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How can I ensure the samples I giveaway result in repeat customers?

Thursday, 15 September 2011 | By Gillian Franklin
I’m keen to give away samples of my new juice product, but I’m not sure how much to give away and how to follow up with customers who have tried the product. Is there any way to ensure these people become regular customers?

 

I have assumed you mean “consumers” when you say customers, ie. the people who will drink and buy the product not a retail customer.

 

Sampling is an excellent way to encourage new customers so this is a great idea. A suggestion though is to try and “qualify” the people you give it to beforehand so you have a better chance of ensuring they will like the product.

 

For example, if it is a grape juice and you give it to people who don’t like grape, you have wasted your money and efforts.

 

So how do you know they will be inclined to like your juice? I would suggest you find a competitive product that is similar (and of course you would expect yours to be better) and then offer your product to people who usually buy the brand X.

 

You may be able to do this in a shopping centre as a promotion or through one of your retailers.

 

I have assumed it is a product that cannot be shipped to the customer and will need to be distributed at retail.

 

However, if it could be shipped, you can ask people to send you a cap of a competitive product in return for a bottle of your juice.

 

To track their response ideally you would use a “bounceback” offer. This can be a label on the product or a wrap around or simply a website address that they can log on to.

 

You can also consider a neck tag around the bottle. If they then return the “bounceback” to you within 30 days they can receive a further discount or special price for their next purchase.

 

This is a great way to build a database and information about your customers as you can ask them other questions too, ie. what drinks they usually purchase.

 

If you are doing it as a voucher or special offer you would need to organise it with your retailer but they will be happy with this as it drives customers to their business.