Today’s blog post is about the free sample requests and to address the increasing customer anger we are experiencing for not posting them out. So, let me start by explaining how the system used to work.
A customer would visit our show stand or our website; they requested scent samples which we would post out. These people were interested in our company and our product range and would generally go on to purchase from us.
Typically, we would post out about 25 per day, and about a third of the recipients would purchase from us. Each sample pack, including postage, costs us about £2 but it worked well and was a win-win situation for our customers and us.
Then everything changed.
Unbeknown to us, someone shared this offer onto numerous “freebie” websites. The number of requests exploded. To date, we have had about 70,000 applications for free samples. We are a small company with very limited resources and certainly not £140,000 in the bank to post them all out.
Recently we sent out a test batch of 1000 samples to this new list of prospective customers at the cost of £2000. If the conversion rates remained the same, we would have expected to receive about 300 orders which would have totalled about £12,000. More than enough to cover the cost of the stock, the shipping, the original samples with their postage and for us to make a small profit on the transaction.
But when we analysed the results from this test batch of 1000, they were almost unbelievably bad. We received just four orders totalling £97. This is unsustainable, and we cannot continue to send them out for free.
Sadly, a system that worked very well is now broken and corrupted by a group of people who have no interest in our products; they simply want a freebie. This is fair enough on their part, but it is now having a very negative impact on our reputation.
Each day we are receiving hundreds of angry emails demanding the free samples. We don’t even have the resources to answer each one. Andy, who is responsible for this part of our business, only has one pair of hands and he answers the phone to customers, replies to all their emails and then wraps and packs all the orders.
The problem is that we cannot identify who is a “real” customer requesting samples before buying and the thousands of others who have put in a request.
To be honest, it’s a nightmare!
So, as of now, I’m writing to explain that we will no longer be sending samples out free of charge. If this is the only reason you are on our email list and do not wish to hear from us again, then please feel free to unsubscribe. If, however, you would still like to receive samples, then you have the following three options.
Option One: Make a purchase from us, and your samples will automatically be included with your order.
Option Two: Pay £2 to receive your scent samples and you will also receive a £5 voucher to spend on our website.
Option Three: Visit our stand at one of the many shows we do and smell the scents in person.
I’m very sorry that we have had to make this change and that we can no longer offer the samples for free, but it is the only way that we can see to move forward. Thank you as always for your continued support. Justina and I, along with all our team really appreciate it.