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Strategic sampling makes the right impression

Everyone likes free stuff. It’s just how we humans are wired.

Free product or print samples, kits, or other materials can be an effective marketing strategy that generates goodwill and customer-base growth. With today’s increasingly sophisticated technology, companies can execute this strategy with precision, timeliness, and efficiency. Physical product fulfillment can be triggered automatically to reach leads as they pass pre-defined thresholds in the sales funnel.

Sampling, or the strategy of giving away free items, is ubiquitous. Cosmetic companies are some of the highest profile deployers of this tactic, but almost all companies can use the strategy with free products, consultations, information, or services.

Several factors make sampling an ideal strategy.

  • Print sampling can be cheaper than other advertising options, particularly if customers experience your product by taste, touch, or smell. Showing the attributes of a product is more effective than writing about them.
  • Product samples create goodwill among customers and can be the lynchpin of social media or direct mail campaigns.
  • Physical products can be an excellent means of getting customer feedback or testing the waters before full commercialization. Ask recipients what they think of your product and make tweaks before investing in a full-scale roll-out.
  • Free products or information can be superb lead generators. Free materials can feed your mailing list and add to important data collection. Ask customers to provide key information about their business or their buying habits and reward them with a free product or service. Timing this step to critical points in the sales funnel can be very effective.

Strategic Sampling

Timing giveaways to occur after customers have completed pre-determined tasks such as filling out a form, watching a video, or visiting a landing page may deliver the highest ROI. It ties your offer to a specific action when you can urge a lead to take the next step towards closing.

Technology-driven fulfillment methods make this process run smoothly. Leading-edge fulfillment service providers combine the best of electronic and physical fulfillment techniques, handling both products and printed materials.

Fulfillment professionals can align distribution of collateral material or promotional products with CRM systems so potential customers receive product samples at key junctures in the sales cycle. With such triggered fulfillment techniques you allow customers to experience your products when it’s the right time for them, not as part of a mass distribution exercise.

Offload Fulfillment Headaches

If you’re rolling out marketing programs by geographic location, strategic sampling also works. Determine the order of the locations or markets you want to reach and let your technology and service provider partners do the heavy lifting.

Additionally, materials that complement the samples can be delivered electronically via email or as printed pieces. On-demand production with digital presses can enhance and personalize printed items for more effective targeting. It’s an optimal alternative to large print runs that create inventories of materials that may become obsolete.

Sampling, like most marketing initiatives, is most effective when directed at the right audience at the right time and bolstered with a personalized message. Your fulfillment provider can handle these tasks for you and take complexity out of the equation. You needn’t worry about technology, warehousing, kitting, postal and shipping rules, tracking systems, staff time, inventory management, or other logistical challenges.

Talk to our experts at Bolger Printing to discuss how triggered fulfillment can energize your sales/lead generation strategies.


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