How to Make Viral Email Legal
Concerns over sending unsolicited email is at the heart of the legality issue of using viral
advertising. By using viral marketing tactics carefully, however, marketers can avoid the
negative reactions and gain an excellent return on investment (ROI) as they increase the
reach of their marketing message to a targeted group far beyond their original audience.
Here are a few insights on how to execute a viral marketing campaign most effectively.
1 Offer an incentive
Viral marketing works best when a valuable and tangible
incentive is offered that will encourage people to forward an e-mail message to their
friends. Marketers should, however, cap the incentive to a specific quantity to avoid
spam-like distribution of the message.
2 Do not consider the referral an opt-in
When a customer refers a friend, the
referral shouldn’t be considered an opt-in. A name and e-mail address given by a
person’s friend does not constitute an opt-in by the individual, so the data should be
deleted immediately after the referral email is sent. The referral email should provide
the recipient with the option to opt out if he or she does not want to receive future
3 Personalize the referral e-mail
Response rates increase dramatically when users
can see that a message is coming from a friend, so it is always best to personalize
the e-mail message to show that it is coming from a recognizable source. The
subject line is the key component in a viral marketing e-mail because it can
immediately identify the e-mail as friendly. A good subject line might read, “FYI:
Jane Doe thought you’d like 20% off at ABC.com.”
4 Continually promote friendly referrals
Marketers who would like to have their
messages forwarded frequently should place a viral marketing offer in every relevant
outgoing e-mail message.
Courtesy of Viral Marketing