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Newsletter #862: The “How to Raise $100 Million in 30 Days” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I'd Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Movember is the annual, worldwide charity movement dedicated to changing the face of men’s health through moustaches. Men start clean-shaven on November 1st and grow their moustache for 30 days while raising funds and awareness.

This year they raised an astonishing $105,938,245 — and all from grassroots, individual support. It’s one of the greatest word of mouth campaigns of all time, and these are just a few of the great ideas you should borrow from it:

1. Make it visible
2. Make it fun
3. Make it easy
4. Check it out: How Rickard’s beer grew a moustache

1. Make it visible

The hardest part of raising money for a cause is walking up to someone and asking them for money. But with Movember, the moustache is the word of mouth trigger. Instead of participants starting the conversations, their friends, family, and co-workers are doing it for them by asking what’s up with the facial hair. Like LIVESTRONG’s bracelets, Movember’s moustaches are highly-visible, irresistible word of mouth conversation starters.

The lesson: Find the biggest challenge your talkers face in starting conversations and get rid of it.

2. Make it fun

Most meaningful causes are about serious problems in society — hunger, disease, poverty — and Movember’s focus on men’s health is no different. But their central moustache theme and the playful ways of getting both guys and girls involved are just plain fun. And the results speak for themselves: More than 850,000 people participated. You simply can’t rally this many people to talk about a sickness the same way you can a moustache.

The lesson: The cause may be serious, but the fundraising shouldn’t be.

3. Make it easy

The easier it is to tell a friend about you, the more people do it. In less than 30 seconds, you could set up your Movember page and invite friends to join. Asking for donations was simple, too. Everyone was given a unique URL they could Tweet and post to Facebook, and Movember offered ready-to-go emails that just needed you to input addresses. All of this is a whole lot easier than circulating a pledge form, going door-to-door, or running a 5K.

The lesson: If it’s harder than it has to be, it’s costing you a lot of conversations.

4. Check it out: How Rickard’s beer grew a moustache

If you’re going to join a cause like this as a marketer, go all the way. That’s what Molson’s brand Rickard’s did. They made it easy for Movember teams to challenge each other with friendly competition, they created a promo video for the cause, and they even added moustaches to their beer cans! This is a fantastic example of how to get involved and make the most of a great cause, even if you’re not the original creator of it.

Check it out: Love Good Beer

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  1. 3-Minute WOM Lesson: 3 of the greatest word of mouth stories from 2011 - January 3, 2012

    [...] were so many great word of mouth concepts used by this project, we wrote a whole newsletter on [...]