Word of mouth is a guerrilla marketing method that involves personal recommendations of services, products or businesses. Word of mouth marketing has generated a tremendous amount of buzz with affiliate marketing, mostly due to the effectiveness of this promotional technique.

According to research on consumer behavior, receiving a personal recommendation from a customer is one of the best ways to achieve as successful sale. Why? Product and service suggestions appear as more genuine, honest and trustworthy than standard advertisements.

If you want to increase your online visibility, sell more products or get more subscribers, word of mouth is a strategy you need to consider for affiliate marketing. By enlisting the help of past customers, you can dramatically increase the size of your “sales team” and draw an abundance of new customers.

Getting Started With Word Of Mouth Marketing

The first step in using word of mouth in affiliate marketing is to handpick a number of proven guerrilla marketing strategies. While you may later opt to expand into other areas using fresh ideas and techniques, focus on the tried and tested methods during the initial phases of your word of mouth marketing campaign.

No. 1 — Target Influential Customers

The best way to spread the word about your affiliate marketing offers is to get influential people to start talking about them. Spend some time exploring the web to find websites, blogs and communities devoted to your topic.

Select some target individuals and send them information designed to grab their interest. This might involve simply describing what your website does, or producing promotions that are specifically aimed at these individuals. But remember that these people probably get a lot of similar product promotions. So spend some extra time making yours appealing and personal, it will pay off in the long run. When done correctly, these influential customers can become one of your biggest sales allies. By mentioning your products in their websites, blogs and discussion boards, you can reach out to an even broader audience.

No. 2 — Give People A Reason To Talk About You

According to marketing guru Seth Godin, it is essential to give people a reason to talk about your business. “Provide something of value. The first step is recognizing that marketing is asking for someone else’s time and attention. You need to provide something worthy…when you educate or entertain other people, they’ll pay attention. If you bore them, they won’t,” Godin explains.

Consider the strengths of your affiliate marketing business, then build upon them to create outstanding word of mouth. If your site offers lots of valuable information, make sure that this content is prominent on all major pages of your site. If your affiliate offers are the best in the business, make a point of explaining exactly what makes your products or services so much better than the competition. If you have the possibility, try to exemplifying it with graphs and pictures, to make it stand out from the millions of “best deals” that are out there. By offering something of value, your customers will provide word of mouth testimonials in return.

No. 3 — Enlist The Help Of Satisfied Customers

After every completed sale, always strive to maintain contact with your customers. As part of the purchasing process, include an option for customers to receive further email offers, newsletters and promotions. Then, periodically remind your past customers about your business offerings. By staying fresh in the mind’s of your core audience, they will be more likely to promote your affiliate marketing offers to friends, family and online communities.

Some possible ways to stay in contact with past customers include creating informative email newsletters, offering special promotions or simply informing people about your latest products and offers. The key to success is to make these contacts useful and meaningful.

Always ensure that your emails display content specifically targeted to the needs of the customers. Offer something of real value in the form of information or access to affiliate offers.

No. 4 — Make It Easy for Customer To Rave

On every page of your website, include links that allow customers to email information about your affiliate marketing business to friends. This is a great way to quickly capitalize on the enthusiasm of your viewers.

Social bookmarking is another successful word of mouth tool in guerrilla marketing. Websites such as Digg, del.icio.us and StumbleUpon allow users to share their favorite sites with like-minded web viewers. By including social bookmarking links on your website, your customers can help promote your site to an even wider online audience.

No. 5 — Monitor Your Word Of Mouth Results

Finally, always try to monitor the success of your word of mouth campaigns. Start by noticing important numbers such as website traffic and affiliate sales before launching any type of new marketing strategy. Then, collect records periodically on these numbers in order to determine if your word of mouth efforts have had any impact on your affiliate marketing results.