From the book: New word of mouth case study on FreshBooks

One of the biggest additions to the new edition of the best-selling book, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking, is the five new case studies of brilliant word of mouth marketing from Dell, Potbelly, FreshBooks, Microsoft, and Levenger. We’re highlighting a different case study each day this week, continuing with FreshBooks today:

Word of Mouth Case Study: FreshBooks — A Zillion Little Things

You never know which talkers and which topics will kick off a major conversation — just like traditional advertising. But with word of mouth, you don’t need to spend any real money until after you know it’s working.

Saul Colt is “Head of Magic” for FreshBooks, a service that helps freelancers send invoices. They want every designer in the world to try it, so Saul and the FreshBooks team began testing every word of mouth topic they could find:

  • Saul saw Andy writing about a mustard he loved from Toronto (where FreshBooks is based) and mailed him some, even though they’d never met. Why? Because he knew Andy 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 ten 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 email 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.

We’re giving away 10 copies of Andy’s book. You can win one by letting a friend know about it! Click here for more details.

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