One of the most effective ways to gain new customers is to give your product away. For free. Now while that might seem counter-intuitive, giving away your product can actually be more beneficial to your bottom line than discounting.
I want to share the benefits of giving away your product, how you do it effectively and the story of how a free product sample took this copywriter from uninterested shopper to loyal fan.
I recently attended a networking breakfast and it was a bit of a big deal with hundreds of businesswomen in attendance. At each seat, there was a goodie bag and the bag was jammed with free product samples and flyers.
One of the products was a moisturiser. Not just a sachet either, the regular sized product. Now I have a great range of skin products that I love so I wasn’t in the “purchase zone” at all but who doesn’t love a freebie? I decided to try it and after using the product for 6 weeks or so, I was a convert. I loved it and searched online for ways to buy it. And I bet that a hefty percentage of women in that room did exactly the same thing.
You want your target market to TRY your product so they will BUY your product. Your free sample works to increase the incentive to buy while you reduce the perceived risk. It’s a no lose situation for the buyer that just might turn into a big win for you.
Benefits of giving away free product samples
- Increase brand awareness by getting in front of buyers who might never have heard of you
- Increase potential for conversion, with a trial hopefully turning ambivalence into loyalty
- Increase traffic with access stages such as like our page, come in store, call our, etc
- Build your list especially if you require some engagement as part of the process
- Boost your reputation as a subject matter or industry expert
Effective ways to give away free product samples
- Include your free sample in a goodie bag or hand it out at an event
- Offer your free product as a bonus, given away with a complementary* product
- Offer your free product as a reward for a particular action, like subscribing to your newsletter or visiting your store
- Target your efforts by sending your free sample to key influencers in your target market and asking them to try it out
Deciding on whether you should give away free product samples is a numbers game and you have to be confident you’ll get the return on your investment.
The key to getting a return on your investment is making sure:
- Your free product sample matches your audience or the product/process you are complementing. This might seem obvious but it’s VERY important to make sure your target market is in the audience.
- You include enough of your product to be useful. You want low cost but don’t be a scrooge.
- The recipient knows how to use your product. Include instructions if it’s not obvious.
- Make the next step easy with a special offer or instructions on where to buy.
Don’t have a physical product? Then give away a free consultation or analysis, or go digital with an ebook, video or interview that shows off your skills. Be imaginative with your offer and make sure you hit the high value/relatively low-cost end of the spectrum.
Remember, a free product sample is like a preview to the main show. When you target your product well it could just get you a swag of customers you could never have reached.
So now it’s over to you. Have you given away a sample of some description and did it work for you? Are you anti-giveaway? Feel free to have a rant and tell me why.
The Copy Detective