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A_Free_Way_to_Promote_and_Profit_-_Viral_Marketing

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									A Free Way to Promote and Profit - Viral Marketing

Word Count:
699

Summary:
Viral marketing costs very little, in fact look in the right places and
it can even be free.

Given that, and the huge potential benefits, you marketing campaign
really should catch the viral marketing bug!

How did hotmail get so big so quickly? Find out here!


Keywords:
free marketing web site promotion viral marketing marketing campaigns web
hits advertising online marketing


Article Body:
It‟s a horrible word isn‟t it….marketing? No, only joking, I mean “viral”
of course. Mention viral and one tends to think infection, illness and
disease - or for the geeks among us, computers messed up. But viral
marketing is nothing so negative or unpleasant, viral marketing is good!

<b>What is Viral Marketing?</b>

As the name suggests, it‟s a way of spreading your marketing message from
person to person, rather like the flu virus is passed on. You give the
germ to, say 5 friends/colleagues/family members, who in turn each pass
on the bug to 5 more (5x5=25), who then spread it to another 5 (25x5=125)
and so on until after just 8 levels, you reach the staggering figure of
1,953,125.

The classic example of viral marketing is Hotmail.com, one of the first
free Web-based e-mail services. The strategy is simple:

1. Give away free e-mail addresses and services, 2. Attach a simple tag
at the bottom of every users email message sent: "Get your private, free
email at http://www.hotmail.com" and, 3. Then stand back while people e-
mail to their own network of friends and associates, 4. Who see the
message, 5. Sign up for their own free e-mail service, and then 6. Propel
the message still wider to their own ever-increasing circles of friends
and associates

<b>What makes marketing „Viral‟?</b>

A viral marketing plan usually has some or all of the following basic
elements:

1. Provides a product or service free
2. Makes for easy transfer of the message to others
3.   Allows easy growth from small to very large
4.   Exploits common motivations and behaviours
5.   Uses existing communication networks
6.   Utilizes the resources of others


Let‟s look at each of these in turn.

1.Provides a product or service free

“Free” is the most persuasive word in marketing. Most viral marketing
campaigns give away a product or service to get peoples interest. Free
email service, free software, free information etc. Then, when you have
their attention, when you have their trust, sell them something. Hit them
with a sales pitch first, chances are they won‟t be interested.

2. Makes for easy transfer of the message to others

Viral marketing works so well on the internet because quick communication
has become so easy and cheap. Your marketing message must be simple so
that it can be passed on without loosing its effectiveness. The simpler
and shorter the better, remember the hotmail example: "Get your private,
free email at http://www.hotmail.com."

3. Allows easy growth from small to very large

To grow rapidly, the necessary infrastructure must be available. The best
viral marketing makes use of the resources of others. This was the only
weakness in the hotmail example, the service required its own
mailservers. Not a problem with the resources of Microsoft behind you,
but for mere mortals like you and I, best to plan on spreading the
message using others recourses, see number 6.

4. Exploits common motivations and behaviours

What motivates people to use certain products or services on the web, and
to recommend these to their friends? The practicality of a product, sure,
but more than that – the desire to be popular, thought of as cool etc.
Greed also motivates, hence the power of the word „free‟!

5. Uses existing communication networks

Most people have around 5 to 12 people in their close network of friends,
family and work colleagues. On the internet, nearly everyone has email
addresses in their contacts list, and favourite websites stored in their
web browser. Utilise this fact in your marketing campaign. For example,
when you give away a free product, ask the recipient to provide the email
addresses of others who may be interested.

6. Utilizes the resources of others

Get your message into other peoples emails and onto others websites, that
way their recourses are being used, not yours. And once your campaign has
enough momentum, sit back while your customers do the marketing for you.
<b>Conclusion</b>

Viral marketing costs very little, in fact if you go to the right places
it can be free. Given that, and the huge potential benefits, you
marketing campaign really should catch the viral marketing bug!

How can Viral Marketing work for you? Find out here: www.gosurf.ws

								
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