The idea of giving your products away for free seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? After all, you set up your business to make a profit and giving your products away will eat at your capital. But you can’t let this initial cost stop you—free sample campaigns can boost your sales up to 600 percent, making it one of the best forms of marketing.
What Is Free Sample Marketing?
Free sample marketing is as straightforward as it sounds—you give your products or services to prospective customers for free. The idea is to get your products into the hands of people who will most likely buy them.
Like with any marketing strategy, there’s a psychology behind this. When a person receives something for free, they tend to feel an obligation to do something nice in return. This phenomenon is called reciprocity. So if you give a prospective customer your product for free, they may:
- Share the story of getting the free item with their peers
- Share the free sample with their friends
Once you give away your product to one potential customer and they share it with others, those people may also want the item and buy it from you. Even if the original person you gave a free sample to doesn’t share anything about your product to their family or friends, if they liked it, they now know they can purchase it from you.
Other benefits of free sample marketing include:
- Creating brand awareness
- Establishing trust between you and the customers
- Learning more about your target market
- Fostering customer loyalty
- Boosting your business’ reputation
This type of tangible marketing paired with digital marketing from an agency that offers SEO services can help catapult your business from a startup to a formidable player in the market.
How to Promote or Give Away Free Product Samples
While consumers are naturally attracted to free things, you can’t simply shove free samples on them. Here’s how you can do sample marketing in the most effective way:
1. Offer samples in-store
How do you know your free products are falling into the right hands? Give them to people who are already interested—people who come into your store. If they are already there looking to buy something from you and they get a free sample of a new or alternative product, you’re raising awareness toward them.
2. Give samples away at a sponsored event
If even sponsorship is on your marketing budget, you can sponsor a popular event and get plenty of opportunities to promote your products. Selling sports drinks? Sponsor a local marathon. Manufacturing mobile gadgets? Collaborate with an app launch. Skincare startup? Sponsor a celebrity’s meet-and-greet. These events allow you to give samples of your products to people who might be interested in them in connection with the event you’re sponsoring.
3. Host a giveaway
Are your products too costly? Perhaps you manufacture bikes and can’t simply sponsor a triathlon. Hold a giveaway instead. Let interested people enter a drawing then pick a winner. In exchange, you may ask for their e-mail addresses, which in turn gives you plenty of leads to market to.
Free samples are a powerful marketing tool. Use them wisely and you’ll see how valuable they are once they start bringing in repeat customers.