A frequently used example of early viral marketing is Hotmail, the free web-based email service launched in 1996 that included in its users' outgoing messages an embedded advertisement and direct link inviting recipients to sign up for an account. This practice led to the fastest growth among user-based media companies at the time. Another example that illustrates how varied viral marketing can be is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The ice bucket challenge existed before The ALS Association utilized it to raise awareness and generate donations, but the massive dissemination on social media of ALS Ice Bucket videos created a worldwide sensation that not only increased ALS awareness tremendously, but also raised $115 million in donations to the Association in the summer of 2014 alone.

Reward Variety – The type of rewards you offer your users is a crucial element to the performance of your program. If you can offer multiple types of rewards you can help satisfy different referral behavior. Look at how Istockphoto structures their referral program. They understand that power users have a different motivation to refer than their casual users so they designed their program to satisfy both types of users.
The next step in a referral marketing strategy is to publically market the program. Some businesses place signs in physical stores, typically near the cash registers that invite customers to join the program. A common strategy is to create brochures that customers can take with them, containing information about the referral program, offering consumers a physical reminder of the program.
Interpersonal relationships have been crucial to the success of Murphy’s program. She frequently consults with top affiliates directly to keep communication open. She’ll also adjust her product mix and merchandising to increase conversion rates to drive mutual profitability and long-term value. CrazyForBargains takes these key steps to stay active in the affiliate community:
Developing and monetizing microsites can also garner a serious amount of sales. These sites are advertised within a partner site or on the sponsored listings of a search engine. They are distinct and separate from the organization’s main site. By offering more focused, relevant content to a specific audience, microsites lead to increased conversions due to their simple and straightforward call to action.
Forms of new media have also diversified how companies, brands, and ad networks serve ads to visitors. For instance, YouTube allows video-makers to embed advertisements through Google's affiliate network.[22][23] New developments have made it more difficult for unscrupulous affiliates to make money. Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.[citation needed]
Apart from looking for particular niches and individual affiliate offers, it makes sense to consider affiliate networks – aggregators that allow the publishers to manage multiple offers and get commissions from a single place, while removing the hassle for the advertisers of setting up their own programs. Below are some of the most affiliate networks:
Interpersonal relationships have been crucial to the success of Murphy’s program. She frequently consults with top affiliates directly to keep communication open. She’ll also adjust her product mix and merchandising to increase conversion rates to drive mutual profitability and long-term value. CrazyForBargains takes these key steps to stay active in the affiliate community:
For some business owners, they’ll think of a website. Others may think of social media, or blogging. In reality, all of these avenues of advertising fall in the category internet marketing and each is like a puzzle piece in a much bigger marketing picture. Unfortunately, for new business owners trying to establish their web presence, there’s a lot of puzzle pieces to manage.
In the past, large affiliates were the mainstay, as catch-all coupon and media sites gave traffic to hundreds or thousands of advertisers. This is not so much the case anymore. With consumers using long-tail keywords and searching for very specific products and services, influencers can leverage their hyper-focused niche for affiliate marketing success. Influencers may not send advertisers huge amounts of traffic, but the audience they do send is credible, targeted, and has higher conversion rates. 
For banners, if some affiliates use 728-pixel-by-90-pixel leaderboards but all you offer is 300-pixel-by-250-pixel medium rectangles, you run the risk of missing out on revenue because you didn’t offer  enough options. Create banner ads in multiple sizes and designs so the affiliates can choose what best fits their needs. If you’re running a promotion or sale, promo-specific banners with start and end dates give your affiliates a more customized, enticing options to advertise your site.

In the BigCommerce affiliate program, you receive a 200% bounty per referral and $1,500 per Enterprise referral, with no cap on commissions. Plus, the more referrals you drive through the program, the higher your commission tier will go. BigCommerce uses an industry leading 90-day cookie, so you will receive credit for up to three months for the referrals you generate. Also, there are no obligations or minimum commitments to join the program.


Being a leading data-driven agency, we are passionate about the use of data for designing the ideal marketing mix for each client and then of course optimization towards specific ROI metrics. Online marketing with its promise of total measurement and complete transparency has grown at a fast clip over the years. With the numerous advertising channels available online and offline it makes attributing success to the correct campaigns very difficult. Data science is the core of every campaign we build and every goal we collectively set with clients.
SEO is an effective tool for improving the volume and quality of traffic to your website. Visitors are more likely to click on free organic listings than on paid listings. Our SEO strategies apply only the best and most current practices that focus on the use of great content development, content marketing, social media. All of these strategies combined result in the most effective use of best practices that drive long term ROI.

