There’s just something about free giveaways. Try as we might to argue that we don’t mind paying for things if someone offers us something for free, it gets us interested. We explore this tactic in greater detail below and look at how you can use this to your advantage with sample products in your direct mail campaigns.
The success of offering free sample products
Offering sample products or free tasters is a tactic used by marketers and companies worldwide. It’s not a new approach, but it’s certainly an effective one. From food tastings to free trials to sample products, this can be a great tool in a marketer’s tool belt.
Product sampling is effective for both introducing new products as well as reminding/reinforcing brand loyalty for established products.
The value of a free sample
There’s no denying it; people simply love free things, when recipients receive the free sample they will be grateful and place a value on the free sample. Important factors which will influence the value placed on the free sample include:
- Quality – the quality of the sample must be the same as the real product. Providing a sub-standard product will definitely discourage the recipient from following up with further interest.
- Size – providing a full-sized sample is best but this is not always possible. Irrespective, the sample must be of an adequate size to give the recipient a clear idea of the product/service. Enough at least for them to be interested in buying it.
Even if the item is relatively low-priced already, people like to think they’re getting a bargain or a deal in some way. For example, take the huge mob that queued up in Manhattan for free pancakes, pancakes that only cost $1.25 in the first place!
Product samples help to remove the price barrier
By offering free products or samples, you are removing the price barrier from the customer. The US retail industry alone spent $15.09 billion on digital advertising in 2016. This isn’t including other forms of advertising, or other industries, or even other countries. And this $15.09 billion is still before the customers may have even tried or seen the product.
By giving a free sample, you’re taking money out of the equation, which is ranked highly as one of the biggest worries adults face. The flipside, of course, is that you must be able to afford the cost of giving away free samples, but there are efficient and cost-effective ways of doing this.
How and why you should offer sample products in your direct mail campaign
Can you perhaps use samples that aren’t good enough quality to sell, but are near-perfect? Wafer-thin strips can be included in direct mail that consumers can taste and smell, and these are extremely cheap to produce. Look at ways you can appeal to people’s sense of taste, touch or smell with your direct mail too.
You may not be able to always include sample products for whatever it is you’re selling, but if you can, it can take your direct mail campaign to a new level. It makes you seem extremely confident in your product, it keeps the recipient happy, and if they like your product, they’re more likely to convert. One study suggests that a tasting of wine, for example, can make the customer 92% more likely to re-purchase that product in the future.
Examples of product samples to include
There are many types of product samples, which could be included. Examples include cleaning products, food and drink, stationery items and many others. For an example of a product included in a direct mail campaign, see Ariel’s inclusion of a cleaning product sample here.
Measuring campaign success
Distributing free samples is a financial investment, it is, therefore, essential that the campaign is carefully monitored and assessed. All costs need to be captured and campaign returns assessed. It is not always easy to assess recipient’s actions taken but wherever you can insert methods to track campaigns (e.g. QR codes, PURLs, etc.)
How else can you improve your direct mail campaign?
As well as including sample products, there are many other ways that you can deliver a big impact with a direct mail campaign. From innovative new technologies to envelope optimisation, we can help. You can reach bakergoodchild here, why not call us now on 0800 612 1972?
Image Credit: Myrtle Beach TheDigitel