Return to: GROK Dot Com 7/1/2000

Who Wants to Catch ďViral MarketingĒ?
Egad! The jargon-junkies are at it again. What used to happen over the back-yard fence when Jan told Louise, or in the hardware store when Jan told Bob (Janís a busy lady), is now called "Viral Marketing." And while I shake my head at terminology that makes it sound like a disease, I have to admit they have a point. With cyberspace so huge, word of mouth can have a big role in building traffic to your site.

So how do you tap into the power of viral marketing? Simple. Start by providing your customers with a stellar online experience. Everyone knows that when it comes to getting a referral, a delighted customer is the best marketing strategy. And itís the cheapest one, too. Who are you more likely to listen to, a friend or somebody you donít know? Now, try this one: an email from a friend or an email from a stranger? The numbers are powerful. 64% of us will try something if itís recommended to us by a friend. And when someone has a good experience online they tell an average of 12 people. And by the way, thatís five times as many people as they tell offline . But be careful. When they have a bad experience, they tell a whole lot more. The bad news spreads like wildfire, but the good news will spread, as long as you give them a reason to glow rather than grump about you.

Next, give word of mouth an active role on your website. Include a "Tell A Friend" option on your site, enabling your happy customers to send your url to others. Just some of the resources out there are the recommendation service Recommend-It (, CGI Resources (, which has about 70 form processors, some of which are perfect for your recommendation application, ( which has links to more info on JavaScript, and our own favorite, ( They donít just give you a robust referral tool thatís a snap to implement, they also give you the ability to send pictures and content excerpts and custom marketing messages, plus you get real time data tracking, and on top of that they marry it all to a super rewards program where people earn points every time they make a referral and then can get great stuff when they have enough points. Check it out.

So, make that website experience worth raving about and give your visitors some tools to rave with! Then watch them start congregating over their virtual back-yard fences, doing their viral marketing thing.

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Return to: GROK Dot Com 7/1/2000

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