It’s simple: the more positive experiences the buyer reads, the more inclined they are to make a purchase. By adding your products to review and lifestyle affiliate sites, you‘ll be found organically for terms that they rank for, compete better with giants like Amazon, and will get more recommendations and exposure relatively quickly. Social proof is powerful:
Web hosting is an incredibly competitive field for a number of reasons: there are many high-quality service providers who compete online for an entirely digital product. Some of the highest paying affiliate programs can be found there because a few years ago HostGator showcased the AM potential. This practically changed the way the hosts marketed themselves. Nowadays, practically all hosting providers offer lucrative affiliate deals. The Bluehost affiliate partners received over $5 million in 2018 alone.
Website:  Websites are a great way to establish your brand identity. They can use text, images, audio, and video elements to convey the company's message, as well as inform existing and potential customers of the features and benefits of the company's products or services. The website may or may not include the ability to capture leads from potential customers or directly sell a product or service online. 
A few months later after the ad was launched, the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy made a series of more than 200 short ads featuring Isaiah Mustafa, responding to comments and questions posted on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The campaign resulted in an increase in Twitter followers by more than 1,000 percent an over 6 hundred thousand people on Facebook liked the ads!
Studies have shown that success with referral campaign is 2% but is much better than direct mail campaigns which have a success rate of only 1%. Some marketers feel asking for a referral could damage the relationship with the customer. Companies that are not willing to seek referrals can take the indirect route by establishing their expertise through better visibility in websites, blogs, podcasts, YouTube, appearing on TV among other options. This, in turn, may help the company get references from people who aren’t its customers.

Viral marketing works famously on the Internet because instant communication is easy and inexpensive. The digital format makes copying simple. From a marketing standpoint, you must simplify your marketing message so it can be transmitted easily and without degradation. Short is better. The classic is: “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com.” The message is compelling, compressed, and copied at the bottom of every free email message.

In contrast, the European Union's "Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive" restricts websites' ability to use consumer data much more comprehensively. The EU limitations restrict targeting by online advertisers; researchers have estimated online advertising effectiveness decreases on average by around 65% in Europe relative to the rest of the world.[60]:58

Customers are often researching online and then buying in stores and also browsing in stores and then searching for other options online. Online customer research into products is particularly popular for higher-priced items as well as consumable goods like groceries and makeup. Consumers are increasingly using the Internet to look up product information, compare prices, and search for deals and promotions.[21]


Dropbox, a leading online file storage company implemented a referral marketing program for its subscribers in 2009. In referral marketing program, those who signed up and those who referred got free space. Within a year, referral accounted for more than 35% of the new business for Dropbox. There are several examples from industry all over the world that have employed referral marketing –AT&T gives customers an opportunity to earn up to $575 per year through referrals.

An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.[24]


The most famous expressions of viral marketing are videos and ads. Its strength comes from the fact that people like to share information they find fun and interesting with others and send it to each other via social media. For instance, think of ads in the form of funny videos, images, texts or an interactive Flash game. It can be risky though. People generally don’t like to forward messages that are clearly commercial. It can also happen that the wrong audience is approached and the message doesn’t reach the right people. That could be bad for public relations.
Video and mobile go hand in hand. 90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile. From Q3 of 2013, mobile video views have grown more than 233 percent. YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year. Since people like to watch videos on the go, and the number of smartphone users is growing, your video audience keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Apart from looking for particular niches and individual affiliate offers, it makes sense to consider affiliate networks – aggregators that allow the publishers to manage multiple offers and get commissions from a single place, while removing the hassle for the advertisers of setting up their own programs. Below are some of the most affiliate networks:
Web design is a very technical field that requires high literacy in many different kinds of software, including image editing and website architecture programs. A designer should be comfortable with computer “languages” like HTML and stay up to date on new technological developments. The designer is also an artist, so he or she should also have a firm grasp on aesthetics, visual continuity, and image composition.
If you can use your affiliate marketing site to establish yourself as an authority in a niche market, it’s much easier to introduce a new product line. And, as you begin to build a customer base for your products, you can take advantage of more lucrative opportunities to help market complementary brands and products – both off and on Amazon. As long as you focus on customer loyalty, profits will come.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect on May 25, 2018, is a set of regulations governing the use of personal data across the EU. This is forcing some affiliates to obtain user data through opt-in consent (updated privacy policies and cookie notices), even if they are not located in the European Union. This new regulation should also remind you to follow FTC guidelines and clearly disclose that you receive affiliate commissions from your recommendations. 

