In this article you will learn: how e-sampling differs from traditional sampling, what mistakes we can make with e-sampling and how to avoid them to get the best results.
How does e-sampling differ from sampling?
In short, e-sampling is a method of electronic sampling or distribution of product samples via online platforms, mobile apps or other digital channels.
The main differences between traditional sampling and e-sampling are:
Method and place of distribution:
In the case of traditional sampling, products are distributed at points of sale, trade fairs or various other events.
E-sampling is done through online platforms, mobile apps, or other digital channels where customers can apply online to receive product samples.
Traditional sampling allows for direct interaction between the brand representative and the customer when distributing samples.
In e-sampling, such interaction takes place online, by filling in forms, participating in competitions or using mobile applications.
Analysing the effectiveness of a traditional sampling campaign can be more difficult and labour-intensive compared to e-sampling.
As far as e-sampling is concerned, digital platforms enable the collection of consumer behaviour data, which makes it easier to analyse the effectiveness of an e-sampling campaign.
Example of running an e-sampling campaign
To illustrate what a campaign is, we will use an example from the cosmetics industry. For the purposes of the article, we will create simulations of such a campaign.
The example will concern an e-sampling campaign for the cosmetics brand ‘Magic’. The product will be the new ‘GlowMagic’ line of face creams. The aim of our campaign will be to raise awareness of our brand, encourage people to try new products, and obtain contact details of potential customers. Suppose we already have the products, we have properly packaged product samples, so now what next?
The first step in running our e-sampling campaign will be to create a bespoke website where customers can register and order a free product sample.
The next step will be to prepare a plan for social media and online advertising. Promotion of the campaign on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Using online advertising to reach a wider audience. It can also be important to work with beauty influencers to review and promote products. Influencers can share unique discount codes with their followers, encouraging them to participate in the campaign.
After customers order samples, emails are sent to registered campaign participants confirming the order and providing additional brand and product information.
Sending a request for feedback to e-sampling participants via email or a dedicated online platform. Monitoring social media reviews and responding to customer queries not only provides feedback on our product, but also builds a positive relationship with the customer by responding and staying in touch with them.
Users can, as it were, be encouraged to interact and relate to our brand through additional surprises for people who share their experiences on social media platforms using a dedicated hashtag. Special discount codes for the full-priced product can also be included with samples ordered.
Tracking the number of registrations and orders, i.e. measuring the effectiveness of campaigns. Analysis of social media and email interactions. Evaluation of the number of opinions collected and their tone.
What mistakes can we make in an e-sampling campaign?
Avoiding mistakes in an e-sampling campaign can help increase its effectiveness and contribute to a positive customer experience. E-sampling campaigns can be an effective marketing tool. However, there are a number of issues that are worth considering to make such a campaign effective.
What to look out for and what to avoid in e-sampling campaigns?
- An overly complicated process for ordering or obtaining a sample can discourage customers from ordering samples. Customers on the internet are looking for easy and quick solutions. If you have to fill out several pages of forms on our website to get a sample, no one will be interested in it. Ordering samples should be easily accessible on the website.
- Lack of clarity in marketing messages and advertising. Avoid vague offer messages or advertisements that can be misinterpreted. Customers should clearly understand what you are offering, how they can get a sample and what the benefits are.
- A mismatch between expectations and the offer can lead to a loss of trust. For example, if our offer suggests to the customer that our sample is efficient and will last for a couple of uses, and a sample that arrives at the customer’s home runs out just after two uses, we can expect a loss of trust in our brand. Customers will not take advantage of our full-price offer for fear that the same will happen to our products.
- Failure to prepare for increased demand. If an e-sampling campaign is successful, you must be prepared for a significant increase in orders for these products. Failure to prepare for this can lead to delivery and customer service problems. Customers discouraged with a lack of available stock will not return to our site when we replenish it.
- Insufficient analysis of data and campaign effectiveness. Regularly monitor campaign performance data, such as the number of orders, the cost of the e-sampling campaign, the number of samples ordered, page hits during the campaign, etc. Insufficient data analysis can lead to inefficient use of the marketing budget. Analysing such data will allow us to see the effectiveness of a campaign or spot mistakes being made, e.g. we can analyse how many people ordered the samples and how many ordered the full-priced product later.
- Lack of clear call-to-action (CTA), i.e. a prompt for action. Make sure your campaign has clear calls to action. Recipients should easily understand what they have to do to get a sample. We also need to take action to motivate customers to interact, complete a survey, give feedback or order a product.
- Neglecting to interact with customers. E-sampling campaigns can be an excellent opportunity to build relationships with customers. Don’t neglect interaction, answering questions or gathering feedback from your recipients. We need to respond to customer queries and comments, and provide friendly customer service.
E-sampling allows us to adapt to customers who are now far more likely to shop online with home delivery. Our world is becoming increasingly digital, so brands that are not developing their digital technologies – are being left behind.
At Burgopak Poland, we can help you carry out effective sampling. Contact us – we design and produce packaging for sampling for companies in Poland and abroad.