The Crunch: Free samples have always been popular with consumers, but they’re also an important marketing tool for both small and large retail brands. As in-store sample distribution — along with shopping traffic — shifts to the internet, Freebie Hunter provides a place for brands to benefit from greater visibility and customer engagement. Launched in 2013, Freebie Hunter shares free samples, exclusive coupons, deals, and giveaways with customized pages for audiences in four countries. And by gathering, maintaining, and utilizing social media to share samples online, Freebie Hunter helps connect consumers with new products and small brands.
Inviting consumers to sample a product or brand at no cost and without any commitment has been a popular and longstanding method of fostering interest and gaining new converts. By allowing potential customers to engage with their products before committing to a purchase, brands can increase visibility — which is perfect for small businesses trying to build a loyal following.
Freebies have traditionally been distributed through the mail, in retail stores, and at public events, but access and visibility remained limited. With more people shopping online and integrating their e-commerce and in-store experiences, Freebie Hunter saw an opportunity to bring free samples to the web in a format that’s easy to navigate and share socially.
“Free samples have really gained traction online in the US and are a large part of many retail sectors — especially the beauty industry,” said Jay, owner of Freebie Hunter.
Freebie Hunter caters to that trend by linking the savings and brand engagement of samples to the convenience of online shopping. Launched in 2013, Freebie Hunter has become a socially engaged sample site where consumers can find hundreds of free samples, giveaways, coupons, and special offers in one convenient location.
Featuring both major retail brands and small-business products, Freebie Hunter spreads the benefits of freebies to both consumers and the brands they try.
From a Personal Project to Sharing Freebies with the World
Jay launched Freebie Hunter in 2013 as a personal project that stemmed from his interest in finding and sharing free offers, but once he saw how popular online samples were, he decided to expand it and build a business. As he worked on improving the site for his users, Jay spent time observing what worked and didn’t work for other freebie sites and researched where to find the best freebies.
Since this was his first experience building an e-commerce site, Jay also ran into one of the biggest challenges for a new webmaster — drawing traffic — and found that the key to getting more visitors was using social media.
“Social media is such a great way to gain traffic, as well as boost your SEO rankings at the same time. I think it would have been very hard to get the site up and running without social media, at least in the area of traffic,” Jay said.
Using market research and social media tools, Jay has built Freebie Hunter into a popular destination for bargain hunters, and its success shows in the receptive audience feedback.
“The reception has been really positive,” Jay said. “Many of our users will send us messages thanking us or telling us what they received, usually on Instagram and Facebook.”
A Searchable, User-Friendly Site with Regularly Updated Offers
In a world of cluttered savings sites, Freebie Hunter stands out with its simple layout, organization, and inviting feel.
“I like to pride myself on the fact that Freebie Hunter is easy to use — that’s the most important thing to me. I see other sites that are so clustered with deals and offers that they can be difficult to navigate,” Jay said.
The top navigation bar on Freebie Hunter allows visitors to browse by country of origin and category, whether they’re searching for beauty products, toiletries, groceries, or other offers like coupons, discounts, and giveaways. A sidebar lists freebies that are new or popular among users. Consumers can also use the site’s search function to look for a specific brand or type of freebie.
To take advantage of samples, registered users can select an offer, and then either fill out the brand’s web form, or, if it’s a freebie kit that includes multiple brands, use Freebie Hunter’s third-party fulfillment service.
Administrators at Freebie Hunter know it’s important to keep offer listings updated to reflect real-time availability. Responsive maintenance of time and inventory-sensitive deals ensure customers aren’t disappointed or misled, and the brands they promote aren’t affected.
“The problem I often face is that I will add a bunch of free samples to the site, and a day later they will all be out of stock. I see this happen all the time with other freebie sites and they will have an endless list of expired free samples,” Jay said.
Jay addresses this challenge by not only communicating with businesses and pulling offers that have run out of supply but selecting deals with availability and time frames that will give most of his audience an opportunity to take advantage of them. Freebie Hunter offers its visitors an average of two new freebie offers a week.
Showcasing Free Samples For Consumers in Four Countries
Driven by consumer demand, free sample production has become a key marketing tool in the US retail market —especially the beauty industry — but the trend hasn’t caught on as strongly in other countries.
“I launched the website focusing on US free samples, but users from other countries were feeling left out. I added a UK and Canada section,” Jay said. “And I often get messages from people in the UK asking if we can find more freebies for them, so I always try to update that section when I can.”
By acknowledging and responding to feedback from its users, Freebie Hunter is enabling consumers and retailers worldwide to enjoy the benefits of free samples and personal engagement.
Freebies Benefit Shoppers and Promote Small Businesses
Freebie Hunter believes that free samples aren’t just for major brands that have the infrastructure to mass-distribute them through the mail and in-store events — they’re a helpful marketing tool for small businesses as well. And retailers both small and large can take advantage of an expansive online audience that can help grow their brands.
“Compared to the days when you had to visit the store to try samples, the internet makes it so much easier for companies to give them out,” Jay said. “The consumer simply requests them and waits. I’ve also seen some companies ask users to leave a review on their social media sites after they’ve tried the sample, which is an excellent way to gain exposure and potential customers.”
The digital marketplace increases a small business’s visibility and access to consumers, which can help close the promotional gap with big-box retailers. Freebie Hunter also assists SMBs in maximizing their opportunity by sharing their free sample offers on social media.
Combining free samples with the online and mobile shopping experience consumers prefer, Freebie Hunter enables more integrated and satisfying brand encounters — which can have an enormous impact on a company’s bottom line.