In your affiliate marketing network, you’ll provide affiliates with text ads, banner ads, and content they need to promote you successfully. Most of your affiliate traffic will come from contextual text links in the body of the content an affiliate writes about your site. In your affiliate network, you get to choose which landing pages these text links go to, whether they be category pages, product pages, or simply the home page.


Collaborative Environment: A collaborative environment can be set up between the organization, the technology service provider, and the digital agencies to optimize effort, resource sharing, reusability and communications.[36] Additionally, organizations are inviting their customers to help them better understand how to service them. This source of data is called User Generated Content. Much of this is acquired via company websites where the organization invites people to share ideas that are then evaluated by other users of the site. The most popular ideas are evaluated and implemented in some form. Using this method of acquiring data and developing new products can foster the organizations relationship with their customer as well as spawn ideas that would otherwise be overlooked. UGC is low-cost advertising as it is directly from the consumers and can save advertising costs for the organisation.
Digital marketing is probably the fastest-changing marketing field out there: New tools are being built, more platforms emerge and more channels need to be included into your marketing plan. How not to get overwhelmed while staying on top of the latest marketing trends? Here are a few tools that help you scale and automate some parts of your marketing routine making you a more productive and empowered marketer: Tools to Semi-Automate Marketing Tasks 1.

Apple maintains it’s viral appeal, with the iPhone X through their launch of the "Selfies on iPhone X" campaign. The secret to this example of viral marketing (which has clocked up over millions views both online and offline) is very simple: a product so great that it turns people into fans of the brand all on its own. People love themselves. If they have the possibility of spreading this love digitally through selfies, it’s almost a guaranteed win. The iPhone X’s brilliant selfie feature spread virally through various media forms before apple repurposed the viral content into one masterpiece, the iPhone X selfies film. As one of the YouTube comments says, “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen”… This viral marketing through video has allowed Apple to spread key features such as their Portrait Lighting effects and their TrueDepth camera.
Our digital agency offers both traditional targeted online display advertising as well as behavioral retargeting. Through an intense discovery process, our team will determine the most optimal marketing mix for your online media plan. We will leverage ad network partnerships for planning the ideal media buys and negotiating the best possible pricing.
Once you have the correct email address and are ready to reach out, create your email template. Since you’ve probably never worked with this person before, keep the email brief. Provide value by offering a personalized commission rate or a sample of products. Always remember to compliment their website as well. And if they don’t answer you right away, set a reminder to follow-up.
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005.[19] MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.[20]

