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Know How: Make the most of packing slips + notification emails

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Welcome to our "Know How" series - we share ways to maximize your success! See all our best practices.

If you're shipping with ShippingEasy, we have the tools and tips to keep you going without skipping a beat this holiday season. Take advantage of many ways in which you can engage your customers, boost brand visibility, and improve operations through packing slips & emails!

Here's a quick overview of our tips - click through to jump to each section:

 

Packing slips:

When planning your packing slips, consider how you'll use them and then design with use in mind. ShippingEasy provides customization tools and easy ways to streamline how you print, including mapping specific packing slips to different kinds of orders.

Decide how you will use packing slips:

There are a multitude of ways to use your packing slips. When carefully considered, you can even accomplish multiple goals with a single design. 

  • Internal picking and packing tool: helping to organize what is being shipped to whom, packing slips serve a vital role for the shipper during the packing process.
  • Invoice or inventory list for customer: packing slips are extremely relevant to the recipient - whether it's the buyer or someone receiving a gift.
    • If you're shipping to the buyer, an itemized packing slip helps them verify that their package contains everything they ordered, as well as the prices of each item and any extended discounts. 
    • If the package is destined as a gift, you'll want to be sure to include your customer's gift message, if any, or at least make note of who ordered the gift. This is also an excellent opportunity to introduce your brand to a new, potential customer!
  • Promote brand, products, and savings: marketing experts agree that including a packing slip is a great opportunity to further promote your business. Not only is this piece of paper helpful to customers so they don’t have to play detective tracking down what they bought from where, but when you include a promotional coupon or message about an upcoming sale, it’s instantly more valuable!

 

Create a custom design for your packing slips:

A great layout for packing slips is the simplest. ShippingEasy provides a default packing slip layout in several formats that are easy to set up. See how the default layouts look and how to assign a packing slip format to your account.

Once you have determined what purposes your packing slips fill, you're ready to create a custom design. Learn more about creating a custom packing slip template and saving it to your settings

Depending on the packing slip use, you might also want to consider the following options:

Internal picking and packing tool:

Customize the types of information included in the order line item summary, including:

  • Product image - learn more
  • Barcodes - learn more
  • SKU
  • Quantity
  • Warehouse location
  • Product description
  • Condition (per Amazon note)
  • Individual item or total quantity price.
Learn more about customizing the shipment line items.
 
If you commonly use notes, both the customer's and internal notes may be helpful to your crew. Learn more about adding variables to your packing slips.
Invoice or inventory list for customer:

You can add a variety of elements to the content summary that help detail your customers' purchase:

  • Product image - learn more
  • Quantity
  • Product description
  • Individual item or total quantity price.

Learn more about customizing the shipment line items.

In addition, you can include a summary of these payment details:

  • Discount Amount
  • Sales Tax
  • Shipping Paid
  • Total Paid
NOTE: ShippingEasy will display these values as they are synced from your store. ShippingEasy does not perform any calculations, so packing slips are not a substitute for true invoices.

Keep in mind, if the order is meant as a gift, it's best to exclude these payment details.

You may also want to consider acknowledging any notes that your customer added to the order, including:

  • Gift Message
  • Order Notes from Store

Learn more about adding variables to your packing slips.

Promote brand and sales:

The simplest way to use packing slips to promote your business is to add your logo. First, save a logo to your STORES & ORDER settings. Learn more. Then, add it into your packing slip template and optimize the image size. Learn more.

You can get even more creative with ShippingEasy's image library. Learn more.

In addition, when you include a promotional coupon or message about an upcoming sale, a packing slip is instantly more valuable!

 

Streamline how you assign and print your packing slips:

With your newly tailored packing slip templates on hand, it's time to print them! You can use Shipping Rules to assign specific packing slips to certain types of orders. Additional options in ShippingEasy make it easy to print these solo or along side labels.

Assign packing slips to orders via Shipping Rules:

Some shippers may find themselves with several different packing slip templates for a variety of use case scenarios:

  • Store: great if you have multiple store fronts and/or brands. Learn more.
  • Gifts: when only some of your orders are gifts, you may want to print unique packing slips for these orders. Learn more.
  • Promotions: perhaps you offer different promotions based on the time of year or the products purchased. Learn more.

There are many more possibilities, too. Learn more about Shipping Rules.

Optimize your printing process:

ShippingEasy offers a few different options when it comes to printing your packing slips. 

What to print:

Packing slips can be printed as stand alone documents or in tandem with labels.

