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6 Ways to Personalize your Orders with Pack-Ins

By Reading Time: 5 minutes

When you walk into a retail store, what’s the first thing you notice? Maybe the lighting, the music, or displays – or maybe you make a beeline for that comfy-looking tee folded on the shelf. Regardless of what jumps at you first, it’s all part of the carefully curated atmosphere, which is integral to that store’s brand image.

As an online retailer, it’s much more difficult to create this kind of immersive environment. Yes, your layout can be unique. And yes, you can use a bold theme, vivid product photos, and clever copy. But is that enough to convey who you really are as an ecommerce brand?

Arguably the closest face-to-face touchpoint you get is the unboxing moment. At that point, your customer isn’t just an anonymous consumer on the other side of a computer screen. Your product – your brand – is literally in their hands. So use that moment to really wow them. How, you ask? Think inside the box.

This blog post goes over how you can customize your packages and orders with Printful using pack-ins – fun extras you can add to your orders. 

Pack-ins are completely optional, but with the holiday season coming up, now might be a good time to try them out!

Packaging the Printful way

Before your customers open their orders, they’ll notice the packaging. At Printful, we wrap everything with care before sending it off. So you know your order will get to your customers safely. T-shirts are neatly folded and placed into polymer bags. Posters are carefully wrapped up in tissue before going in tubes. Canvases and fragile items are kept safe with bubble wrap.


Plus, you can also add a custom sticker of your logo to your package. It’s free and your customers will know right away this order is from you.

Go the extra mile with pack-ins

Printful now offers you the chance to customize your orders with pack-ins. A pack-in is something you can add to your orders, like a sticker, business card, or brochure. It’s another way to make your brand stand out among a sea of ecommerce competitors, and an extra wow factor increases the likelihood that your customer will keep ordering from you.

Tip: Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profit by 25-95%.

Read on to get the scoop on how pack-ins work and get some ideas on how to incorporate them in your brand.

What pack-ins can you send through Printful?

As for what you can send, be creative! We’ll give you some ideas below, but here are some general rules you’ll have to follow:

    • The maximum size is 6”x8”
    • The maximum weight is 2 oz
  • For now, pack-ins are only available for apparel and most sublimation products (shirts, leggings, tote bags and pillows)

The weight and size are the biggies to keep in mind. Heavy pack-ins will increase the weight of your package, which will also increase shipping costs. So whatever you send, it should be under 2 oz.

Please make sure you follow our pack-in requirements, otherwise we’ll have to send them back to you (at your expense). So if you’re ever in doubt, get in touch and ask if what you want to send is OK! We’d be happy to answer your questions. Watch this video to learn how to contact us.

Pack-in ideas

Sending your customers a little something extra they don’t expect is a great way to delight them and encourage word of mouth marketing. If what you send is really unique or well designed, they’ll want to talk about it and share their unboxing experience.

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-5-34-49-pmVia @codingalz

This is a chance to be creative and set yourself apart from other brands. Here are some ideas.

1. A handwritten card or thank you note

Startup Vitamins is adding notes in their orders for Thanksgiving sales. It’s a really nice way to express your gratitude and send your customers a personalized note. 


You could do something similar for your store – say thank you, or wish your customers happy holidays. Maybe even a note “from” Santa Claus, so it’s extra festive.

2. A discount code or special offer

You know your customer is a fan of yours. They’ve already bought some of your stuff, right? So why not give them a discount code to buy more? 

3. A business card

This is a simple, nice way to give customers a physical copy of your contact info. They can keep it as a handy reminder for when they’re looking for their next gift (or treat for themselves), or pass it along to friends looking for cool swag.

your-business4. Something fun related to your brand

Give your customers something informative or entertaining that’s related to your brand or store’s theme. For example, if you sell products with dog-related designs, you could include a flyer with dog care tips. Or go with something seasonal, like recipes for homemade hot chocolate or Christmas cookies. 

The main point: send your customers something that will engage them.

5. Stickers

Custom stickers are fun and easy to create.


Tip: This sticker also has a call to action; to send pictures of their order. This is another great way to engage your customers; ask them in your pack-in to share photos, or follow you on social media.

6. Knick-knacks

Pins, friendship bracelets, patches, magnets… There are tons of other fun things you can send your customers. As long as they meet our weight and size dimension requirements, you’re golden for what else you can send.

How much do pack-ins cost?

Pack-ins cost $0.75 per order and $0.85 per day for storage. The $0.75 isn’t visible on your packing slips, and we’ll charge you on the last calendar day of every month for storage. This might not be an amount you’re willing to pay all year round, but it might be worth investing at least during the holiday season.


These stats may be getting repetitive. But repetition is the mother of learning, so here they are again:

Conclusion: the holidays are a major spending season. With the potential to increase sales and drive more traffic, take every chance you get to keep your customers coming back for more.

How do you set it up on Printful?

Once you’ve decided on your pack-in idea and have them made, you send them to Printful where we’ll store and add them to your orders. Mail them to:

Printful Branding Services
19749 Dearborn St.
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Once we’ve received and sorted your pack-ins, we’ll send you an email. And we’ll also send you an email once you’re running low and should refill. We recommend sending enough stuff to last at least a month.

