Setting up free products in your WooCommerce website: Complete guide

Setting up free products in your WooCommerce website: Complete guide

Just like all entrepreneurs, WooCommerce retailers and digital product vendors always want more and more sales. One effective way to achieve this is to offer your customers WooCommerce free products. After all, people say the best things in life are free. And online shoppers take this rather seriously.

There are a good number of benefits to enjoy by offering your customers WooCommerce free products. Free gifts can help you boost your sales and conversion rate. You can use this strategy to also increase brand awareness and customer loyalty.

But offering freebies in your online store will only give you a good return-on-investment (ROI) if you put the right strategy in place.

There are several ways to offer WooCommerce gift products and effectively drive up sales. Some of them include:

  • Creating free products deals such as 'Buy one get one free' or 'Buy two t-shirts and get another one free'.
  • Sending completely free products to WooCommerce customers who have a coupon code or bought other products.
  • Offering product samples at no cost to the customer to encourage them to order the full-priced version of the product.

In this article, we'll share some expert tips and popular use cases for leveraging WooCommerce free products to your store's benefit. We'll then consider the best WordPress plugins for offering them and share a tutorial on how to set up our number 1 pick, WooCommerce Discount Manager.

Types of WooCommerce free products

As a WooCommerce store owner, there are multiple types of free product packages which you can offer your customers. As I mentioned earlier, the success of your WooCommerce free product campaign depends largely on the strategy you choose.

When choosing the ideal type of WooCommerce gift products for your store, it's important to consider your campaign goals. For example, you'll need different types of free products to drive sales, engagement, and brand awareness.

woocommerce free products sample example

Instead of sharing a long listicle of several WooCommerce free product types, we'll discuss two common use cases. These examples cover the major reasons why a store owner may want to offer their customers free products. We'll also suggest the best WordPress plugin for each use case.

This way, you can quickly find the ideal solution for your campaign instead of having to trawl through lots of options.

Let's get to it!

Method 1: Use WooCommerce Discount Manager to offer a wide range of free product deals

WooCommerce BOGO plugin

WooCommerce Discount Manager is the ultimate discount plugin for WooCommerce. It lets you create all sorts of deals and discounts, including a special type where you can offer free gift products.

The 'Free products' deal is surprisingly flexible and you can use it to configure a wide range of free products deals. For example:

  • Product selection - Offer any products in your store as potential free gifts, or specific products or categories only. For example, you can:
    • Set up a buy one get one free deal which will gift the cheapest item whenever the customer meets the minimum quantity for the deal.
    • Allow customers to mix and match different products and variations to get their free gift, or apply it on like-for-like products only.
  • Minimum quantities - Choose how many products must be in the cart in order to qualify for the WooCommerce free products offer.
  • Number of free products - Choose how many of the products in the cart will be gifted free of charge when the customer qualifies for the deal.
  • User selection - Either offer the free gifts to all customers, or specific roles or even selected individual users. For example, you might offer free products to new users only (which you can do by selecting the "guest" role).
  • Schedule the offer - Optionally set a start and end for when the WooCommerce free gifts will be available.
  • Promote the deal - Add custom content which appears on products pages and above the cart. These draw attention to the offer, encouraging customers to take advantage of it.

The most obvious type of free products deal is WooCommerce Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) products. However, you can use WooCommerce Discount Manager to set up a much wider range of gift product details.

How to set up WooCommerce free products

The plugin is easy to use. Simply install it, go to Marketing → Discounts, click to add a new discount and select the 'Free Products' discount type.

WooCommerce Discount Manager add discount type

Next, fill in the information about how you'd like your WooCommerce free products to work?

WooCommerce Discount Manager free products BOGO
Setting up a BOGO deal with WooCommerce Discount Manager

Use case 2: Give away free product samples

Free product samples are a highly effective marketing strategy for acquiring new customers and even selling more to your existing customers. A typical online shopper is averse to the risk of trying out a new product, especially from a new brand.

Buyers are generally more comfortable reordering a product they've used in the past. If your business is relatively new or you're launching a new product line, convincing customers to commit to a purchase can be quite difficult.