  • When printed alone, packing slips can come in the following formats:
    • 4"x6" landscape
    • 8.5"x11" portrait or landscape
  • When printed with 4"x6" labels, packing slips are available in the following formats:
    • 4"x6" packing slip preceded by 4"x6" label (intended for thermal printers)
    • 4"x6" label and packing slip printed to an 8.5"x11" page (intended for laser or ink jet printers)
    • 8.5"x11" portrait packing slip with embedded label (requires special paper, ex: OL829)
NOTE: each of these formats may limit when in the shipping process you can generate the packing slip. Learn more about setting up your packing slip preferences

When to print:

Meant to accommodate any process, packing slips can be printed before, with, or after you purchase labels.

  • Before generating labels: if you like to pack your boxes before buying labels, it's best to print your packing slips from the ORDERS page. Learn more.
  • With labels: this option relies on you selecting a label and packing slip format that will print together. Learn more. Then, whether you purchase labels on the ORDERS page, READY TO SHIP page, or READY FOR PAYMENT page, your packing slips will print along side your labels.
  • After purchasing labels: if you're processing in batches and/or have accurate weights assigned to your products, you may find it easier to print packing slips from the READY TO PRINT page. Learn more about printing from your Purchased Label queue or Batch History. There's also the option to print from your SHIPMENT HISTORY. Learn more

How to print:

Packing slips can be printed to a variety of printers either via a PDF or direct integration.

  • Choosing a printer: there are advantages to both thermal and inkjet/laser printers. Your packing slip format may make this decision easy, but if you're on the fence, read our comparative analysis.
  • PDFs vs. direct integration: printing to PDFs gives you the option to save a soft copy. Though, a direct integration saves you the extra thought of deciding which printer to use. This is especially helpful if you have a larger team as automation helps to reduce human error. Learn more about integrating your printer with ShippingEasy.

 

 

Emails:

Your customers are eagerly awaiting the delivery of their order and email is the best way to let them know that it's on it's way. Consider how you will use email to communicate with your customers. Then use this to guide your design. Shipping Rules help with managing multiple templates.

Decide how you will use your notification emails:

Emails are by far one of the most important communication tools you have with your customer, making it a prime spot to deliver more than just order details. Especially during your busy season, emails play an important role in garnering repeat customers all year long. Here are some ways you may use shipment notification emails:

  • General information: whether you provide them with tracking information, a list of what's headed their way, or a reminder of your return policy, emails are a great way to manage your customer's expectations and make sure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Promote brand and sales: perhaps you tweak your brand for the season or offer unique specials. Use your notification emails to promote these to your customers.
  • Return orders: not only can you send a return label via email, you can also use this as an opportunity to gain repeat business with a well-crafted returns email. 

 

Set-up and customize your emails:

For quick set up out of the box, ShippingEasy provides default email options for both the shipment confirmation and in case of a return. You select per store if you would like these to be sent to your customers:

Once you have determined how you will be using emails to communicate with your customers, you're ready to create a custom design. Learn more about creating a custom email template and saving it to your store

Depending on the email use, you might also want to consider the following options:

General information:

Customers value knowing their tracking number and the carrier service selected. You may even want to include a list of order line items or notes that detail your return policy.

Promote brand and sales:
The simplest way to promote your brand is to include your logo in your emails. First, save a logo to your STORES & ORDER settings. Learn more. Then, add it into your email template and optimize the image size. Learn more.
 
Also consider surprising your customers with a promotional coupon or chance to be featured on social media! Include a message asking them to post about their experience on social media and use images to stoke their excitement. Learn more about adding custom images to your emails.
Return orders:
Automatically send an email including a prepaid return shipping label as well as a custom message that includes any repurchasing instructions or coupons. Learn more about emailing prepaid return labels.

 

Assign unique emails to your orders with Shipping Rules:

If you couldn't decide on just one type of email to create, we've got you covered! Use ShippingEasy's Shipping Rules to assign specific emails to your orders. Check out these great ways to use Shipping Rules with your emails:

  • Store: great if you have multiple store fronts and/or brands, and especially useful if you have different return processes for each. Learn more.
  • Destination: you may want to set different expectations for your domestics and international orders. Learn more.
  • Promotions: perhaps you offer different promotions based on the time of year or the products purchased. Learn more
There are many more possibilities, too. Learn more about Shipping Rules.

 

As you can see, there are countless ways to capitalize on your packing slips and emails with ShippingEasy's customization and automation tools.

 


Related articles:

FAQs: Packing Slips
How to: Create a custom Packing Slip Template and save it to your settings
FAQs: Prepaid return shipments
How to: Create a custom Email Template and save it to your store
How to: Start or stop getting copies of my customers' confirmation emails

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