Prospecting: Viral Marketing With Free Samples Grows Yogi’s Mail and Email Lists
"Share the benefits of Yogi tea by sending a Well-Wish to a friend," says the Well-Wishes Tree button at the bottom of Yogi's website. Consumers who click it can send a friend a well-wish: a virtual greeting card with a customizable, positive saying that comes with a free sample combo pack of Yogi teas. To redeem it, all the well-wished — hopefully uplifted by a message such as "Your smile is contagious" — must do is click on the link and tell Yogi where to send the tea. And they can even select a different combo pack of tea, too.
With one free sample offer, Yogi is collecting well-wishers' names and email addresses, well-wishees' names and email addresses, and well-wishees' mailing information and tea preferences. Plus, the whole program is a direct referral of Yogi's products from one friend to another that creates a chance to impress prospects with the company's high-end teas.
The samples are limited to one per household, but well-wishers can send them to as many contacts as they'd like. That's a hard working viral marketing campaign. From its launch in January 2010 through June, 36,000 well-wishes have been sent, according to Yogi's Brand Director Melanie Haliburton.
"Yogi wanted to raise awareness of the brand among its core LOHAS ["lifestyles of health and sustainability"] consumers while expanding its consumer base," says Haliburton. "Guided by Yogi's 'Flavor with Purpose' brand promise, Well-Wishes was designed to drive trial, generate online buzz and showcase Yogi's herbal and wellness expertise by featuring a variety of flavorful and functional teas."
In addition to sparking 36,000 well-wishes and distributing as many free samples, the program also grew Yogi's Facebook fan base from a few hundred to more than 12,000 as of July, and it didn't break the bank of freebies available.