Did somebody say Free Samples?
I fall guilty in the free samples trap, I mean it’s the main reason why I don’t mind a trip to Costco.
Although it can get pretty wild at Costco. It’s like the Hunger Games, except Costco Edition.
But through all the freebie rush and chaos, marketers need to ask one question.
Are free samples actually increasing my sales?
Think back and remember all the times you’ve tried a food sample, and how many times you actually purchased it.
I’d say from all the free samples I’ve had, I’ve bought 40% of them or, at least, researched the company.
Giving away free samples will only benefit your company in many ways, especially with new customers.
It’s like building and flourishing a new beneficial relationship through samples.
With our free samples, we had a solid 35% conversion rate. Our main mission for our free samples strategy is to make our customers feel confident with their item selection!
That’s the good thing about free samples, you don’t have to buy until you try.
So here are a few benefits as to why you should also be offering free samples!
Increase your sales!
As marketers know, it’s easier to keep loyal customers than to obtain new customers.
So what’s one factor we can do to gain new customers? Free Samples!
It’s like dating.
You need to take baby steps to get to know someone, right?
Giving free samples to new customers will help them get familiar with your product.
This gives your customer a hint of what your company is all about!
You can see this process happen all the time at local Farmer’s Markets.
Small businesses own this tactic in their business strategy by familiarizing a taste or item to their company name.
Spoil your loyal customers
Free samples are great for building a relationship with your loyal customers!
Are you releasing a new item out to the public? Share a sample with your loyal customers first!
This will mutually benefit you and your customer! Not only will the sample make them feel special, but you can also open yourself to product feedback if it’s not working out so well.
The opinion of your loyal customers matter, so listen to what they have to say before releasing your item out to the public!
In addition, giving your loyal customers free samples will increase their retention rate.
I’m a subscriber with BirchBox and I love it! They provide me with cosmetic samples every month to try out!
I love trying the items I get from the box because it helps me see and learn different cosmetics I’ve never seen before.
Now these days, e-commerce companies (like us) have to face the obstacle of building trust with our customers.
This question always comes up for every customer “How do I know this item will arrive the way it looks in the pictures?”.
You want customers to trust your items or food and not have to question your company’s reputation.
We’ve all been there. Duped and embarrassed. At least I have.
I’ve ordered office supplies online and had them delivered differently than what I expected.
Samples can help improve credibility and allow your loyal customers to learn what else you have to offer.
Create Brand Advocates – Spread your company’s wings!
Many companies selling apparel are now partnering with brand advocates!
This means their loyal customers are the representatives of their brand.
The cost of apparel is pretty pricey, so if you sell apparel, you want to make sure your “free samples” aren’t going to just anyone!
With this business strategy, you can have your most loyal customers representing your brand on social media.
The best part of this plan is that you know who these customers are that are receiving your “free samples”. You know these customers are going to continue to shop with you and talk highly about you!
Once they share your items on social media, you’ll see an increase in brand awareness and an increase in sales.
Get your loyal and passionate customers talking about your brand with logoed items!
This fun strategy has been implemented with Subaru! They offer their brand advocates (Subaru calls them Brand Ambassadors) swag items to share online with others.
One of my closest friends is a brand ambassador for Subaru and she gets Subaru swag for her followers to see.
This not only increases customer loyalty but also increases customer acquisition.
Try it for yourself!
Do you have an event planned in the near future?
Give away free samples of an item to excite your customers about your event!
If you’re a brewery planning an event soon during the holiday season, include a seasonal beer to give away as a free sample to your customers.
This works well with restaurants and shops too!
Having a grand opening? Make customers feel extra special with a soft opening! Those customers will love the exclusivity!
I remember Universal Studios Hollywood had a soft opening for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
I was able to be part of it and felt extra special to see the park before the Grand Opening. I bought an annual pass just because of the soft opening!
Show your customers what you have to offer before your big event!
Incorporate Free Samples In Your Business Plan
Start planning a way you can get free samples in your business strategy!
Whether it’s an event or as a treat for your top customers!
Free samples will benefit you and you’ll definitely see an increase in your sales.