Continue to Part II: Viral Emails»
IntroductionUnfortunately, when most people think of viral in connection with the internet, those thoughts typically immediately go to programs and evil lines of code that wreck computers and cause headaches. While those occurrences are unfortunately all too common, viral marketing is a useful and completely safe way of reaching more customers in a completely legitimate and harmless way. Viral email marketing is the idea of getting recipients to send out your emails for you, by offering them reasons to forward your emails to others, typically through special offers, giveaways, contests, or other means. If done correctly, viral campaigns are extremely powerful, as they can grow exponentially, and once they reach the tipping point, can result in thousands of your emails being passed along without any additional work on your behalf.
CostsThe costs for this type of campaign are negligible, which makes it a great option for small and midsized businesses. The only costs may be the time needed to perfect the campaign, the price of purchasing a leads list, and any free products or offers that are given away.
TimeframeAnything viral does take some time to produce benefits. While blasting out emails to thousands of contacts is quite easy and can be done almost instantly, time should be allowed for them to be forwarded on to other users. In fact, Hotmail used this type of campaign to boost usage of their email service, by attaching a link at the bottom of each message sent, asking users to sign up for a free account. Over the years, this tactic has allowed them to become one of the industry leaders in email.
Execution PlanTo make the most of a viral campaign, it should be thought of as an ongoing process, not a one-time mailing. Since there are so many variables involved in a viral campaign, and since it is basically out of your hands once the email is sent, all emphasis should be placed on the up-front creation of the message, and on the compilation of a great list of leads and email addresses.
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