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7 things you’re already doing that could be more remarkable

This is a post from our WordofMouth.org project. Check it out for more great word of mouth marketing tips like this every day.

Creating remarkable experiences is one of the best (and most important) parts of a word of mouth marketer’s job. But instead of inventing new ways to reach customers, start by reviewing all the stuff you’re already doing.

Here is a quick list to get you started:

1. Your invoices
2. Your pricing
3. Your policies
4. Your legalese
5. Your user guides
6. Your packaging
7. Your business cards

1. Your invoices

What if you could make people smile when they opened your bills? Some great marketers are already doing it with mad libs, fun cover letters, and personalized jokes. You put so much into the first impression you make with clients and customers, but what about the last one?

2. Your pricing

What your stuff costs can sometimes be more remarkable than the product itself. Incredibly expensive stuff can get people talking, and low prices can too. But there is a ton of room for creativity here. You could price things at real-time market values, like Austin’s Brew Exchange bar. You could barter things in exchange for people doing good deeds. Or, sometimes giving it away is the most profitable and buzzworthy thing to do.

3. Your policies

Your rules, requirements, and policies can be more remarkable. One of the most legendary policies in the world is how Zappos will take your shoes back a year after you purchased them, no questions asked. That’s incredible — and though very few people actually do that, a whole bunch talk about it. Think about the traditional policies in your industry and see if you can’t do something better. Why can you only bring three items into a dressing room? Why do the people who only buy 10 items get express treatment, while the people who buy a whole bunch have to wait in the long lines? Why do you punish good customers with silly fees?

4. Your legalese

If you’ve ever stumbled onto some personality hidden in a contract, a form, or some terms and conditions, you know how refreshing it can be. You don’t have to write like a jargon bot to make a credible legal document. Sure, it’s always a good idea to consult with the lawyer folks on this one, but with a little collaboration and common sense you can transform your crusty legalese into something people actually read and share.

5. Your user guides

If you’ve assembled an IKEA product, you know what a great instruction guide can look like. Simple, helpful, and always a little humor. Another great example is Virgin America’s safety video — with more than 650,000 hits on YouTube. Are your user guides and instruction manuals worth telling a friend about? Why not?

6. Your packaging

Product packaging is a fantastic opportunity to create word of mouth. There is an entire world of brilliant designers who do this every day, and if you’ve got the budget for it, you can go all out. But there are easier and cheaper ways to get started. A great and simple branded bag can help everyone leaving your store talk about you. You could personalize your plain packages with a little hand-written thank you. Maybe there’s an opportunity to put something unexpected in the box itself. Or, maybe there’s a chance to do the opposite of everyone else — like what Amazon did when they launched their “Frustration-Free Packaging” program (which, by the way, has reduced negative feedback by an average of 73% for products that feature it).

7. Your business cards

Some might call the business card old-school, but they’re still so widely used that they’re a great chance to make a remarkable impression on the people you meet. Like packaging, there are limitless design opportunities here. But as always, there are easier ways to get started. For example, our friend Gary Slack‘s card looks pretty standard until you notice his mother-in-law’s phone number as a contact option. Here at WordofMouth.org, ours casually say, “Hello, I’m [name], the [job title].” It’s nothing mind blowing, but you’d be surprised by how many comments we get on them. When you’re done improving your business cards, take a look at your letterhead, fax cover sheets, email signatures, reception area, and the way you answer your phone.

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Comments

  1. Tasha Pokrzywa June 13, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    What a great article! It’s funny how sometimes the simplest things you could do would make the most difference. Thanks for sharing.

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