If you read my post a few weeks ago reviewing some Lancôme products, you’ll remember that I mentioned getting them for a free from a site called Influenster. I also mentioned that I was working on a post all about that site…and this is that post! Influenster is one of many marketing/research websites that send out products to customers in exchange for reviews and spreading the word.
I originally had written a post about Influenster as well as a few other similar sites, but it just got to be too long so I decided to split it up. We’ll start off with Influenster on this post and then I’ll do the rest in the future 🙂 (Edit from the future: you can click here to see all my posts about saving money and getting free stuff!)
Influenster is one of the most (if not the most) well-known social marketing websites out there. I’ve been using it since 2012 and a lot of things have changed, but it’s the same basic idea and format. You’ll get free items from companies in exchange for reviews and sharing them with others.
Influenster sends out “VoxBoxes” (like I’ve said before…I don’t know where that name came from lol) which can be a mix of different brands and items centered around one theme, or items from just one brand.
Once received, you’re expected to write reviews, share the items on social media, and do a mandatory survey at the end. You can earn more badges and things by doing more activities, but usually the final survey is the only thing that’s required.
Influenster is based a lot on how much of a “following” you have online, so you can (allegedly) get more boxes by connecting your social media accounts. Each user has an “impact score” that basically says how much of an influence you have on social media, and they say that the higher your score, the more boxes you get…whether that’s true or not is yet to be determined haha
Influenster also offers an alternative called a “VirtualVox”, which is usually just an opportunity to complete some tasks for a chance to win something. In other words, you don’t receive a physical VoxBox – it’s more of a shot in the dark. I honestly hate the virtual ones and never do them because there’s almost always a lot of tasks required, and you’re not guaranteed to get an item. I was invited to one for those Hourglass lip stylo things that looked really cool, but then I realized they wanted me to go to Sephora and TRY ON ONE OF THE TESTERS (ew!!!!!!) and take a pic. So I obviously did not do that haha. The best one I’ve gotten was a coupon for a free Champion sports bra from Target, but normally it’ll be weird stuff like that Hourglass one. So I usually avoid VirtualVoxes!
Finally, Influenster has also branched out into being a full review site for beauty products and pretty much everything else. They’ll often ask you to review products on their site as tasks for badges. For this reason, I don’t necessarily recommend using this site as a reference when purchasing products…to me it seems like very often the reviews are a bit biased from people who have received the item for free, so I’d look elsewhere for more impartial reviews of products!
Types of Products
Some examples of items I’ve received – lipsticks from Make Up For Ever and face wash from Erno Laszlo!
Obviously the main draw for people like me is beauty items, but you can get boxes with pretty much anything – food, home items, things for your pets, cleaning supplies, etc. I’ve gotten spices, vitamins, coupon codes for free stuff, and loads of makeup products. Brands I’ve gotten include ZzQuil, McCormick (yes, like the spices), L’Oreal, Pantene, Lancôme, Make Up For Ever, Rimmel, Covergirl, and Ardell Lashes.
Amount of Work Required
Not a lot – technically, only the final survey for a VoxBox is mandatory, but if you want a better chance at getting more boxes, you’ll want to do other tasks, like sharing on social media. It also helps to completely fill out your profile, do as many surveys (called “snaps”) as possible, and write reviews whenever you can!
Of course, in ALL reviews for products you must completely disclose that the items were given to you for free from Influenster and/or the brand. This is so no one gets in trouble or has any legal issues haha
Influenster is really appealing to a lot of bloggers (and regular people too) because they tend to send out really good items. Due to the fact that they are growing so quickly, I truly feel like the quality of items is only getting better as time goes on. In the beginning, the boxes I got would usually be pretty low-end items (which is fine – free stuff is free stuff!). Nowadays, they have MANY well-known brands doing boxes – I’ve seen stuff from Kat Von D, Real Techniques, Clinique, and a lot more. It’s always fun to get stuff from a big name brand completely for free.
A nice thing about Influenster also is that while you’re waiting to get a VoxBox, they always have a lot of surveys and other things to do going on in between boxes. You can complete activities to earn “badges” which in turn enter you to win other things. It’s obviously not the same as getting a physical product, but it’s good to feel like you’re still doing something and entering to win stuff while you wait.
Of course, with the pros come the cons – on the flip side of Influenster’s growing popularity leading to better brands and products, I also feel like it has made it harder to get VoxBoxes. I used to get one about once a month, and now I can go 3-4 months between boxes. Obviously you can’t get every box, but it can be frustrating to do all your required activities and not get anything for a while.
My other con is that Influenster is VERY reliant on social media and sharing, more so than other sites I use. They want you to do a LOT of stuff to market the products they sent you – post on instagram, tweet about your products, or make youtube videos. Which is fine…but I just feel really awkward and annoying posting things like that for all my friends to see haha. You don’t have to do everything but they claim that you have a higher likelihood of getting future boxes if you do. It can be discouraging for people who are just starting out or those who just don’t feel comfortable sharing that stuff all the time.
All in all, I like Influenster – I’ve been using the site for 5 years, so obviously – but you have to be okay with doing activities like writing reviews or sharing your thoughts on stuff. It takes a bit more work for this one, but I’ve gotten some amazing products from them pretty consistently so I can’t help but recommend them. If you’re cool with doing some menial tasks and sharing reviews every once in a while – definitely check it out!
You can sign up for Influenster here! Just FYI, that is my personal referral link so I’ll get some points if you click through and sign up – but if you’re not into that and would rather sign up on your own, you can always do that too 🙂
And that’s everything I know about Influenster! I hope this post was informative and if you were curious about Influenster, you’ve learned a bit more about it now. Thanks for reading as usual! I’ll see you next time 🙂