A Beginner’s Guide To Free Sample Marketing For Small Businesses

Free sample marketing is one of the effective ways for attracting attention. With free samples, the customers can get to know more about what the company is offering. 

By this, it helps in building trust and boosting the sales of the business. There is no denying that people love free stuff and it can be a great opportunity to introduce your brand to them. 

sample marketing guide

Free Samples are one way to target the audience as well as the market you want. It helps in making the people familiar with the product and increasing curiosity too. 

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But how using this marketing technique can help your small business? Well, to know, follow this beginner’s guide! 

A Quick Briefing On Free Sample Marketing 

Free Sample marketing is an act where the companies offer a portion of their product or services to their audience. It can be anything from food to cosmetics or even services online.

The marketing is highly effective in industries related to health, drink, beauty, and food. Giving out the freebie targets quick gain in customers.

As for customers, they have the services or products in their hands so they can check right away if they need it or not. Also, it’s free of cost which attracts more people to try it out.

There is free promotion of your product too. Most of the people like to share the product or services with others if they liked it. It helps in increasing the reach of your product in the audience. 

With free samples, the company introduces its new products in the market, and giving away means connecting what you sell to your customer directly.

free sample marketing benefits

Reasons Why You Should Keep Free Samples In Your Marketing Strategy 

Small businesses should try freebies for numerous reasons. Well, the market is filled with lots of companies from small to large and new to old. 

Attracting people in such a crowd is not just difficult but also requires a different approach. And free samples are the options that can be used for such work. 

However, the reasons can be different to introduce freebies in your marketing plan. It can be – 

For Creating The Buzz 

Most people have weaknesses when it comes to Free words. The logic behind the attraction is supply- They dont mind using something new until they are paying for it. 

Also getting something without paying the price is an opportunity which most people enjoy. In marketing, Free words can be the most overused or underused. Smartly placing can help in creating a buzz. 

With social media camping, you can attract more audience and it can help in pulling more customers toward your brand. 

For Encouraging The Audience 

Trying something which they never heard of or not familiar with is the biggest risk. And a customer wants to do it least when they have to pay for it. 

Using a service, product, or experience from an unfamiliar brand or company carries a risk and doubt. Most of the customers like to avoid such situations. 

Free samples can be a great tool for eliminating doubt and fear. Without paying, not just they can use the new brand but also it can help in making them understand more about it. 

Free samples help in proving that you have something different and more than other competitors. Also, it comes with no commitments, so the customer can enjoy better. 

That’s why most gyms offer complimentary trials when people are considering memberships. It helps in leaving a positive impact and people will like to come back for more. 

For Offering An Hook 

A Hook means creating something that holds the attention of others. The same concept applies to free samples. Chances are minimum people will leave but some of them will stay to look more. 

Lots of new restaurants offer free eat days for kids. The reason is quite simple, kids don’t eat alone. They come with their parents or guidance. The kids require less food and the price per plate is minimum too. 

In return, a kid brings his or her whole family which means more customers. It’s a hook for adults to stay in one restaurant instead of jumping to another one.

Free samples have the same science, offering a hook will hold the attention and so much time is enough to turn your visitors into your buyer. 

For Creating A Habit 

By offering a sample for free, you helped in eliminating the risk and doubts. With this, the customer will like to try it one more time if they find the product good for them. 

They will visit once and try it again. It will create a habit if they find the company good and comfortable.

For any business. Driving traffic is the most challenging work to do. But with free samples, you can achieve the desired traffic you want for your brand. Also, you can keep it maintained too.

For Approaching The Soft Side 

Customers are likely more forgiving when they are getting things for free. Also unlike paid items, customers have more patience for the free samples they get. 

Aparcohing the soft side of a customer can help you in staying safe but also encouraging them to try your new brands. 

For Establishing A Positive Association 

Offering something for free not just makes the customer happy but it also creates a positive experience. it helps to brighten their day and establish a positive brand association. 

They remember feeling happy and satisfied when they buy the product next time. Offering something without asking anything in return creates a loyal feeling too. 

What Are The Important Factors To Consider Before Free Sample Marketing?

Free sample marketing can vary as per your business. There are lots of aspects to consider before you launch the free-market champion for your business. 

To know better, here are points for your considerations. 

