The unboxing experience is that moment when a subscribers receives their box, opens it, and sees what’s inside. Beyond the initial engagement and checkout experience, this is one of the most important points in the customer journey, and in large part, helps determine the potential of churn and overall satisfaction.
There are a number of things that go into the unboxing experience, and one of the cornerstones of this experience comes down to the “packing list,” or list of contents.
Packing lists generally tell the subscriber what was in the box, what those items are worth, and why they were chosen. Of course, depending on the niche of your subscription, your packing list may serve a number of different roles.
Some essentials to keep in mind:
- Theme: Each box has the opportunity to be defined by some specific theme or message. Using your packing list slip, you can include a few sentences about a theme or explain to your subscribers how and why you chose the items you did.
- Product descriptions: Rather than simply listing the items on a packing slip, consider writing descriptions. You can talk about the manufacturer, the specific product itself, or how it relates to the theme.
- Accurate MSRPs: Dollar value can be an important thing to add to packing lists. While your value proposition to customers may not be one focused on monetary value alone, including these numbers can help customers feel like their purchase was justified.
- Note: If your subscription is focused on smaller, sample or trial sized items, MSRPs may not be applicable. See Birchbox’s example below.
- Opportunities for CTAs: Packing lists are a huge opportunity to include an additional CTA or “call to action” in the box. You can draw attention to a referral program, points or rewards program, or simply to your social media channels.
Creating Your Custom Packing List:
A few steps will go into your packing list, and because sizes, formats and branding varies, we’ll focus only one the very basics:
- Choose your size or format, such as a 5×7 or a ‘Brochure’ style pamphlet, or something else completely!
- Once you product sourcing has been completed, provide all product information to whomever designs your packing list.
- When designing your packing list, make sure to export it with at least .125” bleeds on all sides. Bleeds are used to provide additional margin for print shops when they cut and size your printed material. (Ask your print shop if this is needed).
- Approximately one week before packing, make sure your design is completed and has been submitted for proofs at your print shop of choice.
Examples of Packing Lists for Subscription Boxes:
Here are some examples of packing lists that are used in a range of subscription boxes.
Wet Shave Club includes a 10-step guide to using their products for a wet shave.
My Texas Market includes a ‘roster,’ as seen in the top right.
My Texas Market also includes a theme card (top left of above)
Loot Crate has included tri-fold pamphlets, with a central image surrounded by descriptions
Loot Crate has also included more standard 4×6 sized cards, as seen above.
Hello Fresh includes their packing lists on their ingredient/recipe card for easy reference.
Thread and Flourish includes a post-card sized packing list atop the products in the box.
Escape Monthly uses tri-fold pamphlets, with a theme description on the left and product descriptions on the right.
The cover of the Escape Monthly pamphlet profiles that month’s destination
Citrus Lane provides a vertical folding packing list, with a standard post-card size.
Beauty Joy provides a standard, white paper with a watermark and descriptions.
Whimsey Box included a packing list at the top, then CTAs in the bottom center, along with a description on the bottom
The Gentleman provide an icon-driven packing list without specific brands or prices mentioned
Birchbox has varied with their packing lists, but they are usually post-card sized and include full-size MSRPs + call to actions to buy full size items
Another shot of Birchbox, who uses the front for a theme and the back for the actual packing list.
Customization is Key
As you can see, there are major differences between packing lists, both across boxes and even with the same boxes. Consider your audience, box size, and how you can best approach providing a packing list to customers.
Questions or comments? Leave them in the comment box below!