It’s no secret that I love working with wedding planners and their clients. As a stationer, it always seems to make the process a little easier when a wedding planner is involved, especially if it is a wedding planner that you know and have a relationship with. You can check out my full post on how to start working with wedding planners here!
One of my favorite things to do when I want to start working with a specific planner is to send them one of my wedding invitation sample boxes. Simply put, these are boxes that I can send out that have invitation samples, paper swatches, etc for them to keep for when it may come in handy for one of their clients who needs help with stationery.
So I wanted to break down how I put together my invitation sample boxes:
My sample boxes are meant to showcase my custom wedding invitation work. While I do also have a wedding collection of pre-designed suites, this sample box is meant for wedding planners whose clients would be interested in investing in custom stationery.
6-8 wedding invitation suites with a variety of print methods, accessories, designs, and color schemes. I want to make sure that I am including suites that show a variety of what I offer. Digital, letterpress, foil, wax seals, ribbons, envelope liners, etc. My design style is known for wax seals and colored envelopes, so I want to make sure to showcase a few of those varieties. I also want to make sure that I am including suites that fall in different price ranges. I don’t want all the suites to be $25+ suites (unless that is your base/starting suite). I want to make sure that I have a mix of basic and elaborate suites in there.
I want to include a variety of the paper samples I offer in different weights and colors. Obviously they can see the different styles in the suites themselves, but I want to have specific swatches that are labeled with what color/texture/weight they are. For the setup, I mounted a pocket envelope enclosure to the underside of the box lid that I can then stack 4-5 paper swatches in. I tier them so they can easily read the labels and pull them out and look at them. While I could order a million different styles of papers, I keep these to my most popular. They don’t want to see the millions of options available! Keep it simple.
My bread and butter accessory for 75% of my couples is wax seals. They love to include them on their envelopes or enclosures, so I wanted to include a few loose samples of the most popular colors for them to pick up and feel the texture and see. I get all of my wax seals from Artisaire and ordered samples of the colors I wanted to include in small vellum envelopes to neatly tuck inside the box. You can showcase any accessory samples you want: ribbon, vintage stamps, calligraphy styles, etc.
I don’t really want to call these business cards. Does anyone still actually use business cards? I like to call these contact cards or social media cards. I include 5-6 small enclosure size cards inside of a small vellum envelope and they include all the ways to find me or get a hold of me. Instagram handle, Facebook, Pinterest, Website, Email, and Phone Number. I include multiple so they can easily provide one to their client if they’re interested in reaching out for more information.
This is a notecard for the planner thanking them for allowing me to send them some samples and how I look forward to working with them and their clients in the future. And to reach out if they have any questions or need anything else. This is handwritten and personalized to them to be as genuine as possible.
This is obviously the focal point of your invitation sample box, so you want to make sure that you include some great items. So where do these suites come from? Well, you have a few different options.
Option 1 (this is what I do): Whenever I am working with custom clients, I always factor in 10-20 extra invitation suites on top of what they order. I just build that into my base pricing. I like to have extras for mishaps, mistakes, etc as well as keeping some on hand for these sample boxes. Especially if it is a really great suite I would want to showcase.
A few things to note about using “real” samples. I never send out samples of a client’s suite until well after their wedding has passed and I also have it in my contract that their suite and information may be used for marketing purposes (and that extends to samples, website, social media, etc).
Option 2: If you don’t have real client samples on hand or are just starting out and don’t have a huge portfolio, you could design mockups from scratch based on what designs you want to showcase. This option, however, will cost more out of pocket as you will have to foot the bill to have samples printed. This would be a great option if you were showcasing digital/flat printed suites only but could get kind of pricey if you wanted letterpress or foil samples.
I will say that while these boxes are an amazing way to get your products in front of planners and start building relationships, they are an investment. This is one of the main reasons I talk about picking out WHO you are considering sending these boxes to. You don’t want to send one to a planner who doesn’t necessarily align with your design, style, or budget and may not have clients that care about details, it just wouldn’t be beneficial to either of you.
You can expect on average for your boxes to cost about $10-$15 per box, and that *excludes* your actual samples and shipping. I exclude the samples from that price because it really depends on if you’re using excess samples you already have or if you’re having to print samples and what method you’re printing. There is a huge variable.
I range that average quite a bit because you really can put as little or as much detail into it as you want. For my boxes, they are going to higher-end planners whose clients value detail. So I go all out (reasonably) with some of my details. I started with 25 boxes (way more than enough!) and my box includes the following items and costs me approximately $300 ($12/per box) for all of the supplies (excluding shipping).
Box and Supplies:
Paper Goods and Stickers from Printswell Fulfillment – 25 sets for ~$135
Once you have your wedding invitation sample boxes perfectly packaged here are some of the logistics to get them shipped to the wedding planners!
Like I mentioned previously, these boxes are a bit of an investment and you’re looking at about $13-$15 per box to ship these via FedEx or UPS. You *may* be able to get a lower rate with USPS, however, I would rather spend the extra few dollars to send with another carrier.
For the box itself, I just apply a pre-printed shipping label and a simple 3” circle sticker with my branding on it (I already have these on hand from Printswell for all my client orders!)
Once you have mailed your box, I would set a reminder to send a follow-up email about a week after they received it to make sure they got it and see if they had any questions! This opens a line of communication and keeps you in touch and in front of them!
Whew – that was a long one but a good one! These boxes do take time and are an investment, but the benefits and payoff can well outweigh the cost!
I hope you’ve enjoyed!
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