Today, a regular sample box customer directed me to her blog where she posted her thoughts on the sample box business. I didn't ask her to do this. She did it all on her own and I'm just thrilled to pieces!
There's the long version and then there's the edited one. I posted the edited one but feel free to read the long one here. I fell in love with the whole thing instantly and decided to post it here.. well edited for space. If you are a black box participant or have ever thought about participating you should read this.
1. Ingredients are important. in ANYTHING going onto or into a body. Especially if pine, nuts, certain foods, etc are used, PLEASE List them.
2. Whenever possible, include instructions. Not everyone is familiar with sugar scrubs, wickless candles, melting body butter, paraffin hand treatments, that special kind of tea blend you just sent, or whatever. instructions put you HIGH on the "repeat buyer" list.
3. food scented bath and body products make a lot of people nervous. Especially chocolate and/or sugary treat products.
4. propaganda of any type is evil.
5. the best things to include in samplers are things that need to be purchased relatively regularly. Give us just enough to be addicted (for me it takes about a week). When we run out, we will run to your store and buy.
6. Make it easy for us to find you. Clearly label where your items come from, even when including a free sample in a previous purchase. Sometimes, those purchases are a gift.
7. Free samples (especially coordinating ones) tossed in a box with a purchase are awesomeness.
8. Sampler packs are the best way for handmade aficionados like me to find you. We may not always BUY from you, but at least we will know who you are. I have a whole file of business names from companies I have gotten great products, service and/or samples from and what type of products they have. If I need a gift, and it is not something specific, I frequently go to this list.
9. If you send something scented, please wrap it up, at least in a Ziploc bag so the scent doesn't get everywhere. I will get sick of the scent before I use the item.
10. Packaging is important. If your promotional sample looks a mess, what will your product look like??
11. Again, this is the most important thing on the list: INGREDIENT LISTS ARE IMPERATIVE!!
So there you have it! This is from a legit handmade customer that has a subscription to our boxes and purchases handmade EACH and EVERY month based on what comes in her Little Black Box. I'm going to ask other year long subscribers to do the same thing so maybe it will help businesses who are creating samples lead them toward success.