If you’re running a business that needs to get a product out into the public consciousness, then you might be tempted to do so through product sampling.This practice involves giving away a small part of a product for free, in the hope that in doing so a potential customer will be persuaded to become an actual customer. It can be performed either in house, or by a specialist field marketing agency.
This hope, it seems, is a well-founded one: depending on the product being marketed, free samples can deliver a substantial return on the initial investment.Let’s look at several different respects in which this might be so:
At a subconscious level, a free sample will imply an unspoken agreement between the organisation delivering the sample and the person receiving it.While the sample might be free, many recipients will feel obliged to return the favour by at least giving your company a chance, or telling a friend or relative about their experience.Being perceived as generous, then, can only enhance your firm’s reputation.
No product is created perfectly at the first instance.During the early stages of development in particular, it’s vital to identify any flaws in the product so that they can be ironed out in subsequent iterations.This is so whether you’re developing a computer program or a new sort of cake.By inviting feedback on and offline, you’ll be granting yourself access to a pool of free beta-testers.What’s more, you’ll be creating a community around your product, which will help to further drive sales.Finally, there’s the chance that you’ll receive good feedback – which can only serve to drive your product further.
Checks quality of the product
As well as helping to improve the product, feedback will allow you to judge exactly how much improvement is required.If you’re about to enter into full production, then you’ll want to know exactly how close to being ready your product is.By getting this feedback as early as possible, you’ll be able to make the best decisions for your business, and ensure that your cash flow is as robust as can be.
Thank existing customers and boost loyalty
If you’re going to run a successful business, then you’ll need customers.If you’re already got customers, then you’ve already achieved the difficult part – as it’s vastly more difficult to earn new customers than it is to maintain the existing ones.
For this reason, it’s worth incentivising repeat business, and fostering loyalty between your customers and your business.Offering free samples to loyal customers is an excellent way of doing this.
By giving out new samples in a way that’s noteworthy, then you might find that word of your sampling drive spreads further.If it’s got that all-important viral potential, then you might find that your company benefits from a marked social-media inspired uptick in traffic.Try encouraging your customers to attach a specific hashtag to their social media contributions, and you’ll enhance this effect even further.
In order to convince potential customers that your product is worth paying attention to, then you’ll want to project an air of confidence.And what better way could there be of demonstrating your faith in your product than by putting it out there for the public to consume for free?
Which products benefit most from product sampling?
Before commencing a product-sampling campaign, you’ll want to be sure that the products you’re offering will receive the best possible return on your investment.The items that most often benefit from product sampling campaigns are those whose benefits can be instantly intuited; so, sweet-tasting cakes and beauty products usually score highly. On the other hand, you might also get worthwhile returns with products that aren’t so obvious – though you’ll have to choose the right sort of targeted sampling in order to do so.
When should I sample?
When you’re delivering a product, then context can make the difference between an unwelcome intrusion and a welcome free sample. If possible, ask your intended recipient whether they’d like to receive a free sample before posting out a batch of them. If a person has requested to be sent a sample, then they’re far more likely to use it; and this in turn means a higher rate of conversion.
Free sampling is a powerful tool that can be a boon for your business. If you’re unsure of how to proceed with in-house sampling, then why not hire a specialist product demonstration agency to take care of the job on your behalf?