Word-of-mouth marketing—using viral e-mails, sample distribution and buzz factor—is taking off. Follow these principles to get the most out of your word-of-mouth campaign:
1. Be interesting. Before you run an ad, before you launch a product, ask your spouse about it. Trust me, if he or she finds it interesting, you’ve got a winner.
2. Make people happy by creating amazing products. Go the extra mile and provide excellent service. Make sure the work you do gets people energized, excited and eager to tell a friend.
3. Earn trust and respect from your customers. Be good to them. Talk to them. Honor their intelligence. Fulfill their needs and remain honest. Every company can be nicer, and every one of us can work to make our company a little better to its customers.
4. Make your campaign easy to talk about. Find a simple topic that’s easy to repeat—not your formal brand statement and not your product description. Forget the elevator pitch; it’s the pass-in-the-hall test. What can people tell a friend about your product in one sentence?
5. Finally, do everything you can to make it easy to share that topic. Use tell-a-friend forms on your Web site, put the message in an e-mail, pass out flyers, blog about it or stick it on a T-shirt.
Andy Sernovitz is the author of “Word of Mouth Marketing” and CEO of GasPedal, a Chicago–based consulting firm that specializes in word-of-mouth marketing. He can be reached at (312) 932-9000.
(This information appeared in the DMA07 Show Daily during the Direct Marketing Association’s annual conference. It is based on Sernovitz’s session, “Word of Mouth Marketing Mastery for Direct Marketers.”)