Product sampling regularly helps many businesses in exploiting more market opportunities and presenting their products and services in front of many target buyers that would otherwise stay out of reach.
Engaging in any product sampling strategies gives back to the business a huge chunk of positive ROI, no question.
However, strategy is always the first step when it comes to business, and one that is poorly executed or not thoroughly planned is always going to manifest its flaws, sooner or later.
In this article, we’re going to go over the 5 do’s of product sampling: 5 precautions that will help you and your business to get the most out of a product sampling strategy, doing it, once and for all, the right way.
- Find the right audience
How useful it might be to show a sample of your product to people who will never even think about buying it?
Be thoughtful about the means of communication you use when spreading the word about your product.
The actual creation of a product starts with the assumption that you’re going to solve a specific problem.
“Specific” means attributable to a particular set of people, who share either the same interests, passions, hobbies, profession, age, gender or educational level.
If you create a product, you automatically create a niche of people who’re going to be the recipients of its benefits. Hence, choose an audience who’s actively looking for a product like yours, and target them. If you don’t, you’ll end up wasting money (besides precious time that could be spent targeting someone who’d actually care).
- Go the extra mile
When serving your customer (as an overall business approach, and not just product-sampling related), always go the extra mile. Don’t follow a strict protocol; instead, always take into consideration the customer’s best interest.
Product-sampling wise, this means not just handing your sample to a prospect: if it’s a physical product, ask them how it looks; if it’s a digital service, ask your customers to leave a positive review on your website.
If someone didn’t like it, ask them why, and then make it a point to solve the inconvenient.
Make sure you delight your customers in every touchpoint of the buying journey. Treat them as you would treat a dear friend.
Product samples are experiments themselves, so why not trying to be as creative as possible while making and distributing them?
Figure out innovative ways to introduce them to potential buyers.
Choose an alternative packaging design and put a catchy slogan on it, or attach a small “thank-you” note to each and every sample, so as to let your prospects know that you don’t see sampling as an expeditious task, but a chance to make a great first impression, which could eventually translate into a long, pleasant, and reciprocal relationship further down the line.
Whatever you choose to do, avoid coming off like “one of many”. Other people will sense that, and start perceiving you that way. Be remarkable.
- Use social media
How useful can a product sampling strategy be if it’s not properly linked with other distribution channels?
It is 2020, and people have integrated social media as an integral part of their lives. According to TheManifest, 86% of people use social media at least once per day, and 72% of them use it multiple times per day.
Would you be willing to miss out on such a vast chunk of potential customers?
Spread the word about your samples on your social media channels, create a loyal community, run contests and maintain high levels of engagement.
If your sample is not “suitable” for digital distribution, pick a local following and build arousal in that proximity (paid Facebook promotions, in most cases, could substantially help your business). Most importantly: whatever digital strategy you choose, be consistent with it over a sustained-enough period of time. People will appreciate that, and be more prone to try your stuff.
- Have a plan
If you base your entire business efforts upon the number of samples you manage to distribute, you won’t survive for long.
Be strategic about how many samples your business produces, how many would you like to distribute, and the deadline to abide by.
Just like a business plan, the objective here is to stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish. When no road is clearly paved, ambition starts to fade away and goals start to seem too far-fetched, just like the business’ overall growth.
It’s okay to be generous, to genuinely help your customers, and to put a smile on their faces.
However, it’s also okay to think about your business’ financial goals and expected outcomes: if you don’t plan to stick around long-term, there would be no point in creating a business and serving people at all.
Hence, set up a plan in which you list not only the product sampling campaign duration, but also the overall budget, the methodologies of it, and the return you would like to see in terms of either, awareness, conversion rate, or any key performance indicator that would make the most sense to you and your business.
5 Do’s Of Product Sampling: Conclusions
We’ve been covering the benefits of product sampling and how it can dramatically help any business in getting more awareness and a better financial ROI. Product sampling provides positive reviews, word of mouth, and brings in more revenue. It is a great way for brands to increase their exposure among a wide variety of potential customers and for not only new products but also existing ones.
If you find a target audience who is actually interested in your offer, find a creative way to give them your business’ sample, use the proper distribution channels to spread the word about it, and tie together all these components within a well-crafted and well-concocted plan, you will benefit, almost without a doubt, from this valuable strategy: as a matter of fact, you will be amazed at how stunning, under the right circumstances, product sampling’s effectiveness can be.