Myth #3: You can advertise to 50 million people over the Internet.
Many of you might have received junk claiming to help you cash in on the Internet. They have proclaimed fancy slogans like: “ADVERTISE TO 90 MILLION+ FOR JUST $20 PER MONTH.” That’s just one of many wild claims I’ve read about how many people you can reach on the Net.
Nobody really knows how many users there are because there’s no central authority over the Internet. No one owns it. It’s a massive interconnection of computer networks, communication lines, and switching equipment.
The Internet has been growing at 100 percent a year since 1988, so the numbers change fast. By October of 1995, the Consumer Internet described by the survey should have reached about 27 million. So what do you think? 50 or 55 million by October 1997? Think of it that way, if you like.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you will reach millions of Internet users with your marketing message. Nor should you try to. The Internet is not a mass market. Don’t try to send out mass unsolicited messages to Internet users, whether through e-mail, mailing lists, or newsgroups. People will be very annoyed and will let you know. There’s nothing to be gained, and you’ll do much better by targeting your audience and making use of the Internet’s interactive capabilities.