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AB Mailbag – Viral Kittens

I got an email this morning from Jonathan Crouch of the UK photography studio Purple 13. Jonathan’s partner (which I think means girlfriend or wife, not just business partner) Mandy Collins is a talented photographer, Jonathan frequently updates the site content to reflect her latest work.

Jonathan also worked hard on SEO, getting Mandy’s name and Purple 13 to the top of the most important organic search results for her keywords. His rationale was that people would not remember the URL if they saw it in passing somewhere or hanging next to one of Mandy’s photographs, so he wanted to be able to have people find Purple 13 or Mandy’s name easily in the search engines. He’s right, of course.

The family cat had four kittens. Jonathan’s friends and colleagues were constantly asking for updates on the kittens, and he had a terrific idea. Mandy snapped some shots of the kittens and he created an area of the website on the kittens that he updated regularly. There were, of course, links to the Purple 13 home page on the kitten page.

He sent an email around the office letting people know that the pics were on the website. That’s how he started the ball rolling.

He was soon receiving emails from friends of co-workers and friends of friends, offering suggestions for captions and asking for more pictures. In the first few weeks there were 200 visits to the page without any promotion.

I think its a perfect viral marketing idea, and its something anyone can do and build on. For example, I noticed that Purple 13 had no links to the kittens on their main site, which probably would have bumped up the numbers even higher.

You want to see the kittens, don’t you? I know I did. You can find them on the Purple 13 Kitten Page.

Nice work, Jonathan.

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