The term viral strategy was first used in marketing in 1995, in a pre-digital marketing era, by a strategy team at Chiat/Day advertising in LA (now TBWA LA) for the launch of the first Playstation for Sony Computer Entertainment. Viral coefficient (K) is the number of additional users you can get for each user you bring in. Formula-K=iconversion percentage (i is the number of invites sent per user) (conversion percentage is the percentage of users who sign up after receiving an invitation.) For example, if your users send out an average of 4 invites and 2 of those people usually convert to new users, your viral coefficient would be:K=4(2/4)=2 Any viral coefficient about 1 will result exponential growth.
The next most important aspect of a successful marketing scheme is to match the price point to a level which people will pay, and which allows for enough volume of sales to maintain future advertising and development—without being so high that it encourages others to enter competition with you.
A classic examples for this are free email providers, such as or When sending an email there will be a signature containing advertisement automatically attached – – „Free Email Address….. The recipient receives the advertising message that tells him to use the service since it obviously works very well.
As users grow, and as the time they spend on social media sites exceeds their time spent emailing, more users are viewing news and forwarding it through their preferred social networks This requires marketing campaigns to shift focus from more traditional email campaigns to more creative social campaigns.
The key to avoiding this perception—which can and will eventually lead to methods to ban or at least stymie the effectiveness of viral marketing campaigns—is to include offerings that have interest and value to the end-users, even those who choose not to participate.