Published On: 12/08/20223 min read

Research shows that 81% of consumers are more likely to go on and purchase a product if they have received a sample.

A pretty compelling figure, although you hardly need a statistic for it to make total sense that giving shoppers a sample of your product for free, thereby removing the risk factor of buying something they potentially don’t like, is going to increase the chances of an onward purchase.

The biggest step in a consumer’s purchasing journey has always been between seeing a product they like the look of, but might never have heard of or tasted before, and making the leap of faith to put it in their shopping basket, whether that’s in-store, online, in-app or via social media.

As we move into an ever more digitalised world, filled with super speedy at-home delivery options, the logic behind sampling remains, but there are smart new routes that should be considered. Here’s just a few of our favourite sampling setups.

While in situ ‘brand to hand’ sampling remains on the expensive side – and in this post covid world, isn’t always as productive – the advent of social sampling provides a very targeted and scalable opportunity. In its simplest form, social sampling would see a brand running an ad on social media where people can click through to request a free sample. The beauty lies in Meta’s sophisticated targeting meaning you can tailor these ads to reach your core demographic, including consumers of a certain age, living in a certain area, with certain interests and more. It offers a cost-effective and planet-friendly route to minimise waste, added to which those clicking through are more likely to have a genuine interest in the sample than, for example, someone randomly being handed a sample at a train station and who are therefore less likely to converted into brand fans. And as if that wasn’t enough, it also offers rich opportunities for data capture and retargeting.

Next up is brand collab sampling which sees brands with complementary products and neatly aligned audiences partnering to take advantage of each other’s customer bases. For example, as a peanut butter brand you might link up with an artisan bread by delivery company to include a sachet of your PB in each of their orders. We recently ran an activity like this for better-for-you roasted chickpea brand, Cheeky P’s, where their flavoured snacks were included as a surprising treat with Fourpure’s online orders of craft beer. The activity had obvious benefits for both brands and was a very cost effective and targeted sampling route.

Lastly, a favourite of ours is student sampling, helping to reach a valuable Gen Z audience of potential brand fan converts. There are 2.38 million students in the UK and all manner of sampling channels that can be used to reach them, from ‘brand to hand’, goody bags and Freshers Fairs to hall drops and welcome boxes. By putting your brand at the forefront of students’ lives, you can influence purchasing decisions with early brand adopters during a key life moment, which in turn holds the possibility of an incredibly valuable long-term ROI.

There are myriad sampling options out there these days, from targeting people who’ve just moved into a new home, to sampling via children’s nannies. It’s just about finding the option that’s the right fit for your brand or NPD. If you’re interested in elevating your marketing mix with sampling, get in touch at