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Cosmetic sampling greatly increases reader purchase

LONDON - Free samples in magazines increases the likelihood of purchases by 56%, according to a survey of Marie Claire readers.

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Of the 1,000 Marie Claire readers surveyed, 64% had removed the sample and 80% of those that did said the probability of making a cash purchase was dramatically increased.

As many as 42% of readers agreed that free samples make them take more notice of display advertisements too.

Martin Corke, group advertisement director of IPC Innovator, said that the research proved that readers value sample magazine sachets.

"The research findings prove that readers positively embrace sachets in magazines and are significantly more likely to make a purchase as a result of sampling products in this way.

"This research is especially timely as increasing numbers of firms are considering sampling in magazines and we now have proof that it adds real value," he said.

Brands that currently offer free samples in magazines include L'Oreal, Wella, Nivea and Chanel.

Research confirming free sampling has been extremely sparse in the past. IPC Innovator, responsible for bound-in, tip-on and loose inserts at the magazine giant, and sampling consultancy Sampling Innovations are the first companies to confirm clients' instinct on choosing to sample.

Derek Lockyer, managing director of Sampling Innovations, added: "This research proves a simple fact: that sampling works in extending brand awareness and increasing sales."

The survey was carried out by IPC Innovator and Sampling Innovations.

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