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Give to Receive

September 3, 2008  

"There's still something to be said for a free sample of a product," says Mike Essex, who has made a sport of seeing how many he can receive in return for promising an online review at his blog. While the premise of his activities fall outside the marketing mainstream, his experience has produced four key takeaways that don't.

Here's why the Blagman (a term Essex uses to defines himself and which he glosses as "someone who attempts to get products for free") believes a gratis sample is far from a something-for-nothing proposition:

  • You build brand loyalty by engaging customers in a way that makes them feel valued and gives them the prospect of delving deeper in to your product range. They're also more likely to reward you with a larger purchase than they might have made in the first place.
  • You demonstrate the worth of your product or service by letting potential customers give it a spin without obligation.
  • You earn additional word of mouth from satisfied customers who are doubly impressed by a no-cost trial.
  • You one-up the competition by grabbing the attention of decision-makers—and even those who influence their decisions—with an offer almost no one will turn down.

The Po!nt: "Whether giving away old stock to encourage new purchases or simply giving a core product away and selling add-ons there's no reason any company can't reap the benefits of a simple effective drop of free products," says Essex.

Source: Article submitted by Mike Essex.

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