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Classic word of mouth tools that still work

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

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the complicated, techy, or social media campaigns you can do to get people talking about you. But word of mouth has been around forever for a reason: The fundamentals are all the same.

Here are some simple, yet old-school tools you can use to create buzz:

1. Postcards
2. Coupons
3. Fan clubs
4. Great content

1. Postcards

Postcards are easy, personal, sharable, and they usually live on the fridge for months — that’s classic word of mouth. Hotels used to give them away, and sending a postcard from your vacation became a custom. You could revive this tradition by giving your customers postcards to send to their friends — or even to send to you. They also make great feedback tools that you can include with every transaction.

2. Coupons

Coupons are another word of mouth tool that have been around forever, and great ones still start conversations. For example, Gap offered a 20% discount for shoppers wearing an “I Voted” sticker this election year. That’s something people could talk about while waiting in long voting lines. Another example is when Papa John’s offered a pizza deal for every Redksins touchdown. What’s a buzzworthy way you can put a spin on this classic?

3. Fan clubs

Fan clubs aren’t just for teens who love vampires and werewolves. You can have a fan club for just about anything. Some of the favorites we love to talk about are the Maker’s Mark Ambassador program, the Fiskars Fiskateers, and the famous WD-40 Fan Club. By bringing together people who are passionate about your stuff, you can generate a lot more word of mouth.

4. Great content

Great content has always been something people share. Red Bull does outrageous stuff with videos of jumps from space and extreme-sport-Rube-Goldberg machines. But you don’t have to film a dangerous stunt or send a guy to space to create cool content. Back in the day, John Deere was the first content marketer to get it with their publication on agribusiness, The Furrow. After 116 years of farming tips, it’s still going strong. Remember: If it’s worth learning, it’s probably worth sharing.

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