Permission-based e-mail marketing company ClickAction unveiled its ClickForward advanced viral marketing technology yesterday.
Viral marketing is becoming embraced more frequently as a method of reaching out to consumers. The idea is that by encouraging a user to forward an e-mail message to friends and family, a business will greatly increase the reach of the campaign.
In the early days of viral e-mail, a number of companies created the campaigns, which increased their Web traffic. However, they had no real way of measuring pass-along and conversion rates. ClickForward will enable companies to view data in real time, documenting the effectiveness of the campaign.
Through the ClickAction service, when a consumer receives a requested e-mail, they will also be sent a link to a form that will enable them to forward the message to friends and family.
One competitor, 4D Marketing, Orlando, FL, which specializes in the creation of viral marketing campaigns, added a tracking engine to its clips earlier this year to help companies gauge campaign results. A technology that tracks the pass-along rate of the messages is in the works.
4D's model differs from ClickAction's because it is more of a pure viral marketing provider — meaning it will create a short animated film or some other compelling message and e-mail it to its database of 300,000 users. Recipients are encouraged to visit the site that the clips are promoting. However, they are not required to go there to forward the message.
Other companies, such as Cyber-NY Interactive, a full-service interactive agency, have created campaigns. Additionally, MindArrow includes a forward-to-a-friend feature for each of its e-brochures.