We’re all familiar with the headlines – retail is in the midst of a seismic shift. E-commerce sales continue to accelerate while brick and mortar stores struggle. For product-based brands, this shift is driving a need to seek new ways to counter the stark reality of online shopping. For all the convenience it provides, you lose a key benefit of having a physical brick-and-mortar location – the ability to see, touch, smell and taste products while browsing.
Enter Direct Mail Product Sampling.
Sampling has long been known as a powerful motivator for trying a new product or enticing loyal users to switch brands. As online shopping grows, so too does the popularity of sampling programs. With expected growth of 19% over the next three years, startups and leading brands alike are using the tactic to fill the experiential gap created by e-commerce. The benefits to be had when you marry this decade’s old tried-and-true method with the effectiveness of direct mail run deep. Here are our top four:
Benefit 1: Increase product exposure while reducing purchasing pressure
Among all the marketing channels available, real, tangible product samples continue to offer the best chance at cutting through the clutter and driving real changes in brand preference. What better way to do that then deliver a free sample directly to their home? In addition to the ‘surprise and delight’ factor an in-home sample delivers, consumers can experience your product without the “buy right now!” pressure and enjoy it as intended.
Benefit 2: Target distribution with pinpoint precision
The primary goal of traditional in-person sampling is to get the product into as many hands as possible. In most cases, consumers briefly stop at your display, pick up a sample and quickly continue on their way. This brief interaction leaves brands often asking: Who stopped by? And, of those who stopped, who is in our target market to begin with? With direct mail’s targeting capabilities, brands can pinpoint the exact individuals they want to receive their product and deliver each sample as part of a personalized experience. At SG360°, we not only help brands reach specific known audiences, but help them create look-a-like models that drive acquisition based on the traits of their best performing customers.
Benefit 3: Build brand loyalty
While often used for customer acquisition, mailing samples to existing customers is a great way to build brand loyalty and turn these individuals into brand advocates. Beyond this, sampling to current customers is a great way to leverage existing good will and earn valuable feedback and product reviews.
Benefit 4: Create an omnichannel experience
Direct mail’s delivery tracking capabilities make it easy for brands to know exactly when their sample lands in-home. Leverage these capabilities to create an omnichannel campaign that includes triggered digital marketing touches such as a well-timed feedback request with direct links to your website and social channels or delivery of display ads to enhance brand awareness. Direct mail sampling is arguably one of the most enticing ways to garner brand awareness and boost conversions. By integrating this targeted and engaging tactic into your omnichannel marketing campaigns, buyers can experience your product before, during and after other moments of media exposure. Interested in using this proven method to attract new customers, show existing customers you value them and turn loyal customers into brand evangelists? Contact us to learn more about our turn-key direct mail sampling solutions.
Written by Jeana Garms
Director of Marketing at SG360°. A seasoned marketer experienced in designing and executing omnichannel marketing campaigns that combine the spectrum of marketing channels to drive desired actions and achieve results.