3-Minute WOM Lesson: How to create a contact plan to reach your talkers

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Having a consistent way to communicate with your fans is a core part of all great word of mouth programs. Here are the fundamental elements you need to get your contact plan off the ground:

1> Ask for permission
2> Create your contact vehicle
3> Map out your editorial calendar

1> Ask for permission

If you don’t have permission to reach your talkers, it’s not word of mouth — it’s advertising (or worse, spam). Getting permission is easy: put a sign-up form on your website, offer a VIP list to enthusiastic customers, or add an opt-in to your order forms. Just be polite — most fans are happy to hear from you.

2> Create your contact vehicle

Once you’ve got fans who are ready to hear from you, you’ll need a contact vehicle to reach them. Email and paper newsletters, blogs, forums, and social tools are all used today by great word of mouth marketers. Whatever platform you choose, make sure it’s one your talkers are already familiar with.

3> Map out your editorial calendar

You’ll have less headaches and will be more likely to produce interesting stuff for your talkers if you have at least a basic roadmap of what you want to share. Post a calendar, identify important dates, and think about the topics you’ll want to talk about. Big brands often do this to align with other departments or planned marketing events — but even the little guys can benefit from mapping out some weekly or monthly themes.

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