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January 25, 2015

Four Simple Steps To Scoring Free Stuff

Guest Post by Emily Bristol from The Korean Couponer
Your opinion matters!  The companies and brands you love and use really are interested in your opinion and feedback.  
In fact, they are so interested that some of them actually respond and reward you for taking your time to tell them what you really think of their products!
Follow my four easy steps and you will be well on your way to having coupons, freebies and samples show up in your mailbox weekly! 
 Step One: Create and Use a COUPON/JUNK Email Account
If you do plan to give your feedback via email you might want to consider using a new email account that will be dedicated as your "coupon/junk" inbox.  I have one and I actually love checking it several times a day because my offers are in one central location.
My Coupon-Junk Email Screenshot
photo credit: The Korean Couponer
Doing this also helps you cut down on feeling aggravated by multiple offers or spam from the promotions because you can control your notification settings.  I am also more relaxed when giving out my "coupon/junk" email address because I don't have any personal information exchanged in the messages from these offers.
Step Two: Seek out your favorite brands on Social Media and sign up for updates and newsletters
I have found that is really useful and easy to contact my brands through social media.  I use Facebook because I can type in the brand name in the search box and then it redirects me to their fanpage.  I can find the actual company web address in the box to the left on each fanpage since they all have the same fields.
Post Cereal FB Screenshot (1)
photo credit: The Korean Couponer
This saves me tons of time and all that is left to do is to find the contact us tab and then tap away on the keyboard as I type my "fluffed up" email.  If you don't like Facebook then use whatever social media you prefer.  You can easily find the web address on the profile pages and that will redirect you to their actual website.
I wrote to Johnsonville sausage and they told me about an Enthusiasts Club that I joined and now I get offers in my inbox as well as offers sent via snail mail!  It's a WIN-WIN!
January 6, 2015
Dear Emily:
We are more than happy to provide you with coupons for your next purchase of Johnsonville products.  Our coupons can be redeemed at any of your local stores toward the product of your choice.  Please expect them to arrive in the mail within 5 business days.
We are able to provide coupons for our consumers every 90 days and invite you to contact us again after this time has passed.  We would be more than happy to send you additional coupons at that time.
We would like to invite you to join our Enthusiasts Club.  This is an online newsletter for fans of Johnsonville products.  Periodically, newsletters will be sent via email to our registered Enthusiasts with information about new products, special promotions, recipes, and even coupons. If you are interested, please use the following link to sign up:
Remember to keep coming back to for more great recipes, tips, money-saving coupons and much more.  Got a Facebook account?  Johnsonville does!  Click “Like” at to keep up on all the latest Johnsonville news and announcements!
We truly appreciate you contacting us with such positive comments about our products.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions and/or comments in the future.  We would love to hear from you again soon!
Karen Crozier
Consumer Relations Department
Here are a few images of the freebies I get in the mail from time to time on a random basis:
Nesquik Freebie Sample Pack and Coupon
photo credit: The Korean Couponer
Emergen-C Freebie Sample Pack and Coupon
photo credit: The Korean Couponer
 Step Three: Write a detailed email listing what you love and hate about the products you use
Do what's called "fluffing" when you write to your companies.  Fluffing is when you say two or three compliments BEFORE you give your ONE complaint.  
I believe that fluffing will remind us of the reasons we use the products in the first place and perhaps it will encourage the reader to be more generous when sending us the coupons or gift cards.  Either way, it can't hurt to be nice and gracious!
This is my original message to Huggies in an email I sent recently to give feedback on their products: 
Sent: 12/31/2014 14:31 CDT
Subject: Diapers create a rash
I have loved your products for the past 10 years and only now with baby #3 do I find that your diapers leave him with a rash.  It only happens with your brand of diapers as I have used all other competitors.  I regularly coupon and use what's on sale or discount with the best savings.   I do change my baby regularly and frequently and no other brand of diapers does this to his skin but he breaks out in a rash along his butt crack.  (No other nice way to put it that best describes it)   I also have issues using the wipes as they are not quite pliable as I had hoped they would be.   I don't have any product info to share with you as I have long since thrown out the bags and boxes.  I decided to share my thoughts as an after thought.  Thanks for all you do!
This was their response to back me:
Dear Emily,
Thank you for reaching out to us about HUGGIES® diapers.  I am so sorry to hear that your child experienced an irritation while using our product.
The HUGGIES® team and I care deeply about the quality, safety and performance of our products.  We have evaluated each component in our HUGGIES® diapers to ensure they should not produce an irritation.  Most importantly, we care about how our products impact your family.  The information that you have provided will be reported in detail to our diaper team.
As reimbursement for the cost of your purchase, a personalized Kimberly-Clark Visa® prepaid card will be mailed to you, on our behalf, by Citi® Prepaid Services.  It can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted, including retail stores and online merchants.  Please look for the card to arrive by mail in about two weeks.
Families put their trust in HUGGIES diapers every day, and we are committed to making safe products to meet your needs.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail at any time.
Consumer Services, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
Lead the world in essentials for a better life.
Yes, yes....I realize that I did not "fluff" my email.  I am also going to take my own advice in the future!  
Did you read the part where Huggies said that they not only care, but they DEEPLY care about the quality, safety and performance of their products?  To me this translates into "We care about the fact that you spend your hard earned money on our products and we strive to make sure we deliver the best to you!"
Step Four: Create a list and spreadsheet to keep track of when you make contact.  
I strongly urge you to keep a spreadsheet and list of the companies and products you rate just like mine in the sample below.  My list is short because I have only recently decided to document and pay attention to this process!  I really enjoy checking my mailbox now because it always feel like a surprise when coupons, samples and offers arrive weekly. 
Reviews of companies and brands I use image
photo credit: The Korean Couponer
To Do Contact List Sample Text (1)
photo credit: The Korean Couponer
Go here to get your own free spreadsheet to use when you contact companies!
The coupons that the companies and brands send to you typically have a much longer expiration date than the ones we get from our newspapers or print online.  I have noticed that they will expire within a 6-8 month timeframe.   Be sure to check and see if the gift cards have an expiration date as well.
I usually wait on using these until I find the absolute best deals I can put together for maximum savings and since they don't expire for a long time I can actually wait it out for crazy good deals.  
To see how I combined the Huggies gift card to purchase 1,936 Huggies baby wipes for only $0.28 then click here.
See how I did another deal for Pampers Diapers here.
Final Step: Wash, rinse and repeat and continually work on your list.  Don't forget to add new products and brands as you use them to your list!  
Have you written to companies and received nice little rewards from giving your feedback?  Are there any companies that you contacted that never responded?  I have one so far and I am so disappointed!  BTW...they didn't make the list!!  
"Emily Bristol is a practical couponer who loves helping people turn their pennies into dollars.  You can find her money saving tips, recipes and deals on her blog The Korean Couponer."

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