One easy way to get around this challenge is to offer your site visitors product samples in form of WooCommerce free products. This is quite similar to the traditional in-person product sampling businesses have used in the past.

This time, instead of putting up massive face-to-face events, renting event centers, and hiring sampling experts, you can easily deliver the same experience in your WooCommerce store. If well-executed, online product sampling can generate massive return-on-investment (ROI).

This approach works for both physical retail products and digital downloadable products. For example, you can offer:

  • Free samples of downloadable products e.g. music and video snippets to encourage people to buy the full version.
  • Free fabric, paint, or color samples of curtains, tiles, paint, flooring, etc.
  • Paper samples before a custom printing job e.g. wedding invitations or B2B printing.
  • Free eBooks (e.g. the first chapter of a paid eBook). Or it could be a short excerpt of any part of a book or publication that site visitors can download for free.

However you choose to use this strategy, the main idea is to give your customers a feel of your product. For the best results, you need to ensure that you leave a great first impression that encourages the customer to continue to the checkout process. Otherwise, you may be losing a potential high-quality customer and even damaging your brand reputation.

Let's look at some benefits of using this free products strategy.

Benefits of WooCommerce free product samples

Offering your site visitors WooCommerce free product samples can help boost your sales, conversions, and brand engagement rapidly. The psychology behind this strategy's effectiveness is pretty simple: everyone loves freebies!

Here are some of the major ways this method influences your store visitors:

  • By allowing your customers to try your product at no cost to them, they gain enough confidence to order the full product. This helps them get over the initial buyer's fear.
  • You get your products into the potential buyer's hands. Now they know how the product really looks and feels. This is a further step from just seeing online images that may not be as accurate or convincing.
  • This strategy keeps the shopper thinking about your product. If you manage to leave a very good first impression, the customer may end up doing some mouth-to-mouth advertising on your behalf. This is particularly good for brand awareness and lead generation.
  • It can also help you to raise customer loyalty and outperform the competition. Sending product samples always leaves your customers with a positive image of your brand and you can tap into this sentiment in the long term.

If you're worried about maintaining your profit margins, consider adding a charge for shipping free samples of physical products. You can also charge a discounted sum for the samples as well, if you don't want to offer them for free. Of course, you can offer a smaller version of the product for free, and charge for the full sized version.

Similarly, you can incorporate follow-up emails into your strategy to significantly boost the chances of getting customers to buy the full product. This is particularly important if customers have ordered samples from more than one company.

The WooCommerce free product plugin we'll be showing you next can help you implement all these features in your store.

WooCommerce Product Sample plugin

WooCommerce Product Sample - Single product

Looking for the best way to use free product samples to encourage your store visitors to buy the full version of a product? The easiest all-in-one solution is to use the best WooCommerce free product sampling plugin—WooCommerce Product Sample.

This plugin packs all the features you need to convince your store visitors to commit to a full purchase. You can use it to offer your customers free and paid samples of both simple products and WooCommerce product variations. This gives you complete control over your profit margin while offering your customers the best experience possible.

Key Features

  • Enable samples for product categories, individual products, or globally Choose the specific products you want customers to be able to order free or paid samples of. This works for all the WooCommerce product types. You can add ‘Order a free sample’ buttons to single product pages, shop, and category pages and customize them as you wish. This also applies to WooCommerce elements powered by other plugins like WooCommerce Product Table.
  • Manage product samples separately from other products Control sample product attributes like stock, maximum order quantity, and even shipping classes independent of the main products.
  • Send follow-up emails to push customers to buy the full product This is the only WooCommerce free products plugin that allows you to send email reminders to your customers. These emails tend to have a high CTR and conversion rate because the shopper now has a feel of your product.

How to offer free product samples in WooCommerce

To add free WooCommerce free product samples to your store, you can start by getting the WooCommerce Product Sample plugin here.

After getting the plugin;

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins → Add New → Upload Plugin.
  2. Next, choose the plugin ZIP file you downloaded and click Install Now then Activate Plugin.
  3. After getting the plugin, you must have received an email with your license key. Now, enter the license key and click Activate.

