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The Magic Word for Viral Marketing is…FREE!
By: Aaron Whitaker
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Most of us know about how "Free Shipping" is a great way to attract more customers and increase sales online, but did you know that the word "Free" can be used in other ways to increase traffic and sales? By using the word "Free," you could easily increase traffic and buzz about your site and business in just a few hours' time.
 
It seems like every client wants their marketing and ad firm to create a viral video or make their ads go viral. Of course, it’s not as easy as pushing a button. Most ads, video, and online content that go "viral" are usually passed through the right hands, like a celebrity tweeting a link on Twitter. They could also be mentioned or picked up by a popular blogger or big news site, or even mentioned on a popular TV show or radio show. But there is one way that can increase traffic to your site and this is using the word "Free."
 
I actually discovered this by accident a couple weeks ago for a client. They are an online retail store that sells consumer goods. One of their distributors was offering free samples of their products, and so we put a link and button on their site for consumers to request a free sample. We also sent out the message through Facebook and Twitter and their blog. This resulted in a decent increase in traffic, but then something magical happened about three weeks later. All of a sudden, traffic to their site blew up and they were getting a huge amount of free sample requests. By looking at the analytics, we discovered that a popular free-sample site had picked up our link and posted it on their site. But it didn’t stop there. Other free-sample sites and blogs picked up the link from the original site and it quickly spread through the free-sample community. All it took was just one spark from one site to ignite a viral storm of traffic to the site.
 
Aside from the increased traffic to the site, the sample request form also captured their emails and had a box to check for receiving a newsletter and weekly deals. Of all the sample requests, only 1% of the consumers opted out of the newsletter, so they were able to increase their email list, which is a plus. So if you want to increase traffic and create a viral response from your marketing and advertising, try offering a free sample or a free gift with the purchase of one of your products. But don’t stop there. Go out to the "Free Sample" and "Consumer Deals" sites and post your offer. You can also learn where most of the traffic is coming from, so you can post to those sites the next time you have a free sample or deal. So if you’re looking to increase your email database, increase traffic to your site, and perhaps increase sales, then offer something for free and watch your traffic grow.


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About the Author
Aaron Whitaker is a copywriter, blogger, and social media aficionado who likes watching the TV commercials more than the actual shows. He prefers reading the magazine ads over the articles. And you can learn more about him online right here.
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