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The most simple thing you can do to grow your online community

As more and more brands understand the importance and effects of word-of-mouth marketing on sales, online community building - as a way of providing a platform for eWOM - seems to be the next big thing in marketing. In an effort not to leave out any currently popular advertising strategy or top-of-the-top marketing tactics, most companies overlook one of the simplest and most trivial ways of leading people to their online community.

Let's rewind a week...

I was running out of lavender oil, which I regularly use as a soothing odor upon bedtime. I usually alternate between different appliances and the roll-on pen I was currently using was coming to an end. So I decided I would try a new way of scenting my sleeping area and went for a pillow spray by a brand called Lavodia which I found on Amazon. I never heard of Lavodia before, so I checked some of the reviews on Amazon and their brand website to make up my own mind. The reviews were great and the imprint on their website revealed them to be a company from Leipzig. As a German born in the former GDR, I thought "Mega, das sind ja Ossis" - which translates into something like "Awesome, they're East Germans" 😄 - and I placed my order.

Lavodia's online community invitation / © SUPERCAT

Two days later my order arrived. The spray bottle was packed in a little box, with purple as its main theme; nothing special and probably expectable when it comes to lavender. What did catch my attention though, was a little note that was inside the box. Picking up the same purple theme, one side thanked me for my order and asked me to leave a product review on Amazon. The other side read: "Welcome to the Lavodia Insiders Club". And even though I consider myself a smartass and on top of all manipulating marketing jargon, this little sentence subconsciously did 2 things to me: first, it gave me a feeling of belonging as with the word "Welcome" I obviously was already part of the gang. And secondly, I felt a bit special, since it wasn't just any club but an "Insiders" club, only accessible with my personal registry code - I was in the circle of trust. Needless to say, I felt some kind of urge to check out my new buddies and therefore immediately registered for the club…

A simple note can make a difference. / © SUPERCAT

Bottom line: something as simple as a tiny little note led me - the customer - to join an online community. Of course, this will not work in 100% of the cases, maybe even only in 5%. But for me, it’s sure that I wouldn't have considered joining without the note. Failing to engage with your customer at an emotional level is a lost opportunity to grow your online community in a very simple way, considering the minor costs of creating such notes.

Pro tip: go for eco-friendly versions and brag about it 😎

Let us know in the comments: Did you ever get such a note and did you act upon it? Or, if you’re a brand, do you make use of notes like this? Why, why not?

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