Free Samples

Posted by Malcolm Faulds on May 11th, 2012 in ,

Our friend Seth Godin has an interesting blog post today about free samples. His point is that sampling is tough: while on the one hand it brings potential customers to your door, on the other most of the samples go to people who have no intention of buying.

As usual, Seth’s argument is sound. But it’s also not the whole story. Sampling done the right way can be very powerful for businesses. If you are very targeted in who you give samples to, offer a feedback mechanism to hear what those people think of the product, and measure the heck out of resulting sales, then you’ve created some real value.

Sampling is powerful. Make sure you do it the right way.


19 Responses to “Free Samples”

  1. I received my sobe coconut water yesterday in the mail and it was delicious. Thank you Buzz agent and I let family taste and tried and they all loved it thank you very much Suszette Mckessy

  2. Donna blackmon says:

    I agree with Seth. It would be next to impossible to make sure the samples go to the right people. As soon as a free sample promotion is open the freebie sights publish them. at that point The company is inundated with requests and there is no way to make a person rate your product. I received an email a few days ago from a company whose products I use, offering a sample that they wanted me to try and to offer feedback. I immediately went to the site and was informed that their supply had been depleted. They could have refused samples to anyone that they had not sent an invitation to but that would be discouraging potentual new customers. I’m not sure that there is an easy way to deal with this problem. I love to get samples of products, but I never request something that I know I probably won’t use. And, if requested, I give feedback. But most people just want stuff, and have no intention of rating the product.

  3. Judy says:

    I bought one a while back just to give it a try and I actually like it.

  4. Rachel says:

    I agree not all people are interested in giving feedback, I like getting free samples or even using coupons to try new products. If I like them I will buy them but like the free protein bars at CVS last week – nasty ugh. Donated the extra one to the food bank.

  5. Tina says:

    I agree with Rachel. I donate a lot of my coupons/samples to shelters, especially when friends, family, co-workers aren’t intetested in the product. The last example of that was Pepsi Next. No one was impressed with it, myself included.

  6. Liz says:

    As a member of BzzAgent I know that when I receive free samples and/or coupons to distribute to my friends and family, I try to choose people that I think would be interested in the product. It just makes sense, why give something to someone that probably isn’t going to like it? So in the last bzz campaign that I participated in, by the time the campaign was over I hadn’t finished giving out samples, because there are specific people I want to give the samples to that I don’t necessarily see within the span of one campaign….so when I fill out my campaign reports it looks like not a ton of buzz has been created. So measurements of the success of the campaign are skewed and all sorts of wrong conclusions can be made. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    Outside of bzz campaigns, when I was a teenager and young adult I would take anything free that was being handed out. Now I’m more selective, I don’t want to accumulate junk in my house. So I think a lot of people because of age or just time are still on the “if it’s free, take it” bandwagon…but people will grow out of it with time and experience. I think samples are still a great way to attract new customers…it just might be hard to measure and it is a longer-term investment than maybe most companies expect.

  7. Savanah says:

    I agree with both points.
    I for one have just got into ordering free samples and I think it’s an amazing thing! I’ve tried samples and I’ve gone out and bought full size ones. Other things I’ve tried and thought it was horrible and I won’t be trying it. It’s a great way for people to see what they like without having to spend $3.00 or more for something they won’t ever use again.

    I think bzzagent is great also because people can share their opinions on things and others can see their opinions and decide if they want to buy something or not. Everyone likes different things but just getting a chance to try out free stuff is a blessing in itself. I love free stuff. =) and I love bzzagent.

  8. shane says:

    hi iv sigend up and done all the serveys and iv bin trying to find free samples but i cant seem to find them can u send me sum samples please for men or can u give me sum help to find them thanks

  9. michael says:

    hi iv sigend up and done all the serveys and iv bin trying to find free samples but i cant seem to find them can u send me sum samples please im new to this but want to get started thanks

  10. Jocelyng says:

    Hello im new can someone help me find some free samples i really want some because in youtube i saw a video of a women with alot os mascaras and lip balms nd i was very interesting

  11. jennifer ryan says:

    I enjoy getting free samples to try, some products i may already use, some I’ve never heard of, however when it comes with a coupon and I like the product I’m more interested in repurchasing. Giving feedback has gotten easier with facebook and our smart phones. Sometimes you can scan the barcode to take you directy to their site or even send a text message. I try to always give the feedback because companies dont have to send us the samples, besides just like bzzagent, the more active you are the more opportunities you have to do it again.

  12. SHNJ says:

    I enjoy free samples. It is my way to test new products without going broke. I am very cautious when it comes to spending. I would not like to buy a product then find out later I do not like the taste, color, feel or shape of the product. This is a bigger waste. I would rather test a product then chase a coupon around a store. Then if I like to product I will spend the time looking for it on-line, then target the store that where the product is sold. I have been able to share my products with others and it has opened our ability to save and become more responsible consumers.

  13. Janet says:

    I sign up for free samples of new products I would like to try before buying. Some I like & purchase, others I am glad I did not purchase after trying the sample. I feel it is a way to make sure I like the product before I spend money only to be disappointed in the product.

  14. Niuvi says:

    I just signed up and cant wait to start blogging and getting my samples :)

  15. nancy says:

    How can i get free samples.

  16. Lulu says:

    How do you get FREE samples

  17. larissa says:

    I love freebiess

  18. Charlotte says:

    How do I get freebies it don’t say how to sign up I would like to try stuff bfor I buy

  19. Sam Maddock says:

    Excellent post, I loved it!!

    I am always looking for free stuff and I found the best site (click my name)

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