The Best Ways to Utilise Free Samples

Amy Hawthorne

by Amy Hawthorne

9th January 2015

When introducing a new product or service to the marketplace, an effective tactic is to consider offering a small sample to attract potential clients.

Free samples can refer to physical products that you hand out or send via post. Otherwise, companies may offer a free trial of their online services; users may not want to pay for an online dating service without first seeing what’s out there, and companies probably wouldn’t pay a bulk of cash for a marketing tool before checking its effectiveness.

Depending on your industry, this isn’t always possible, but if you’re thinking about sending out free samples, here are some tips to bear in mind to optimise your campaign.

Send Free Samples to New and Existing Customers

Consider offering free samples of a new product to accompany the purchase of an existing product. This is a targeted method commonly adopted by cosmetics companies and can encourage further spending if you only offer the free sample when a customer spends above a certain limit.

Existing customers may be more open to trying your new products if they already trust your brand, but you can widen your reach by also targeting new customers. Free samples mean they don’t have to part with any cash – they’ve got nothing to lose.

Ideally, your loyal customers will promote your new product by word-of-mouth which can lead to the acquisition of new ones – the more people that receive your sample product, the more trust that will grow around your brand and ultimately, increased interest in your final product.

Ask for Feedback of your Free Samples

Don’t send your product samples out into the open without seeking out some feedback.

If you’re handing out free samples face-to-face, you can gain instant feedback by asking simple open questions. This is an ideal approach for anyone offering food samples in supermarkets, or for perfume sprayers in airports and department stores.

If this isn’t possible, you might be able to seek out feedback by going digital…

Take it Online

Assuming your company has an online presence, come up with a hashtag on twitter that your targeted sample can utilise. When handing out your free samples, include a card with your business information and the proposed hashtag (or write this on your packaging) asking users to share their thoughts on the product.

Twitter and Instagram are both great ways to instantly spread the word of your product and help to associate your brand with honesty and generosity, whilst also receiving valuable feedback.

Capture a Large Sample Size


We don’t set a limit on our batch sizes – Contact us to make an enquiry

It’s important to take a large sample size to get a more accurate representation of how successful your product launch is likely to be. A handful of people can’t possibly stand for the opinions of a whole group.

Creating a bulk of sample products – whether you go for sachets, ampoules, or something else – can be a daunting and costly task. Our Ampoule Filling and Sealing Machine can generate up to 6,000 units in a working day. As long as your liquid is compatible with glass, we can fill it into our reliable ampoule filling machine. Our ampoules are hermetically-sealed, meaning your product is safe from any airborne contaminates.

…But ensure you Target the Right People

Sending out free samples is an expensive method of marketing your product; you’re giving away freebies without the concrete guarantee of any return.

Begin by sending samples to a small group so you can fine-tune the details. This is where you can spot any errors, see where improvements can be made and find out if there’s an interest in your product.

Once you’re confident that your initial sample was successful, it’s time to branch out and expand the amount of people that will receive your free sample product. Use your existing knowledge and do some extra research to determine the most effective location, method of sending, and best people to send your products to. This helps to ensure you don’t waste any of your valuable product and helps you see the benefits of your investment.

Create a Memorable Design for your Product Sample

Just as it’s important to come up with creative packaging ideas, the way you package your ampoule or sachet (or any other form of free sample) should be well-thought out and unique. It can mean the difference between a potential customer throwing away your product, and that customer telling their friends about it.

Work with our in-house design team or pass on your own design to us to come up with something that projects your brand’s voice and gives your customers a taste of the new product to come.

Even if you don’t follow any of the above advice, do ensure you’re sending out free samples if your product allows it. It avoids the need for embarrassing and damaging product recall and allows you to check for errors, impurities and safety issues before you splash out on expensive, full-scale projects.

For more advice on how to build your product from scratch and get it on the market, you can download our free guide on ‘How to transform your Product Ideas into Reality’. Simply opt-in to our mailing list and we will send the guide to your inbox.

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