eCommerce Lifestyle
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Dropshipping FREE Samples

Dropshipping FREE Samples

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Did you know many store owners make MORE money by dropshipping FREE samples?

Anton explains how in today’s episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast.

The podcast is also available on all major podcast players including, Stitcher and Spotify.

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Transcript

What's up everybody, Anton Kraly, here. Welcome back. Today I'm going to be talking about something that is strange, but true. Don't worry, it's not an unsolved mystery. We're going to be talking about how many Drop Ship Lifestyle members are actually making extra money by drop-shipping free samples, not the type of samples that you get at a Costco, even though I love them. I hope they come back soon. I'm talking about the type of samples that are designed to help you stand out from your competition, to help you generate more lead flow, and to help you get bigger sales, more high ticket sales, and especially more high ticket sales in bulk, all by giving out free samples. Now, this isn't something new. This is something that I first did on one of my stores back in, it was probably 2009, maybe 2010. I could tell from the day I did this, it led to more inquiries and over time it led to many more sales. Again, it's something that still works today.

What I want to do first is show you what this looks like on some different websites. Then I'll talk about how you can set this up for your own store. First though, it's important to note that this method does work best with high ticket stores. That is what I build. That is what I teach over at dropshiplifestyle.com. Know that going in. Also, if you are listening to the audio version of this and you want to see the websites that I'm talking about, what we're going to do is embed screenshots over on ecommercelifestyle.com. That's where I host the podcast. If you want screenshots links, transcriptions, go to ecommercelifestyle.com, click on 'episodes', where you could find this one and 270 more.

Let's jump into the computer and I'll show you what this looks like. Let's just say you were in the market for a new day bed. You go on Google, you search for daybeds and then you find the Anton day bed. Of course you want to buy that one, right? It's funny, this isn't the only product I've ever seen named Anton. In fact, my buddy sent me a photo from the West Elm store the other day. They have an entire collection now, called Anton. I think I'm going to buy the dining table to use as a desk. We'll see. If I have a new desk, that's why. Anyway, let's say you land on this page and you think that thing looks awesome. Also, it's named Anton, so I'm going to buy it, but then you're looking at your options when it comes to colors and fabrics. You see they have multiple grays, they have multiple blues. You don't know what would look best in your living room. And you see this thing costs $1,853. Are you going to buy it, have this $2,000 product show up and hope it works? Or would it benefit you if you could receive samples of these colors in the mail for free before you made your buying decision?

Well, what Joybird figured out, like many other stores that I'll take you through in just a minute, is that yeah, you would be more likely to buy. You'll see on their site, they have a page where they offer free fabric swatches. The reason I'm calling attention to this one first is because I'd actually ordered their swatches before and their presentation of them, the way they delivered them was much better than when I did this. The reason I don't do this anymore is because I sold the store where we used to send out free samples, but the way they do it, it comes in this gorgeous box, for what it is. It has this marketing material, in addition to all these big swatches.

The way that we used to do things like this was by getting an envelope or a small box, by putting in what the customers wanted, by adding a note. But the difference between mine looking uglier and theirs looking better is that I noticed with them, their followup was very, very weak, meaning that they sent me this thing for free because I requested it. Then I think I got one or two followup emails, no one ever called me or anything. What's interesting is when we did this in the business, when I owned it, we would follow up with people all the time. Automated, as soon as a product was delivered, the free swatches, we would have tracking information, the person that received it would receive an email, just making sure they got it, asking them what their initial thoughts were.

We had automations where we'd follow up with a phone call the next day, because we knew these were some of the best leads and not just the best leads to buy, but some of the best leads to spend a lot of money, to buy more premium materials or, to upgrade orders. Also, a lot of B-to-B sales came from this method. But they do have a really nice package and they have a video showing it off. You could check out this page and I'll link to it below this podcast.

Now, another example. This is another furniture one, this website, Rove Concepts. Maybe you want a Milo modular sectional, which is $3,700. Again, comes in all of these colors and they also offer a page where you can order free swatches on. Now, the one thing that they both do that I recommend doing yourself, if you want to be offering free samples and free swatches... We'll talk about other business types besides just furniture in a minute. But if you're going to do this, my advice is set it up so you have a dedicated page on your store where the customer can receive free swatches. And then have it so it's not like a product that they order where the price is $0.

Instead, set up a form. This could be with WuFoo, this could be with Google forms, whatever you prefer. When they enter their information, it can trigger an automation. If you don't know how to set up different automations and really get a lot of this stuff to happen automatically, be sure to check out Drop ship Lifestyle, go to module seven of the blueprint, where I train you on how to set up many different automations that this would fall under as well. You would know how to set this up if you go through module seven of the Drop ship Blueprint.

