How to Use Free Sample Marketing to Sell More

Find out how to use free sample marketing at your business.

Free sample marketing is one way you can draw in customers. By giving away free samples of your products or services, people can get a taste of what you offer. Then, they will hopefully be enticed to buy from you, increasing your business bottom line.

Find out why you should try offering free samples, what businesses are best suited for free sample marketing, and how you can offer samples.  

Why you should use free sample marketing

Free sample marketing is good for:

  • Introducing a new product or service
  • Increasing loyalty among existing customers
  • Introducing your product or service to people who are unfamiliar with your brand
  • Expanding customer knowledge about your offerings

Samples can make customers feel like they need to reciprocate. You give them something, so they return the favor by buying something from you.

Reasons to Give Away Free Samples Graphic

Business that can give free samples

Most businesses can find a way to offer free samples. But, some businesses will have an easier time creating a product sampling marketing plan.

Food and drink businesses can easily offer product samples. You can put out a tray of sample items for people to try. Or, you can put up a sign alerting customers that they can ask for a free sample. For example, think of an ice cream shop that gives out little sample spoons of flavors to try before customers buy.

Businesses that sell skin and hair care items can also easily give away free samples. They might have testers in store or give away samples customers can try at home.

Other businesses can still find ways to give away samples. For example, businesses that sell high-cost items can give away cheaper add-on items that customers will likely want to buy again.

How to give away samples

How you give away free samples will differ based on what your business is like. Below are tips for brick-and-mortar businesses and online businesses that sell products. Then, there are tips for service-based businesses.

Brick-and-mortar businesses

Here are in-store sampling ideas products.

Set up a sampling station at your store. This can be a table with product samples and an employee standing by it to talk to prospective customers. You might have the table inside your business. Or, if you are able, you can set it up on the sidewalk to draw people in.

You might set up a sample jar next to a product on the shelf. This way, people can try the product and, if they like it, can pick it up to purchase right there.

Some businesses might be able to give customers a sample they can take home to try. For example, you might give out small bottles of soap for people to try. Or you can give out a small package of a food item.

You can give customers a free sample when they make a purchase. You can simply put it in their shopping bag during the checkout process.

Online businesses

Here are product sampling ideas for online businesses.

You might run specials where you give customers a free sample when they buy a certain product or spend a certain amount. This gets customers to spend more now, and encourages them to spend again later.

When you ship an item, you can add a free sample to the box.

You can also try to build your email list by offering a free sample. When people give you their email, you can mail them a sample item. Or, you might be able to email them an ebook that is related to your products.

Service businesses

Service businesses can add free samples to their small business marketing ideas, too.

You can give away a free service in the hopes that the customer will continue the service. For example, you might give away a one-time lawn mowing service. Then you can follow up with the customer to schedule paid services.

You might also give away one service when a customer buys another. For example, if a customer pays for a haircut, you might give away a manicure. The customer might then purchase future manicures.

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