Have you ever been almost ready to buy a product, but wished you could try it first?
This is why some people always try on clothes in the store, or what makes others ask for samples at an ice cream shop.
Unfortunately, not everything is as easy to sample.
Still, using a sales sample strategy for your next new product can be more effective than you might expect.
Some people have the misconception that sampling is outdated in comparison to digital trends like social media marketing and lead generation strategies.
This guerrilla strategy is not something to overlook, though.
Here are seven benefits of using a sales sample marketing approach for a new product.
You may already have a strong following of loyal users. These people know and love your brand, often being the first ones to take advantage of a new offer.
What about everyone else who is part of your potential audience?
This is a group of people that fit your brand personas and target market - they just haven't found you yet.
A sales sample might be the trick you need to get their attention.
When you offer samples, you become more accessible to a large number of people.
Some potential users might be hesitant to make a purchase right now. Others might be convinced your competitor is better.
Either way, a sample can change their mind.
It shows the value of your product to those who are a bit frugal while getting your foot in the door with consumers who have historically used something else.
If anything, it gets your brand in front of more people, which makes you easier to recognize when they come across you again.
When you put a product in the hands of the people, you're able to better understand their reaction.
This is often much quicker, and more effective, than waiting for product reviews.
It tells you what is working and what isn't right away.
Plus, having a conversation with consumers while they sample might give you insights you hadn't yet thought of.
This could be anything from your digital printing flexible packaging and presentation to the function of your product.
Speaking of getting feedback, consider using a sales sample before you decide on the final version of your product.
Audience opinions can help you do A/B testing in an organic manner.
Instead of running test groups and relying on research, you can get real-time results just from seeing how samples perform against one another.
When users respond better to one version over the other, you have your answer on which direction to take.
Sometimes, users won't love a new product as much as you think they would.
This is a hard mistake to correct after you've already ordered a big number of units. Not to mention the distribution contracts and marketing plans you've prepared.
Thankfully, sampling can keep you from spending more than you need to on a new product.
If you see users aren't responding as expected, you can go back to the drawing board before placing a big order. This is an extra step in the research and development process, but it saves you a significant amount of money in the long-run.
Although sampling is a great way to prevent a major loss, it is also an effective tool to get your audience excited.
Sampling gives users a hint of what they can expect from your new product launch.
When they respond positively, they won't be able to wait to get their hands on the real thing.
This goes for current consumers and new potential customers as well.
The more you put your product in their hands, the stronger their connection will be to it. Then, when the opportunity comes to make a purchase, many will be more inclined to buy.
One of the reasons a sales sample can create more sales overall is because it makes you memorable.
These days, almost everyone is on social media or building an SEO strategy. Users get an information overload while they scroll their screens or watch commercials TV.
But, when people can interact with your product, they will remember it much better than they would after seeing an ad.
Sampling creates a unique experience.
It is something users can taste or feel or operate, depending on your product. This stimulates the senses and gets users more engaged.
Plus, sampling better represents your offer.
In addition to how well sampling can represent you to your consumers, it works the other way around, too.
When you make the effort to go out and connect with your audience, you can better understand them. This creates a more accurate idea of who your target market really is.
Such an understanding can improve your product performance beyond one launch.
It helps you move forward with everything you do, from research and development to marketing to even pricing. These have a lasting effect on the growth and success of your brand overall.
It also goes beyond the numbers.
Users will be able to tell if you've made changes in your production cycle. They will likely become more responsive to your attention to detail and more loyal to your brand as well.
At the end of the day, sales sampling is all about reaching users beyond traditional advertisements.
It allows you to create real-life interactions beyond what a screen or print media can do.
This is not to discredit what online strategies can do, though. For the best sales sample results, use a mix of digital and in-person interactions to boost sales.
In fact, there are some digital takeaways you can turn into strategies for the physical world.
Click here for five SEO strategies that translate well in real-life.
Search Engine Marketing Columnist
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