With that being said, the reason you want this as a actual form is so all of the leads that come through it can be sent to the same place to be followed up with. Again, I recommend following up via email and I recommend following up via phone calls. I also recommend keeping really good track of not just what you're sending in terms of samples, but how well they're converting. Are the people that are receiving them, actually buying? At what rate? Then, just like anything else in business, what can you do to increase that conversion rate? Can you add in an extra phone call? Can you add in a handwritten letter? Now you might be thinking, "Anton, I drop ship." Especially, if you're watching this on our YouTube channel, that's all about drop shipping and you don't have products in stock and you right now are working from a cafe in Thailand.

You're like, "How am I going to possibly do this?" Well, the good news is your suppliers can do this for you. Maybe not all of them. Maybe some of them never will. But if you reach out to your suppliers and you explain what I'm explaining to you right now, and how it can benefit them, and how it can make them more money as well. Then they should be able to do this for you. You're not asking for much. Depending on what industry you're in, you might be asking for one or two little things that cost a few bucks. You know what? Maybe they even say, we're going to charge five dollars to ship these for you, fine. You might be familiar with the company Oura Ring it's a company that... basically it should do what a Fitbit does, except on a ring. It measures your sleep. It measures a bunch of other stuff so you can look at how your body is doing day to day.

Now with this product, it's expensive. They know that people don't always want to spend a bunch of money without knowing their exact size, so they offer a sizing kit. And this is a product that has sold out a lot. In fact, I don't even know if they're offering it now because the demand was so high, but this is a product that they were selling for $5.00 Where you can get this kit in the mail. In fact, I actually have one of these at my house as well. You can try the different sizes to know exactly what to order before you spend a lot more money. Again, if you have an idea for free samples or something you want to offer for your customers, you can even charge a low ticket price for it to cover the expense, if your supplier is going to charge you. Or, you can eat that if it leads to more high ticket sales.

That's why monitoring your KPI's, your key performance indicators is so important. Knowing that once you start doing this, who is coming in as new leads and are they buying? If they are buying, what are they spending on average? Are they spending more than your normal customers? If it works, you put more time into it. If it doesn't, you cut back or pivot, just like anything else in business.

Now, I want to show you another example of how to do this here. So far we have covered how to do this for free. We've covered how you can do it for a very inexpensive price or again, eat that cost. Now I want to show you how you can do this and actually have your customers return the items. If we go here to Uplift Desk, they make standup desks. You'll see they actually offer a sample kit of the different woods that you can receive a desk in. Now, these are for their more premium products. Again, like I mentioned, in the beginning of this episode, this makes sense for premium products. What they do is ship this box to you, but let me come down here so you could see what it says. These are not for you to keep. They ship them to you in a box with a prepaid return label and they have you ship it back. Because as you could tell what the product like this, where the cost wouldn't be two or three dollars for the free sample, where the cost wouldn't even be five or ten dollars. It's probably much more, because it's blocks of this quality wood.

By the way, they know that nobody ordering these samples needs whatever it is, 15 blocks of wood on their desk. So they just say, "We'll send them to you. You send them back to us. Another creative way to do this. And this is something you can do whether you have your own brand with your own warehouse, whether you have a fulfillment center you use that you can send returns to again, if the customer send it back, you could ship it back to the next customer from there. Or if you drop ship, when you are again, reaching out to your suppliers, trying to have them work with you on sending free samples. Now, you're armed with different options.

Option one would be, if you know the things are super inexpensive, then, "Hey, can we ship these to our potential customers for free?" Meaning your supplier would cover the cost. If the products are a little bit more money or they just say no, then you could say, "Okay, how about we pay for the products." Whatever it is, maybe it's five or ten dollars per free sample. Then again, you track your numbers to make sure those are turning into sales for you.

Or, if you sell products where samples would be much more money, something like this. Again, I don't know what this costs them. Maybe 30, 40, 50 bucks, then just have it set up so that you can have the people receiving them send it back. You send it to them with a prepaid label. Of course not, everyone will send it back. Some people are not good people, but whatever. Overall, you'll get most back. This is whether it comes to you at a warehouse, whether it goes to a fulfillment center where they can repackage it and send it again, or whether it goes to one of your suppliers.

Guys, I hope this episode was helpful. As always, it's a lot to explain in a short amount of time, but what I try to do with this series is just give you real things that not only I do or have done, but things that are working in our community over at dropshiplifestyle.com right now. I get that a lot of people here might not even have a store yet. By the way, if you don't, let me know in the comments. Let me know if you have a store or if you don't. If you're listening, you can leave a review over on Apple Podcasts and let me know there. Either way, this is something to keep in mind, keep in your head. For as your business grows, as you're looking for more ways to stand out, as you're looking for more ways to bring in leads. And as you're looking for more ways to increase your average order value.

As always hope you got value. If you did, please do leave a review for the podcast. If you're watching on YouTube, give it a like and click subscribe. If you are not member of my coaching program yet, what are you doing? Check out dropshiplifestyle.com. I will link that up below as well. Thank you everybody. I appreciate you. I will talk to you on Thursday for the next episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast. See you everybody!

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