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Why a Reader Forwards an Email Newsletter

Seth's insight into the spread of viral ideas is important to anyone who does email newsletters they want readers to forward to their coworkers, contacts and friends.

For an idea to spread, it needs to be sent and received.

No one “sends” an idea unless:
a. they understand it
b. they want it to spread
c. they believe that spreading it will enhance their power (reputation, income, friendships) or their peace of mind
d. the effort necessary to send the idea is less than the benefits

No one “gets” an idea unless:
a. the first impression demands further investigation
b. they already understand the foundation ideas necessary to get the new idea
c. they trust or respect the sender enough to invest the time

This changes the perspective of the game. It's not what's in it for you as the publisher, it's what's in it for the readers. Does your newsletter provide value to it's readers or just call attention to your latest promotion or sale? It's the value added ideas that people will feel good about spreading.

Seth adds another insight that helps you shift your thinking from “Us” to “Them”:

Notice that ideas never spread because they are important to the originator.

Take a hard look at your email newsletter efforts and ask yourself who are these ideas important to. If you want your message and the source of your messages(your company) to spread you best pay attention to the value of the message presented.

Seth: What Makes an Idea Viral?

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September 27, 2005 in blog publish, Blogs, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, company blog, Web/Tech | Permalink


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