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Newsletter #860: The “Help Them Talk About You” 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.]

Great word of mouth isn’t the result of dumb luck or chance — it takes effort, planning, and a little experimentation from you. How you could help people talk about you:

1. With a special group
2. In the office
3. For great perks
4. Check it out: The kerning game

1. With a special group

Creating a special group for your best customers can be a great way to inspire them to talk about you. On your second anniversary of being a customer, Zappos sends you an email with an invitation to join their VIP program. Members get perks like expedited returns, fast shipping, VIP points and badges, and even a special website and phone number to shop with. Most of these perks don’t add any extra work for Zappos, but it’s a great way to make customers feel great — and to surprise them with a whole new reason to talk.

The lesson: Giving your customers special status and VIP access is a fantastic reason for them to tell a friend about you.

2. In the office

To help fans talk about you to a lot of people,think about when they’ll have the best chance to do it. Red Bull recently focused on the office for this. But instead of targeting the higher-ups (who already have an inbox full of stuff), they sent packages of energy drinks to interns. They also included a handwritten note and an official “Red Bull Intern of the Hour” desk certificate. The result was a bunch of excited — and caffeinated — interns showing off their Red Bull honor to the entire office.

The lesson: Help your fans talk about you by giving them the tools to do it when they’re around a lot of people.

Learn more: PSFK

3. For great perks

The right incentives can be powerful motivators for your talkers. The obvious route is to use money and discounts, but for most businesses, this isn’t the best way to get real fans talking. The National Hockey League’s L.A. Kings have this figured out. They’ve added some features to their website to track who is doing the most talking and sharing, and their rewards include signed merchandise, personalized messages from players, behind-the-scenes videos, and private arena tours. As their VP of Marketing says, “All the things you can’t buy, we want to be able to reward them with.”

The lesson: Financial incentives can make things awkward for your talkers. But the true fans — the ones you really want talking about you — are motivated by getting stuff they can’t get anywhere else.

Learn more: Mashable

4. Check it out: The kerning game

Think you’ve got a great eye for type, spacing, and alignment? This addictive online game is a great way to put those skills to the test.

Check it out: KERNTYPE

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