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What Marketing Tactics DON’T Work

Bad Marketing isn’t a single bad idea.
It is a whole category.

Good Marketing can be defined as: Putting an effective marketing message in front of people who are interested in what you have to sell.

Bad Marketing includes anything that does not help you make more money.

Bad marketing includes things like Traffic Exchanges, SafeLists, Announcement Lists, Free Classifieds, Trade Associations that have marketing benefits that only reach other members, and anything else that puts your ad in front of other people who are only there to sell, and not to buy.

Ads that increase your site traffic without increasing sales or revenue generation are a waste of your time. Ads that do not put your marketing message in front of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer are a waste of time or money.

And in general, marketing consists of three factors:

  • A good impression on potential new customers.

  • Delivering on your promise to retain existing customers.

  • Preserving your good reputation, so that existing customers can assist you in getting more customers.

The argument is never between free or paid marketing. There are a set of free tactics that do work, and that work quite well. There are several types of paid marketing that also work well. It has more to do with the concept, and the effectiveness of the tactic in actual practice than it does with whether you pay or don’t pay (though free tactics usually take more time).

Now, I am going to give you a list of things that do not work. And chances are, you aren’t going to believe me – not because you are stupid, but because there are other people out there screaming at you to do these things to promote your business. They are going to scream so much louder than I do, and say it so much more frequently than I do, that it will be hard to believe that I am the one telling you the truth, and that what they say DOESN’T work just once or twice.

Let me make this perfectly clear:

People who tell you to do the things that I am telling you NOT to do, have a motive for telling you to do it. And that motive is NOT to help your business grow!

I have NO motive for telling you this, other than to help your business succeed. I gain nothing from any of the recommendations I make. I make money from ads ONLY if people do NOT listen to what I am saying. And sadly, even though I tell a lot of people these things, most of them have to try it and prove to themselves that I was in fact being straight with them.

Here is a listing of a dozen free tactics that do NOT work – pay attention to what doesn’t make them work, and you’ll be able to spot the paid ones that won’t work too!

  • Free Classifieds/FFA Submitting – Free Classified sites and Free For All Link sites won’t do you any good. Your information won’t stay there long enough to benefit you, nobody who wants what you have is looking for it there, and search engines won’t pick up your link there. You will get lots of spam from it though. Free directories are a different thing, and have a real human approving all the listings, so they are not included in this category.

  • Traffic Exchanges – If you are madly clicking away on someone else’s site, just so you can rack up points to get someone else to click on your site, what makes you think anyone clicking on your link wants what you have? Traffic and income are not the same thing. These do NOT help your search engine rank, and they do not help you get customers or ad clickthroughs, so they are a waste of time that you could spend doing something that does work.

  • List Building Programs – In order to benefit from these, you have to promote the list. If you can do that successfully, you can promote your list directly, and more successfully. Prospects from these programs are also not high quality prospects.

  • Safelists – Same issue as traffic exchanges. People are there to SELL, not to buy. Your email gets deleted without being read, and you wasted your time writing it and sending it, and you wasted all that time you have to spend emptying your inbox.

  • Massive Link Trades – Links are only valuable if they are from good quality sites with something in common with your site. Trade with the wrong sites, and it can get your site banned if that site has been banned. Low pagerank is not a problem… Bad quality sites are.

  • Repeat Search Engine Submits – Once your site has been submitted, it gets rechecked by the search engines on a regular basis. Resubmitting is a waste of time, and can get you banned by the search engines for spamming them.

  • Submit All Pages to Search Eng – Submit JUST the home page. Any more than that is a waste of your time, and can be seen as spamming the search engines. The search engines will follow the links from your home page to all the other pages in your site.

  • SEO Black Hat Tactics – Anything you do to trick the search engines into giving you inaccurate or undeserved rankings is considered black hat. It will get you banned, and that would not help you get traffic at all!

  • Advertising on Forums – Participating in forums is a GOOD marketing tactic. Spamming them is bad. You have to be a real person, offer helpful information, and do more than just post an ad. Ads are forbidden on some forums – follow the rules. Most forums allow a signature link though, and if people like you, and think you have good sense and intelligence, they’ll click the link.

  • Fast, Free Solutions – Anything advertised as “fast and free” is a scam. No exceptions, no equivocation. If its free, its slow (may be very powerful, but takes time to grow). If its fast, its costly.

  • MiniSites in Free Webspace – Some people say you can build a mini-site and stick it in free space, and link it back to your main site to get more traffic. Forget it. Search engines now check site ownership, and all you did is give yourself more things to promote, since new websites have no linking power for pagerank. Building all those sites is time consuming. In the time it takes for you to register an account with a free hosting service, you can post two high quality links to niche directories. In the time it takes to build one mini-site completely, you can get 10 high quality links and add a couple of pages of good quality content to your main site. Why waste your time getting fragmented? Focus on the real issue, which is promoting your site and updating it.

There are lots of other supposed shortcuts that take more time also. I hate seeing people get discouraged because they thought it did not work, when they were just doing the wrong things!

So, stick to the stuff that is proven to work – there is PLENTY of good stuff to try. It isn’t fast, but boy does it work in the long term! Just keep persistently doing it, and watch for slow growth trends. Since good tactics have a cumulative effect, once it STARTS growing, it usually increases the pace as you keep doing more of it.

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