Viral Marketing - MU WAAHA HAHA!
Posted by Sammer Hakim on: 2006-04-11 12:55:27
Self SEO > Online Promotion Articles
Viral marketing magnifies marketing messages by passing them from user to user. The message starts small but gradually builds momentum and effectiveness as more users spread the message.
The message then scatters to hundreds, thousands and even millions more users. Hotmail.com is a classic example. Using viral marketing, it managed to get 50 million users in its first year of operation. It’s the online equivalent of word of mouth but spreads quicker because of the global reach of the Internet. When viral marketing is combined with other marketing efforts, the results are enhanced.
Main benefits of viral marketing are:
· Very low cost per acquired customer ratio
· Often spreads to new markets intentionally not planned for
· Creates enormous goodwill
· Generates excitement
Viral marketing doesn’t self-replicate as the name might suggest; it’s a totally proactive process. Putting up a site in hope somebody stumbles across it then forwards your URL to others is wishful thinking. Viral marketing requires special tools that stimulate the whole process namely:
· Refer A Friend services
· Opt-In Newsletter services
Viral marketing has a critical effect on customers that other website promotion efforts don’t have: it produces advocates. Transforming customers into advocates is the best thing that can happen to any business. You don’t have to try and sell an advocate’s circle of friends anything, as it’s already done for you.
Once customers reach the level of advocacy, your message is spread with lightning speed producing your own online sales force.
VIRAL MARKETING TOOL #1: ‘Refer-A-Friend'
You refer people all the time to places you have had pleasant experiences with. A movie you liked, restaurant you enjoyed or country you've visited. 'Refer-A-Friend' or 'Tell-A-Friend' services simply take this concept, replicate and adapt it to online efforts. As the name suggests, the tool involves people recommending their friends/associates to your website.
Overlooked Fact: Referrals are three times more likely to buy from you than those exposed to direct advertising. So it makes sense to cultivate a strong online referral system.
Refer-a-Friend overcomes probably the biggest challenge
businesses face when marketing online. Let’s look closely at what happens when somebody refers a friend:
·They forward your website address to their friends. Trusting the source, the recipient opens the e-mail. This is the key! Getting your e-mail opened and read these days is very difficult.
Customers have become more sophisticated in detecting solicitations like never before with the help of junk e-mail filters and software.
·The recipient clicks through to your URL.
·They navigate your site and will most likely buy from you, either immediately or later. But what this has done is instill in the prospects mind that you are the company of choice to do business with.
·Their friends eventually buy from you, and forward your website address to more of their friends. And the process repeats itself.
The snowball effect this tool creates is tremendous. Satisfying one customer may result in 2, 4 or more referrals. Those referrals can refer more, and so on.
What’s even more appealing is it barely costs anything to receive these referrals – pennies. The magic of viral marketing is it does the hardest part for you – getting your message delivered to a qualified prospect and ensuring that message gets read.
Ironically, it’s a low tech method that produces very advanced results.
The Author has put together a free resource website strictly to educate potential and current business owners about website promotion. You can visit it at http://www.1web-site-promotion.com
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