Know If You Are Eligible Or Not 

Most businesses find a way to free samples for their customers. But some business types can do it more easily as compared to them. It takes less time to create sampling marketing campaigns. 

It will help you in knowing if you belong to an easier one or you have to find a way for offering the free samples.

The easiest business includes – Food & Drink. This business can put their items in a tray and offer their customers to get the free samples. 

It’s similar to the ice cream shops where they allow a bite of a spoon for every flavor before the buyers choose one. 

Another one that can also offer free samples easier is skin and hair care. However, they need to use the tester or offer the small kits of samples to the customer so they can try at home.

Other businesses might have to find a way especially the high-cost items have to offer cheaper versions. So the customers buy it again next time. 

Targeting The Right Audience And Medium 

Finding the audience helps in shortening out where you are going to start the free sample campion. Is your business for kids? Then target places like playgrounds, schools, etc. 

If you are offering the product to adults, find the place where you can get the most. But before selecting it, you need to know the people you want to try your products. 

Next, select the medium you want to do your free sample marketing. There are few methods, you can either do it online or you can put an in-store sample marketing. 

Setting up your samples in-store requires the employees, table, and samples. Here you can have conversations with customers, and tell them more about what you are offering.

You can also set it up near the sidewalk to gain more attention. Also, you can either offer them to try it or let them take it to their home.

Also, you can put the samples in their bags when they do the shopping. 

In an online method, you can offer specials when your customer buys the product or spend time on site. 

With this, you can also keep your customer encouraged to shop more. Also, it can help in building an email list to offer the samples.

You can ask the customers to fill the forums if they want samples to try. Here you can get the emails in return of samples.

The service business is ideal for people who are running small businesses. You can offer your services for a trial period and if the customers like the results, they can carry it forward.

You can add one service to the next one. For example,if you are running a salon and your customers asked for a haircut. You can also do a manicure as free sample services. 

Implantation Of Free Sample Method 

To make sure that your free sample program is successful, you must pay attention to how to implement it. 

For that, your customer or audience should know where you are offering the samples. Are you mailing them directly or they have to visit somewhere to get the free samples?

Keep the location clear, so it won’t create any kind of barrier for the customers. Also if you are offering the samples, keep the details and information ready. If the product doesn’t have it, you must know so you can explain it to the buyers before they try. 

Keep the quality maintained and offer enough so the buyers can decide if they would like to try it more or not. Don’t sample too small or too much. Find the correct measurement. 

Find the targeted audience ready so you know where to find them. Also, do the advertisement properly so you can gather more people to make a free sample program effective. 

Get a report ready to understand the situation and analyze the overall report. Also how many free samples you distributed and in what measurement to how many people. Track the basics.

Also what kind of product you have plays an important role in conducting the events. Supermarkets and Shops are ideal to choose but make sure to know who you are targeting. 

Result On Sales Number 

The chances of sales going up with the help of sample marketing depend on lots of factors. However, numbers of people have gained profitability, so it’s beneficial for the business. 

According to Brigham Young University studies on free marketing results on sales in 2017 showed the points like – 

Freebies have a larger amount of positive effects on the buyers, especially in small businesses as compared to larger ones.

The effectiveness of free samples marketing can double the number of store discounts.

Apart from sales increasing, free samples can also help in making the company’s image better in public. 

When the audience gets exposed to one kind of product and they end up buying it again and again, it also starts to influence their other items to go to purchase. 

The positive effect of free samples can be seen in the first week. It mostly affects the sales spike occurring. 

The massive sales increase up to 8 weeks has another positive impact on business.

Customers also enjoy their experience, their shopping and free samples impact a positive effect on them. Making them satisfied and interested in buying more in the future. 

Creative Ways To Use Free Sample Marketing For Small Businesses 

Using free samples for promoting your product in a deliberate way is effective. But, Free samples can work much better if you know how to do it in the right way. 

Offering the samples for free helps in building the reputation, boosting the image, and building trust among the buyers. It also helps in introducing your brand to new potential customers. 

Free samples become a part of marketing and branding, but to achieve the results you wish it’s important for you to know the right and creative way of using it for your small business. 

Make It As Their Need 

Offering something that becomes a part of their daily life means no matter what the customers will come back again to buy it. Free samples work amazingly in making them realize it. 

