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Creating Effective Viral Marketing Email Campaigns

Viral email campaigns are among the most successful ones out there. There are many reasons why marketing companies love viral email marketing. Above all, it is easy and cheap to send many emails quickly. Plus, many customers are in the habit of passing on emails to friends, ensuring that the message gets passed.

Studies have also suggested that email advertising does work.

However, viral marketing through email is not a sure strategy. Email programs aggressively remove email considered “spam” or at least send it to a folder where it is less likely to be seen. Plus, not all customers react well to email marketing – some view the form as too intrusive and resent the amount of space it takes up in their email inbox. If your customers are getting many email ads, then they may also not give your ads the attention you may wish.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to ensure that customers do respond well to your email campaign and even pass the message along:

• Make the emails personalized: Customers are far more likely to read an email if they think it comes from a friend. By setting up a recommendation program that lets customers recommend your company to friends, you can send emails with subject lines such as “Mary Jane wants you to know about a hot deal at Acme Company.” Potential customers are far more likely to read emails with a name they recognize in the subject line. The prevalence of viruses today makes some people delete any emails from addresses they do not recognize.

• Make the emails enticing. The best viral email campaigns make use of emails that are so funny or so visually stunning (through video or games) that those who get them feel very compelled to send them on.

• Offer something with the email. You can easily enhance your chances of viral email marketing success by sending something important with the email that disguises its marketing nature. Many marketing experts, for example, recommend using newsletters filled with tips, special offers, and articles. Opt-in newsletters are very likely to be read and the successful ones are often recommended to others or are forwarded. Encourage your readers to pass along newsletters and add references to your services in the email and you will have designed a viral email campaign that is very likely to work. This also has the advantage of being a softer sell than many other forms of viral marketing, ensuring that fewer customers will simply delete your email as spam.

• Use other people’s emails. Through affiliate programs and link exchanges, you can have links to your web site listed in other companies’ email signatures or in other newsletters. This can help spread the word about your company and can ensure more customers.

• Consider two emails – a simple version and a high-tech version. Not everyone can read HTML emails or wants the high amount of inbox space they take up. Give your customers a choice between text and HTML emails and they will be more likely to read your marketing message and pass it on.

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