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Why Hotmail Is A Viral Marketing Pioneer

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It is generally recognized that Hotmail was the first successful viral marketer. Started in 1996 by two visionaries of Internet marketing, the plan was simply to provide free e-mail addresses to anyone who wanted them. Whenever someone signed up for an account and began sending e-mails there was a message at the bottom of the e-mail inviting the recipient to get a free e-mail address. The more people who used the service the more Hotmail received free advertising and the more people signed up to use the service. It was an overnight phenomenon.

Hotmail was also followed by other copycat services โ€“ free web-based e-mail services. And that was really the beginning of viral marketing. After Hotmail, other marketers began to see opportunities to promote themselves for free or to get other people to promote their offerings for free.

Viral marketing works on that principle. Get others to do your marketing for you and if it is successful then an idea can take off and spreadย virallyย in a very short period of time.

Hotmail may have been first, but there are other ideas that have gone viral since Hotmail. YouTube has been instrumental in seeing certain videos spread rapidly. Other social networks like Digg, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter have also done well in helping ideas to spread. And, of course, e-mail is a viral marketing mainstay.

No matter the medium, if you have a hot idea and you can get that idea to catch on then you can have a viral marketing sensation.

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United Kingdom (UK): London, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Bradford, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, Kirklees, Fife, Wirral, North Lanarkshire, Wakefield, Cardiff, Dudley, Wigan, East Riding, South Lanarkshire, Coventry, Belfast, Leicester, Sunderland, Sandwell, Doncaster, Stockport, Sefton, Nottingham
Canada: Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Mississauga, North York, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Scarborough, Quรฉbec, Hamilton, Brampton, Surrey, Laval, Halifax, Etobicoke, London, Okanagan, Victoria, Windsor, Markham, Oshawa, Gatineau, Vaughan, Kitchener, Longueuil, Burnaby, Ladner, Saskatoon
Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, Newcastle, Wollongong, Logan City, Geelong, Hobart, Townsville, Cairns, Toowoomba, Darwin, Rockingham, Launceston, Bendigo, Ballarat, Mandurah, Mackay, Bundaberg, Bunbury, Maitland, Armadale, Rockhampton, Adelaide Hills, South Brisbane, Hervey Bay

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