How to Make It Go Viral

It’s a horrible word isn’t it….marketing? No, only joking, I mean “viral” of course. Mention viral and one tends to think infection, illness and disease – or for the geeks among us, computers messed up. But viral marketing is nothing so negative or unpleasant, viral marketing is good!

Eeewww! A virus!
Eeewww! A virus!

What is Viral Marketing?

As the name suggests, it’s a way of spreading your marketing message from person to person, rather like the flu virus is passed on. You give the germ to, say 5 friends/colleagues/family members, who in turn each pass on the bug to 5 more (5×5=25), who then spread it to another 5 (25×5=125) and so on until after just 8 levels, you reach the staggering figure of 1,953,125.

The classic example of viral marketing is Hotmail.com, one of the first free Web-based e-mail services. The strategy is simple:

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