Linked from Resources page of Viral Marketing by Marshall Burns.
Viral Marketing: Marketing of, by and for the people
- Hotmail's Hyper-Growth:
* In its first 1.5 years, Hotmail acquired over 12 million subscribers.
A traditional print publication would hope to reach 100,000 subscribers within a few years of launch, but Hotmail signs up more than 150,000 subscribers every day.
* From company launch to 12 million users, Hotmail spent less than $0.5 million on advertising, marketing and promotion. This compares to over $20 million spent by Juno, one of Hotmail's close competitors with a fraction of membership.
* Once the first member subscribed from India, 100,000 more followed within 3 weeks. Now Hotmail is the largest email provider in India, despite the fact that it has not had any marketing campaign in that country.
- Amazon encourages its customers to send a book as a gift to a friend. When the recipient receives the gift book, the packaging contains a flyer for the amazon.com service.
Their Associates Program gives out comissions to web sites which bring customers to Amazon through their banner Ads, motivating thousands of web sites to help spread the word for Amazon.
- Tumbleweed Software enables secure e-mail delivery of documents to large numbers of recipients, carrying along a Web link to the Tumbleweed service. When a customer starts to use Tumbleweed, many potential new customers receive their pitch.
- Geocities enables people to create personal Web sites. When a user builds a Web site, he or she will invite people to visit it, thus spreading the word for Geocities. Similarly, Homestead enables families, friends, and other affinity groups to create private "community" Web sites.
- ICQ ("I seek you"), the software by a company called Mirabilis lets users know when their friends are logged on and initiate real-time chat sessions. If your friend doesn't have the program, you can click on a button and send him or her a link to download the software. Today ICQ boasts a 32 million worlwide membership and is still growing at the rate of 90,000 new members each day.
Mirabilis was sold in June 1998 to America Online, with zero revenues, for $287 million in cash. More...
- Hasbro Interactive lets users download games like Scrabble and email them to friends, along with their moves. Recipients can play for free but if they want to start a new game, they must purchase the software.
- Efax.com had signed up more than 300,000 subscribers within eight weeks of providing free incoming fax service. Their service offers you a free personal telephone number to which anyone can send you a fax. The fax is sent as a file to your e-mail address so you can view it on a computer screen or print it out.
- Release Software turns software piracy into potential sales by embedding in a software application an e-commerce engine for electronic distribution. When a user gives the software to a friend, it triggers the embedded virtual sales agent to start a 30-day trial period, after which the new user has to pay for continuous usage.
- eGroups.com gives groups a free place on the Net with tools to share ideas, coordinate schedules and exchange documents. It reached 4.1 million users at a faster pace than Hotmail did.
- When fans pluck "Things", the interactive, animated Web objects made with the ThingMaker program from ThingWorld.com , from, say, the Nintendo Web site and post them on personal homepages, they're actually promoting Nintendo and ThingWorld.com. In other words, "Things" are the kind of intellectual property that these companies actually want people to "steal".
- MeMail.com, the Canadian publisher with over 300,000 subscribers, has 97% of its new subscribers coming from direct referrals. Every time one of its subscribers passes along a news story or joke, it is a subtle endorsement for its MeMail.com brand.
- Vivaldi offers viral marketing programs to brick-and-mortar retailers through a computerized feedback loop between cash registers and the Web. By knowing what and when customers are buying, Vivaldi lets retailers offer powerful promotions like frequent-shopper discounts, refer-a-friend bonuses and new-product notifications. Offline retailers can offer loyalty and recruitment programs that are common on the Web but difficult to implement manually at a traditional store. It enables better communication and facilitates electronic commerce among consumers, retailers and branded product manufacturers.
- Dove Express provides a viral marketing and application email tool - CAARS (Customer Acquisition And Retention System) for clients. Users can easily design and send out viral emails using their "flexi-templates" which range from instant-win sweepstakes games to simple tell-a-friend-enabled letters; monitor and manage the campaign in real time; track the delivery and referral, among others.
- eDove Corp. held a viral marketing campaign with Sony Music and Holiday Corp, the largest Karaoke chain in Taiwan, using Reach Online's DoveExpress-VM viral marketing platform. Within one month, starting from a small seed email list, the number of emails voluntarily passed to users' friends exceeded 10% of Taiwan's online population.