Thank you, sir ... Use text messaging to increase efficiency of product sampling

Posted by tom klein July 9, 2007

The challenge with selling a new product is getting potential customers to try it. Of course you can just give away free samples to everyone and anyone, but you may go bankrupt in the process.

Consider text messaging as your strategic ally. In this Starburst lollipops example, consumers were prompted to send in a text message (SMS) entry to win over 50,000 instantly redeemable prizes in the form of Starburst lollipops, instant win (mail out) prizes and entry into a grand prize sweepstakes draw. By using text messaging, you can integrate “send a message to receive a sample” right into your media (print, online, TV – anywhere). The difference here is that you’re sending samples to people who have shown an interest in the product. On top of that, you could also tie the sampling results back to specific media investments.

In any case, by using text messaging for product sampling, you’re putting your samples into the right hands, while also creating a direct connection with your customer. This means that you can follow up and continue to promote your product (e.g, send coupons). What sort of feedback do you get from your current sampling efforts?

There’s a whole common short code (CSC) ecosystem out there to help you develop and implement a product sampling program like we’ve described. Even if you’re not ready to go whole hog, you can’t lose by at least taking some of your sampling budget and running a short test.

Remember that every interaction with a prospective customer presents an opportunity to gather data. You can use the text messaging system to ask specific questions about how they learned about your new product. Then, once you’ve sent a sample, you can follow up to gauge their perspective - did you achieve "product concept fulfillment" or not?


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