Product samples have been an effective and widespread direct marketing method that can be dated all the way back to the 19th century. Today, Product Sample marketing is a potent marketing method that is quickly growing in popularity and is becoming a more frequently used marketing tool amongst prominent companies.

What is a Product Sample?

Shampoo Samples

Shampoo Samples

Product samples are simply a sample of a company product given to potential consumers free of charge so they may become familiar and confident in your product before they commit themselves to a purchase of any kind.

Why use Product Sample Marketing for your Company?

Product Sample marketing is a unique marketing approach in that it does what no other brand of marketing can do- physically put your product in a consumer’s hands.

Product sampling generates excitement amongst your consumers by bringing the store experience to their home.  Emails, television commercials, magazine ads, endorsements, radio advertisements etc. can only get you so far. It is one thing to tell your potential consumers why they should buy your product and it is another thing altogether to have them try it themselves and experience why they should purchase your product.

It is getting more and more difficult to stand out in the crowd and make an impact on consumers today. Product Sample marketing is gaining importance because consumers are constantly overwhelmed by commercials, junk mail, and email advertisements. According to a poll from the Promotion Marketing Association, 75% of consumers become aware of a product through a company sending a sample. Also, according to a separate poll lead by Opinion Research Corporation for the United States Postal Service, 81% of consumers who received a sample said they would purchase the product while 61% of the polled consumers said they are more likely to try a brand if they sampled it first.

How do you employ the Product Sample Method?

Product Sampling is incredibly easy to incorporate into your marketing plan since there is a variety of ways for you to get your product samples out to your consumers.  Depending on your product, you can use super market sampling, websites, event based sampling, newspaper inserts, selective sampling, guerrilla street team sampling, or direct mail efforts.

Who employs the Product Sample Method?

Caffeine Pills Samples

Caffeine Pills Samples

Many popular and successful companies and organizations have used product sampling to help get their brand out there such as Sephora, Living Proof, and Splenda.

Sephora, an international retail beauty supply chain, offers its consumers three free product samples with every online order that they make. Online customers can select the samples they are interested in during their checkout and will receive their samples with their purchased products.

Living Proof, a celebrity endorsed hair care line, offered Facebook members the chance to get free product samples of its No Frizz hair care product.  Over 15,000 samples were requested within 48 hours and their number of fans rocketed up to over 7,000 fans from 1,000 even though becoming a fan of the product was not a requirement of the promotion.

Splenda, a U.S. based sweetener brand, used product sampling for their pocket-sized spray. More than 16,000 samples were sent out in a two week period.

It has been proven time and again that product samples are a powerful and exciting way to reach out to prospective clients and consumers and generate excitement, popularity, and trust in your product.