Getting recipients of your viral advertising e-mail to forward it to their friends and coworkers isn’t as hard as it sounds. The whole trick is to make them WANT to share it and thereby share your advertisement. Neat! Cool! Free!
Because entertainment has value, interactive content like a quiz or test can inspire forwarding, especially if it’s fun. Personality tests, fitness quizzes, or compatibility questionnaires are all things that I have received and sent at one time or another.
A really cool, multimedia experience is always going to achieve some pass-along action. Rich media email is getting a lot of press of late. Someone is always touting the benefits. It does take more time and a little money but the messages have great appeal. Rich media has the advantage of being new and therefore has the novelty and tech factor. That alone is often enough for the message to be seen as valuable and worth forwarding.
There are vendors like RidicalMail and AdTools that have “Forward to a Friend” capabilities built right into their technology. Right now this works but eventually marketers will still rely on the value of the proposition in their message to be enough to distinguish it from the rest.
So should you try to capitalize on viral marketing? Absolutely! You would be a fool not to include things in your e-mail advertising campaign that would inspire forwarding. You should certainly try to reap the benefits of reaching more than your target audience.
You need to stretch those advertising dollars so hard you make George cry. You do, however, need to understand that viral marketing is a tactic that works toward achieving your campaign objective.
Oh…one more thing. No matter how brilliant you craft the offer and no matter how great the message, if the customer visits your site and has an experience less than what was promised, it will come back to bite you.