It is doubtful that people will have negative reactions to receiving your product for free. Everybody loves a freebie, after all! But, product sample marketing surprisingly is a multilayered marketing tool. Let’s talk about how and why.

Sample marketing campaigns are about more than just giving products away. They must make sense to your brand, bring positive results for your company and attract consumers so they continue to buy what you offer.

It is possible to generate buzz and improve sales by just distributing samples, but great campaigns do much more than that. And there are many different ways to approach a product sample marketing strategy.

Here are some suggestions to make your products stand out in a competitive market.

What to keep in mind when creating your campaign

Every marketing campaign needs clear goals and objectives. It is challenging to measure if you have succeeded with your strategy if you don’t know first what you are trying to achieve.

When it comes to product sample marketing, your goals can vary. You might be interested in introducing a new product to your customers, aiming to boost sales, advocating for a brand change, or even learning more about consumers and what they think about your products. For every goal, there is a more suitable strategy.

Your shoppers will also help you guide your strategy. You should have a very clear idea of who these people are, what they are looking for, where they shop, and their preferred shopping method or medium. All of these pieces of information will provide you with insights into what approach is most effective.

The next step in creating a sample marketing strategy is developing the samples. Your product will indicate the best way to distribute free samples. For example, food items might not be suitable to send by mail. Maybe your product is too specific and has too many details to explain, and a digital campaign won’t cover your needs. Therefore, your products will dictate the best way to reach out to customers.

A company specialising in sample marketing will be able to help you understand all these variables and plan the most creative and effective campaign. Here are some creative product sample marketing campaign ideas to help spark your creative juices.

10 Creative Product Sample Marketing Campaigns

Creativity can be subjective. Still, surprising your customers or creating a memorable opportunity to showcase your product are excellent measures of inventiveness.

Your goals will help you direct your ideas toward innovation. If you know what you are going for but are still unsure how to approach it, we have some suggestions on how to distribute samples in a way that will impact your industry and, most importantly, among your customers.

1. Invite your customers to register

One of the most valuable outcomes of marketing campaigns is consumer insights. Through a well-developed and well-executed sample distribution, you can collect information about potential buyers and maintain them engaged and connected with your brand.

In 2019 we created a campaign for Guerlain inviting customers to register to receive a free sample. As a result, 92% of people said they loved the item they received, and 82% said they would likely buy the product in the future.
Guerlain gathered important consumer data during the registration process, which helped them communicate better with their audience.

You can create a website, newsletter or social media post inviting people to input their information and send samples to encourage engagement.

2. Distribute samples at a pop-up store

A pop-up store can be a great way of generating interest in your product or service. It is also an opportunity to give your product away for free and get feedback.

We have partnered with Clarins and did just that, inviting customers to tell us what they thought of the samples they received. Out of the consumers we interviewed, 79% said they would likely buy Clarins products in the next six months. The products received an 88% approval rating.

Much like booths in a supermarket, pop-up stores can attract potential clients. With an in-person interaction, customers can ask questions, learn more about the products and later remember what they were told.

3. Partner with brands your customers also enjoy

A common strategy of product sample marketing is giving products away when customers buy in a specific shop.
For example, if your customers love Sephora or often have breakfast at Starbucks, why not partner with these brands and offer clients a freebie when they shop there?

This approach requires a deep knowledge of your customer’s preferences and an understanding of your partner’s brands and positioning. After all, it has to make sense. Results can be improved awareness of your company or product and increased sales.

4. Sponsor an event

You might think sponsoring events is the equivalent of investing in the World Cup or the Superbowl. That is not what we are suggesting here!

When you know exactly what your customers like and how they behave, you can sponsor events that will likely attract them. Imagine your product is a fantastic new deodorant that lasts longer than anything available. You can sponsor a small sporting event, getting the attention of athletes and people interested in intense physical activity. Participants will receive a sample, try it and remember it next time they need a long-lasting deodorant.

Sponsoring events, however, means more than just sports. Think outside the box, collect data on potential buyers and get to planning.

5. Be where your customers are

We discussed the importance of knowing your customers and their interests. This idea here is all about this sort of knowledge. Distributing samples in person brings excellent results if you catch your customers at the right time of their buying journey.

Setting up booths in shops most visited by potential customers increases your brand’s visibility and improves the likelihood of people buying your product.

You can also distribute samples outside shops, in areas or locations where your target consumer will be: parks, bars, or museums.

6. Give suggestions on how to use your product

In your product sample marketing strategy, you can also innovate how you present your product. You can provide a recipe with a food product sample or a step-by-step self-care routine with a new cosmetic sample.

Explain to your customers how they can enjoy your product and provide suggestions for improving their day. You will undoubtedly make a lasting impact if they incorporate your brand into their daily lives.

7. Send your product to influencers

Influencer marketing is a fast-growing market. Sending samples of your product to the right people can be revolutionary for your brand.

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 61% of consumers follow influencer recommendations, trusting their seal of approval. Younger generations also pay a lot of attention to content created by internet celebrities. Sending samples of your product to an internet personality who speaks directly to your target audience can be more efficient than advertising on TV.

8. Share the stories of your customers

Once your product is in the hands of your consumers, encourage them to share stories and experiences. You can do that by reposting comments on social media, creating a hashtag they can use to post about your brand or even creating a contest to help them feel motivated.

Your brand visibility will improve the more people talk about your products, so make room for that. Highlight user-generated content to show how much you appreciate your customer’s feedback. People who love your products will be your best brand ambassadors.

9. Partner with a good cause

Social issues, environmental causes and the fight against oppression should be everyone’s concern – including brands. One way of avoiding heated debates but still showcasing your involvement with the community in which your company operates is partnering up with a charity.

Give away samples of your products to volunteers in an animal shelter. Include your samples in donations to the homeless or refugees. Use your power as a brand to bring attention to problems and help create a solution.

10. Create a surprising experience

The last suggestion we have is straightforward: be different. You don’t have to follow these ideas or try any strategies big brands are trying. You can surprise everyone with something completely unexpected.

Distribute samples in an escape room, cover a tree with some of your samples, or send a few of your products in helium balloons. Go completely crazy!

Often, what surprises people is what they will remember for years to come. With great research, a deep knowledge of your customers and careful planning, you can afford to go wild.


The only way to go wrong with sample product marketing is not understanding your customers or your goals. You are ready to create an innovative and memorable campaign if you are fully aware of what these two factors represent in your business.

Hiring a sample marketing company will help you not only with distributing your products but also with analysing results. The most important outcome of any campaign is the insight you will get, which will help you prepare for future launches and ideas.