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
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
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
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 .