Making targeted use of free product samples in online marketing

“Free” is a small but highly effective magic word that also has its effect in online marketing. Free product samples and free gifts are a tried-and-tested and effective tool for drawing consumers’ attention to new products and generating new leads. Provided, of course, that online brandeteers observe a few prerequisites. In the following, we reveal the five most important tips for the targeted use of this marketing tool.

  1. Free samples are not given without consideration!
    Just like that, widely scattered and without control function send free samples? It’s hard to burn your marketing budget faster and more uselessly. After all, there are additional costs for shipping, logistics, etc. on top of the value of the goods. Therefore, it is more than legitimate to demand a certain return service. Ordering free samples can be used purposefully and usually very successfully to generate indirect leads for newsletter marketing, telephone marketing and the like. This advertising consent can easily be requested from the user in return for the free sample – an opportunity that should never be missed!
  2. Seek active dialog with customers!
    Send a product sample and then never contact the customer again? This is not target-oriented online marketing either. If the customer is interested in a product, it is immensely valuable to ask for his opinion afterwards. Feedback functions that are easy to implement also signal to the customer: I am noticed and taken seriously here! This has a lasting effect on brand awareness and a positive image!
  3. Exclude discount and bargain hunters!
    They are more common than many people think: bargain hunters who are only out to take advantage of every little benefit on the Internet and take everything that is “free”. Therefore: maintain address files and do not send product samples to the same address over and over again. There are highly reliable online service providers that prevent triple and multiple shipments by, for example, blocking the respective household for a defined period of time after a free request.
  4. Select the right channels: Bargain portal or targeted e-mail marketing!
    It all comes down to the right mix of marketing channels: Bargain portals are perfect for achieving high reach quickly. However, they should not be used exclusively – on the contrary: targeted e-mail marketing campaigns with good target group selection often promise higher closing rates and more sustainable success.
  5. Turn free testers into regular returning customers!
    Of course, you don’t want to stop at a one-time free trial. That’s why it’s important to map the customer journey up to the point of purchase even before the campaign begins. To do this, it is advisable to obtain direct contact data and permission to approach customers with the product test – see above – and to have a concept ready for a recurring customer approach. Tip: The free sample and the product should ideally be calculated in such a way that the marketing expenses for this new customer are already amortized with the first regular paid order. And another tip: Be careful with subscription models or, for example, the request for bank data already with the free order. This is a “no-go” for many end consumers and leads to even the free sample not being requested in the first place!

In addition to targeted e-mail campaigns, the Hamburg marketing professionals of Performance Heroes GmbH accompany all companies in the areas of telephone and affiliate marketing, template creation and portal integration. Get in touch with our contact persons:

Ann Isabelle Hnida
Ann-Isabell Hnida
Daniel Freisenhaus
Senior Sales Manager