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Viral Marketing Works

In any other world except the Internet, viral marketing would be known simply as "word of mouth" advertising. But, despite the efforts of marketing experts to try and change the name to something a little more appealing, viral marketing remains the virtual term for "word of mouth" advertising. No matter its name, the concept is sound and very effective in generating traffic flow and business. There are five basic elements to any successful viral marketing campaign. Not every campaign will utilize all of the elements but the chances of success definitely improve with the more elements you include.

The first and foremost of these five elements is to offer incentives like free products or services. You have to spend money to make money. In other words, you give something free to gain a customer. People have a weakness for free gifts. The second element is to include the forward button to your marketing campaign so that the customer hits it and spreads the virus, so to say. It is the simplest way of spreading your message. No wonder, it is an essential part of any viral marketing campaign.

Your viral marketing campaign can be successful if you direct your efforts to offer people popularity, love, or emotional gratification of any kind. All marketing attempts seek to take advantage of the needs and urges of people. For instance, many businesses send e-mails promising to make people millionaires overnight. They continue to thrive upon the motivating power of greed, although on the face of it, it looks absurd and the odds are heavily against it.

The fourth component of any successful viral marketing campaign is to make use of the existing networks of people. On an average, an individual has an inner network of around 10 people and many more in their business or familial networks. Viral marketing penetrates into the inner network initially, and then spreads like a real virus in all directions. Essentially, just 5 people from the inner network are enough to forward your offer on to 5 more of their friends and so on. The only difference between word-of-mouth advertising and viral marketing is the medium, not the principle.

The final element of any successful viral marketing campaign is only important if indeed you do succeed. Assuming that you offer a free product or service that satisfies some emotional need and that people actually use their forward tab--what then? You are going to need the resources to handle all of the traffic heading your way. You need to be able to quickly transform from a small, hopeful enterprise into one that can process a lot of orders in a timely manner. Otherwise, the moment will pass and you will be back where you started. Therefore, you need a strategy that includes some way of bringing servers online as you need them. The best viral marketing campaign in the world will fail if customers cannot place orders. So, with planning and an effective hook that satisfies an emotional need, viral marketing does indeed work!

Desmond Mantor is the Director of Marketing for Have Traffic a business specializing in delivering highly targeted traffic for commercial web sites, proven to convert to sales at higher rates in comparison to regular major pay per click sources. Please visit for further details.

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