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    Burda study proves the effectiveness of samples

    Added-value advertising  
    Whether it’s perfume or cosmetics, for 82 % of participants in the study, stuck-in or pull-out samples are a real bonus. Only 15 % of those surveyed found samples annoying. For the vast majority of respondents they are both practical and exciting. 84 % of those surveyed use samples as a way of trying out new brands and products. Over half of women like to use samples to help them choose a gift (53 %) or to take with them when travelling (51 %). In fact, 63 % are so curious about the sample that they test the fragrance or cosmetic product immediately, on the spot.

    Magazines are the number one medium for samples
    88 % of women who use samples or vouchers for samples get them from magazines, making magazines the number one source for samples. Incidentally, this also applies to younger age groups – 74 % of those in the 16–34 age category get their samples from magazines. Far fewer people are prepared to make a detour via the Internet. A total of just 32 % of those surveyed ordered samples online, usually in response to a TV or online advert.

    Ad specials with samples drive sales
    68 % of participants in the study had bought a product in-store on the basis of a magazine sample at least once; just over half of them (54 %) had bought products online. Samples don’t just work for fragrances either – cosmetic samples for creams, shampoos and so on are similarly effective, with 64 % buying in person and 50 % online. And there’s more. Overall, samples are the second biggest reason for buying any product, beaten only by replacing a product that has been used up.

    "Consumers see samples as free gifts. The feel of them in your hand is very important, which is why print is definitely the number one medium for samples. The thing that stood out most for us in the results was the way they encourage people to buy the products. A large proportion of women actually do go out and buy the products advertised on the basis of samples. The only thing that provides a stronger incentive to buy is if a consumer has simply run out of a given perfume or lotion. That tells you just how effective samples are in advertising.”

    Tanja Seiter

    Head of Client Research bei MMI

    * The study surveyed 1,000 women aged between 16 and 69. The participants were interested in cosmetics and were regular readers of women’s magazines. The study was carried out by Norstat Germany.