Unlike a computer virus that will destroy your software and damage your business, a traffic virus isn't harmful at all...except to your competition. It also isn't really a virus at all. A traffic virus is just termed a virus because it has a few of the same features to it.
A computer virus gets passed from computer to computer automatically without any effort from the creator. If there is a virus on your computer, anyone else can get it on their computer if you share a file, disk, or email attachment with them. Most of the recent viruses spreading around the net have also been programmed to automatically email themselves to any of your friends (email contacts) and to everyone you send email. They automatically spread themselves and you may not even know about it! A traffic virus has this same feature built into it. It will spread itself around the Net automatically from person to person without you even being involved.
Unlike a computer virus, it isn't damaging to the recipients. It helps them instead! This is the key aspect to a traffic virus, it helps the users and this causes them to send it to their friends. For example, one type of "traffic virus" is a web site postcard system. Many web sites have installed a free postcard system so their users can send postcards to friends and family. They pick a picture, choose an audio presentation, write a short note, and then email it to their friends.
The key to the viral system (another term for a traffic virus) is their friends and family must come to your web site to pick up their card. Your web site gets automatic traffic without you having to actively be involved in it. Then, hopefully they will send postcards to their friends and family. This never-ending cycle will continually bring new visitors to your web site who you market your products and services to. It becomes an automatic traffic generator.
Here are a few examples of possible viral marketing strategies:
1. Postcards - Visitors send postcards to family and friends. Their recipients visit your site and send postcards to people they know. The cycle continues for automated traffic.
2. eBooks - You give away a highly informative ebook free and then other webmasters take your ebook and post it to their sites. People all over the web get your information and links because those sites are advertising for you.
3. Refer a Friend - Visit my web site at http://www.bizpromo.com and notice how I give you the option of sending everyone of my free articles to your friends. The goal of this is to provide valuable information they will pass on to others!
4. Software - Look at programs such as ICQ. ICQ is available at http://www.icq.com and gives you the ability to chat online with your friends. The key is your friends must also have this free software to chat with you. So you automatically try to get them to download the software to.
5. Free Email - Ever wonder why so many companies are offering free email addresses? It's because they want their own traffic virus. Every email someone sends from a free email address includes a little link at the bottom taking the recipients to your web site.
6. Free Web Sites - This is a traffic virus as well. The web hosts offering these free sites place ads on your free web site. When you advertise, you are also advertising for them. More people sign up for free sites and the process continues.
7. Two-Tier Affiliate Programs - When you offer a two-tier affiliate program, then your members advertise for more affiliates to promote you. Not only do you have affiliates you sign up advertise your site, but they refer others to advertise you as well.
People are always asking why they need to start their own viral marketing strategy... It's simple. A traffic virus means you may never lose money advertising again! That's right. Having your own traffic virus could mean that every ad you place from now on can be a winner! The above sentence is a pretty strong statement, isn't it? It's true.
I almost surprised myself at just how powerful a traffic virus can be when I first put mine in place. Every ad I placed instantly became a winner...even when I lost money! Let me explain. Let's say you place an ezine ad, which costs you $200. You make $20 for every item you sell. You sell 9 of them through the ad so you bring in $180. You have now lost $20 on your ad. Most people would call it a failure.
I use a different system, which reduces my advertising risk. Instead of advertising directly for a product, I advertise to bring in email leads. My goal is to get people to give me their email address so I can follow-up on them.
Using autoresponders that automatically follow-up gives me the ability to set up a completely automated follow-up system for the product. Three, Seven, or even Thirty email follow-up messages can be used to generate sales for my product. Instead of only having one shot to sell my visitors from a web site, I have thirty tries. Who do you think will make more sales?
My system actually goes one step further. I always try to use an element of viral marketing in the promotional aspect of the offer. My favorite technique is the traffic virus ebook offer. In exchange for prospects giving me their email address, I will give them a highly informative free ebook, which they are allowed to pass around and give to their friends. Not only will the book teach them, but also they can use it to produce more traffic and sales at their web site.
They win by getting a very valuable book for free. I win because my traffic virus gets started. I still get to follow-up by email to sell them my products and services... so I am still bringing in immediate profits from my advertising.
Let's say I place the ad above for $200 and only bring in $180. I lose $20 today, BUT this is only the beginning of the traffic the ad will generate for me. All of those people who visited my site...who may or may not of bought my product... are now passing around my free ebook and sending more visitors my way. More sales are made next month...and the month after...and the month after. It is a never-ending process of sales being made.
The $20 I lost originally from the ad will be replaced hundreds of times through new visitors I never have to work or pay for. Every single ad I place becomes a launch point for another aspect of my traffic virus. If you have a traffic virus in place, then your ad can continue to work for you years into the future and it reduces your advertising risk.
Having a traffic virus reduces your advertising risk. Look at this way. If you are paying for your advertising, then every time you place an ad you are risking your money. Your ad may or may not produce a profit. You could make $1,000 from your $200 ad or you may lose $100. If you have a traffic virus in place, then your ad can continue to work for you years into the future and it reduces your advertising risk. Even when you lose money, you still win in the long run.
What if you are only using free advertising methods? This system still reduces your risk. Free advertising costs you time (and we all only have 24 hours in a day so it is limited just like money). You may spend your time placing free ads and produce $100 in profits. If those ads took you 10 hours to place, then you only earned $10 an hour for your time.
Ten dollars an hour wouldn't be very good time investment for your business. If you had a traffic virus in place, other people would then start advertising for you by taking and handing out your traffic-generating machine to others. You may have only earned $10 an hour while working on your free advertising, but your traffic virus then goes to work for you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You generate traffic forever for the 10 hours you spent advertising this week.
Wouldn't it be better to profit today, and build a residual income for the future at the same time?