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Getting Word of Mouth to Work for You
Satisfied customers are natural ambassadors and will find qualified prospects for you
You can generate significant online traffic and sales through word of mouth Internet marketing if you do it correctly. Harnessing the power of one-to-one endorsement is an integral part of any successful Internet marketing strategy.
Encourage friend-to-friend referrals
Enabling your satisfied customers to refer their friends and associates to your site can yield additional prospects at very low cost. There are many opportunities to do this.
Create a Referral Box for collecting email addresses of friends or colleagues. This device should be part of your perpetual web site navigation and appear on every page. You can enhance the effectiveness of the process by offering something special for the referral, such as an introductory discount, newsletter, free tips, etc.
Once you have the email addresses, develop a creative, personalized email approach to these “new friends”. Use the referring person as a reference and promote the benefits of your web site. If you have a gift to give them, make sure they know that right up front. Invite them to opt in to receive special emails from your company.
Have an aggressive email sign-up program
Make every effort to have your web site visitors sign up to receive news and e-mails from you. Tell them how they’ll benefit, and assure them you will respect their privacy. People who sign up for communication from you are some of your best prospects for continuing sales.
An ongoing email communication stream will entice people to click through to your site on a regular basis, and also to forward emails to other folks who might be interested. It can really start a chain reaction.
Fast forward through viral marketing
Motivating your customer file to forward an email to their friends is an important part of effective viral marketing. The more robust your email marketing program is, the more pass-alongs you’ll get.
You must continually ask and encourage your current email recipients to forward mail. It’s worth the effort, as it can bring you a lot of business with little extra marketing cost.
Develop very creative pass-alongs that people will either enjoy, or will find so useful that they want to share them with their friends. The level of creativity has to be strong to make these email pass-alongs work. Relevant information makes an effective pass-along. Gardeners love to talk about gardening tips, for example. Most people feel good about sharing an enticing free offer.
Collect missing email addresses with email append
You can run your existing customer and prospect file through an organized national database program to add email addresses you don't have. Then, you can send an invitation to receive email from you.