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Give away a product experience to get people talking

FTD's Jessica Harley was one of the first people to try American Airline's in-air WiFi service.

She makes a great observation in this interview: She told every person she emailed that she was on a plane, and they all asked for more information when they replied. They were all excited.

If you've got a word of mouth experience like this, especially for a new product: GIVE IT AWAY. You will never have a better marketing moment than a real customer telling their friends. You'll never beat the novelty value and excitement of a first-time user.

If you get this lucky, do whatever you can to get new users talking. Give it free for a month. Give it free for first-time users. Do anything you can to start the talk. A year from now, you'll wish you had captured that new enthusiasm. Remember, there's never a second chance to make a first impression.

(This advice works for any business that makes a great first impression.)

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  1. matt haines September 8, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    And one further tweak to get people interested and talking: if you’re giving away a free month of something, DON’T require the user to provide credit card info to start their paid-for service after that. Customers are tired of “one month free and then we start billing you when you’ve forgotten about it”. Instead, make it one month free, period. No auto-convert. Just a message when the month is up, reminding them it’s done and asking them for their opinion. You’ll get more people signing on without the auto-convert trap.

  2. Adam September 8, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    I used the wifi on AA this weekend as well. Speed was incredible and I definitely let everyone know I was flying as well. I had to pay $13, I wonder if they are testing the pricing or if it is based on flight time (mine was IAD to DFW, about 2 hours).
    Agree on not knowing if plane would have wifi or not. Return flight did not.

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