Pack it up, pack it in

In the ecommerce world, customers do judge books by their cover. Or in this case, they’ll judge the product by the package. So make this first impression a good one!

Your unboxing experience is an important part of your brand. It shows your customers you go the extra mile, and it gives them a little something extra they might not have expected. Give them something they can use, learn or get a laugh from, and share.

Nora covers all things ecommerce for the Printful blog. She appreciates good dad jokes, new books, freshly baked cookies, and evening jogs.

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  1. Pati Mulipola

    I really like the idea but I think it’ll be very helpful (and cost effective) if this can be setup to have Printful print the pack-ins artwork on a standard size card and include it with the order versus paying a storage fee. Just a thought but other than that, thank you so much for the great article!

  2. Billy

    I also love the idea of pack-ins, but $0.85/day to store? I would think keeping a good sized stack of stickers to pack-in for orders would take up a fairly insignificant space on the shelves. Perhaps, it makes sense for stores that do big volume through Printful, but maybe consider offering a free tier for lesser volume. Just a thought, and keep up the good work otherwise!

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Hey Billy!

      Thanks for your input! I hear you, the storage cost may seem high. Keep in mind that we do have thousands of customers and if everyone were to send pack-ins, it would take a lot of time and resources to maintain. That being said, we are looking at ways to expand and improve this service in the future, so tiered pricing is something we could consider.

  3. Direct To Garment Printing

    Its so tough to seel online, everyone seems to be selling the same, or similar products for similar prices. Its tough, so people need to ensure that they are doing everything that they can to stand out from the crowd as much as possible. I think from experience, printing personal packaging makes a huge difference. It makes sure that the customers sees the compay they have bought the product from and keeps the company in their mind.

  4. ISYL

    Hi. I know you write that the maximum size for pack-ins is 6”x8”; however, will we have a problem if we had to send in pack-ins that are “3.5×8.5”? We will be including door hangers as our pack-ins, and this is the smallest size. Thanks.

    1. Liva Spandega

      Hi there!

      Yes, the storage fee for pack-ins is $0.85 per day per bin (7” x 18” x 4”) in which they are stored – that’s regardless of the number of pack-ins you have there.

      As to the amount of pack-ins, we usually recommend sending enough for a month’s worth of orders, just as you said. We’ll let you know when your supply of pack-ins is running low so that you’d be able to replenish the stock in time.

  5. Anselm Duprey

    Hello, the address for sending pack-ins is I. The US.
    Can pack-ins also be sent to Printful in Europe? If so what address and what costs?

  6. Amy Winters

    I like how you said that giving your customers some extra things in their package will encourage word of mouth marketing. My sister recently started an online store, so she could really benefit from marketing of any kind. She’s really busy and might not have the time to pack up the cards, knick-knacks, and stickers you suggested, so I think I’ll encourage her to work with a packaging and assembly service to customize the orders she ships.

  7. Lena

    Are we only allowed to have one pack-in per order? For example, one card OR brochure? Or can we have both for each order? Also, can each of our products have a different pack-in? Or is it just one type of pack-in for all the products in our shop?

    1. Giedre Kronberga

      Hi Lena,

      You can add max 2 pack-ins per order. The pack-ins can be different, but we do have restriction in terms of size. Read about them here!

  8. STKonken

    Is there any way of removing the polymer bags that the clothing gets wrapped in and replacing it with either hemp rope, or biodegradable bags instead?
    Also, is there anything else that gets packed into the boxes with the clothing?

    1. Madara Zute

      Hi there,
      Thank you for your suggestions! We try to do our best to minimize waste in packaging and source eco-friendly packaging materials. Many of our packaging materials are either recyclable or biodegradable. Bubble wraps are made from a minimum of 15% recycled plastic and 10% post-consumer content. Our kraft tubes are made from 70-100% post-consumer recycled content and 0-30% secondary recycled content.

      In the package, there will be the packing slip.
      You can also upload your own custom branding sticker which will be printed on the shipping label and placed on the outside of most of your packages.

  9. Tommaso

    Hello, can printful include the option to have automatically a thank you card inside our packaging? it would be very helpful for my company to make the thank you card as the t-shirt and have it directly on our packages

    1. Madara Zute

      Hi Tommaso,
      Thanks for your suggestion! You can submit and upvote new feature requests here.
      You can include custom messages that will be added to packing slips.
      For orders fulfilled in California facility, you can include thank you cards as well, here’s more information about branded pack-ins.

  10. Cora Mae Margaret Lewis

    Hi — I just want to send a printful die cut sticker with every t-shirt order. How would that work? I plan to print-on-demand for both the t-shirts and the stickers.

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hi! It is possible to add a sticker to these products as long as the sticker meets our size and weight requirements – DTG-printed apparel, sublimation shirts, leggings, embroidered hats, phone cases, pillows, fanny packs, and totes. In addition, this service currently is available only in the California facility. You can find out more about the requirements over here >

  11. Renae

    Can the pack-in be a cellophane envelope with a few things in it if it meets the weight and size requirements? I’d like to put a card, stickers and a small booklet together or change it up with a little knick-knack. Thanks!

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