See Andy's other stuff:

RSS Feed

Follow Andy

Contact Me >>

Why did someone put this on the fridge?

CIMG2709Here’s how you get really great at word of mouth marketing: 

  • Pay attention to those moments when someone is making a recommendation.
  • Look for ways it could have been more effective. 

Example: Someone in my office put this Lowe’s coupon on the fridge. I immediately started asking myself about the motivation and process of that recommendation.

1. Why did they do it? 

2. How could it have been easier?  Make the flyer into a magnet?  A post-it?

3. How could we have encouraged it?  Add “Share a with your office?” in the copy?

4. What would increase the quantity of sharing? Multiple discount cards?  Little tear-off bits on the flyer?

Tons of people ask me about the difference between BtoC and BtoB word of mouth. (I don’t think there’s much.)  The key idea for BtoB: Why do people share something at the office.

Email to a friend:

Privacy: We won't save or reuse these emails.


  1. Mike Ward April 18, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    On the BtoC side, kudos to Orvis for getting this right. A recent flyer I received from them included two $25 tear off coupons — one marked “for you” and the other marked “to share”. The second one even came with instructions…”give this coupon to someone special, or use it yourself on a second purchase”. I think spelling out the options for the consumer as Orvis did here makes the word-of-mouth process more appealing and ultimately more successful.

  2. Carrie Carter April 18, 2008 at 10:12 am #

    It would be interesting to see some of the answers to your questions, especially #1.
    In terms of the 3rd question, maybe including a phrase, such as “photocopies gladly accepted”, would help improve the reach of such promotions.

  3. Carolyn Grantham April 18, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    I often get coupons I can’t use/don’t need, and my usual M.O. is to toss them straight in the recycling bin. Rarely does it occur to me to give them to someone else. Maybe adding a line to a coupon like, “Can’t use this? Pass it along to a friend!” would give people a mental nudge to take a more viral action. Of course, it would be hard to track whether the coupons were being used by their original recipient …

  4. Chad Sly April 18, 2008 at 11:12 am #

    For me, and I think for a lot of people, we are more willing to pass something along if we received a benefit from it ourselves. For instance, the other day I found an auto glass place that replaces windshields for people with high insurance deductibles at a considerably lower price than others. After getting my windshield replaced I remembered a friend with a large crack in his so I called and told him about the place. It really wasn’t loyalty to the place, but more concern for a friend. That’s the key to getting customers to pass things along. They must see the value to themselves and feel it will be beneficial to their friends. If it is, I think they will pass the info along regardless of if it’s easy or not.

  5. oddpodz April 28, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    When I worked at a big company, several retailers in our neighborhood would get the email address of a good customer that worked in our building and send them an email with a coupon that could be endlessly forwarded throughout the company, printed out and used. The copy was worded so that it seemed like it was a special deal for our office, which was nice, and it was very easy to redeem.

Get My Newsletter!

Subscribe to Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! for a weekly email full of unusually useful ideas for smart marketers. Great marketing is about brains, not bucks. The best business ideas are easy to do, inexpensive, and fun. Learn to simplify your business, earn word of mouth, and thrill your customers:

Never display this again