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#1.06: The “Tell a Friend” Issue

1 > Start Your Engine: Make it easy to spread the word
2 > Empower Fans: Get them involved in something big
3 > Use Your Team: Get your staff to get their friends
4 > Check It Out: Save your office from a nose picker

1 > Start Your Engine: Make it easy to spread the word

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) turned their Web site into a guerilla marketing machine by adding an email-to-a-friend button on almost every page, encouraging their activist audience to get their peers involved. IFAW realized that a successful fundraising campaign demands widespread exposure. So working with H2O Networks, they built a site enabling their visitors to forward information to their friends about practically any endangered animal. Forwarded messages include various animal facts, and they encourage recipients to read about protection efforts, make a donation, sign a petition, subscribe to a newsletter, and more. Each of these options can be forwarded to a friend, driving publicity and making a specific call to action. Refer-a-Friend scripts are generally easy to find, simple to install, and a great way for your satisfied audience to encourage their peers to get involved.

The lesson: You never know which page of your Web site will be the one to inspire them to forward your message to a friend. So make sure whatever page they’re on, the forwarding function is at their fingertips. Capture the moment — don’t lose a referral because too much effort was demanded of your visitor.

More info: http://www.ifaw.org
http://www.h2onetworks.net

2 > Empower Fans: Get them involved in something big

A free Yahoo! newsgroup, a raring fan base, and a few free Lucinda Williams concert tickets was all it took for record label Lost Highway to get a street marketing team all fired up to promote Lucinda’s most recent album release. In July 2001 a message was posted in the Lost Highway Yahoo! newsgroup persuading the real Lucinda Williams fans to get online conversations going in various forums such as newsgroups, mailing lists, and message boards. Additionally, Lucinda e-cards were created for these enthusiasts to send to their peers. Participants in the street efforts were urged to initiate 10 communications on the topic and to forward their postings to group moderators as evidence of their efforts. Of those who successfully completed the task, a group of winners was chosen at random to receive free tickets to Lucinda’s upcoming show. Mission accomplished for no more than the price of a few tickets.

The lesson: Figure out how to enable and motivate your fans to drive your sales for you. There are free tools out there just waiting to be discovered by the creative marketer who’ll use them to drive something big. Do your research.

More info: http://www.slate.msn.com/?id=112612
http://www.lucindawilliams.com/m/members/default.asp

3 > Use Your Team: Get your staff to get their friends

Who knows your product better than those who work for you? So why not leverage your work force by encouraging employees to get their friends to buy what you’ve got? The Gap recently put this theory to the test as they offered their employees a discount coupon to send via email to family and friends, inviting them to participate in an exclusive Friends and Family Promotion. Gap employees forwarded coupons to friends, who in turn forwarded it to their friends, many of whom visited the store in order to retrieve a 30% merchandise discount. Think about how many people work for you. Then think about how many people they know. There you’ve got a powerful marketing tool all ready to go — all you need is the incentive to get it moving.

The lesson: Your employees know your product better than anyone. Tie an incentive to a sales pitch to get their friends to get their friends to get their friends to check out what you’ve got to offer.

More info: http://www.gap.com

4 > Check it Out: Save your office from a nose picker

You know that guy at work that always seems to have a finger in his nose when he thinks no one is looking? How about that woman two desks away who insists on talking to you while her mouth is full of those baby carrots that drive you crazy? What if you could tip them off about their habits without them ever knowing the tip was yours? Well click on Just a Tip and send an anonymous message to someone you like or someone you don’t — it’ll be delivered to their inbox, and there’s no way to track where it came from. So get your opinion heard, and save a nose from being picked!

More info: http://www.justatip.com

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