Wednesday , 14 November 2018
So, the type of freebie matters. "Really," you say. Yes, it does. I've had people send me the item I ordered with a little extra of the item or maybe some of what I ordered in a different color.

Offering Freebies in Your Packages Makes a Difference

Matchbook Notebooks

Matchbook Notebooks by: CaprichosDePapel

 

If any of you follow my shop blog, then you’ll have seen my post – New Packaging – about how I’ve been packaging my products & about how I plan on changing the way I do some things.

Now, today, I want to talk with you about the little “extras” you put in your packages.

Some things could include:

  • Order Invoice
  • Product Instructions
  • Business Cards
  • Thank You Note
  • Freebie
I think all of these things speak for themselves, but I want to focus on one in particular.

Freebies.

First off, do you include a little something extra for your customers in your packages?

Next, let me ask you a question. Actually two. Have you ever ordered something from someone & gotten a nice something you didn’t expect? How did that make you feel? I know I have & I appreciated the thoughtfulness so much! It just made my day even better. I really felt special & I felt like they were really grateful for my business.

Cute packaging is one thing, but when you include a freebie to your customers it makes their experience with your business 10 times better.

So, the type of freebie matters. “Really,” you say. Yes, it does. I’ve had people send me the item I ordered with a little extra of the item or maybe some of what I ordered in a different color. I’ve also had people send me my order with something that doesn’t go along with it at all & honestly, it felt like they were just handing off their unwanted extra supplies & what not.

So, in my experience, the freebie definitely makes a difference.

What do you think & what kind of freebies do you include in your packages??  

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40 comments

  1. This is a great idea………I haven’t thought of anything yet to include………sometimes it’s hard unless it translates into sales….gotta get creative and think of something!!!!

  2. I include a freebie in my orders. I think it lets the customers know that you care, and can potentially bring them back to your shop for more.

  3. Terri @customcrochetbyterri.etsy

    Most time I send a little extra something depending on what they have ordered. If they order more than one of my crocheted soap dishes I will send them a mini-soap dish. If they order one I will make a chained “ribbon” to tie the item with tissue paper which can serve as a hair ribbon or on another package. I also include a card with “ribbon” explanation. I will also include business cards with free shipping on next order or % off.

  4. I include a little freebie in my orders. Either a laminated bag tag or notebook jotter. They are really easy to make and don’t add any weight to the shipping! :D

  5. This is so very true! A freebie, doesn’t matter how small, always makes me happy! So I always add one to the items I ship.

  6. The freebie is a desirable gift only if it means something for the customer. With the landfills filling with junk that nobody means to get, but somehow we end up getting, it’s so easy to go the wrong way. Think kids party favors…

  7. I almost always include a folded BC which doubles nicely as a thank you note and one or two notecards or sample Christmas cards so that the customer can see what else I sell and the good quality of the cards. They are always happily surprised. It’s just good marketing and a nice thing to do.

  8. I give out the little notecard freebies like you show in your pic.

  9. Freebies are good most of the time, but I prefer not receiving too many freebies. Sounds crazy, right? As a person who is trying to pare down and get rid of “extra” stuff, these freebies sometimes present a problem. I don’t want to throw them away, but they rarely get used. I have ordered from the same seller 3 times recently and she sends out a really nice freebie. It was great to get it the first time. I immediately started using it. The second time was okay, but the third time was just too much. I don’t want to tell her, please don’t send your freebie, but every time I think about ordering from her, I think, “oh no, she’s going to send her freebie”. So it is not a given that people will like freebies. I get lots of packages each week and I prefer to get the ones that have only the things I ordered. I am sure there are other people out there like me.

  10. Great post, so true! I always love getting something extra with my purchases, its one of the many great reasons for buying from other Etsy sellers. I always include some special with my sales too, cause I know how nice it is.

  11. I know I appreciate the little extras that come when I order something.

    When I send out an order I put in a little packet that includes my business card and a simple bottlecap magnet that features a picture of either my logo or a close-up of some special, fun feature from one of my items. It costs me about 50 cents each, but I feel like it’s something really special that most customers would enjoy and use.

  12. I don’t tend to agree with this. The stuff that usually comes free with a purchase isn’t something I want or need, but I feel guilty about throwing it away.

    This seems to happen a lot with jewelry. I’ve had a couple of jewelry sellers toss in an extra piece when I buy something. It’s never something I want to wear, and it’s not necessarily something that makes sense with my purchase. For instance, if I’m buying a pair of estate gemstone earrings, I’m unlikely to be the type of person who wants to wear an elastic, plastic bead bracelet. Then, as a customer, I wonder if the seller is upping the price a bit to cover the cost of the freebie I didn’t want.

