Viral Marketing motivaties research

Viral Marketing or Electronic Word-of-Mouth Advertising: Examining Consumer Responses and Motivations to Pass Along Email

Although viral marketing has garnered a great deal of attention in the trade press, almost nothing is known about the motivations, attitudes, and behaviors of the people (those sending the email to others) that constitute the essential component of any such strategy. This articie reports the results of three studies that examine consumer responses and motivations to pass along emaii. Impiications for target selection and message creation are discussed for advertising practitioners interested in implementing viral efforts, and suggestions for future research relating to computer-mediated consumer-to-consumer interactions are presented for academic researchers preprocess


Only by understanding these motivations and behaviors can advertisers hope to tap effectively into this rich vein of communication and advocacy


Research questions:

  1. What personality characteristics and social motivations do email receivers attribute to email senders?
  2. What emotional reactions does receipt of pass-along email messages elicit? Under what conditions are they deleted?



topics in this research:

  • Viral marketing
  • Typical Pass-Along Email Episode
  • Positive Emotional Responses to Receiving Pass-Along Email
  • Negative Emotional Responses to Receiving Pass-Along Email



published by: Joseph E. Phelps

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Authors: Docent Ecommerce

Document type: Research Study

Publication date: 10-10-2004

Number of pages: 18

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