SampleSource goes big with a million samples

The Toronto sampling co-op has just finished off its largest program to date, including a first-time partnership with Transcontinental magazines.

Toronto-based SampleSource has completed its largest program ever, including 14 brand partners, up from eight in the spring, and a new magazine partnership with Transcontinental. And as a result of the success of this run, the four-times-a-year program has almost sold out its 2013 winter and spring programs, says Rob Linden, sales and marketing director, SampleSource.

The national, multi-brand co-op, which distributes lines such as Glad, Nivea and OxiClean, among others, allows users to request bundles of samples online after creating a profile and being matched with the products best suited to them. Samples are then shipped to their homes, and users are later invited to submit product reviews.

“With our [audience], because the consumer has raised their hand and said ‘yes, I’d like to try that,’ they’re that much closer to making a purchase,” says Linden. “We’re seeing growth in the number of brands participating, and it’s fantastic.”

More than a million samples were sent out in the 36 hours following the Oct. 2 fall launch, he says. “Now that we’ve seen so many executions across such a large base size, we are now seeing results that are, on average, four times more effective than regular sampling tools, such as door hangers or street samples. The conversion rates we’re seeing are anywhere from 50% to 80%.” Based on earlier review programs (implemented this past summer), Linden expects more than 30,000 users to submit product reviews.

This also marks the first time that the sample program has partnered with Transcontinental for a free subscription program, where consumers were invited to choose a magazine for a three month-trial, based on their existing user profile.

“We’ve been talking with [Transcontinental] for a good 6 to 12 months about ways to drive our businesses, and this was a natural byproduct. It was win-win.”