Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Think Inside the Box

I just read an article recently that made some compelling points about small businesses that sell products online. The information is true for Ebay sellers, Amazon sellers, and for manufacturers or distributors who put something into a box and put that box into the mail.

The article was posted at and was written by John Park. You can read the article, entitled “What goes in the box? Why it matters in ecommerce” here.

In his article, he recommends seven things that you should ship along with the product you deliver: Return visit coupons, product specific promotions, return and interact for reward coupons (like a survey invitation), VIP access, promotional items, piggy backs (specific to potential partners who you are shipping to), and free samples.

And, at the end of his article, he rightly says that this might seem to eat into your profit margin but businesses need to think long-term to enjoy residual returns… and that’s what these add-ins provide. These bonuses are all designed to draw people back to you to get them to buy again, because repeat customers are the most profitable kind of customer there is.

After reading the article, I thought that these made perfect sense for product shippers, as described above. Then it hit me: These are also applicable to service providers, too. Just because you service providers don’t put your offering into a cardboard box and tape it up doesn’t mean you can’t also include this stuff as well! You just deliver them differently.

Sometimes you might deliver the item through a link (i.e., an invitation to a survey created on SurveyMonkey). Or, perhaps your promotional item and free bonus come in the form of an ebook.

Really, the opportunities are endless. Create the handful of bonuses based on the list in the article and then add them all into a file and zip it. Now it’s read to “ship” when you send your wrap-up “thank you for the project” email.

These kinds of follow-up materials are critical to earning ongoing business, no matter what you sell.

Oh, and I’d also consider adding the following ideas and information to the zip file as well:

  • Coupons and promotions from other businesses with whom you have an affiliate relationship. For example, why not send link to a webpage listing half a dozen products that the customer might find helpful (and these products, of course, will pay you a percentage if the customer buys).
  • A link to your ezine. (Sometimes businesses auto-subscribe their customers and I’m torn about whether this is a good idea or not. But at the very least, a link to your ezine is sufficient).

photo credit: ~Brenda-Starr~

Posted on October 26th, 2011 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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