Viral marketing is a marketing strategy for a product or service whereby its users feel encouraged to pass along the marketing message. Viral marketing is dependent on pass-along rate, and so it follows that if large number of people pass along something to large number of recipients, who in turn repeat the same cycle, the whole phenomenon takes the shape of viral marketing. That job is In relation to today's e- world, the concept of viral marketing takes its cue from phenomenal success of Hotmail in late nineties. Between July, 1996 when it was launched and Feb 1999, Hotmail grew at an astounding rate of a million users every month to reach 30 million members in just 2-1/2 years. Venture capitalist Jurvetson, who funded Hotmail was to later compare addiction to Hotmail with the virus that causes sneezing, for he learned that each sneeze released 2 million particles. While Hotmail's was a very successful viral marketing, a recent example of viral marketing is Gmail. Both are free email services, but the path to success is different from one another. Let us examine how viral marketing worked for them. Viral Marketing - Hotmail Before Hotmail there was no concept of virtual mailbox. Emails were received and stored in mailbox that would reside on computer hard-disk. It was inconvenient because it ate away disk-space. Hotmail changed the scenario. Since it was free, people rushed in to sign for Hotmail, thus beginning a prolonged spell of viral marketing. To be a hotmail member soon became an addiction. Even small-time email users queued in. As time wore on, owning Hotmail account became ultimate recognition of having 'arrived' on the internet. Such an absolute co- option wasn't witnessed before, such was the power of Hotmail's viral marketing. Viral Marketing - Gmail In sharp contrast, Gmail adopted a different viral marketing strategy. Debuting in April 2004, Google started sending limited invitations to likely users, each of whom would thereafter invite more users, thereby initiating chains of viral marketing. Gmail's viral marketing is succeeding not only because there is a clamor to own a Gmail account. Remember there are many free email services out there. But none comes close to Gmail. Here you have gigantic virtual storage space (2-1/2 gigabytes) and a string of top-class free add-ons like online chat, calendar, auto-save, conversation views, search mail and so on. Viral Marketing - Necessary ingredients What are essential constituents of successful viral marketing? Studying Hotmail and Gmail, here are some emerging points for would-be adopters of viral marketing strategy: 1. Free valuable product or service is a powerful incentive for interested viewers. If you have access to one which you can afford to offer free (e-books for example), your viral marketing will get a boost. Whatever you offer free, it must translate to immediate tangible or intangible benefit(s), so people will get attracted in no time. While so doing, earn revenue from selling ads or selling some other product or service. 2. To be effective in viral marketing, ensure your offer's easy availability. It has to transmit effortlessly, capped with simple yet addictive message. 3. Watch out what goes. Both Hotmail and Gmail succeeded as viral marketing strategy because there existed need for them. Similarly the concept of blogging expanded fast because people wanted their own place on web. 4. Viral marketing requires you have ability to scale up facility to keep pace with demand. If there is a sudden surge in demand and your resource is unable to cater, your viral marketing stops immediately. 5. Make use of existing communication network for viral marketing. For example, if your service concerns medical advice, consider placing your message at places frequented by medical personnel. 6. Take advantage of others' resources to spread your viral marketing. Suppose you are an expert writer, think of placing your articles in other newsletters and web publications. Affiliate programs routinely insert ads in highly visible related websites. In conclusion, it is important to bear in mind that typical viral marketing plans have certain 'shelf-life', beyond which the advantage tapers off. Timely actions and a perfect rhythm among your moves form the bedrock of successful viral marketing. About the Author:Article by Josh - email@example.com Josh is the webmaster of www.hostingfrenzy.com Visit his site for a comprehensive web hosting directory, articles, tools, and much more. Related Articles - viral marketing, internet marketing, gmail, hotmail, Email this Article to a Friend! Receive Articles like this one direct to your email box!Subscribe for free today!
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