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Viral Marketing Tricks
An introduction to Viral Marketing
15th April 2001
Viral Marketing sounds scary,
doesnít it? The first time I heard this term I thought someone should be
visiting the doctorís office. It never occurred to me that this had
anything to do with the internet. When it finally did dawn on me
that this was a promotional technique, I didnít have a clue as to how
powerful it could be.
I began my relationship with this
odd sounding technique by installing greeting cards on my site. I know it
sounds small, but greeting cards are actually one of the most powerful
techniques of all. Why? Because everyone seems to want to send ecards to
their friends, lovers and relatives. Each card contains a link back to
your site, which tends to produce visitors.
My next exposure was something
called ďtell a friendĒ. This is a simple script, installed in less
than an hour, which allows your visitors to, well, tell their friends
about your site. This is an excellent way to get people to visit, as
virtually everyone will do something that their friends recommend. Iíve
found this does not produce an incredible amount of traffic, but
considering only an hour was put into installation, itís not bad.
Another viral marketing technique
which Iíve tried is creating an email service. I signed up a couple of
domains with BigMailBox.Com, which allows me to give away web-based
mailboxes. For example, I own the domain renaissancefaire.Org. I could
link this to BigMailBox.Com, and allow people to send messages to theirname@r...
Since every single email that is send from this mailbox contains a
link back to my site, it tends to produce some traffic.
Another common viral marketing
technique is electronic books. In fact, this is now the big rage. Just
create an ebook and give it away! Everyone will want to download it, pass
it on to their friends and add it to their own websites for others to
download. The truth is that a good ebook, like anything else, will indeed
do exactly that. And, of course, a bad ebook will sit there and rot.
Another great viral marketing
technique (but one I have not personally tried out myself) is creating a
freeware program and giving it away on your web site. Of course links to
your website are scattered throughout the program. This tends to produce
quite a few visitors, assuming the program is any good.
The same kind of thing can be done
with free CGI scripts. You offer the script without warranty on your site,
freely given to anyone who wants it. Allow them to post it on their site
for free download also. Before long, you could find yourself getting
a steady stream of visitors looking for those scripts.
Another excellent viral marketing
technique is to write articles and post them on the web, allowing other
sites and ezines to post them as well. A small word of caution here: I
know from experience this can produce phenomenal amounts of traffic very
quickly so be prepared.
Iím sure you can think of dozens
or even hundreds of other ways to get in on this bandwagon. Iíll tell
you one thing that Iíve learned - the search engines are worthless in
comparison to link exchanges and viral marketing. Also, Iíve found these
techniques are much more fun and much less prone to the whims of some
search engine company.
Claudia Arevalo-Lowe is the webmistress of Internet Tips And Secrets and Surviving Asthma. Visit her site at http://survivingasthma.com
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