    I just have too much stuff in my life, I’ve moved four times this year, and I don’t want to add to landfills, so I’d prefer nothing extra to something extra that I don’t want to keep and can’t recycle or give away.

    Just my two cents.

    • I see your point Jennie & thank you for your honest feedback. I do agree that if you’re going to send a freebie, it needs to be something that anyone can use or something that they can give to someone else! It needs to be thoughtful!

  13. I always include a freebie, something sweet and something useful or just a keepsake.

  14. I include a thank you note and a lip balm that has my logo as the wrapper (I get them from another Etsy seller) I also wrap the box with a ribbon and a wood disc or rectangle that has my logo (these also come from another Etsy seller). I include in the note that, after they open the box, they can knot the ribbon at the top of the wood piece and they now have a bookmark!

  15. I design vintage inspired children’s clothing and recently had the opportunity to work with a children’s illustrator to create a paper doll with clothes based on my fall collection. It was a great opportunity for us to cross promote as we both have the same market, but are not competitors. She has a book coming out next month so I am helping to promote her work and her book to my clients, and her work is a fantastic gift for my clients. It doesn’t cost me a lot to print these and adds almost nothing to my shipping costs, but is thoughtful, fun and relates perfectly to my market.

    I think the key is, if you are going to add a gift to your packages, make sure they have value (not talking monetary) and are well thought out so they do not feel like you are destashing.

    If you can, find someone to cross promote with. If not, a hand written thank you and clear and consistent communication throughout the ordering process also goes a long way! Clients would prefer that over poor communication, but a random “freebie” in their package.

    Brianne
    PetalPetal and VintageChild:Modern

  16. Great article! This is something I have pondered long and hard…thanks to everyone who responded to this post..you have helped me sort it out.

    As a customer I do get irritated with cheap little give aways and frilly packaging. I would rather just have some sort of savings instead.
    On the other hand I do appreciate it when it’s thoughtful and something I can use. Also when sending a gift directly, I do like gift packaging and would happily pay extra.
    As a seller, I would like to give customers a little something to show how much I appreciate them.

    The plan….
    1. Offer optional gift packaging for a small fee.
    2. Come up with some small common item as a free gift…I love the bookmark or magnet idea.
    Something the customer will see or use on a regular basis and hopefully keep me on their minds.

    Let me know what you think.

    Thanks everyone…Patty

    • Great Patty! I’m glad you’ve gotten some ideas! You can always include the fact that you send a free little something in each package on your shop announcement & if someone doesn’t want it, they can request it not be sent. You can even say what it is if you don’t want to be mysterious! The optional gift packaging is great too! Make sure you link to it in your product descriptions!!

  17. A little unexpected extra is usually a lovely surprise. But I do agree that it should be thoughtful, relate to your items and be useful.

    I usually put in a little mini brooch with a scarf or shawl but I haven’t figured out what to put in with a little brooch. So maybe a bookmark or matchbook notepad would work.

    Thanks for the inspiration everyone.

  18. I’m also on the “don’t like to get a freebie I don’t necessarily need” bandwagon, but I do like to include what I’d rather term as a “surprise” when I send my packages. I sell belt buckles that have miniature cut-out vintage book and magazine pictures, so I include a gift tag made of scrap vintage book pages that has colorful yarn attached for tying to the gift. These are so simple to make by using a gift tag-shaped paper punch, plus it’s a usable item (most everyone gives a gift at some point, right?) that’s easily recyclable if they don’t want it. I also include a free shipping coupon for their next purchase along with a business card with a personal note written on it. Collectively it has a cohesive look but doesn’t include any “junk”.

  19. I am new at this, but for the one order I have had so far, I included one of my new tags for the holidays. The feedback (on facebook but feedback none the less) was very positive, they loved the tag and the fact that it has an extra included. I will definitely include something with every order now.

    This is great advice…
    Sharon
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/84349861/primitive-wood-bear-ornament-with

  20. My shop includes photography and fiber arts pieces (crocheted, knitted, sewn) and so I generally will include a set of cotton facial scrubbies or a single notecard with envelope of one of my prints.

    I’m always looking for more ideas though, especially if a customer is a repeat buyer.

  21. I like this idea, but what should a jewelry seller include? I make jewelry using sterling silver, gold and gold fill with precious gemstones, pearls and Swarovski crystals.

