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Viral Marketing

The techniques of viral marketing are not new. "Word of mouth" is not a lot different - and is highly valued as a means of acquiring customers. What is different about the net is the speed at which it can travel and the ingenious tools that can be applied to encourage it.

What is particularly attractive about viral marketing is the mathematics behind it. If you can persuade every new visitor that is signed up to get 2 new visitors signed up within a week, then your membership will rise exponentially: 1.2,4,8,16,32 etc. So that by week 10 you have about 2000 members, week 17 about 250,000 members and by week 32 .....the entire population of the world.

In fact, you are more likely to be concerned about getting the people that visit your site to spend more than 30 seconds there, before they disappear forever. To persuade people to take the time to tell others about your site, you have to have a good (really good) service or product, you must make it easy, and you will need to work hard to encourage it. Some ideas:

1) an email newsletter can bring news to your signed up visitors, and is an easy format to forward if they want to. You may want a bulk email system such as Lyris to help manage this.

2) an incentivised campaign aimed at people that introduce new members, reward with prize draw, vouchers etc

3) keep increasing the quality of what you do, so that people voluntarily pass on their good experiences. This surely, must be an inherently sensible activity in any case.

4) use devices such as polls, news, tell a friend to draw interest, capitalise on current events and get your message passed on.

5) use affiliate program technology to enable customers to recruit other customers and be rewarded.

6) if your business is aimed at consumers, then you could use a "permission marketing" service provided by companies like OK Mail to market yourself. They seek to continually recruit new consumers to their network by traditional means, like this:

Clearly you will have to proceed with care to ensure the time and money invested is worthwhile.

A final idea that is an interesting llustration of what can be done on the web. This may only be useful for certain types of sites, but theres no cost: Start Blaze.

For specific advice about promoting your site to get found on the web, including operating email or viral marketing campaigns, you can find out more in the rest of this web site or you can contact us .

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