Spreading the Word with Viral Marketing

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Have you ever visited a Web site and found an article, a coupon, a special, or something else that impressed you so much that you immediately sent an email to your friends about it? If you have, you’ve already been bitten by the viral marketing bug! Viral marketing, which is often referred to as “word-of-mouse” marketing, is a low-cost, highly effective way to market your product or service using the Internet. Just like a flu virus in humans, viral marketing replicates and propagates itself online. Viral marketing enables you to capitalize on referrals from an unbiased third party—the consumer!

The power that peers and reference groups have over the purchasing decision is phenomenal. Similar to how a positive testimonial from a reliable source can add credibility to a product or service, the opinions of friends, business
associates, and family can also help influence a consumer’s purchasing decision. By implementing various viral marketing techniques on your Web site, you are provided with a dynamite opportunity to leverage the opinions of your Web site visitors.

There are many viral marketing opportunities provided by social media that will be covered in the various social media chapters.

In this chapter, we cover:

  • How you can use viral marketing to increase traffic
  • Word-of-mouth viral marketing
    • – Pass-it-on viral marketing
    • – Tell-a-friend scripts
  • Various ways to leverage your viral marketing campaigns
  • Incentives to encourage viral marketing.


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