A proven technique in viral marketing is the use of Ebooks which include your marketing message and are willingly passed on to others. This method uses the multiplication effect to “explode" the distribution of your message by willing participants.
The basic principle was used by Hotmail to get established. When the two founders set up their free email system, all the messages that were sent by subscribers had a text message at the bottom which identified Hotmail as the origin. People would send emails to their friends, who would be tempted to set up hotmail accounts and send emails to their friends. . .
Within a short time, Hotmail had 22 million subscribers. They eventually sold out to Microsoft for about $400 million.
Using viral ebooks as a marketing method is:
a. Cheap. It doesn't take long to set up. It's even quicker if you use rebrandable ebooks that have been produced by others. Just do a search on Google and you'll soon find many rebrandable ebooks that are available in your field of expertise. One distribution method is to offer these ebooks to visitors in exchange for subscribing to your newsletter. If they also pass it on, then others will promote your business for you.
b. Capable of reaching a large audience by geometrical progression, limited only by the enthusiasm of the participants.
c. Effectively combined with other forms of promotion.
d. A means of selling other products than the one you originally targeted. For instance, if you are selling garden products, those interested in flowers could also be interested in a catalogue that contains material on lawns, trees, landscaping, garden tools, etc.
e. Fairly easy to create. It's possible to produce your own ebooks by combining articles that you've written or have obtained from public domain sources, such as directories. An increasingly common approach is to use material that has Private Label Rights, including articles and reports that have been written specifically for that purpose, for that niche. You could also use as a viral ebook a portion of a larger work that you've prepared, such as the first three chapters of a larger ebook.
f. Effective at building your reputation if you distribute a quality product that users are willing to pass on to others, as this is an implied recommendation.
Whatever the subject matter, the ebook should be of significant value and free - or of very low cost in relation to its perceived value. But usually it is free and easy to pass on.
Many ebooks also combine very well with an affiliate program. When the affiliate receives some extra benefit from promoting the viral message, such as being able to brand your ebook with his affiliate links, the affiliate makes a sale when a reader buys through a branded link. You benefit from the increased traffic to your website because the affiliate is willing to promote the ebook for you!
Be sure your message includes a clear call to action. There should be no doubt about what you intend recipients to do. Offer clear instructions so that recipients know HOW to act. As well, the action you require should be simple and obvious. Don't complicate it or confuse the reader, such as by adding numerous links. Remember the K. I. S. S. principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Finally, the INCENTIVE should be clear to those you want to act. Readers will linger over your offering for only a few seconds before they move on. If it takes too long to work out, if your message is vague or difficult to understand, chances are you will lose them. If you don't respect your readers enough to express your message clearly, they will lose interest.
Viral Marketing with ebooks is but one of many techniques that together have a cumulative effect in attracting customers and subscribers to your business - in attracting targeted visitors to your website. You'll soon find that this is an excellent way of increasing sales, subscribers and referrals.
Ivan Kelly managed a Direct Mail business with extensive mailing lists for ten years and has designed and promoted many websites. He also provides quality f'ree courses on key internet marketing subjects. For details go to: List of Subjects