Free samples are products or services provided to a potential customer to allow them to try the product or service without charge. The ultimate aim of providing free samples to customers is to persuade them to buy a product. This is one of the most effective promotional tools available, as customers can check the quality of the product or service before they decide to buy. However, this tool can be used only if the product or service can be given as a sample in small quantities and if the business does not have to spend a large sum of money in giving away free samples. This promotional strategy is usually followed when a new product or service is launched or when a product is not the market leader and wants to capture market share.
There are several methods of distributing product samples to consumers. Popular methods include providing mail in coupons that require a stamped and self addressed envelope to be sent or distributing a small free sample of a new product with the purchase of an established product. Mailing free samples has been popular but is not generally used because of postage and packaging costs. A demonstration of products outside stores where a person hands out samples to the customers passing by is also popular. Large pharmaceutical companies employ sales representatives to distribute free drug samples to doctors. Nowadays free samples can also be obtained through websites of companies. All that a consumer needs to do is to register and provide the company their mailing address and the company sends them the free sample.
Free samples can also be provided for services and the Internet is being incrementally used to provide free samples of different services. Some of these services include writing meetings or essays, receiving loan and grant applications, and business plans. Free samples of digital products, such as software applications, are provided in the form of trial versions that a consumer can download from a site and use for the trial period free of cost.
Free samples play an important role in convincing customers about the benefits of certain products and services and offer the customer a risk free method to help them make a purchase decision. …