Innovators in Eco-Friendly Packaging and Shipping Supplies

Custom Poly Mailers: Enhance Your Brand at a Fraction of the Cost of Branded Boxes

Custom Poly Mailers: Enhance Your Brand at a Fraction of the Cost of Branded Boxes

Nov 30th 2022

A lot of brands debate between poly mailers, paper mailers, and shipping boxes. There are a lot of decisions to consider when deciding between mailers versus boxes and then poly mailers versus paper mailers.

Several of our resources provide in-depth guidance to help you compare these options' functionality, sustainability, and operational complexity.

In this piece, we talk largely around cost. Apparel brands looking to customize their packaging will find custom poly mailers significantly less expensive than custom paper mailers or boxes. They are also cheaper to ship and store. As the world moves into a period of economic uncertainty, many brands seek to cut back on their expenses. A custom branded 100% recycled poly mailer can help companies live up to their circularity and low carbon values while still keeping costs relatively low.

EcoEnclose is here to support all of your poly mailer packaging needs with options to create customized designs.

In this article, we will discuss custom poly mailers and how they can deliver an exceptional customer experience at a much lower cost than branded shipping boxes without sacrificing sustainability. So read on to learn if custom poly mailers are the right solution for your business.

What are Custom Poly Mailers?

Poly mailers are lightweight and durable plastic bags for small products weighing less than 10 lbs. EcoEnclose's unique, 100% recycled poly mailers are available in various sizes, ranging from 6 x 9” to 24 x 24”, in standard white or grey colors, but can be customized with your brand’s logo and design colors.

Custom poly mailers for sustainable shipping

Shipping your products using custom poly mailers can create a unique and personalized experience for your customers to help strengthen brand loyalty.

Customization Options

We print our poly mailers in one of two ways. “Post-production” is reserved for print orders ranging from 500 to 25,000 in quantity. Inline printing is for print orders at or above 25,000 units.

Post-production custom poly mailers

Post-production printing on poly mailers

In post-production printing, the printing occurs after the packaging has already been produced. You can customize your poly mailers using packaging already available on the EcoEnclose website. This option provides more limited design features (single color, more constrained art boundary). Still, it is a perfect solution for smaller businesses, with order minimums starting at 500 mailers for standard prints (and an option for minimums as low as 250 for black prints).

We are also thrilled to be able to offer custom poly mailers printed with black Algae Ink™! This printing capability is a huge win for sustainability, packaging, and the continued expansion of algae ink technology.

For more information regarding post-production templates and printing parameters, click here.

Inline custom poly mailers

Inline printing for poly mailers

For additional customization flexibility in artwork boundaries, colors, sizes, material thickness, and structural designs, you can utilize our high-capacity inline printing services.

Inline printing refers to packaging printed with customizations during the production process. This process is much more streamlined than the post-production route but can only be accomplished with relatively high volumes, starting at a minimum of 25,000 mailers. Learn more about our enterprise capabilities here.

Benefits of Custom Packaging

The shipped package is the first physical impression a customer has of an eCommerce business!

Brands, particularly those with deeply rooted values related to ethics and sustainability, miss out on a significant opportunity when they ship in plain packaging with no custom branding.

Gorgeous, well-designed packaging goes a long way in reinforcing to customers why they chose to order from your brand, a feeling that leads to increased loyalty and friend referrals. Because the time between purchase and product arrival builds consumers’ expectations, packaging that fails to meet the brand’s promise [e.g., by arriving in a cheap, plain box with unattractive cushioning] severely detracts from a customer’s impression of the brand.

custom recycled packaging

In addition, customized packaging can inspire your customers to share and promote your brand on social media for free. The strange but unwavering unboxing trend is now ingrained in our culture for a reason.

Why is customization so effective? If your retail business is primarily online, your product shipment may be the only direct touchpoint with a customer. You can use custom poly mailers to create a fun and unique experience for your customers while increasing brand recognition.

Are Poly Mailers Eco-Friendly?

Many people think of shipping boxes or paper mailers when they think of "sustainable packaging." Curbside recyclable, paper-based solutions tend to align, in the public’s mind anyway, with environmentalism.

But, while we love our 100% recycled paper-based shipping solutions, recognizing that they are both recycled AND curbside recyclable, we also know that 100% recycled poly mailers have a leg up on our paper shippers on some sustainability factors.

Poly mailers are a much lower-cost option for shipping non-fragile items, such as clothing and other soft goods. The thin poly material weighs significantly less and takes up far less space than a box or paper mailer.

This thin material means that poly mailers have a much lower carbon footprint than any equivalent paper mailer or shipping box. Learn how paper and plastic stack up from a sustainability perspective.

But, even though poly mailers are a cost-effective and carbon-efficient solution, we know (and love that!) many businesses are still hesitant to use plastic packaging.

At EcoEnclose, we want to equip brands with sustainable and eco-friendly packaging to meet all their shipping needs, regardless of the material type they decide to work with. Therefore, we have invested heavily in achieving 100% recycled poly mailers that contain 50% post-consumer recycled content. Post-consumer content refers to materials used and recycled by consumers, such as plastic bottles.

To further reduce waste and encourage circularity, our poly mailers are also equipped with an adhesive strip allowing your customers to send returns using the same mailer. Finally, end consumers can recycle these mailers with other thin plastic films at specified collection points.

To find a recycling location near you, use the directories on Earth911 or EcoEnclose also offers a Take Back Program for those who don’t have access to plastic film collection points. The poly mailers can be filled with #2 and #4 thin film and returned to our company for recycling. This plastic film is handled by EcoCycle, a local nonprofit recycler and zero-waste organization located in Boulder, Colorado.

Still not convinced that plastic is the right solution for your company?

Review our Paper Versus Plastic (and Bio-Plastic) resource to understand how we evaluate the sustainability of various packaging materials.

We want to provide your company with the most eco-friendly options that align with your sustainability goals! So if you do your research and determine that you'd like to avoid plastic, we are here for you. Check out our 100% recycled paper mailers or 100% recycled shipping boxes to find an outstanding, eco-friendly, plastic-free packaging solution for your business.

Cost Analysis of Custom Poly Mailers

Again, we stand behind all of our eco-friendly offerings. Within EcoEnclose, we often say, “If it’s on our site, you can feel good knowing the offering meets our strict sustainability framework. If it’s not, we it is likely a packaging solution that does not align with our values.”

With that in mind, you have many different eco-friendly custom packaging options with EcoEnclose! If you want to ship in style, you can consider custom poly mailers, paper mailers, shipping boxes, and even custom tissue paper or stickers. But custom branding your 100% recycled poly mailers is likely the least expensive approach across all of these options. Here’s a quick comparison.

Ordering Custom Poly Mailers

If you’re ready to transition to cost-effective, 100% recycled, custom poly mailers, shop our poly mailers here, find your desired size, and click on the custom branded option. There, you’ll be able to select your ink, upload your artwork, choose your service option and check out.

We’re always here to help you through this process if you prefer! Give us a call, chat, email, or schedule a consult. We can guide you through your options, create your order and answer any artwork or sustainability-related questions you have.