What you offer should become their need in day to day life, and free samples keep your brand in their mind of weeks to months 

For example, Those customers who drink coffee daily will look for the coffee company. In this case, offering them your sample will keep your brand in their head. 

And next time whenever they want to buy the coffee, they will look out for your brand to buy.

Approach The Right People 

Free samples are free of cost for the customers, not for you. It costs money and you don’t want to offer it to anyone. 

Investing in the right people means it will come back as a huge ROI. But offering to anyone, not just you lose the money but it also cancels out the purpose of offering free samples. 

Approach to the people who bought your product previously or anytime in their life. Offer the free samples who show interest in what you are offering. 

Include the people from your email list or the people who participate in your events. You can include the people who come under your demographic. 

But make sure to keep it very selective if they haven’t shown any interest in your brand or product. 

Use It For Starting New Business

For small businesses, if you just started then it will be obvious to understand the difficulty of introducing your brand in the market. Offering free samples are one option to attract attention. 

To start a new business, free samples attract the people and also make it familiar with what you are up to. It helps in generating curiosity regarding the new business you started. 

Keep It Worthy For Them

Offer something which has high perceived value. It means offering something worth having it. Customers won’t just accept the free samples if it’s not for them or worth their attention. 

The perceived value is not based on the amount or price value of the sample. It can be anything that shows it worth it. 

For example, In the fashion show, you can offer the content lenses, especially the colored content lens. Such things have high perceived value and people consider it with optometrists mostly. 

Offering something like colored lenses evoke the emotions and the people believe you are offering something valuable to them. 

Buying colored lenses is not expensive, you can get it within a few dollars. 

Use It As Surprise Gift 

Using the free samples as a surprise gift can help in strengthening the buyer – customer relationship. It’s another great option to try and be effective too. 

For example, You can use it for boosting the subscription for your business. If you notice that your customers are dropping it in midway, you can surprise them with the freebies.

If your subscription is for three months, offer them surprise gifts in 2.5 months. It will boost the subscription and also make your customer feel excited. 

Sponsor The Event 

Sponsoring the event is one of the options for branding. It helps you in connecting with your audience directly where they are invested emotionally.  

Also, people remember the name of such brands as it keeps emotions connected. For example, if there is an event for coloring, hosted by some juice company sponsoring free drinks for the event. 

Not just it will target the parents but also the kids and young people who are participated in the color competition event, 

Offer As Bonus 

Customers appreciate it when they receive more than they paid for. For the company, it can help strengthen the relationship but also keep their customer loyalty towards the brand. 

You can send samples as a bonus along with what your customer ordered for you. It will help in introducing the brand to them. 

Also if they want to try more free samples, they can buy directly from the company.


Use It As Branding

Free samples are an effective option for branding your product or services. Make sure that free samples are part of your branding plans.

Lots of food companies host small tasting events near shopping malls, parks, etc. These places are mostly filled with people and most of them are hungry by walking for so long. 

Not just people get a chance to taste the new flavors but the place and timing help in attracting more people.  

Use For Eliminating Doubts 

Free samples are a great option for eliminating doubt in your customer’s minds. People are skeptical in using new brands or products until they don’t try it on their own,

Offering them samples that won’t cost will help them in encouraging trying your brand without and doubt. 

For example, If you are offering skin products for skin tightening. Let your customer use the free samples so they can see the results on their own. 

It will affect more as compared to telling them that your skin product works by using some ads or people. 

Give Away In Exchange Of Data 

You can use the samples in exchange for information. Give away the free samples but get the data like your customer’s phone number, email address, address, etc.

This will help you to do the follow-up and use it for the next sale. Free samples are powerful marketing tools. Just make sure you are using it to get a better high return on the investment. 

How To Make Sure Your Free Samples Are Advertised?

Offering your product as free samples can help in introducing to the potential buyers. To get the audience notice you, advertising also plays a crucial role. 

How will people find you or will know you are offering the free staples? These questions are important to ask. Advertising in the right way can help in getting the crowd ready.

For this, you can get two options i.e. Online or offline. You can use the booth to get the best out of your free sample program. 

Announcement On Social Media And Sites

Image source : Metrixa

No matter what you are offering, get a link, and post it every possible site you have access to. Including your social media platforms. 

