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These are the versatile effects of sampling campaigns

Ask consumers who have no experience with sampling the question what sampling means and you often get this answer: “A person receives a free sample of a certain product, hoping that person will purchase the product.” This is the case, if we don’t forget the research, the data, the psychology behind sampling and the value of customer feedback. In this blog it becomes clear what the effects of sampling are, how consumers react to sampling and what the value of customer feedback is.

The number 1 reason why companies do not take sampling actions

“Sampling promotions are expensive and not measurable.” This is a common misconception when we talk about sampling campaigns. To see if a sampling campaign is actually too expensive, we look at the Return On Investment (ROI). With the ROI you can measure how much a sampling campaign will cost you and deliver. The Return On Investment can be measured using the Sampling calculator. This only looks at how much money you as a company get back for your invested money. Name recognition or customer satisfaction is not taken into account in the ROI.

Sampling actions can be measured. You can measure a lot of data with good sampling campaigns. For example, research from Arbitron and Edison Media Research shows that no less than 66% of consumers leave a brand due to poor service. A sampling promotion is the perfect moment to find out what the client wants and wants to keep the churn rate as low as possible.

The 3 most important effects of sampling

A lot can be measured with a sampling campaign, but the effects of sampling campaigns in general have also been investigated. In the field of sales and brand recognition, a number of surprising data have emerged.

1. Growth in sales and brand awareness figures

Sales figures

Research by Arbitron and Edison Media Research into product sampling shows that:

  • 35% of customers who try a sample buy the sampled product in the same shopping trip.
  • 24% of respondents even say that the sampled product has replaced a product that they initially wanted to buy.

This percentage is even higher if you reinforce the sampling campaign through a product discount. In this way you stimulate not only the senses of the consumer, but also the wallet.

The trend of recent years is that modern consumers need to first try out a product before a purchase is made. This trend is supported by EMI EventTrack research into sampling at events. This shows that:

  • 65% of consumers who come to events make a purchase.
  • 78% of the consumers who make a purchase gave the reason that they had the opportunity to try the product.

In the short term, sampling offers the advantage that consumers buy your products faster. Sampling also has a long-term benefit. More than half of consumers who make a purchase at an event after trying a sample would buy the product again in the future.

Brand recognition figures

Brand awareness is at least as important as the sales figures. You can sell many products in a short period of time, but if your brand awareness does not increase, your brand will have problems with sales in the long term. Below we discuss a number of striking figures about the effects on brand awareness in sampling.

The EMI EventTrack study shows that:

  • Eight of the ten brands that use experiential marketing (for example sampling) have the goal to raise brand awareness.
  • 81% of consumers go to a stand or store to receive a free sample.

By allowing consumers to try a product, they develop a positive feeling about the product and the brand. Sampling promotions are therefore a powerful motivation for the consumer to come to your stand or store.


Ook is het zo dat consumenten graag opscheppen over onverwachte gebeurtenissen. Een mooi voorbeeld hiervan is sociale media, waar iedereen laat zien hoe goed en leuk het leven is. Door deze menselijke eigenschap wordt er ook nog eens mond-tot-mond reclame gemaakt voor jouw product.

2. Stimulate the brain

The effect of sampling is further fueled by the functioning of the human brain. The consumer is by nature a creature who wants to reduce fears. We do this by minimizing uncertainties. When buying a product that we do not know, there is always the uncertainty that the product is not satisfactory. Sampling minimizes this uncertainty.

It also appears that encouraging a purchase helps someone who is not yet fully convinced. The so-called foot-in-the-door technique assumes that a small request increases the chance of a second, larger request. With sampling, the first request is to try a product. The consumer can try a product for free. This increases the chances that the customer meets the second, larger request, namely the purchase of the product.

3. Getting customer feedback

Customer feedback is the most valuable information a brand can have. Information is the basis of all marketing communications. During a sampling campaign you can get this valuable information from the target group. The target group receives a sample and provides you with detailed feedback while trying the sample. With this information you can improve your product or create new products that meet the wishes of the target group. Questions about the repeat purchase intention can also be interesting to see if the sampling will also lead to repeat purchases. Simple questions can already help you on your way to improving or making your product. For example, ask questions such as:

  • What do you like about the product?
  • What do you dislike about the product?
  • What do you think of the price?

Asking for customer feedback is the most traditional way to find out what your customer’s needs are. Asking for feedback has been happening for decades, but the way has changed. Where in the past feedback was requested from customers sporadically and randomly, feedback is now periodically requested. More is asked for specific feedback and the questionnaires are getting shorter and shorter on average. This way you can improve the product at any specific point.

Sampling promotions for your company?

Do you have questions about this blog or are you curious about what we can do for your company? You can always contact us. We are happy to help you to bring your products to the attention.

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