The challenge with ANYTHING “viral” is to find SUPERB, compelling content. Assuming that you can indeed find something that everyone wants to “pass on”, then your email just might go viral. Or that special page on your site. In case of an email, the one obvious drawback is that someone just might strip away your signature and just pass the content on. But… you might be creative there too (embed your link or URL there for example…).
Assuming that everyone loves your content, in my experience, you may find you’ll get up to 3% of people to click through to your site as a result. Remember this is viral, i.e. not your “friends” (yet). On the other hand, if it goes viral then that 3% just might translate into hundreds or even thousands of signups!
Do NOT abuse this technique, but every now and then (perhaps once a month?), email all your contacts something to cheer them up. Something which they will be happy to forward to THEIR contacts (presumably just by “forwarding” your email, complete with your signature – or your URL with the “viral” stuff on it!).
What could this be? Well, it could be something that makes you laugh – or cry. Or anything that provokes an emotional reaction. Feel-good stuff tends to work really well. Hilariously funny stuff (but REALLY funny), can also be supremely “viral”. ONLY do the HIGHEST QUALITY stuff and only rarely. You can even embed a video in your email, or a great picture.
In fact, you can do EVEN more – you can add your signup form to it all as well. If they like what you’ve sent them and would like to get more from you – then can request it. And your list will grow. You may point out, of course, that someone may indeed want to join your list in order to get monthly funnies from you – but NOT to get eBook pitches or anything else. And you would be right. But… HOW you pitch your “viral funnies” and what you say in your email is a whole different matter. You may find an angle which will get you QUALIFIED members for your list. Also – you may just find a BUSINESS that revolves around this type of material!
If you send it to someone who you know has lots of contacts, and even ASK him/her to “pass it on” – you just might tap into a HUGE traffic source. NOTE: this will ONLY work is the quality is SUPERB (i.e. REALLY funny, or REALLY moving, etc).
Here’s an example:
I just found this and couldn’t resist! Pass it on to all your friends 🙂
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More On Viral Marketing Promotion Techniques.
So-called viral marketing uses existing communication networks to spread the word exponentially. Word-of-mouth, PR, creating “buzz,” and network marketing are offline models. Promotion strategy involving writing articles for others to use for their website and newsletter content is a kind of viral approach.
The key to the best viral marketing, however, is create something that generates buzz and is so cute / fascinating / fun / bizarre that it gets passed by viewers to their friends via e-mail and social networks – thousands of times – so that it propels more and more people to your website, and, hopefully, helps enhance your brand, produce sales, and ultimately boost profits.
Internet marketers often seek to launch viral campaigns on Digg (www.digg.com) or YouTube. Digg is a social bookmarking site with such power, that if enough people “Digg” you, you appear on the Digg front page and receive a huge number of visitors in a few hours. If your video goes viral on YouTube, you could get tens of thousands of visits to the site you promote in the video.