Sink or Swim: Three Internet Marketing Tips to Help You Stay Afloat

Internet marketing

By Diane Ferraro

I recently received the inaugural e-newsletter of a company I admire. It arrived in my inbox with the canned subject “[Name of Company] Newsletter1”.

Within this dewy delivery, grammatical errors, scattered direction, and nonplus images abound.

Two years ago, I talked with the company’s co-founders and they shared their eagerness to implement Internet marketing but felt caged by “non-techie” angst.

They weren’t ready then to take a bite out of marketing, and they still weren’t ready six months ago when I wrote to see if implementation was a goal. As a fan of their product and a marketing strategist, their newsletter is a double bummer.

It’s frustrating to see an admired company debut with a face plant. Though not for lack of substance. Consider their likeability: Small, personable startup with good product; philanthropic mission; serving well-known and well-loved clients.

Homerun. Now kindly insert sound of my palm slapping my forehead.

Again and again.

Three Internet Marketing Tips to Help You Stay Afloat

Without a basic handle on the how-to’s, they got the ball rolling but fired the cannon with a mishap. Their world may be on the small side and their inner circle of fans will (and should) forgive such innocent errors. In a case like this, the marketing strategist in me doesn’t fret about already-acquired fans.

It’s the company’s first chance to be considered a contender in a cut-throat consumer-driven arena, and subsequent missed opportunity, that bums me out.

Here’s a microcosm of suggestions for newbies (and a refresher list for more seasoned Internet marketers) to make the most out of bootstrapping everything from a newsletter launch to building a company from scratch:

  • As with all tools, whether grabbing them from the shed or downloading them from the Internet, learn how to wield before you whack.
  • Seek outside albeit trusted opinion before pulling the trigger on stuff you’re not so slick with.
  • Watch and learn from the experts. I’m often citing those doing it right.

I’m meeting with the company to bolster their marketing efforts before they hit “send” on their next e-newsletter campaign.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with DIY methods. And mishaps happen. It’s part of growth and learning, and there’s no shame in that game. Still, with many resources available to start-ups, it’s worth looking before leaping.


Meet Diane Ferraro

Diane Ferraro is the founder of communications consulting company Urban Siren, LLC, based out of New York, where the sunrises and sunsets live. She is open and honest except when she is hiding something. Her latest project “Clutch” reveals successes and failures and everything in between.