Archives for April 2010

How Not to Market Your Startup

Marketing your web-based business is never an easy thing to do. You’re bound to make a lot of mistakes and waste money on things that just don’t work.

Over the past eight years, I have worked with dozens of startups. Many of these startups got acquired, but most of them failed. One trend that I noticed that separates the successful startups from the failures is that the failures made a lot of marketing mistakes.

Here are 7 marketing tactics that you should avoid with your business:

1. Useless splash pages

splash page

A common trend on the web is to create a splash page before you launch your startup. On this splash page, you probably have a message saying that you are launching soon, but you are a bit vague about what your company is actually offering.

The problem with creating a splash page like the one above is that it isn’t useful to the people visiting your site. If you create a minimalistic splash page, the chances of someone coming back to your website in a month are slim to none.

Here is how you can create an effective splash page:

  1. Grab people’s attention – you only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention. A catchy headline that’s relevant to your business is a good start.
  2. Don’t be shy – tell people what your product or service is going to be before you create it.
  3. Include visuals – if you have a screen shot of your product or service, include it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to illustrate what you are creating.
  4. Promise a solution – tell your ideal customers what you are going to do for them.
  5. Collect emails – at the end, you should collect people’s names and email addresses. This way, you can send them an email when you launch.

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