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Viral email marketing what works?

Stop with the enforced e-mail forwards already! Trying to force or bribe people to forward your info to a friends or family in order to be rewarded or win looks skanky in today’s ultra-permission-based world. Especially when you tell visitors nothing about their friend’s or family’s privacy in the space directly next to the e-mail form.

A true viral campaign gets forwarded because consumers are compelled to do so by the content not because you bribed them with points or something else.

What absolutely will not work:

Suggesting that e-mail recipients forward your message to their friends and family will not work and adding a line at the bottom of your e-mail that reads “Please feel free to forward this message to a friend” will mean your email is more likely to get it deleted than forwarded.

What absolutely will work:

  • Offering something worthy of sharing like a valuable discount, vital information or offering an incentive for sharing like additional entries into a sweepstakes or an added discount or premium service will work.
  • Relevant or timely information, research, or studies that are included in your e-mail might encourage the recipients to share with their family and friends.
  • Interactive content like a quiz or test, especially if it’s fun, will always inspire forwarding.
  • Jokes and cartoons are almost always forwarded to everybody the recipient knows.  Why?  Because they are entertaining and entertainment is meant to be shared.
  • A really cool multimedia experience is always going to achieve a lot of pass-along. Rich media is new and the novelty and tech factors alone are often enough to make the e-mail recipient eager to share it.

Oops!  Almost forgot one really important thing…You can craft a brilliant e-mail following all the rules, but if a consumer visits your site and has an experience less that what was promised, you are going to achieve viral marketing, alright…the bad kind.

So be certain that your product or service is ready and is as advertised!



1 comment to Viral email marketing what works?

  • Janice King

    If you are a marketing or PR professional who pays attention to new trends, you likely know much of the information in this book. Some sections may be useful for your executives to read when you are having trouble justifying investments in blogging and other new media activity. You may also find some useful ideas or techniques in the many examples presented here.

    However, the author’s arguments are hindered by his assumption that corporate marketing and PR staff are dinosaurs stuck in the practice of indiscriminate push advertising and media pitches. Scott spends too much time touting press releases as the best way to reach blog readers, a concept that ignores the true potential of blogs and related media for communicating in a deeper and more engaging way with potential customers. He also ignores the very real legal and market constraints that control much of corporate communications in his longing for businesses to adapt the free-for-all communications style of the independent blogging world. It is an unfair judgment to criticize corporate communicators for not living up to this unrealistic expectation.

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