Fulfillment – Just What Is It?
As I began to write this article, I thought that I would check out some synonyms for the word “fulfillment”. Two words that immediately caught my eye were accomplishment and satisfaction. I found this very interesting and as I looked at the words a little closer, it occurred to me that accomplishing satisfaction is exactly what sample fulfillment is all about.
Over the past 11 years our company has shipped out millions and millions of product samples for major pharmaceutical companies. In reality, it seems that we just started yesterday. However, I must say that we have been delighted to participate in the “consumer experience arena” and we hope to continue doing so for many years to come!
So, why do major companies keep sending out samples? Isn’t it to accomplish satisfaction? They are not afraid to walk the walk. They want to put their products into consumers’ hands so that people can try them, like them and use them and that accomplishes satisfaction for everyone!
In reality, you don’t have to be a fortune 500 company to send out product samples. We have mailed out as few as 200 or 300 samples in some fulfillment programs and we are working on a contest campaign where we may not send out more that 3 or 4 packages. What you do need is faith in your product or service and a strong belief that once your potential customer tries your product or service, they will like it and buy it.
You may be thinking that fulfillment is really expensive. Well, it doesn’t have to be. We have fulfilled packages for as little as $0.80 (stationery, mail preparation & postage) plus the cost of the sample. And, some have cost a lot more with the highest tipping in at about $15 per item. The latter sounds expensive, but on this campaign, every dollar invested has been recovered, with additional ongoing revenues being earned. That’s remarkable!
As very few of our blog posts have mentioned fulfillment, I realized that there are probably a lot of people that are not aware of our fulfillment services. Well, having passed the million piece mark a few times now, I can say that we are not only committed to it, we have become very good at it over the years.
There can be challenges for the uninformed, but they can all be avoided. Sample sizes, types of packaging and media channels all have to be considered, as do replenishment and delivery times. But, once the options are presented and the pros and cons of each are evaluated, it is easy to come up with a solution that fits the image and works within budget.
There’s no doubt that people like to get free stuff in the mail and if it’s good stuff that’s even better – for them and for you. Sample fulfillment is a great way to prove your worth to prospective customers and to accomplish satisfaction.
Try it, you’ll like it!