and ribbon, resealable tiny Mylar bags, or small snack size zippy plastic bags for your pack-making. It seems most supplies I order on Etsy come in these bags and so I have a lot leftover to start with. To avoid using bags I have folded old book pages and made envelopes, but I really think the clear bag gives a better first impression. Even my lowest priced item goes out with a thank you pack.  Every single customer is important!

I’m sure you may have a few of these things laying round your home.
Making the packs is a little time consuming, but it’s worth the extra effort. Here’s my secret, I toss all the items below into a big box, and then make up the packs when my box is half full, usually during hubby’s sports programs or an evening show I’m not that interested in.  Here are a few ideas of what you can include in your thank you pack. ( I use so many I’ve probably left some out, so get creative!)
  • Magazine clippings, vintage and new. Cut out good titles, and pictures before you recycle them.
  • Cut the sides off those “free address stickers” you get in the mail. Keep the address labels to use but the sides normally have a logo or letter, now serving as a strip of stickers to adorn your pack.
  • Beads
  • Bingo Cards
  • Freebies acquired from places such as keychains, promotional notepads, and samples.
  • Snippets of bows, ribbon, or cord.
  • Leftover small fabric swatches.
  • Old dictionaries and maps look great punched out in shapes. .
  • Playing cards, one in each pack, great when you have a pack missing a card!
  • Flashcards your kids no longer use.
  • Games that your kids have outgrown or may have broken will contain pieces, parts, cards, and funny money that can be upcycled into these packs.
  • Leftover Legos.
  • Flat “rocks” that you find when on walks, I paint words on them like “love”, “hope”, “thank you”
  • Old bottle caps and miscellaneous treasure found while walking.
  • Cut outs of old book pages (sometimes I will punch them like the ones below with my shape punches.)
  • Buttons I’ll never find time to use.
  • Scrapbooking snippets and pieces of ephemera you won’t ever use.
  • Used or new Valentine’s cards.
  • Puzzles that are missing pieces , (the puzzle pieces are great in mixed media collages).
  • Novelty items or party favors that you never used (bag 1/2 full ie: confetti, charms, etc.)
  • Stubs from tickets ie: parking, baseball games, concerts, lottery (people use in collage work)
  • Freebies that come in cereals packs.
  • Leftover jewelry making components or broken pieces of jewelry.
  • Artist “woopsies” those things we just don’t think are good enough to sell may be appreciated by others.
  • Crocheted tiny round coaster.
  • A “sample” of your work if you are a crafter such as a handmade bookmark, bracelet, etc.
  • Tiny cardboard piece wrapped with yarn (sample yarn color).
  • Spool of string in a color you haven’t used in years.
  • Sea glass or tumbled rocks small and found by the shore.
  • Pottery shards that are smooth from being found in the creek or river.
  • Marbles
  • Foam letters (scrapbooking)
  • Seashells
  • Snippets of wrapping paper you’ll never use (used in mixed media,)
  • Old Christmas tags, labels, or stickers.
  • Old Football, Baseball, or Basketball cards you have somehow acquired.

My most favorite thing is saving greeting cards, cereal boxes, food boxes, gum cardboard covers, scrapbooking shards, Christmas gift boxes, sheet music,maps, and old books then finding a craft punch. I love the “tiny heart”, “package tag” and “round hole” ones.  These  can make the cutest little snippets and look so great in the packet.

This is a great example of how nice old books or sheet music looks when punched out.  These are available in the vintagescrapshop store.

For those of you who “scoffed” when I said cereal, gum, and food boxes, look how nice they look when punched out with the “tag” punch, these are available from CreativeBoutique2. I particularly love the fact you can write “To” and “From” on the flip side which is plain cardboard! Chicklets (lower left) would look great on your next gift!

These reclaimed paper dots available in thriftypyg shop show how pretty paper can be, add a few in each thank you pack!

GREEN TIP: Recycle the rest of the book pages, maps, boxes, sheet music, magazine, or leftover greeting card in your weekly recycling stream after you have punched your holes.
ACHIEVE FOUR REWARDS IN ONE: In my opinion, these little packs:

1) Are a great way to declutter that junk drawer or get rid of things you hold onto but will never use.
2) They will also get you repurposing every little thing and finding a use for something you would normally discard.
3) They may get you out walking the dog or taking treasure hunts with the kids, to scavenge for rocks, old caps and bits of who-knows-what by the shore or creek near your home.
4) The best part? It will also help you as a seller.

Here are some snippets of recent  “actual feedback” left in my shop (in addition I receive lovely emails too.) Don’t forget to include a business card in your pack if you have one. So, if you don’t take my word for it, listen to my customers:

+++++ Beautiful! Very happy with these quality vintage items & the happy little grab bag of goodies to go with–THANKS!!! +++++

Thanks! Enjoyed the random items that came with it!

The wonderful decorations arrived. Thank you!!!!! So happy with the little paper present!!!!! First class seller, highly recommended to all.

Great communication- fast shipping. I just love this clock (and the extra goodies). Thank you so much!!!

Retro Chalet is my place to go for unusual vintage! Wonderful customer service, fast shipping, Great communication and even a little treasure bag came along with my wonderful purchase. I’ll be visiting her again & again.

Vintage chalkboard from one of my favorite sellers, elizabethwrenvintage.
In turn, making a good experience will keep them shopping on Etsy over and over again.  Nothing like helping your fellow team members, stores, or shops you love stay in business by making every shopping experience the best.  I’ve had many people who told me I was their first Etsy transaction, and that made me feel good.
Stay in touch and let me know how you make your customers happy below. If you have a story idea, I’m all ears.


