Distributing free product samples is an important tool in sales promotion. An honest to goodness or trial-sized product is distributed to the purchasers to provide them a chance to experience the product where they would not otherwise get to try it unless they acquired it on their own.
Free samples are sometimes distributed during a new release launch or when the company wants to capture increased market for the product. Samples can be distributed using direct mail, vouchers in papers and magazines, door-to-door delivery, in-pack sampling, the Net and in-store sampling.
In direct mail sampling, free sample products are at once mailed to houses that are targeted based on geo-demographic characteristics. Newspapers can be employed for broad-scale sampling. Door-to-door free product sample delivery saves costs like packaging costs that are incurred when direct mailing is used. It permits substantial targeting and has shorter lead times. In-pack sampling uses the package of some other product to carry the free trial product. Some of the product samples are distributed in high traffic locations like theatres, and shopping malls. In-store shopping is the most commonly used method for distributing free samples. Usually, consumers in a retail shop or a greengrocer are provided with free product samples for a trial experience. This free sampling often also leads to increased impulse purchases. Many firms also allow consumers to ask free samples using their websites.
Usually corporations have limited stocks to be distributed as free samples and purchasers who want to request free samples using vouchers or the Net should send in a request as early as possible.
Product samples are distributed when the required impact cannot be produced by advertising alone and the price of distributing samples is reasonable. There are many challenges faced by the product corporations, often concerning free samples center around a return on their investment and the right choice of target customers.
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