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Try it. You’ll like it (and tell everyone).

Sampling is a key element of word of mouth marketing. 

People rarely tell their friends about something they've never tried.  If they do mention it, they don't have anything useful to say.  Without a sample all you can do is mention that you heard about it.  If you tried it, you can talk features, quality, and experience.

This is why it's hard to create word of from traditional advertising.  Saying "did you see that ad for ___" is not nearly as powerful as "I just tried it … you have to try it."

Here's an example:  Rachel's Dairy donated their unbelievably good yogurt to the TED conference. I ate two gallons. It showed up in my local grocery store. I got the family hooked.  We ordered a case for the office. They are telling their friends. Now I'm blogging it.

The difference between hearing about something and experiencing something: Emotion. Emotional word of mouth is better word of mouth.

Lesson: Give it away to start the conversation.

P.S. This works for information and services, not just products.

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  1. Matthew Quint May 5, 2009 at 9:55 am #

    There is definitely an added punch in free product/service giveaways.
    One of my favorite bands, Umphrey’s McGee, was ahead of the curve 10 years ago when they used this tactic with their promotional street teams. The band’s loyal fans voluntarily burned spindles of CD demos which the street teams then passed out along with fliers for the band’s upcoming shows.
    This helped Umphrey’s draw major audiences, and even sell-out shows, at locations they had never performed before.

  2. @MattWilsontv May 5, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    It’s all about the conversation:
    “What did you think of that?”
    That get’s people talking. If the product is fantastic, you’ll get fantastic response and people will spread the word.

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