How free seeds can get customers to branch out

One of the seed stores I buy from sends free sample packets of seeds with every order.

A couple of years back they sent a specific kale, which I now use in my kale breeding.

Last year they sent a tiny tomato which was a hit with the family. Then I found out it might have genetics I want to cross with my existing mixes.

This year I placed a larger order and received two different lettuce romaine samples. Both sound great and hopefully will work well with my custom lettuce mix.

These samples are about half the size of the regular packets which are sold for $3-$5. That means each sample packet could sell from probably $1-2 but cost-wise, they probably cost pennies to produce.

(With a lot of plants, the cost is in the harvesting, cleaning, and packaging. One regular tomato from one regular plant could give you enough seed for a packet alone.)

Seeds are easy free sample because they all tell a story and get the customer to branch out. Even if a customer isn't interested in the sample, often they'll give it away as a gift or trade with other gardeners.

Your products might not be as easy to give samples away but it's worth considering. It might even make sense to develop a new product or partner with someone else to offer a free sample.

Eric Davis

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Topics: Gift Customer loyalty

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