Steve Swasey

In 1938, when Orson Welles adapted H.G. Wells’ novel, “The War of the Worlds,” for radio, it sounded like a real-time news broadcast. Millions of listeners went door-to-door notifying their neighbors of the “invasion,” causing a panic. The influence that peers had on one another during Welles’ broadcast is an early predecessor to the word-of-mouth campaigns marketers use today. Netflix, the world’s largest online movie rental service, has built word-of-mouth into its direct marketing campaigns using a tell-a-friend direct mail offer. The offer must travel from the Netflix member’s mailbox, into a friend’s hands and then finally push that friend online in order to

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