Social media are the fastest notice platform. Getting new buyers from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc are much easier. 

Get a form to fill for those buyers who want to have the free samples of your product. By this, you can get the data of your consumers as well. 

Ask them to share the form with other sites or their social media profile to invite more people. Also, you can add the direct courier option, so they will get the free samples directly in their doorstep.

Print The Ads 

To target the people who might be not on the online market, Print options are ideal to use. You can contact the print publication and get your ads printed out. 

Distribute it along with the newspaper, magazines, etc to reach every local household. It will help in accessing the better market and people. Also, add the forms along with your mail-id.

People who are interested in knowing more free samples. They can fill the form and send it to the address you sent. 

Do not forget to add the benefit of your product, so people will feel excited to try the free samples. 

Get Your Site Listed 

Image source: Pinterest

There are sites like Shop4Freebies. Com and FreeSamples.org where you can provide the link of your company like others. 

Make sure the link redirects your customer to the main page where the details of the free sample are listed. The page must include the form and other information regarding your offers as well as products. 

If you are sending the samples via mail, make sure the people can easily get in contact with you. To help them, add the contact name and information too. 

Mistakes To Avoid In Free Sample Marketing 

There are chances of repeating some mistakes that most of the business do, Follow these points to know  what and how to avoid.

Sampling your product or service for free is efficient for marketing and branding. 

According to a study done by the opinion research group showed that around 81% of customers would like to have a product or service if they are getting for free 

But sampling in the wrong way can damage the opportunities but also you end up wasting time and resources too. 

To avoid such seniors, you must know what mistakes you should never do – 

Free Samples For Current Buyers  

Free samples for the buyers who are ready to buy the product will not impact any kind of changes in sales. Rewarding them is different but keep your focus on inviting new buyers.

Free samples work better to approach new buyers who are not aware of your brand. Using it on current buyers will also not have any great impact on loyalty toward the brands. 

Asking No Permission 

Well even though people like to get stuff for free. But they won’t accept if you are selling them against their will. 

Before you sell the free sample, you must know if your customers even need that or not. Also, get the permission of people before offering free samples to them.

Your product or services should make sense to them. If not, people can even refuse to use items for free. 

Offering Samples With No measurements 

Surprisingly most of the companies overlook this point. Don’t just sample your product in terms of numbers but take care of its sizes. Your aim is not just to make your product out in the market. 

Measurement helps in understanding how to distribute the free samples without getting into a loss. Also, it simplifies how much the program will help you. 

It affects purchase conversions and the results as well. Get an ideal measurement you want to offer and the numbers of people you can distribute. 

For small businesses, it’s important so you don’t end up offering more than you decided. 

Believing You Don’t Have Samples

The sample doesn’t mean just to offer something like a snack bar to your customer. It means letting your customer get the experience of your brand without asking them to pay for it. 

Anything you can sample. Make sure how much you want to let the customer enjoy. The point is to introduce the essence of your brand in the market, so the buyers get to know more.

Not Adding When It Didn’t Work 

Lots of people are embracing the marketing mix tools. But the measurement can be hard and in case it won’t work well with free sample marketing. 

Instead of getting rid of the tool, you can use it for another way. Smart companies reserve the tool for tried and true budgeting. It helps in knowing if the product or service will work in the market or not. 

Not Adding The New Audience 

Offering the samples to a targeted audience is surely effective. But not doing the trails to a new audience will reduce the impact of free samples. 

Use it to the places where you can get more people. Try to convert a new audience into your buyers instead of focusing on the targeted audience only.  

Choosing the place near your office or building can create barriers for a new audience. So instead of that, get into the places where you can find the crowd. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I locally promote my business?

Free sample marketing can help in growing your business locally. You can set a small in store option for the buyers to try your product. Put the ads in the local newspaper and sites to target more people. 

What should I avoid in offering free samples?

Follow the three-second rule instead of focusing too much on creativity. Don’t spend too much on the trail including the locations, instead of that target the high traffic areas.Focus on strategy and aspects to make the free sample work in your favor. 

Why should I do free sample marketing?

Most of the companies offer their services or products for free to boost sales. Also for introducing their products in the market and interacting with the audience

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