The next step is to enable product samples and complete the configurations of the plugin's general settings. To do this, navigate to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Product sample.

woocomerce product sample plugin woocommerce free products settings

On this page, you can enable the product sample feature. Also, edit other settings like the maximum order quantity, shipping class, and dynamic pricing if you want to offer samples at a discounted price.

To edit sample settings for individual products or categories, navigate to the product or category settings page and change the settings in the Product samples tab dropdown.

woocommerce product sampling marketing configure individual product settings

Finally, set up follow-up emails for product samples by going to WooCommerce → Settings → Emails.

Scroll down and click Manage next to 'Product sample follow-up'.

woocommerce free products sample follow-up email

After editing the necessary fields, click Save changes.

customize woocommerce product sample follow up emails

That's it! You've now successfully added WooCommerce free product samples to the front end of your ecommerce store.

How to make WooCommerce gift products profitable

Before we finish, let's discuss the elephant in the room 🐘. That's right - the question "How can I afford to give away products for free?"

You might be worried that gifting free products can negatively affect your store's profit margin. Instinctively, that makes sense as you're giving away free products with no guarantee that they will convert into future sales.

It's a fair point. Offering free gift products in WooCommerce can be a powerful sales incentive, but it’s essential to approach it strategically to ensure profitability. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Cost analysis:
    • Before offering WooCommerce free gift promotions, evaluate the cost of the free products. Calculate the production or procurement cost, packaging, and shipping expenses. Ensure that the cost of the gift doesn’t exceed the potential increase in sales.
    • Consider the long-term impact: While immediate costs matter, think about the overall customer lifetime value. A satisfied customer who receives a thoughtful gift product may become a loyal repeat buyer.
  • Set minimum purchase thresholds:
    • To make free products profitable, set minimum purchase thresholds. For example, offer a free product only when customers spend a certain amount. This is easy to do in WooCommerce Discount Manager and encourages larger orders. This ensures that the gift doesn’t eat into your margins for smaller transactions.
    • Monitor the average order value (AOV) before and after offering free product offers. If the AOV increases significantly, it’s a positive sign.
  • Strategic product selection:
    • Choose your WooCommerce gift products wisely. Opt for items that have a lower cost but high perceived value. For instance, sample-sized products, branded merchandise, or exclusive items work well.
    • Align the free product with your brand and target audience. For example, if you sell skincare products then a free travel-sized lotion could be enticing.
  • Promotion timing:
    • Time your free gift promotions strategically. Consider holidays, special occasions, or product launches. Seasonal offers can boost sales and create a sense of urgency.
    • Monitor the impact on overall sales during and after the promotion. If there’s a significant spike, it indicates success.
  • Track metrics:
    • Use analytics tools to track the performance of free gift campaigns. Monitor metrics like conversion rates, revenue, and customer retention.
    • Look beyond immediate sales. Assess whether the free gifts lead to repeat purchases, referrals, or increased customer loyalty.
  • Upsell and cross-sell opportunities:
    • Use free WooCommerce products to upsell or cross-sell. For example, offer a free accessory (like a phone case) with the purchase of a high-value item (like a smartphone).
    • Monitor the impact on related product sales. If customers buy additional items alongside the free gift, it’s a win.

Remember, the goal is not just short-term sales but building a loyal customer base. By strategically implementing WooCommerce free gift promotions, you can enhance customer satisfaction, drive repeat business, and ultimately improve profitability 📈

Start offering free products today!

Offering your store visitors WooCommerce free products is a tried and tested way of driving e-commerce sales, conversion, and brand awareness. But to get the best results, you need to back your 'giveaway' campaign with a solid strategy.

To start offering WooCommerce free products in your store, you can either:


  1. James, thanks for your very easy to read content. I would like a woocommerce plug-in for items that would remain FREE. These items would be LIMITLESS and FOREVER given out for FREE.

    • Hi Anthony. Thank you for your comment. If these items are standalone items and not samples of an already existing products then you don't need to use a plugin. You can simply create these items as products on your WooCommerce website and price them at $0.00. If you prefer your customers to see 'FREE' instead of the $0.00 price then you or your developer can change that by using a custom code. I hope this helps. Cheers!

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