    So, what could I send as a freebie? My jewelry is not expensive, nor is it cheap, so adding another jewelry piece would cost mena lot of money. What would you suggest?
    Jaynemarie
    -JewelryByJaynemarie

    • You don’t necessarily have to include something that relates to your items. You could include a business card with a nice coupon code if you’d like, but a free thank you card or even the little matchbook notepads like the post photo are nice! HTH!

  22. I don’t include an invoice, it’s a waste of paper, ink, etc. We both have copies via Etsy, Artfire,etc so that saves on pointless paperwork.

    I do include a business card, a small thank you booklet and hang tag that is attached to my artwork.

    So far, the freebies included in what I have bought were odd and went right to the recycling bin.

  23. I have received some freebies, that I just had to throw out. :( I thought why did the seller thought I want it, judging by what I have ordered? It usually happens with supplies. I buy sterling silver and gold filled things, and they include some cabochons or really cheap charms.
    I sell jewelry and include pencil with my shops web address on it and pencil is in little pouch with the same address. Anyone can use pencil and they both cost 40 cents, so receiving this freebie customer does not feel like they are overpaying because of it. If jewelry costs 28 dollars, those 40 cents will not make any difference.

  24. This is something that I’ve always done. I started out trying to put in a little something, like a pen or pencil, but quickly moved to little things that were related to my shops & what I make. It helps to advertise other related products in my shops. I generally wrap the freebie in tissue paper with a little bow. It makes it like not just a freebie, but what it is, a specially selected little gift, just for them :)

  25. I think it does! I always throw-in a hand-drawn ink sketch of the breed of dog I’m shipping. They’re all original and one-of-a-kind so I feel it’s really special!

  26. I’m in two minds about this actually. Much as I like the idea of receiving something extra, it eeks me when the freebie is something I do not need/want. Makes me guilty throwing it away. That’s why to date, I have not been able to think of something that would be relevant to what I’m selling. Also, trying not to increase the weight and cost of shipping.

  27. I include a complementary sample in all my orders. I sell mineral makeup so this is a great way for the buyer to come back and repurchase. I always include a discount code as well.

  28. I have received freebies such as extra fabric and I appreciate that and I have done the same. The one thing to avoid in my opinion (being an allergy sufferer) is a sachet or anything scented. Achooo.

  29. What a great idea! I have been including a thank you with a coupon for there next purchase.

  30. I now include a sample of something else from my shop, that is related in some way to what they ordered. I have gotten only good feedback from this practice. I make sure to include a note that says thank you for your order and I generally but the freebie inside that with the statement ‘please enjoy the little something extra, as my thanks for your order’. I think it is worth doing.

    Sharon Orella
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/SOArtStudio

  31. Great discussion. I have a list of ideas to put into practice. I never thought to wrap my free item, which is a small item from my shop. Usually crocheted, as it is quick. I also have made some key fobs, which are useful for most people. I will wrap them from now on!
    I include the invoice, as it has a copy of the recipients address. I have had 2 packages I ordered from etsy sellers, come apart in the mail, and the P.O. used the invoice to get it to me.
    The oddest freebie I received was hard candies tossed into the envelope.

  32. I agree that it’s a good practice to include the sales invoice, business cards, a thank you note and product instructions (or in my case, laundering instructions) with every order. But my experience with freebies has not been positive – when I’ve included them for new buyers or large order buyers, I have not received acknowledgement or even feedback. One buyer even messaged me asking if I’d send her a different freebie! I guess what your freebie is depends on what your shop sells…but my most well received freebie so far has been free shipping :)

  33. I know this is an older post but I just wanted to jump in. I sell my handmade jewelry and some DIY supplies. For the supplies I include a small amount of coordinating items. (A few beads that match what they ordered for example.)
    For the jewelry, I include a stamped bag and a matching paper bag or box based on the item. For my more expensive pieces I have hot-stamped satin bags and boxes. For the less expensive, I stamp them myself on muslin drawstring bags. I bought the stamp on etsy at about 1/2 of what the big guys wanted for it. I switch up the ink color to coordinate with the Jewelry. I also bought from an Etsy Seller: 3″ pocket mirrors with my logo on it. The seller provided matching organza bags and I add a little note that say simply says “You look fantastic! Thank you for your order.” I changed it from you look “beautiful” because I have about 40% male customers and online I wouldn’t know if they are buying for themselves or gifts. I am new to online selling so I will need some other freebies to add in my jewelry packages for repeat customers. I think a free shipping or discount card is good for all customers, but the mirrors are very well received so I think it would be nice to offer other things to repeat customers.

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