Viral Marketing

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What is Viral Marketing?
Viral Marketing refers to “the marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message voluntarily” via e-mail, blog, websites or other Internet space, in the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, e-books, brandable software, images, or even text messages. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions of people. With low marketing cost, it could experience an exponential growth of customer’s awareness of the brand it is promoting. At a nearly zero acquisition cost, marketers can build a customer base through the high pass-along rate from person to person. If a large percentage of recipients forward a marketing message to a large number of friends, the overall growth snowballs very quickly. On the other hand, if the pass-along numbers get too low, the overall growth quickly fizzles. This exponential audience growth is what makes viral marketing so appealing to many marketers in ROI terms. A few examples of successful viral marketing are as follows: “ is widely cited as the first example of successful viral marketing. At the bottom of each email message, there was a small line promoting Hotmail -- "Get Your Private, Free Email at" The recipient of the message quickly understood that he or she could get an account quickly and easily by visiting Hotmail. This led to phenomenal growth -- more than 12 million people signed up in the first year and a half.” “ offers "personal recommendation marketing" where individuals can earn incentives by recommending web sites to others. It has become common to provide a "tell a friend" icon next to the description of new products or services. The "Elf Bowling" software designed by NVision Design, Inc. became very famous last holiday season, thanks to large-scale dissemination through email.” “The instant messaging service ICQ...
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