Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Samplers as an advertising tool - an overview (plus tips and tricks!)

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I recently came across this article on the EcoEtsy team's blog, and I wanted to share it. Not only is it extremely well-written, but it also does a fabulous job of highlighting the pros and cons of using sampler boxes as a way to advertise your business. As the article says, this form of promotion is definitely not for everyone, but it provides many tips and tricks to ensure that you (the seller) make the most of the opportunity, if you decide to give it a try. Here are some highlights:

If you do decide to partipate [sic.] in a sampler program, here are a few tips for you:

1) Mark your product or promo with your business name. Subscribers will be opening a box full of samples. If your card gets separated from your work, how will they know who made it, and how will they find you?
2) Send an example of your work, whenever possible, rather than a coupon or flyer, and send your best work. Don’t use your “seconds” or “oopsies” as advertising. You’re making a first impression here, after all.
3) Sign up for more than one month if you can. Some contributors reaped benefits after a few consecutive months of participating.

Having now organized a sampler box of my own, I'd like to add the following tips gained through my experience at the organizing end:

1) Keep all of your materials and products together. Rather than sending products with a handful of business cards, take the time to attach your business card to your product sample as you would like it to be attached. This gives you much more control over the final presentation of your product, and it ensures that the recipient of the sampler will be able to know how to purchase or order more from you, should they choose to do so.

2) As a sort of corollary to #1, Include as much information as possible. Don't go overboard here, but including a price list, photos of other products, even a little card outlining your philosophy and background can really help potential customers to get a sense of who you are and why your products are special. Help them see the person behind the product!

3) Provide a coupon or discount code. This one is more beneficial than you think. Not only are you providing an added incentive for sampler recipients to purchase from you (and when you consider the fact that any sampler may have duplicates of one kind of item, any little bit helps here), but you're also making it easier to track the source of new customers. By adding a coupon code such as "MaySampler10" to your business cards or product labels, you can help get a sense of how many sales were generated through this venture.

4) Label and wrap your sample as you would like sampler recipients to receive them. This one does not apply solely to products destined for samplers, but it always bears repeating. Label products properly and include all relevant information so as to make it easier for new customers to find you if your business card gets lost. New customers shouldn't have to go searching for ingredient lists to ensure that your samples are allergy-safe. Wrapping your sample properly is also extremely important, especially if it involves liquid or powders - anything that could leak out and damage other contents. Proper labeling and packaging is one of the easiest and best ways to make a professional and positive first impression!

Have you ever participated in or purchased a sampler box? What tips would you offer buyers or sellers?

3 comments:

Stunning May 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Very neat! I've never looked into this option for advertising... you've got me curious!

Lori May 27, 2010 at 4:04 AM

Very nice idea. Thanks for the tip.

Burning Moon May 31, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Great tips! I have been way to busy lately to make samples & such to send out but think that I might do it again soon.

http://burningmoonproducts.blogspot.com/

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