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The Secret of Viral Marketing

By Martin Cargill
Posted Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Viral Marketing is a relatively new phenomenon, and at its simplest is a line of code embedded in any promotional "give- away" item, such as an e-book, that instantly directs the viewer on to your site.

Such links can also be placed within ads or articles that you produce and disseminate free for re-print.

As an example on my web page ( is a banner inviting the reader to find out how to dramatically increase traffic to your site. I have no personal involvement with this site, other than the banner ad.

The viral marketing page offers you the opportunity to place a free ad, but in order to do so, you must first "click"on 7 ads and collect the ad code from each.

The ad code takes a few seconds to download, and so you uncon-ciously read the ad, giving that advertiser FREE exposure. You may then submit your ad which replaces one of the 7 ads previously mentioned.

The genius in this approach is that you will then take every opportunity to advertise the viral marketing site, to ensure that as many businesses as possible read your ad, and hopefully sign on to the program.

The result is the one thing that your business must have to survive - TRAFFIC. Face it no matter how good and reasonably priced your product may be, or how wonderful your sales letter is, no one will ever know, unless you find a way to get them to your site.

You can always do that if you have mega-bucks to spend, but for the rest of us advertising has to be free, or at the least inexpensive.

The second form of free viral advertising is through the e-book.

Many e-books now allow the reader to "brand" them, with your company name, a link to your web-site or in the case of an affiliate program, with a link that gives you a share of whatever sales your sponsor makes through your link. You just insert the "brand", give the e-book away to as many people as possible, encourage them to use it as a promotional item and then wait for the inevitable result.

Sure some of the recipients will figure out the process and re-brand the book with their own details, but that is going to happen. You'll find that most don't know enough, or are too lazy to change your links, and after all this hasn't cost YOU anything - has it ??

You'll find e-books of this sort all over the net. Many sites mine included, offer them as promotionl items to persuade you to join their mailing lists. So join.

You will quickly find out which sites are of no value to you, just unsubscribe and try a different offer. Any site that is offering you well written content, that can help you under- stand some of the aspects of this complicated business will get, and deserve your continued support.

About the Author
Martin Cargill is the publisher of the Independence Day Ezine, and you can subscribe at the web-site ( or by sending an e-mail to (


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