Myth #4b: You Can’t Advertise on the Internet
The Internet is really a mosaic of many smaller virtual communities, each with its own history, culture, standards, rules, and values. In some of those communities, the words “advertising” and “marketing” have taken on meanings different than in the mainstream business world. To people in some areas of cyberspace, the word “advertising” is a four-letter word, but “marketing” is perfectly acceptable.
I would offer this statement: Certain methods of advertising are not tolerated on the Internet.
I say “tolerated,” because there’s no central authority to allow or disallow anything. However, some Internet communities will not tolerate unsolicited advertising messages. They’ll respond vehemently if you try. In some moderated newsgroups or discussion groups, the moderator will filter out promotional messages.
One of the best Internet marketing approaches is the “soft sell.” Depending on your business, you might try:
- Participating helpfully in newsgroups while casually letting people know what you do. Tacking a “signature” with contact information at the end of your e-mail messages and discussion group postings.
- Placing lead-generating messages in electronic malls and directories.
- Preparing e-mail sales messages to send out to those who express interest in your services.
- Setting up a World-Wide Web site that offers useful information and resources along with information about your business.
- Offering a FREE Special Report that helps your prospects is always a good idea.