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The Do’s and Don’ts of Sampling

In the digital age, consumers are constantly in contact with both online and offline advertising. Due to this abundance, the advertising message does not always come across as hoped. Fortunately, brands can use sampling to offer a product experience that still earns the customer’s trust. However, it is important to use this strategy in the right way. In this blog, we will tell you about the do’s and don’ts of sampling.

Do: sampling with a purpose

If you want to use sampling as a brand, it is important to have a clear goal in mind. For instance, do you want to create more brand awareness, start a trial or provide feedback on a new product? Depending on your goal, you can determine your sampling strategy.

Don’t: same method for each product

Each product needs a different sampling strategy. The fact that one strategy worked well in the past is no guarantee of success in the future. It is important that the consumer receives a sample at the moment that he or she both needs and has time for it. That is why it is important to develop tailor-made campaigns that ensure a match between the product and the target group.

Do: focus on a specific target group

With sampling, it is wise to determine a specific target group. If the right people are reached, this will ultimately yield more returns. If the target group is too broad, you will get opinions from people who are not interested in your product. This is a shame when the goal is to get feedback on a new product.

Not focusing on a specific target group therefore creates unnecessary waste, which is not desirable in your sampling campaign.

Don’t: demanding a lot of time from consumers

Consumers often see sampling as a nice extra. They have usually not asked for it. When you are collecting feedback, it is wise not to ask too much time from them.

Ask only a few questions. The chance of getting useful feedback will then be much bigger.

Do: determine the appropriate time and place

Despite the fact that people like to receive free products, they do not always have the need or time for this. For example, when someone comes home from work after a busy day and has to catch a train, this is not the time to hand out a sample.

Therefore, try to offer the sample at the time and place when the person needs it most or has time to devote to it.

Don’t: sample with unsuitable format

Before sampling a product, it is wise to check whether the format is suitable. It may be that the product is very large or liquid, which can make the production and distribution costs high.

In the case of drinks, for example, it might be better to sample them in a refrigerator, as is the case at Center Parcs. An additional advantage is that the recipient can then test the product in a homely atmosphere.

Do: use of social media and call-to-actions

If the purpose of sampling is brand awareness, you can make an appeal to the consumers who receive the product. Ask them to share a picture of the product in a creative way on social media via the sample, for example on the packaging or via a flyer. In this way, you can reach many people in a short time with a small number of samples.


When the recipient is enthusiastic about the sample, he must of course be able to find it back in the shop. Therefore, make sure that the appearance of the sample is not too different from the original product.

When the sample is an adaptation of an original product, such as a new flavor of Coca-Cola, ensure that the recipient of the sample recognise the original product from the packaging. In this way, the recipient can make the connection with earlier experiences with this brand or product and make a better comparison.

Do: measure results

Wanneer je gebruik maakt van sampling is het aan te raden om de resultaten te meten. Door middel van het feedbackprogramma van Lime Factory kan de ROI van een sampling campagne worden berekend. De consumenten krijgen vier vragen voorgelegd waarin een oordeel kan worden gegeven over de sampling.

Uit ervaring is gebleken dat ons feedbackprogramma waardevolle inzichten biedt. Zo krijg je onder andere inzicht in de productwaardering, de herhalingsaankoop intentie en het gebruik door de consument.

Don’t: focus on regular customers

If the goal of the campaign is to sell more products, focus on ways to acquire new customers. Do not give away samples via your own website or social media channels, but find other locations where potential customers are. Loyal customers who are already positive about your brand will not affect the sales figures.

If you want to increase loyalty and avoid loyal customers switching to another brand, do give out samples to your regular customers. As we already indicated in our first sampling do: always make sure that you sample with a purpose!

Sampling with success

There are many do’s and don’ts to consider when it comes to sampling. When you apply the right strategy, sampling can lead to more success for your brand.

One more time in brief all the do’s and don’ts of this blog:

1. Sample with a purpose
2. Not every sampling method is suitable for every product
3. Focus on a specific target group
4. Do not ask too much time from your target group
5. Determine the right moment and place for your campaign
6. Make sure the sample is of a suitable size.
7. Use social media and call-to-actions
8. Make sure that the appearance of your sample is not too different from the original product.
9. Measure the results
10. When you want to acquire new customers, do not focus on regular customers.

Do you want to start sampling?

By being active in the sampling branch for many years, we have gained a lot of knowledge in the world of sampling. Are you planning to set up a sampling campaign or do you have questions about what exactly we, as a sampling bureau, do? Then we can help you. Please contact us for more information.

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