The updated edition of my book, “Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking,” contains five new case studies. In one, I talk about how FreshBooks, an invoicing company and their “Head of Magic” Saul Colt, now have amazing word of mouth after trying a bunch of different little things. One of the big truths in word of mouth is that you never know what conversation is going to take off, so you’ve got to try lots of little stuff to see what works.
How FreshBooks does it:
- Saul saw me writing about a mustard he loved from Toronto (where FreshBooks is based) and mailed him some, even though we had never met. Why? Because he knew I was a talker.
- The FreshBooks team drove an RV between conferences in Miami and Austin instead of flying, having breakfast, lunch, and dinner with everyone they could. They met 1,500 customers in 10 days.
- At a conference, they passed out 1,000 hangover kits, had employees in company shirts acting as volunteer doormen, held a pancake breakfast in the parking lot, and used their RV to shuttle people from party to party.
- They hired an artist to paint a mural live in a trade show booth. It took three days, and people kept coming back to check on the progress.
- Every time employees travel, they hold a dinner (the “FreshBooks Supper Club”), where they invite 20 to 30 customers and local bloggers. Customers are shocked when a company calls them and invites them to dinner to say thanks (especially the customers using the free version of the service).
- They have a weekly e-mail newsletter full of contests and love for their talkers.
All of these little things add up. FreshBooks grew from 250,000 to 425,000 customers since starting the nonstop word-of-mouth campaign.