Online referral marketing focuses on interactions between customers.[2] The Internet is a common channel for referral-based marketing. It delivers abundant outlets for customers to share their opinions, product favourites, and experiences, including the company's website and through social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.[3] The marketers can encourage the referring parties by providing pre-scripted messages. Advocates can provide their family members and friends with personalised links including unique referral codes and advertisement information through e-mails, blogs and instant messages. The company can give rewards to advocates when their family members and friends buy through the link.[4]
The introduction of social media has caused a change how viral marketing is used and the speed at which information is spread and users interact.[35] This has prompted many companies to use social media as a way to market themselves and their products, with Elsamari Botha and Mignon Reyneke stating that viral messages are "playing an increasingly important role in influencing and shifting public opinion on corporate reputations, brands, and products as well as political parties and public personalities to name but a few."[35]
In this new world of digital transparency brands have to be very thoughtful in how they engage with current and potential customers. Consumers have an endless amount of data at their fingertips especially through social media channels, rating and review sites, blogs, and more. Unless brands actively engage in these conversations they lose the opportunity for helping guide their brand message and addressing customer concerns.
When you start your marketing campaign, it is crucial to create the best possible content to differentiate your brand. Promotion should be your next step. For promoting the brand effectively, Dove had strong social media strategies, which even lead to celebrities and other brands joining the conversation and sharing the video with others. Shareability is a huge factor for making your campaign a success. Involving customers in your campaign and providing them a platform for discussion is an invaluable way to develop customer relationship.
The solution was to create a video entitled “The Princess Machine.” In it, three bored girls build and launch a Rube Goldberg machine designed to do one task but in the most complicated way. It shows engineering skills and GoldieBlox toys, physics and chain reactions. It could be straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. And somehow it entrances the viewer for the full two minutes.
This “use” can be as simple as wanting to see a hated popstar get his image shredded. It can be finding out how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Besides use, today’s consumers want to feel like they’re part of your product. This can be as simple as rewarding them with your product for an action, or including them vicariously through visual content that incorporate people just like them.
If you can use your affiliate marketing site to establish yourself as an authority in a niche market, it’s much easier to introduce a new product line. And, as you begin to build a customer base for your products, you can take advantage of more lucrative opportunities to help market complementary brands and products – both off and on Amazon. As long as you focus on customer loyalty, profits will come.
Blog – usually a part of the website, but can be a separate subdomain or even domain. Providing relevant and useful information and opinions about your niche topic in a blog has many advantages: blogs help your website rank higher on search engines if regularly updated and optimized. They build your reputation as an authority in your niche. A blog also provides a platform for sharing a variety of content such as articles, photos, podcasts, videos, e-books etc.
Social media platforms are built for communities. From individuals to businesses and government organizations, everyone use Facebook and Twitter to broadcast their messages in real-time. Social media channels are ideal for affiliate marketing efforts because they present your products to a large number of people. This is why it is essential that affiliate marketing professionals should work on expanding their social media footprint so that they could pitch their products to the world!
Working with people outside of your usual industry can help you create a buzz for both of your companies. The TV show The Walking Dead teamed up with UC Irvine to create an open online course on what a zombie apocalypse would be like. Zombie lovers ate it up like free brains. Both the show and the university benefitted. HP teamed up with Kiva to allow HP employees an extra $25 to donate to the Kiva project of their choice. Both HP and Kiva gained exposure, while worthy charitable causes received funding.
Single or Double-sided Rewards – A common practice in referral programs is to only give out a reward to the sender of the referral. We believe that this is not the right way to approach referral marketing. If you don’t reward both parties you are changing the overall motivation a user has to make a referral to their network. Double-sided programs give rewards to both the sender and the recipient. The even reward structure helps motivate users who are not looking to profit off of their personal network.
A successful referral program isn’t just about using your existing customers to gain new leads. With 74% of consumers identifying word-of-mouth as a key influencer in purchasing decisions and 92% of people ages 18 to 34 saying that they seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase, referral marketing is an integral component of today’s marketplace - and one that can yield impressive results if the right tactics are employed. 
There are plenty of guides to marketing. From textbooks to online video tutorials, you can really take your pick. But, we felt that there was something missing — a guide that really starts at the beginning to equip already-intelligent professionals with a healthy balance of strategic and tactical advice. The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing closes that gap.

On whether customer referral programs are worth the cost, the study says that it records "a positive value differential, both in the short term and long term, between customers acquired through a referral program and other customers. Importantly, this value differential is larger than the referral fee. Hence, referral programs can indeed pay off."[7]
If your customers transact with you on a weekly or monthly basis, then it makes sense to incentivize referrals with account credits or discounts towards future purchases. However, if your customers purchase from you less than a few times per year, that reward won’t carry the same weight. In fact, it might send signals that you don’t really understand your customers.
Look at products such as Hotmail, Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Snapchat, dating websites, and Craigslist. They all have one thing in common: they are products that went viral. These are the ideal viral marketing opportunities as these products get better when more people use them. I don’t to discuss these properly, but it’s essential to know that they exist for a complete view of viral marketing.
This is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually get the investor to invest in the product before they are compensated.

Generally speaking, if you are starting from scratch, without any meaningful internet presence, the first months you will be making absolutely nothing. It takes time to build a following and then some more time to build a sizeable audience. Many affiliate marketing statistics will make your head spin with glorious promises of quick riches, but the truth is that this is a business like any other. You need vision, determination, persistence, and a pinch of luck to get noticed and to start earning well.
A few months later after the ad was launched, the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy made a series of more than 200 short ads featuring Isaiah Mustafa, responding to comments and questions posted on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The campaign resulted in an increase in Twitter followers by more than 1,000 percent an over 6 hundred thousand people on Facebook liked the ads!
The campaign became viral because it could connect to the audience emotionally. People could relate to the concept of the video. The idea was original, and the content was enticing without pushing the products. The ad encouraged social conversation and sensitivity around the beauty of a woman. It empowered women, evoking feelings of warmth, joy, and confidence. Empowerment is a powerful tool, which can enhance the brand image of your company. So build an uplifting relationship with your audience.
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