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Newsletter #941: The “Keep It Simple” 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.]

With all of the buzz around digital media, social, and viral marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in over-complicated ways to get your fans’ attention. Sometimes it helps to take a step back and rethink your strategy for earning word of mouth — and sometimes the simplest methods work best.

Here are three examples of no-nonsense word of mouth marketing techniques to inspire your next strategy:

1. Make a house call
2. Make a slideshow
3. Make someone’s vacation
4. Check it out: Cosmarxpolitan

1. Make a house call

When Oscar Mayer heard a 105-year-old woman was telling people her secret to a long life was bacon, they saw an opportunity to reward a fan. So they drove out to see her, gave her a ride in their famous Wienermobile, and left her with some bacon. That’s it. A simple act of gratitude was all it took to create some warm and fuzzies and earn Oscar Mayer word of mouth. No need for complicated campaigns or contests.

The lesson: You have a great opportunity to say thank you to your biggest fans — and it doesn’t have to be with a huge event or expensive gifts.

Learn more: Adland

2. Make a slideshow

No one talks about how their T-shirts are made. But at Everlane, they capitalize on their loving manufacturing process by showing their customers how they make their T-shirts from start to finish. It’s little more than a simple slideshow with pictures of the process on their website. But the story it tells adds a human element to the work — it turns something as simple as a T-shirt into something worth talking about. Can you talk about the story of how your shirt was made? All of Everlane’s customers can.

The lesson: Everyone has a story, and telling that story isn’t hard. You can start with just a couple paragraphs and some photos.

Learn more: Everlane

3. Make someone’s vacation

Great discounts are about as simple as you can get when it comes to getting people to talk about your stuff. But to make their discounts even more special, some bed and breakfasts are targeting a special group: teachers. Since many teachers have summers off from school, these BnBs are offering seasonal discounts for educators. There’s nothing fancy about this campaign — no social media push or marketing stunt — just great deals teachers will share with their co-workers on the last days of school.

The lesson: Discounts are great for sparking word of mouth, but to get yours to stand out, make it special for a particular group of customers.

Learn more: Budget Travel

4. Check it out: Cosmarxpolitan

With cover articles like “HOW TO SMASH CAPITALISM (while you work out!)” — here’s how Karl Marx might have reimagined Cosmopolitan magazine.

Check it out: Cosmarxpolitan

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