chapter i what s it all about?Is there a definition to Viral Marketing? Before the book outlines how to do it, we will spend some time understanding what it is in the first place! Does this new concept come with it s own definition, or is it simply Word of Mouth marketing, rebranded! Where has it originated from, who was the first was it Hotmail, or some kid at university it always seems to be the latter when we refer to great ideas of the New Media age. This chapter will not set out to put a theoretical definition for future marketing courses to learn and quote, but its intention will be to show there is not that much new to this latest form of marketing.Chapter ii Can I Tell you a secret?Humans are gossips ... fact! We all want to communicate, it's a natural instinct, and whether it was by smoke signals in the midwest, through to carrier pigeons, postal service, telephone, email, video conferencing, the fact is, the World is now a much smaller place. But technology has brought about easier communication. Instead of having a one to one, I can have a one to firstname.lastname@example.org (well almost!) but I can certainly send the same message to thousands of people's desktops at the same time. Yes, I can do that by broadcasting a message on radio or TV. But unless the listener or viewer has a tape or video recorder, and owns their own broadcast media channel, they cant then do much with the message by themselves, without the help of a large organisation and some serious financial support. The same goes for the print media. But with the Internet, and most importantly email, comes the ability to pass on a message, instantly, to anyone else you know, or don t in some circumstances, and more importantly, influence their thinking. According to a study by PR agency, Burson-Marsteller, one "e-fluential", influences the attitudes and behaviour of an average of eight other Internet users, compared to one person in the offline world influencing two other people s attitudes and benaviour.This chapter will investigate the human emotions and psychology behind why it is we have a need to communicate. Humans have common motivations or behaviours that can be exploited when planning a viral marketing campaign, none more so than sex, humour and greed! Humans want to communicate, as there is a need to be popular loved and understood.Chapter iii you ve got mailFor those of us who use email during the day, it s a wonder how we ever got through life without it before. But how do you know when you ve been viralled ! Emails can be personal, business related, spammed, directed, viral or of course, virus the latter two being totally different and worth commenting on the differences.This chapter will investigate how we live our lives through email now the influence email has on us, and the kinds of emails we receive. We will show a study of Internet users thoughts to how they cope with email now and how they think they will cope in the future. We will also carry out research with these users to see if they know when they receive an email that could be deemed viral, and if they acted on it? Was it related to a particular brand campaign, and if so, did they realise who the brand was? We will carry out research using Tickbox.net and show Internet users a series of commercially funded viral marketing examples and ask questions such as: * *Have you seen this via email before? *If so, do you know who sent it to you? *Did you act on it? *Do you know which brand was behind it? We will also ask some more generic questions about communicating by email such as: *What makes you forward an email on? chapter iv the good, the bad and the uglySo who has succeeded in creating a decent viral campaign, and what are the criteria for success? This chapter will look at some case studies, commercial and non-commercial, and try and analyse what was good, bad or downright ugly about them. We will also look at whether viral marketing can cross the international barriers that the Internet allows us to break with ease. But what about the cultural barriers too? Whilst playing a game where culling the most foot and mouth infected cows may be funny in some parts of the UK (sick but funny to some), in certain countries you may find you are breaking the most sacrilegious commandments of all. And by forwarding the game by email, you have just insulted a whole nation. We will also look at what to do about attachments given the fear of viruses. Are simple text based campaigns better, or can we get through the firewalls with our .exe files and HTML emails? Chapter v take 1 joke, add naked girl & free trip and send for 5mins!So how do I create this all-encompassing, funny viral campaign that will: *reach my target audience *deliver my key message without offending anyone *get the recipients to pass it on to all their friends or colleagues, which ever one is appropriate *ensure they act on what it is I m trying to achieve? Some of the best and most creative uses of the web are the near on illegal! The viral campaigns, the webcams, the interactive chats. But take a more mainstream commercial mind, and this creativity can be put to very good effect. This chapter will hopefully explain some of the how-to s taking stock of what we ve explored in the previous chapters, and putting them all into practice. As part of the book, we will develop our own viral marketing campaign in this chapter, launched from our supporting web site. We will send it out to a targeted group of 1000 PR professionals, and we will set objectives in this chapter, from which we will measure the results in real-time in an ongoing updated chapter on the web site. This book will become interactive!Should you be using a specialist agency, or should you be doing it yourself. After all, some of the most well know emails are DIY ones just ask Claire Swires!