How to Tell if A Free Sample Offer is SPAM or Not
Offering free samples is a powerful marketing technique for companies. If a customer has sampled a product, they are 5 times more likely to put it in their shopping trolley! Offering free samples over the internet, is a great idea, as people only request it if they are interested in the product. However free sampling has got a bad name over the past few years by customers, because of SPAM! Yes, we have all been caught once when you sign up for something, it never arrives, but instead your inbox, or even worse your phone or credit cards, are being hit.
It is our job at ShopFree.com.au. to identifying a good and genuine free sample from a dodgy one and we have been doing it now for 10 years. (That makes us an expert!) Here are our tips of questions to ask yourself:
Is It A Big Brand?
Big brands spend a lot of money on brand awareness. That is the happy, trusting feeling you get when you recognise a brand. To protect this, they can’t afford to not deliver a sample they have promised. They want you to have a positive association with their product.
They also have bigger marketing budgets. It is very expensive to produce, package and post samples. Small companies often get caught out with overwhelming demand and just can’t afford to fulfil all the requests.
Big brands also have the people power to physically post out all of the samples. We have done it a few times and it is a time consuming and boring job, packaging, addressing and posting out 10,000 items! Again, small companies just don’t have the resources to throw at it and they quite often have to just give up.
Is The Sample Offered, Made By The Organisation Offering It?
For example, if you see an offer for a ‘Free Garnier Cream’ offered by any company other than Garnier … then stay clear. These companies have an ulterior motive to gather your personal details.
Localisation: Is It Available Australia Wide?
Be wary of international offers. We rarely find an international sample offer that is reliable. The logistics of sampling worldwide are just too hard.
Go for products that are available Australia wide. If it is too localised, ie Perth, then they will not deliver a sample to someone in NSW. You are not their market.
Terms and Conditions: What are you signing up for?
Signing up to e-newsletter list or LIKE their Facebook page is common and reasonable. You are stating yourself as an interested customer. You always have the option to unsubscribe in the future.
The T&C also states if you have to buy anything, pay postage, how many samples they have available and when the offer expires. Just a quick skim read will do.
However you should have a quick scan to check for the paragraph ‘How do we use and disclose your information. If it says :
– ‘We will only use your information for your stated purpose and we will not share it with any third parties’ then it is OK. They will just use your name and address to post out your sample as requested.
Be very cautious if they say:
– ‘We will share you information with third parties we think may be of interest to you’. This means they can give it to who they like … and who knows what those companies will do with it.
Facebook has increased the number of samples on offer in Australia over the last few years. Social media lets your friends know you LIKE their brand, plus you can easily review your sample experience. It has been a great thing for the sampling industry in Australia.
However, companies often request for:
– Your public profile and friends list
Facebook does not separate your public profile and your friends list, they come as a group lot. However it is not a concern, as a company cannot do anything with it. They cannot contact your friends and they cannot post on your wall. This is OK.
– To post on your behalf:
It is rude. Don’t say yes. If they insist, then walk away.
If you have said yes and you want them to go away:
– click on the padlock in the top blue bar,
– see more settings
– click the ‘x’ next to it to remove the app
Of course, you could just take the easy route and sign up with us. We will let you know what good samples are out there 🙂