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How to Use Viral Marketing for Online Profit
By: Daegan Smith
When Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith founded Hotmail.com they promoted it with a simple idea they called “Word of computer” advertising. Every message sent by a subscriber had a one-line promotional message attached….”Get Your Private, Free E-mail from Hotmail at www.hotmail.com”. Within the first 18 months of business they claimed 12 million sign-ups to their service… more than what CNN and AOL could garner in the same time period. With a cost per acquisition of just 4 cents this was a resounding success and a brilliant use of Viral Marketing Technique.
Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions."
It is an extremely effective form of word-of – mouth online promotion strategy used for amazing success by web frontrunners like Hotmail and Bluemountain.com. For a home based or small business, viral marketing is a smart and cost effective way to promote business and generate new sales leads. It is easy and fun.
The biggest benefit of viral marketing is that it helps you maintain a cost effective level of brand awareness at all times. It can reach beyond your target audience and mine for new leads; it creates a buzz around your products and services and provides accountability when tracked.
Also see: http://hackvan.com/pub/stig/etext/viral-marketing.html
Here are some tips for you to get your viral marketing campaign on the right track:
- Have a great idea: Unless you have a really remarkable idea, it is going to be hard to get people interested in it; much less share it with others. A boring idea doesn’t get passed on. If you have a regular consumer product to sell and still want to use viral marketing, put on your creative hat and craft a promotional message that will make people want to pass it on to others.
- Identify your core group: your core group or “hive” is a group of people who share a common interest and talk to each other about it. The core group can also be called ‘agents’. These are the guys who will be responsible for sending your ‘virus’ ahead. If your product/idea/ service doesn’t move this group, it isn’t going to get any further.
- Ease of use: have you ever received an email with a mile long URL in it, asking to be sent to “15 people for a free gift”? if your answer is ‘yes’ then you know what I am talking about. Make it easy for your agents to tell their friends about your company. if they have to download pages of text or heavy graphics, they are more likely to hit the “delete” button and get out of there, fast!
- Make it persistent: When you have built a sizeable community of converts, keep them happy. It is harder to go out and get new agents than making the existing ones work for you.
- Referrals: A good way of utilizing viral marketing for your site is through referrals. If you are offering content or service, you can put up a “Tell a Friend” button that lets customers recommend products or Web pages via email to friends. Recommend-It and BigNoseBird.com are some of the sites that offer these services for free. These services allow you to keep track of those who recommend your site and the people they recommend it to.
Once you have started off the process all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
For more information on viral marketing take a look at:
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