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Don't Get Mad About Viral Marketing

Copyright © 2004 Chris Brown

Sometimes we get an idea, but when we begin to develop our creation we become overwhelmed with the efforts that we are going to have to supply. It’s also ordinary to get so caught up in development that we get sidetracked into other ideas. Planning carefully is the best way to handle troubles like these.

When you plan your product or service, don’t just make an outline; instead, make an outline with many sub-outlines. This way, throughout product development you won’t have questions about what to do next. You also get a chance to document those ‘sidetracked’ ideas; keep you ideas. You’ll need them later.

Having a well thought out plan will keep you on the right path; you will be able to use your time with powerful efficiency. This is ideal, right?


This writing isn’t exactly a product development piece, but you are going to want keep these ideas in mind as you develop future products. The information I’m about to give you is something that you will be able to incorporate to your planning.

So… read on… we’re going to shift directions a bit…

Aside from product development obstacles, you could possibly run into ‘road blocks’ after you’re ready to market.

When the product is complete and it’s time to show it to potential customers, the realization of advertising expenses might kick in for some, or perhaps our competition is tougher than we had realized. Regardless, this is definitely the time during which we recognize that our marketing strategy is just as important as the product it’s self.

What if we could ‘build in’ promotional tools with our product? “How fascinating will it be if our product can do much of the needed promotion automatically?”

That brings me to ‘viral marketing’…


One fascinating strategy is to use marketing that will ‘freely’ spread it’s self. This has popularly become known as viral marketing and can be quite an unstoppable technique.

An easy example of viral marketing is free eBooks that teach the reader while selling them on a product. With this example, the eBook gives away valuable information while including your ‘order link’ or requesting that the reader take a ‘desired action’.

Another great illustration of viral marketing is what Hotmail did. I know you’ve received mail from a hotmail user before; do you remember the little sentence at the bottom? It went something like “get your free mail account at hotmail” and you probably noticed the link back to the hotmail site.

What hotmail did is very fascinating; they gave out free email accounts with built in marketing. Every time someone sent an email via hotmail, they were in turn advertising hotmail. That’s brilliant.

Some other common examples of ‘viral marketing’ are contests and games that spread by word of mouth, free software that promotes a product or site, and even websites that provide online tools for people to come back over and over and use (or send others to use).

We should just say this: Anything that will be ‘passed around’, recommended or given away by the users (or readers) that enjoy it can be considered ‘viral’.

I could go on to tell you that affiliate programs, forwarded emails and shareware are ‘viral’ but that could take all night…

Instead, let’s talk about how you will benefit from this powerful marketing strategy…


Our ‘viral’ product doesn’t bring customers unless we have built in a way to generate traffic or sales, so let’s talk about this for a moment.

It’s all about what you include to promote your product and where you send the people that enjoyed your ‘viral’ product.

Ideally, anything that you give away (or sell) with the purpose of spreading like a virus

should ultimately get the reader, user or customer to take a desired action.

You might simply want to get people to visit your site or perhaps you want them to follow a link to your order page and immediately purchase your product or service. The key here is that your viral marketing tool must show the users why they should take your desired action.

If you sell vitamins and you give away a report about the benefits of vitamins then your report is going to have to show the readers why they need to buy your vitamins and it’s going to need to send them out to buy your vitamins. In other words, once you’ve shown your patrons why they need to take this desired action then you’ve got to ask to them act.


Another point I would like to bring up is this; your viral product can be your ‘main’ product as well. Don’t limit viral marketing to just ‘add-ons’ that market your main product. You can build these ideas right in to your next product by adding features that will make customers (want to) recommend it to others.

Remember this, Hotmail didn’t make the users ‘want to’ recommend Hotmail, instead, Hotmail gave users no choice. Currently, I believe that you can probably upgrade and remove those messages (if they even still have the tiny add at the bottom), but for years Hotmail had enjoyed ‘free advertising’.


Before I leave you thinking about these ideas, let me throw out a ‘step by step’ plan. This is by no means the best or only way; this is only a starting point.

1. Create a ‘viral’ product by providing information (or entertainment) while bringing interest to your ‘main’ product.

Keep in mind, this can’t be ‘just an advertisement’; your viral product has got to be useful for the users. If people don’t need it, they aren’t going to pass it on to others.

2. Include information that pulls the user toward taking your desired action (such as following an order link). Once again, be sure that this does not come in the form of advertisement; this has got to be subtle.

3. Show the user how to give away the ‘viral’ product, show them how they can benefit from giving away your ‘viral’ product and ask them to give it away.

Many ‘viral’ products are brandable; this means that a user can change out some links or add their link to a specific area of the product. Letting people customize your product will make them want to give it away.

The preceding steps will serve as a guideline to creating a viral marketing tool; they are the basic ‘must know’ steps to virally promoting your product.


With so many ‘marketing tactics’ available to us, it can be hard to pick or choose a good one. Don’t get overwhelmed, get educated. With a little bit of research and a clear idea of which promotions will work for you, you will be building a successful business that will push you towards and even beyond success.

Viral promotion is a powerful way to drive targeted customers to your product or to your web site. If you haven’t already tried it then I urge you to explore the advantages of this explosive marketing strategy.

As you rummage through the myriad ways to market your product, service or your self, always keep in mind that if your marketing is contagious, it will spread it’s self for free.

Stay positive and enjoy your success!

About the Author

Chris Brown is the owner of – an informative site – dedicated to those of us who work from home or really want to make money. If you are interested in *top quality* home business opportunities, tips about making money online and help from a straightforward friend that works from home, Don’t Delay. Break on through to

Written by: Chris Brown

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