Product Inserts are a great way to connect with your customer after they’ve purchased your product. They are a handy little marketing tool that can create a big impression. Amazon is quite sensitive with how product inserts are done, though, so sellers have to tread lightly with the marketing information they include on their product inserts. It gets even trickier if you’re selling in Europe as well as in an English-speaking market, because localization is just as crucial for product inserts as it is for your copywriting and images. Let’s take a look at what works and what to avoid.
First – Compliance vs. Amazon Product Inserts
Amazon actually does have terms and conditions around product inserts. Many sellers ignore the rules, thinking there’s no way the algorithm can check for compliance. Then Amazon slaps them on the wrist for non-compliance, and they’re shocked. According to Webretailer, here’s the policy:
- You can’t ask customers to leave a positive review, or provide them with an incentive for a positive review, or to direct negative reviews away from Amazon. You can, however, encourage them to leave a review. As long as you word your request with neutral language (no mention of positive, negative, or any similar vocabulary), Amazon will allow it.
- You can’t push Amazon customers to your own website. You can’t throw a wrench into Amazon’s sales process. Amazon is very unhappy when you try to do this. It’s advisable to keep external links off any Amazon materials, online or offline. If you offer customers a discount code to buy on your website, this is also in violation of the policy.
- Don’t request for the customers’ contact information. This means you intend to contact the customer off Amazon; Amazon is not happy when this happens.
Otherwise, you’re in the clear to employ your inserts to make a difference with your customer.
What are the Benefits of Amazon Product Inserts?
Datahawk lays out the benefits clearly:
- Increase customers’ perception of brand reputation. In short, when customers feel good about their experience with you, your reputation improves in their eyes. That often leads to brand recall, so you’re remembered the next time they – or their friends or family – need to make a purchase.
- Enhance brand awareness. Communicate what makes you great, and how you can continue to add value to your customers’ lives.
- Cultivate customer loyalty. Use the product insert to offer customer service and strengthen your relationship with the customer. Think of free gifts, after sales services, eBooks, and so forth. Every opportunity to connect with the customer is an opportunity to encourage customer loyalty.
- Promote additional products. You can absolutely do this. This is 100% allowed. Provided, of course, the products in question are listed on Amazon. Don’t try to promote a sister product that only exists on your website; you risk getting suppressed.
- And, of course, encourage feedback and reviews – neutrally.
Just don’t forget to include a call to action. You need to prod your customer to act or feel a specific way. Lay it out correctly and clearly, so customers know what you expect of them.
The Types of Amazon Product Inserts
There are many different types of product inserts. Here are some we’ve seen:
- Instruction manuals
- Discount or deal offers for their next purchase on your Amazon storefront
- How to grab a free gift
- Thank you cards and personal notes
- Request for reviews
- Fun content related to the product, ex. Top 10 Types of Coffee Beans for coffee grinders
- Join our VIP club
You can combine the above too. Many people will put fun content on one side of a brochure-sized product insert, and a request for a review on the other side. It all boils down to your marketing and communications strategy.
Localizing Your Amazon Product Insert
Your European customers would appreciate a good product insert for the same reasons as your Canadian, Australian, British, or American customers. Naturally, a certain amount of localization would ensure the success of your Amazon product insert.
Here are the Do’s:
Do: include an instruction booklet, especially if product usage needs a little explaining. If the instructions are very complicated, and the resulting insert’s font size would be too small to read, consider a QR code with a downloadable instruction manual. Germans in particular place high importance on detailed instructions, so including clear and easy-to-understand instructions may reduce returns and negative reviews.
Do: include a Thank You note. It shows customers that you value their business. You could also say thank you with a small gift or a discount coupon to encourage further shopping.
Do: improve customer trust and confidence in your brand by providing clear information about the product’s warranty, after-sales support, and product care instructions.
Do: pay attention to your graphic design! In any culture, a homemade insert on A4 paper that looks like it was created by a middle schooler just looks unprofessional (no offense to middle schoolers!). Even in the instruction booklet, there has to be some level of quality. Make sure the graphic design and printing are aligned with the brand image. For example, if you’re selling an eco-friendly product, you don’t want an insert printed on glossy paper. Make sure your insert is as environmentally aware as your product is.
Do: stay on-trend. Stay modern! Don’t use outdated vocabulary or images.
Here are the Don’t’s:
Don’t: use machine translation. Imagine your English customer appreciating your marketing sentiment, but your Italian customer getting frustrated by grammatical errors. Nurture the customers of every culture and make sure your translations are sound, and well-expressed, so you assure customers in every culture that their business is important to you.
Don’t: ignore legal! Germany in particular has stringent consumer protection laws. Make sure your inserts are carefully worded so they’re not in violation of any of these laws.
Don’t: forget to research. Sub-groups of every population have different triggers. You must not include any images or copy that might offend or misrepresent any culture or community. It’s advisable to conduct market research and seek feedback from members of your target audience, to determine what images or representations are appropriate, and which ones resonate with them.
And the big No-No’s:
- No unapproved medical or health claims. You must get approval from relevant authorities first. The German market in particular is quite strict about this; doing so may violate German health and safety regulations.
- No unapproved use of trademarks or copyrighted material without proper authorization. Although this is a crucial tip in every culture, in Germany especially you’ll betray German intellectual property laws.
So, what do you think?
Do you leverage on the power of product inserts yet? It’s absolutely fine to include all languages on one insert. If you’re selling in the US, France, Germany, and Spain, you can include all 4 languages in your insert, providing that it looks graphically sound. When it doubt, err on the side of caution, and invest in 4 different sets of inserts for each culture.
Do you use product inserts? What impact have you had with them? Share your experiences with us!