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How to Do a Sample Giveaway, the Right Way

Photo by Ryan Plomp on Unsplash

No matter what industry you are in and who your target customers are, you can pretty much guarantee that they will respond well to a free sample. That is why sample marketing has been a business mainstay for hundreds of years and continues to be used by businesses of all stripes to this day. Of course, giving away some of your products or services for free is not enough in itself.

You also need to know the ins and outs of sample marketing to ensure that your investment in free giveaways actually pays off and encourages paying customers to come back. With that in mind, here is how you can properly give away free samples to your customers.

Product selection is key

The most important part of any sample giveaway is to choose products or services that are in-demand, relevant, and have a high perceived value among customers. If you are giving away bottom-shelf stock that has never been a big seller, do not be surprised if your samples do not generate the desired results.

This truism also applies to the digital realm. For example, take a look at the online casino industry, which often gives away free online goodies and games to attempt to persuade future loyal customers. Instead of opting to only allow free gameplay on the least popular online slot games, the top platforms tend to offer free slots to play for fun that include only the most in-demand titles, such as Eye of Horus or Immortal Romance.

Your company should do the same, only choosing to offer products and services that showcase the best of what you have to sell. 

Get the timing right

With samples, timing is everything. Again, there are valuable lessons to be learned from other companies. One of the most famous sample marketers in the world right now is the retail and grocery giant Costco, which is well-known for giving away generous free samples to in-store customers.

As Costco employees have explained in the past, the best time for a sample giveaway in-store tends to be between 1 pm and 2 pm on weekends, which is when the greatest cross-section of their customer base is likely to be present.

This ensures that the sample giveaways can have maximum impact, as word of the free product is more likely to travel far and wide. Do your own market research to determine when the best time is for a sample giveaway. 

Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

Do not be stingy

This is probably the golden rule of samples. You must ignore the voice in your head telling you that customers cannot be trusted with freebies. Samples should be free and they should be unlimited. If you put strict limits on your samples and come off as stingy, the marketing tactic could backfire and prove pointless.

Costco gives out unlimited free samples, for example. Meanwhile, in the digital realm, major brands like Amazon and Hulu do not impose any content restrictions on customers who are using their free trial period, allowing them to get as much of the product experience as they want. Netflix, meanwhile, has changed its trial service to only allow free users to watch a handful of shows, a tactic that does not seem to be paying off for the company. Your free samples are an investment in future customers, so don’t cut corners.

By following these tips, you can make your next sample a success for the ages. 

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