Using Viral Marketing Effectively
By Melissa Sepos
Online marketers are having success with viral marketing: messages distributed with the intent of being passed along to grow a marketers e-mail file or increase company or product exposure. The e-mails contain special tracking devices that capture new e-mail addresses for present or future use.
The most effective viral marketing campaigns are being done with rich media, typically streaming media. Streaming media, which uses graphics, sound and animation to promote a product, is intriguing and perceived as "cool" by the viewer compelling them to pass the message onto others. Mass marketers, such as film companies, Disney and Pepsi are using streaming media, which encapsulates a mini-movie in an e-mail, to advertise their products.
"Rich media maximize budgets because often commercials can be repurposed [limiting production costs] and the success rates of rich media are high," says Brandy Brewer, production manager, e-mail for Avenue A, an e-mail marketing company.
Bryan Heathman, president of I Promotion for 24/7 Media, an online direct marketing company, provides these statistics on viral marketing campaigns:
*80 percent of online firms use viral marketing.
*81 percent of viral e-mail recipients pass them to at least one person.
*49 percent send e-mail messages to two or more people.
*5 to 15 percent of viral recipients click through.
*56 percent of browsers find new sites through viral marketing.