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Spreading Your Message Around

Viral marketing is a technique that spreads messages like a virus from consumer to consumer and market to market. Viral marketing can take many forms:

An e-Greeting Cards is an example of a viral marketing campaign where our messages are spread through a "send to a friend" function. In an effort to the support our Tsunami Relief Campaign, AmericanGreetings.com (www.ag.com) generously donated and produced an e-greeting card, encouraging the public to donate to the cause. Within two weeks, the card was forwarded more than 11,000 times.

E-Mail Blasts are another form of viral marketing where sponsors can send out a direct e-mail newsletter to a list of subscribers who specify that they are interested in your issue. What Counts (www.whatcounts.com) has been a great partner of the Ad Council to successfully distribute e-mail messages for many of our campaigns, including: Math and Science for Girls, Teacher Recruitment NYC and Obesity Prevention. The e-mails can be delivered in HTML or plain text. The HTML emails enable our TV spots to stream within the e-mail, which offers interactivity to engage the subscriber.

The list of subscribers can be obtained from one of three places. For internal e-mails, we can use a list you provide or generate a list through iMIS. Additionally, a sponsor may already have a list of e-mails garnered via an opt-in list on their website such as the one on the SmallStep.gov site. Most direct e-mails are sent to a list of e-mail addresses purchased through a list vendor like BlueSky Factory. The benefit of purchasing a list is that it is guaranteed to reach the people that are interested in your issues. The cost of the list depends on how targeted the audience is and the quantity of names on the list.

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