Deliver Magazine. Mail Marketing Strategies from the U.S. Postal Service®

Outside the Box: Trial Size Me

September 14, 2012
Brand Marketing

If you read Deliver on a regular basis, then you know that mail works for businesses. We can tick through a wealth of numbers that show mail has a significant impact on household purchase decisions: Eighty-one percent of households look at advertising they receive in the mail. The person who brings in the mail and sorts it is usually the principal shopper in the home. And mail drives responses — returning $12.47 for every $1 spent, on average.

So, no question mail is effective at getting out your brand messaging, but even better: Use mail to get your product directly into the hands of your best customers by sending a sample.

Sampling can be a highly effective and persuasive technique for generating sales. In a December 2009 survey for the Postal Service,™ 61 percent of consumers said that sampling a product is the most effective way to get them to try a brand, and 81 percent indicated they would try a sample they received from a brand.

Packages delivered through the mail get immediate attention, and surveys show us that people consistently rate samples as one of the top five items they like to receive in the mail.

Putting your product directly into the hands of customers and prospects — especially when using a targeted channel like mail — is effective and efficient. You’re reaching your best customers in a place where they’re most comfortable making purchase decisions — right in their own home.

We understand that our pricing hasn’t always been competitive with other channels, and we’re acting to change that. So, we’re initiating a new program in January that will make using mail for sampling more cost-effective and less complex. Our goal is to ensure that businesses that use the mail for samples receive the level of return they need on their investment.

You might also want to investigate our Sample Showcase box — which gets your product into the hands of a targeted, interested group of consumers. The box features samples, promotional items and coupons — and you can choose to be one sample in the mix or buy out the box for your brand.

Our Postal Service Samples team is ready to answer questions about sampling and how it could impact your brand. Contact us at for details.

Samples do lead to sales. Discover the value of sending samples through the mail by downloading our white paper at

Marc McCrery is manager of shipping products for the U.S. Postal Service and executive manager of the sampling program.

Brand Marketing