Viral Marketing

Definition

Marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message.

Information

Viral marketing depends on a high pass-along rate from person to person. If a large percentage of recipients forward something to a large number of friends, the overall growth snowballs very quickly. If the pass-along numbers get too low, the overall growth quickly fizzles.

At the height of B2C it seemed as if every startup had a viral component to its strategy, or at least claimed to have one. However, relatively few marketing viruses achieve success on a scale similar to Hotmail, widely cited as the first example of viral marketing.

Synonyms

word-of-mouth marketing

Related Terms

email marketing, pass-along rate, permission marketing

Sites

n/a

Articles

How-To Do Viral Marketing: The Ultimate Archive of Videos & Podcasts
MarketingTerms.com (February 15, 2012)

Tips for Optimizing Viral Marketing Campaigns
ClickZ (February 22, 2001)

How to Catch on to Viral Marketing
ClickZ (February 16, 2001)

I Think I Caught Something: Viral Marketing
ClickZ (January 30, 2001)

The Power of Viral Marketing
ClickZ (November 8, 2000)

Leveraging the Power of Viral Marketing
ClickZ (November 2, 2000)

Getting Viral
ClickZ (October 10, 2000)

The Viral Component in Online Creative
ClickZ (October 3, 2000)

What Makes it Viral?
ClickZ (July 6, 2000)

Is Viral Marketing All It’s Cracked Up To Be?
ClickZ (May 9, 2000)

The Care and Feeding of Marketing Viruses
ClickZ (April 17, 2000)

Viral Marketing: Pitfall or Windfall?
ClickZ (February 24, 2000)

The Basics Of Viral Marketing
ClickZ (November 19, 2000)

What Does Viral Marketing Really Mean?
ClickZ (October 11, 1999)