How to properly give away free samples
Giveaways can increase sales, but only if you follow the rules
Grocery stores and the cosmetics industry have figured out something that other industries still trail behind — the art of the giveaway. Generally speaking, people really like getting free product samples. In grocery stores alone, free samples converted into sales anywhere from 71% to 500%. The obvious reason to give something away is to introduce unknown products to potential customers and hopefully turn them into repeat customers.
But when business professionals (or companies) give something away for free, they should keep these tips in mind.
Double-check state laws before distributing free material
I used to volunteer for an HIV/AIDS awareness organization where free STI/STD testing was available. There were also free male and female condoms in candy dishes throughout the entire building. When I wrote my second book, which focused on an STD scare on a college campus, I was invited out for several book signings.
I thought it made complete sense to also give away a bag of free condoms, in addition to material on safe sex. Although my alma mater was delighted to have me come out to speak on my college experience, working in the news and publishing industry, and my books, they flat-out turned down my idea to pass out free condoms.
I should not have been shocked by this news, considering Missouri (my alma mater’s state) is one of the states that failed to enact safe sex education that would enforce that “students develop critical thinking, decision making, and stress management skills in order to support healthy relationships.” While Missouri schools could teach from a medical standpoint, the social angle was ditched completely.
Make sure the free sample is quality and relevant
For years, I was a member of Amazon’s Vine program. I was elated when those Amazon Vine newsletters popped up in my inbox. I received everything from free woks to books and athletic attire. Amazon Vine merchants are labels, manufacturers, publishers, and studios.