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  1. Love it, what a wonderful idea. Im going to start collecting now to make sure I can offer allllllll my customers one ;) I know I would love to receive one.

  2. What a great article. As a seller of beads, I always send customers a few extra’s as a thank you gift.

    If I have spares, I try and send examples of ‘new stock just in’, or otherwise I always have a couple of beads left over from a strand I’ve used myself for making my own jewelry.

    Very often the customers come back and buy items from the samples, and like you, I get loads of ‘thank you’ notes and emails for the gifts.

    What I’m going to do now, after reading your article, is get some hearts and tags cut out so that I can write my thanks on the reverse, because up until now I’ve just stuck a plain white sticker on the front of the plastic bag, and these would look so much nicer.

    Thank you for a great post.


  3. I love these – the hearts look super – and above all- a wonderful excuse not to throw anything away :)

  4. terrific! I am not the best wrapper either. But I buy up the clearance $1.00 rolls of ribbon at Michael’s and other stores and wrap a bow around my bracelet boxes – so you feel as if you’re getting a present!
    I also had business cards printed up – the cheapie ones – with a note of thanks and telling them to use the coupon code THANKS to take 10% off their next order.

  5. this is a great post! i love this idea. I’m not an Etsy seller (yet!) but I like this little “extra pack” as an add-on to ANY gift I might give. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Thanks for the tips. I have plenty of “savies” to work with!dona

  7. Very good idea! And I love the recycling part! I am definately going to try this!

  8. Nothing says ‘Thank you’ like actually saying ‘Thank you.’ I have tremendous feedback and return customers because I open a line of communication with them IMMEDIATELY upon purchase. I let them know every step of the way through to the end, sending them the shipping and tracking information along with an invitation to become a ‘preferred customer’ by opting in to my mailing list. I never assume anything! And, as for time consuming grab bags of recycles junk (which I have received and absolutely hate… because in the spirit of being ‘green’ I just kills me to toss them but I do, because it is what it is: junk). On the other hand, there is nothing like a totally usable sample +/or percentage off coupon! These are less time consuming, absolutely user friendly and desirable, and people LOVE it! Give the people what they want, show them you care, and they will return with friends!

  9. I love the idea, and do send out a Thank You packs.

    Unfortunately I am sending out prints, so anything that isn’t completely flat won’t work for me.

  10. Great article and great tips! I tend to handle the “customer service” aspect of my business similar to Ribasus. As soon as I receive an order, I send an order confirmation whereby I thank the customer, alert them as to when they will expect their item, and, of course, offer to answer any and all questions they might have. When I ship an item, I always wrap it in tissue paper and coordinating tulle bow. I have my store stickers which I use on the package instead of tape, and I attach a cute thank you card. I always include a discount coupon for future purchases and include a handwritten, personalized note on the coupon. I always provide, Free of Charge, delivery confirmation on all my packages, AND I always refund PayPal accounts for any overage in shipping charges, even if it’s 5 cents!! Why should my customers pay more shipping than they need to! I have many repeat customers, many of which I can call business “friends”.

  11. Interesting. I use paypal shipping and it automatically sends tracking info to the customer and always get delivery confirmation. The Etsy announcement I send tells them I’m off to pack their package.

    I also like this idea of saving “destash items” and often think another persons “trash” may be another person’s treasure. I wouldn’t mind getting some of those old football cards in my purchases, my son and husband would love them.

    Your packets are a good idea.

  12. That’s a great idea. Recycled magazines & wallpaper become my stickers used in packaging. Cereal, dry good boxes are used in how I make my jewelry backer cards…
    see a few pics here:

    The cardinal used in my packaging is also a punch-out-turned-sticker from old wallpaper samples!

  13. I love the little tags you’ve made with recycled scraps. I always send a hand drawn thank you card made with scraps of paper, a ribbon bow & a little hand drawn key tag. I also include a little thank you gift, something that I’ve made that is different from the item purchased. Since most of what I make is from combinations of found & vintage items, I love your idea of a thank you pack. Thanks for posting these ideas!

  14. What a wonderful idea! I have spent a lifetime collecting sea shells and sea glass from my Hawaiian beaches. I include a few of those in a little packet with a thank you note and have gotten wonderful responses. However, I do love your idea, I am so into repurposing, made packs similar to what you do for kids goodie bags at a Christmas party…but hey, they are not just for kids! Thanks! Aloha!

  15. This is a really fun idea. I always love this kind of stuff when I see it, but never make it myself. I get stuck in a clean design aesthetic. I think it’s time to break free!

  16. Great tips and fun ideas! And yes, every customer is important.

  17. Have to agree with Ribasus. Nothing says “thank you” but saying “thank you”. I put a thank you note in with my package, usually using a note card, or paper I have made in the past. I also, contact the person as soon as I receive their order and inform them when I am shipping and reply to their questions ASAP. My product, pottery, is difficult to “gift wrap”. It’s needs to be wrapped so the piece nothing break. Personally, I don’t feel the need for all the little extra things—I’d rather receive a “thank you” note.

  18. This is really awesome. I admit I’m amazed at how good those little paper cutouts look. :)

  19. Hmmmm, thank you gifts or destash store?! Both!
    You make a good point; regardless of the price of the item purchased, every customer deserves a thank you!

  20. Coolest. Ideas. EVER. Nuff said. You rock. Thanks so much.

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