While I was at Fellowship of The Woodlands we ran a very frequent membership class. In the last year that I was there we averaged over 100 per class. As part of our agenda we regularly asked how people had heard about us. As a show of hands, we asked how many heard about us via a piece of direct mail. There would be a couple out of a hundred. How many saw the television ad? Usually there be one, maybe two at most. How many saw the billboard? Zero or one. How many were invited by a friend? 95 to 98. It’s all word of mouth.
Here’s an interesting post over on Church of the Customer Blog. Take a look. If you’re depending on a direct mail strategy, or a newspaper ad…well, you’re toast. So…what causes word of mouth to work? A seriously good product. Getting that is job one.