There are so many marketing techniques out there that companies use to get you to buy their products. The best and my absolute favorite is word-of-mouth marketing through free product sampling. I love getting new products to try and am more likely to buy a product once I’ve tried it than if I had just seen it on a shelf. Another important purchase influencer is whether my friends and family recommend the product. If my friend said she lost weight using a product and posts pictures on her Facebook feed, you'd better believe I’ll try that product over the countless other weight-loss products that I see on store shelves. We trust our friends’ recommendations, and product marketers want to capitalize on that trust through social marketing.

Many companies out there would love to give you their product for free in exchange for your honest and enthusiastic promotion. Promote products through social media or even host parties! Here are four that I would recommend!

1. BzzAgent

BzzAgent is one of my favorite product-testing companies because they have loads of campaigns that cover health & beauty, food, pets, home, and health & fitness. Simply sign up on their website to take a few short surveys that will allow BzzAgent to match campaigns based on your lifestyle and preferences. From time to time you will receive emails asking you to sign up for a campaign to try out a product. You’ll then have to take another short quiz to make sure you qualify, and a box of goodies arrives at your door a few days later! Try out the product and give your honest and thoughtful review, then post on social media and/or your blog to spread the word. I’ve been a member of BzzAgent for three years now and have participated in campaigns for Burt’s Bees, Dr. Oetker, Hill's Science Diet, Bil-Jac, Schick, MorningStar Farms, Glade, Fekkai and many other companies.

2. Smiley360

Smiley360 is another product sampling company that offers brand-name products for you to try, review and tell your friends about. They look for reviews from real people, regardless of if you have a blog. Just fill out your user profile and apply for missions to try out products when they come up. You won't get picked for every mission, but when you do, you’ll receive a product to try. The last product I reviewed for Smiley360 was a Centrum multivitamin. They even sent me a box full of samples to hand out to my friends!

3. Crowdtap

Crowdtap is where brands and consumers meet. Their website utilizes the power of crowdsourcing to promote products and offer reviews. Brands connect with campaigns through Crowdtap, and Crowdtap users comment and discuss the question or idea proposed. Brands like Kleenex, Herbal Essences, Cottonelle and Kellogg’s (just to name a few) offer samples and opportunities for active Crowdtappers to try. Sometimes you’re even given coupons to hand out to friends! House party opportunities are also available, allowing you to host an event so that you and your friends can try a new product together.

4. House Party

If you like telling your friends about a great new product you found, why not invite them over, put out the chips and salsa, and try a new product all at the same time! That's exactly the premise behind House Party, a social promotion company that partners with brands to bring new products to consumers. Check out the House Party site and apply to host a party on a set date (they already have the dates picked) for a brand you love or want to try. If you get picked, House Party ships free samples, full size products and other goodies for you and your friends. Take photos of your party and upload them to the House Party site along with product reviews from you and your friends. What a great way to try out new products from brands like MorningStar Farms, Sabra, L'Oreal and Hasbro—and have a party in the process!

If hosting a party isn't your thing or the party dates don't work for you, you can also apply to test out products via House Party's Chatterbox section. You apply to try out a new or familiar brand, tell your friends, and post your reviews on the Chatterbox website and social media. I was selected to try products from Mary Kay (full size skincare products!) in the past and loved the experience as well as the products I got to sample! Chatterbox also partners with companies like Gevalia, McCormick, LEGO, and even books and movies. Giving your feedback is easy, and the free products are a great perk.



4 New Ways to Try Products for Free