Coupons and samples ‘key’ to e-marketing

Distributing samples and money-off coupons online is key to building consumer interaction, new research suggests.

A survey of nearly 7,000 consumers conducted by Bounty Insight on behalf of Diss Promotional Services found that 87 per cent had used samples or coupons in the past. Of that 87 per cent, nearly half had requested a sample online in the previous four weeks, with 18 per cent doing so in the previous week.

Nearly half of those who used samples or coupons had responded to a Web advertisement for an online sample, 28 per cent had done so after seeing a television ad and 18 per cent had requested one after being told about the offer by friends or family.

Diss Promotional Services sales director Stuart Oxley says: “Online sampling is a highly effective marketing tool and perhaps to some extent underestimated.” But he warns that consumers who respond online expect to get their samples quicker than those who respond by traditional methods. More than two-thirds of online coupon users expect to get their free sample within ten days, with only 18 per cent prepared to wait the customary 28 days.

While 27 per cent say they redeem coupons, the redemption rate climbs to 40 per cent for those who sign up for e-coupons.

Oxley adds that 80 per cent of coupon and sample users said they would appreciate an opportunity to provide feedback on the offers they received.

Respondents were most interested in getting coupons for health and beauty products, baby products and home care products. Pet care products appealed to only nine per cent of those surveyed. Food and drink products topped the list of the most disappointing samples ever received.

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