Friends With Benefits: Cultivating Word-of-Mouth Marketing
I'm a large — and very vocal — fan of specialty coffee and it's brewing methods. So when I received an email from my coffee subscription service of choice, Mistobox, with the subject line "Friend with coffee benefits," I chuckled and gave it an open. It detailed that I'd been invited to the first wave of trials for a new referral program they were looking to implement — when I tell a friend about Mistobox and they sign up, we both get a $10 credit. A win-win! But as I thought more about it, their idea of a referral program was a no-brainer. In fact, I'd already been doing it for some months, just without reaping the rewards. Telling friends about Mistobox and why I love it so much had been a regular part of my coffee conversations. Organic word-of-mouth marketing at work.
Word-of-mouth marketing, whether in person or on social media, can amount to a sizable, trusted quantity of incoming leads. It's more trusted than any other kind of recommendation! Yet it often eludes many marketers — what's a marketer to do?
Starting a referral program — like the one I described — is a great incentive to get your existing customers activated, and telling others about exactly why they love you and your product. Sometimes all it would take is a little nudge in order to get them sharing. ReferralCandy has an excellent case study on how multi-national ride-sharing company Uber grew from only operating in the US to being an international powerhouse spanning 50 countries, mostly using word-of-mouth marketing to get there. It's easy to get caught up in technologies or buzzwords in the marketing sphere, all while forgetting something we grew up on: Sharing is caring!