Unboxing Marketing 101: Understanding the Basics

6 min read
September 22, 2022

If you have a marketing team, you probably have routine conversations around the strategies for different touchpoints you manage. Some of those strategies might be:

  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing

The list goes on and on, but it likely doesn’t include Unboxing Marketing. 

That’s because marketers frequently fail to recognize the value that optimizing this touchpoint brings. Or worse, they haven’t really begun to think of their unboxing experience as a touchpoint. Today, let’s dig into what Unboxing Marketing is, and how you can apply it to your brand to generate 10% more revenue from your outgoing experiences.

Let's begin with the foundational things you need to know to understand this marketing strategy.




Your Packages are Unboxing Experiences

If you ship a product out and it’s in a container of any kind (boxes, envelopes, sleeves, etc.), that package is the primary component of your brand’s unboxing experience. As the name suggests though, the package is only one piece of a broader “experience” your customers are receiving.

We’ll dig into what the broader experience is composed of a little bit further down, but for now, you just need to remember that your packages are called “unboxing experiences.”


The Unboxing Experience is a Touchpoint

You’ll hear us say this a lot, but the fact that this doesn’t show up on the majority of touchpoint maps (like the one below) in 2024 is astonishing.

unboxing experience touchpoint map

In Unboxing Marketing, the core principle of everything you’ll learn hinges on this one fact: Your unboxing experience is a touchpoint. That means you need to build a strategy around it and learn to optimize it like you would any other touchpoint.


Unboxing Marketing is the Strategy

If your unboxing experience is arguably the most important touchpoint in DTC (and your only physical touchpoint in ecommerce), it needs a suitable strategy. While most brands prioritize the economics of the packaging, true Unboxing Marketing is a holistic strategy that focuses on driving—and this is important—measurable results. If you aren’t setting goals, creating tests, and driving results, you are missing out on huge revenue and retention wins for your brand.


You Might be an Unboxing Marketer

If you’re shaping the aesthetics of your brand’s unboxing experience or trying to understand how a certain call to action within your box is performing, you are an Unboxing Marketer.


Improving Unboxing Experiences

There are two major pillars of a good unboxing experience: Personalization and Presentation. 

(Side note: we have a guide HERE that explains what each of these categories are and how to score your own unboxing experience) 



In-package personalization is exactly what it sounds like: personalization inside the package. These personalizations can be done by hand, but at scale, you’ll need to leverage your CRM and have them applied as part of your fulfillment process. 

(If you need ideas on how to do that yourself, send us an email

When it comes to Unboxing Marketing, in-package personalization is the primary tactic you’ll use to drive customer engagement within this touchpoint. 

Now, you can use both categories to optimize your unboxing experience, but we can guarantee that your fastest revenue gains are generated in the personalization category. The only exceptions to that rule are if you’re dealing with massive amounts of product loss or your packaging material is exorbitantly expensive. If it isn’t one of those things, we recommend that your Unboxing Marketing strategy prioritize personalization. Here are the personalization components you’re looking for in a great Unboxing Marketing campaign.

  • Customer Name: You want the recipient to see their name in a highly visible font/location on whatever collateral you want them to engage with. Your customers gloss over flyers, and they get tossed. They will absolutely read anything you attach their name to in an obvious way. You do NOT want to develop personalization capabilities in this touchpoint and have them overlooked. 

    Think of it like a personalized subject line in your email strategy. If they can’t see their name, and if it isn’t very attention-grabbing, it doesn’t matter what you wrote in the email or on your package insert, for that matter. Missing this component will dramatically reduce the efficacy of everything else you do to personalize your content. 

  • Product Information: You want to provide immediate value to the customer with some type of product information, background, tips, etc. Does this mean you send the same content to everyone? Absolutely not. Treat your unboxing experience like you would any other touchpoint and test everything you can until you find out what drives your intended result.

  • Relevance: You want to do something (other than the name and product information) that indicates this package is specific to the recipient. Personalization and relevance are not the same. To achieve relevance, you need to apply multiple personalization tokens to create something the recipient perceives as "made for them."

  • Call-to-Action: Including a CTA is a good first step. However, if you want to master Unboxing Marketing, you need to learn how to tailor your CTA to every audience. There is no one-size-fits-all CTA, and if you think there is, you are probably missing out on an opportunity to niche down further. The people who bought your shampoo might need that complimentary conditioner. That person who left something valuable in their cart might need a special discount. Your customer with a birthday next month may appreciate a promo code as an early gift. Stop sending the same CTA to everyone. It doesn’t work as well.

  • Brand Story: Wait a minute? Why isn’t this in the presentation category? Because your customers don’t care about everything related to your brand. Certain audiences need certain stories. Your subscribers may need to learn more about the fun and incredible things your brand does for them and how you came to have a subscription model in the first place. The people who purchased something from your eco-friendly line want to hear about your commitment to the environment. The people who have already heard about your subscriber program and your commitment to the planet need a new reason to love your brand. You’ve got to break your story up into pieces and deliver new things to keep building loyalty.


This category represents the overall look, feel, and trustworthiness of your unboxing experience. These elements can create a more inviting atmosphere for customers to consume your unboxing experience, and they can also be levers that make your Unboxing Marketing strategy more financially sound.
  • Branding: Everything about the interior of the box should radiate your brand. Whether you do the outside or not is totally up to you. Sometimes, it’s better to ship a discrete package to reduce porch piracy, but the interior of your unboxing experiences should be phenomenal.

  • Cleanliness: This should be an easy concept, but you’d be surprised by some of the horror stories we’ve heard. You need to ship products that are mostly free of defects and blemishes. You need to make sure the inside of your unboxing experience arrives without mold, dirt, or liquids. Sure, sometimes the carrier damages the exterior of the box. We’ve all been there. You are responsible for everything inside, though.

  • Space Utilization: Most Ecommerce consumers have received a tiny product inside a giant box. It’s off-putting for the recipient. It isn’t cost-effective for the sender. It isn’t good for the environment. Let’s stop doing that altogether. If your product doesn’t fit neatly inside the box, you’re risking damage to the product, a steady drain on your resources, and incremental harm to the world we live in.

  • Returns: This may sound counterintuitive, but put your return policy (or better yet, return slips) inside of your unboxing experience. It goes a long way toward building trust with your customers (great for customer loyalty) while reducing product loss and customer disputes (great for your bottom line).

  • Delight: The last piece of presentation involves evaluating the overall experience against the majority of high-performing unboxing experiences. If this is something you're interested in approaching, you can get started in one of two ways:
    • Read this guide HERE.
    • Ship us one of your experiences and we’ll send back revenue-generating recommendations alongside an analysis of the contents. Go HERE to get expert guidance about your brand's unboxing experience.

Congratulations to those of you who made it this far. You’ve taken your first big steps into the world of Unboxing Marketing. Our next newsletter is all about building your Unboxing Marketing strategy and optimizing it over time, so be sure to subscribe.


About the UnDigital Team

Here at UnDigital, we power millions of unboxing experiences each year for a variety of industries. We are also the creators of the world’s first Unboxing Experience Platform (UEP).

Whether we work together or not, you can always reach out to us for ideas on how to level up your Unboxing Marketing strategy or feedback on your existing unboxing experience.

In-Package Personalization


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