Word of Mouth Marketing through E-mail

Word of mouth marketing through email

How to Use Email Marketing to Mobilize Your Word of Mouth Campaigns

“Word of mouth” is traditionally thought of as something that happens mostly in face-to-face settings. In fact, the statistics support this: a study by Journal of Advertising Research showed that 75% of conversations between consumers about brands take place offline. Also according to them, 15% happens over the phone and “just” 10% takes place online.

That does not, however, mean that it can’t be worthwhile to construct word of mouth marketing strategies for online communication methods like email. Even in an online setting, a recommendation from a friend will weigh much heavier than a regular advertising message. It is also to be expected that the percentage will keep increasing in the coming years, as the trend shows that less people talk on the phone and instead move to e-mail, social networks and online chat.

Encouraging email recommendations

In its simplest form, word of mouth marketing with e-mail is just encouraging consumers to share something positive about a brand with their friends. Getting just one in ten customers to recommend the brand to a friend can have a significant impact on growth, so it’s definitely worth putting some effort into.
Word of mouth Marketing with email
The most common method to encourage recommendations through email is probably having an “email to a friend” link on the website, similar to how many businesses have links to encourage sharing on social media. Unfortunately, these links are rarely used by visitors. It requires quite a bit of effort from the consumer, and there is usually no clear reward for using it.

A potential way around this is rewarding consumers for referring their friends to the website (through email or other methods). This will have a much higher adoption rate, especially if the reward is good, but it comes with a big disadvantage: since the recommendations are technically “bought”, consumers will trust them less. If they know their friend gets a reward for inviting them, they’re less likely to consider it a genuine recommendation.

Another strategy that may increase word of mouth through email is creating content that consumers find good/funny/interesting enough to forward to their friends. This is definitely not easy, and can take a good amount of experimentation to get right, but in the long run it may be worth it.

Consider two online stores: one that sends out a weekly message simply listing new items and what’s on sale, and another that puts a ton of personality, fun stories and quirky videos in their newsletter. It isn’t much of a stretch to think that the second probably gets forwarded around a lot more.

There’s no doubt that email can be a powerful vehicle to increase word of mouth online, but there are also many potential pitfalls. As with all word of mouth marketing efforts, making the recommendations appear genuine will be the hardest challenge. What works best will vary from business to business, and it’s important to remember that not all businesses are well suited for email promotion. Usually it works best when there is already an existing email relationship between business and consumer.

What are you thoughts? Do you currently use email marketing strategies in your marketing plan?

Let's Talk About it in the Dream Achievers ForumI would love to have you hop over to the Dream Achievers Forum to share your ideas…perhaps pick up a couple of new strategies that you can use too.




In awareness, passion, joy & purpose,

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In gratitude for the share on your favorite social media.

About The Author


Andrea Callahan is a brand designer. She helps passion & purpose-driven entrepreneurs maximize their strengths to craft and implement an image that represents their WHY and to use that why to position themselves as an Industry Influencer. She a speaker, seminar leader and the author of, "It's Your Brand ~ Make Your Identity Clear" available on Amazon.com Callahan launched the Industry Influencer Academy at academy.andreacallahan.com

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