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Viral Marketing and New Business

By: Rick Vidallon at Visionefx

Submitted on Thu, Jul 20th, 2006 12:00 am

If you're depending on a sole source, such as search engines, to generate new leads and new business, you're on dangerous ground. Many businesses have gone belly up because all their eggs were in one basket.

Search engines are too fluid and too volatile for natural or organic results, especially SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Position). Search engine algorithms are constantly being tweaked. Today you may have the #1 position on Google for a variety of search terms, and tomorrow you may find yourself on page 50.

Your business development efforts should use an integrated approach that combines at least two communications tools. Internet search engines is one, viral marketing on the internet is another.

Here are a few sure-fire ways to get customer attention. Target a local or regional niche that you have serviced. If you service or sell to the military, obtain emails from military and military-related clients to create an email list. Fifty or more emails will do. Then customize a small email campaign and send it along.

Here is a more specific example of a viral campaign we recently launched for a new client.

This client offers luxury automobile leasing programs to busy professionals. They have various clients in the professions of communications, finance, advertising, medical and legal. They wanted to acquire new medical and attorney clientele in their geographical sales area.

We first went to the Super Pages and searched Doctors / Virginia Beach, Attorneys / Virginia Beach and other regional cities. Super Pages lists a website and email address in most cases.

We then created a graphic email to target each group. We DID NOT emphasize any part of "selling." Instead, we emphasized the cost savings and tax advantages of leasing. This is known as a soft-sell. Its purpose is to generate curiosity or interest without screaming BUY NOW.

All of us service or sell to a niche market in one way or another. The key to new business or continued business from existing clients is to promote what you do either directly or indirectly.

Other ways of soft selling is to generate electronic newsletters, articles and electronic flyers. You have to spread the news and create a buzz. That's viral marketing.

About the Author

Rick Vidallon
Visionefx
Rick Vidallon is President of Visionefx, a Web design company based in Virginia Beach, Va. They provide services to national companies as well as small to medium businesses throughout the United States. Rick can be reached at (757) 619-6456 or rick@visionefx.net.

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