Don’t let your samples become lost opportunities

Don’t let your samples become lost opportunities by Kim Schlossberg Designs

Since I started buying makeup in my teens, I have been attracted to the “free gift with purchase” offers. I’ve gotten hundreds of free sample sized products over the years. Often I use them up, or save them for my travel bag. Some I knew I’d never use, so I donated them to an appropriate organization. Occasionally, I’d like the sample so much that I’d purchase the full-sized product.

When they run the promotions in department stores, the brands typically create an assortment of sample-sized products meant to appeal to a large audience. In recent years, through their own websites, some brands give customers a choice of which samples they’d like to try. This has the potential to be game-changing if used the right way. Because not only do they give the customer an even better incentive to buy (or buy more), they have the opportunity to see which products are appealing to people.

Bobbi Brown follow-up emailAfter all these years, for the first time last week I saw a brand really use these free gift give-aways to full advantage.

A few days after I made an on-line purchase from Bobbi Brown, which included a few free “minis,” I got an email from them, with this subject line: You’ve tried it on for size, now size up.

After all these years, this was the first time I’ve seen a cosmetics brand actually try to leverage their samples to sell a full-sized product. Brilliant – but what took them so long?

Which leads to the question: “What are we doing to follow up with people who’ve expressed an interest in our services or products?” Please respond in the comments. We’d all love to hear your thoughts.

P.S. I can’t go to Central Market hungry. I tried that once, and ended up purchasing every item they were sampling that day!

Kim Schlossberg
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About the Author

Kim Schlossberg created Kim Schlossberg Designs to help businesses and non-profits refine their messages and get them out to the right audience, in a clear, consistent, and integrated way. She provides strategic planning, execution and coordination of marketing, branding, and design by developing a deep understanding of clients’ businesses and their goals, and serves as a trusted advisor to help them grow their businesses and brand. Kim speaks to business and non-profit groups about marketing and related topics, and publishes a well-received (but slightly irregular) newsletter.

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