Every day someone gets brave and tries Cheapskate Viral Marketing and it never works. As a matter of fact, it's more likely to backfire than to have no effect at all, and that's simply not good for your business.
Cheapskate Viral Marketing is the act of spreading around re-hashed or garbage information with gimmicks and tricks in order to lure people into your clutches so you can market to them the same way over and over again. This doesn't just mean spammers, either.
When you're dealing with subscribers or potential clients, you had better make sure that what you're saying has some kind of value to it. Touting your new free eBook as the next greatest thing and then turning around and publishing the same tired, old text that your subscribers have likely seen a thousand times before begins a pattern of distrust. With every release of any product - informational or otherwise - the back of your potential client's mind is filled with questions about whether it is exactly the same as what they've seen before.
This is a much deeper problem than simple market saturation - this is branding your business as a clone. It turns you and your products into a run-of-the-mill bulk commodity. Everybody has it; it just depends on who's cheapest. That's a rough road to travel down. So how do you avoid Cheapskate Viral Marketing? You avoid it with honesty and quality information. If you're upfront about what you know and you're willing to share quality information with people in an interested market, you will gain clients and you will gain respect. Quality information is key.
In a Viral Marketing campaign, if you're willing to freely distribute high-quality information, you will have some measure of success. Giving away something for nothing has long been considered an impossible situation - one that will never allow you to grow your business.
It can be argued that nothing builds your credibility faster than giving away something for nothing. Should you sabotage your business and distribute all of your products for free? No. You can, however, build true and lasting relationships with your subscribers and prospective clients by sharing just a bit of the "good stuff" they're looking for. Give them some of the real quality information - tips, techniques or experiences - that will keep them coming back for more. That's exactly when your potential customers change from being interested in what you have to say to being interested in the fact that you are the one saying it. Earn their respect, and with effort, you can turn them into the kind of customers you'd love to have.