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Sampling Campaigns Should Give and Take

Everyone loves free stuff. It’s the ultimate win for Joe and Jane Public. Particularly when what we want and like is being given away without us having to pay for it.

The whole sampling industry is predicated on this fundamental aspect of human nature. If you give me something that I value and in return I don’t have to give you anything, I’m all in.

Billions of dollars have been spent by companies wanting to get their (usually) new products into the hands of eager potential consumers.

free-samplesThe white board strategy goes something like this: allow consumers to sample our amazing new ‘insert product here’ and they’ll be so impressed they will be inexorably drawn into buying it until the end of time. PLUS, awareness will go through the roof as they rave and post about our brand on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat etc. Simple. Elegant. Compelling.

So where’s the failure in all of this?

Another fundamental aspect of human nature is the law of reciprocity: if you give something to me I’m compelled to give something to you. More often than not, however sampling companies just give, give, give and ask for nothing in return.

Big mistake. Huge.

Here’s a chance to capture the details of people who almost certainly have tried your product and you let them walk away, in all likelihood never to be seen again. That’s your future revenue and profit merrily skipping away with their free booty.

In fairness, some companies go half the way by telling consumers where they can purchase the product they’re about to enjoy for free. But they’re the exception.give take

Consumers WILL give you their name and email address if you give them valid reasons to do so, particularly if you’ve just given them something for nothing.

Then, you can contact them about competitions, events, surveys, content to post on social media, cross-selling other products etc etc. The mind boggles with the marketing opportunities created by building a simple database.

Even better, when it comes to a product sampling campaign building an email database is an ‘off-cut’ of the main game. So that way everyone wins, not just Joe and Jane.

So that way it really is simple, elegant and compelling.


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