Sunday, 18 March 2018

Digital marketing and advertising lesson no. 8

Ask Mr. D - ECommerce Sales

Dear Mr. D,

After spending about a year as an
affiliate for other companies, I have
come up with my own product.

My product is similar to one that I
was selling as an affiliate. I made
real good money selling this product
as an affiliate, but my product, which
I think is superior to that one, is not
selling hardly at all.

My price is the same and I am getting
a lot of traffic, but as I said, very few
sales. Can you please take a look at
my website and see if I have a problem
there? Something is wrong.


No Sales


Dear No Sales,

There is an old adage in sales, don't
sell the steak - sell the sizzle.

Your site does a good job of describing
your product. That is what's meant by
selling the steak. But, it falls short on
selling the benefits a buyer will gain
by using your product. That is called
selling the


People are not interested in your product
or service per se, they are only interested
in what the product or service will do for
them. How will they benefit from using your
product or service.

You need to rewrite your sales copy to
let your visitors know how they will benefit
from buying and using your product. Paint
them a verbal picture of how they will be
better off once they have that product.

You said you had done well selling this
type of product as an affiliate. I suggest
you take a look at that website to see
how they do it. I'm not suggesting you
copy their site, but just get a few ideas.

I wish you the best.


Mr. D
About the Author
Do you have an advertising or marketing
question you'd like to see published in this
column? Send it to
You can visit Mr. D's website at:

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Digital marketing and advertising lesson no. 7

An Ecommerce Internet Merchant Account

Small business owners and home based entrepreneurs sometimes reach the point where they realize their company is ready to grow, and then they begin to consider the advantages of an ecommerce Internet merchant account. Those who accept merely cash or check payments may decide to increase the ways in which a customer can pay for goods or services. A merchant account will let business owners accept credit card payments in many different ways. That is why so many business people opt to apply for an Internet merchant account.

If you do not already have an Internet Website to promote your business, this would be a good time to put one in place by opening an Ecommerce Internet Merchant account. More and more, consumers are looking to the Internet to find companies that offer the products and terms they want. Conducting business on the Internet or through technological means is called "ecommerce," sometimes spelled as "e-commerce," and it is growing at a tremendously rapid rate. Once your Website is operational, you will want to update it often with your latest product lines and descriptions and price lists. Once customers from any other computer in the world know where to find you, chances are they will return time and again if they like your site; they might even bookmark it.

To keep customers coming back, get an Ecommerce Internet merchant account that will let you accept credit card payments. That way, customers can buy things at your store locations, whether online or at a physical site, and pay for them instantly. You won't have to send out statements or wait for checks to arrive in the mail. Instead, your credit-processing feature will let them pay with a

credit card, and your underwriter can facilitate the payment by converting currency and deposit profits in your account, using real time.

An ecommerce Internet merchant account can put you leagues ahead of other companies in your industry. While they still take just check or cash payments, you can be busy processing credit card payments that could push your sales volume to new record heights. Naturally, you will want to keep your store looking attractive, and your Website should offer helpful information that will make guests want to return and possibly even bookmark your site for frequent reference. When the word gets out that you are accepting credit payments, more customers may browse your Website to check out your wares and plunk down a credit card in payment. One of the nice things about using credit is its convenience. Customers don't have to worry about carrying enough cash or making an account deposit before going shopping. They can browse spontaneously, and when they find something they want to buy, they need not be constrained by a lack of cash on hand or forgetting to order new checks for the checkbook.

Why not apply for your merchant account services account soon so that you can enjoy the status and benefits of attracting customers who prefer using credit when they hear about your ecommerce Internet merchant account.

About the author:

Shane Penrod is the founder of Specializing in allowing merchants the ability to shop and compare multiple quotes from national merchant account providers. For free quotes on merchant account rates and fees, please go to

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Digital marketing and advertising lesson no. 6

 An Arm & A Leg for eCommerce?

As a site designer myself, I realize how much time and effort goes
into registering, setting up, and designing a site; not to mention the
creation of content and seamless navigation. But it is unbelievable
how complicated and expensive this process has become!

Let's face it, very few entrepreneurs and small businesses can afford
to spend hundreds of dollars to set up their dot-com presence without
knowing how successful it will be! We've seen the results of high
expectations and over spending with the demise of many well-known
companies as reported in the news recently.

It doesn't have to be this way!

Are you planning to sell products or services?

You do NOT necessarily need expensive shopping cart software or
merchant accounts to sell your products or services. You can begin
your online venture by setting up a few of your most popular items or
services that can be purchased online. Once a customer has made a
purchase, you can then follow up with details on how to purchase
additional items.

There are low cost ecommerce solutions that can help you start
conducting business online without breaking the bank.

First, determine exactly how sophisticated your ordering process needs
to be. Then decide which of the following options best suits your
business needs.

Option A - PayPal

Set up a Premier Account with PayPal. PayPal is a stable and secure
company that has been around long enough to establish a credible
reputation. I can personally vouch for them, I use them consistently.


Doing Business As:
You have the option of using a business name or your personal name,
regardless of how your bank account is registered.

Low Cost:
There are no monthly fees and no set up fees. That’s right - it’s
A small fee is with-held each time a transaction (purchase) is

Hassle Free
They process all orders and notify you when payment is received.

Referral Bonus
You can earn a small cash bonus for qualified referrals you send to



Premium members can set up a shopping cart that links directly from
their site to PayPal.

Send an Invoice
If your services or product prices vary, you can send customers an
invoice from PayPal once the purchase price has been established.

Option B - eBay

Consider selling your products or services through eBay. You can
accept checks and money orders by postal mail, or you can accept
credit cards and checks using PayPal, or eBay’s version of PayPal -
BillPoint. You can provide links to your site with each item you
list for auction. You can also set up a reserve amount - the least
dollar amount you will accept for your service or product.

Ebay also offers an affiliate program.

Option C - ClickBank

Sign up as a merchant with There are some fees
involved, plus you have to determine what percentage of each sale that
you will allow the referring site to earn. Affiliates with ClickBank
can choose merchants they like (higher commission percentages do
better) and then place links on their sites. There is a setup fee for
merchants, but you'll also be providing your site a great deal of
exposure. Plus, ClickBank allows you to accept credit cards and other
methods of payment. You'll be setting up your own affiliate program!

ClickBank also offers an affiliate program:

Option D - Find a Host that provides Shopping Carts

Many hosting packages are set up with shopping carts with a buy
feature. Do your homework. Check on the setup fees and the monthly
fees. Make sure it’s a reputable company so you aren’t worried about
your money transactions.

These are just some of the options that are available for setting up
shop without going broke. I'm sure that there are many more options
available - it just takes some net research.
About the Author
Sandra Cobb is a work at home site designer and homeschooling Mom.
Visit her website for free resources at, and sign up for her monthly ezine -
Comets4Him at
Earn Rs. 50.00 for signing with the site below and earn more by logging into the site as well as following instructions in the site. Just click the link below the site.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

digital marketing and advertising lesson 5

Advertising Your eCommerce Web Site

8 Tips for Increasing Your Online Sales

Once you’ve launched your eCommerce web site, you’ll need to show it off to the online world. Whether you’re paying someone to submit your site to all the major and minor search engines and directories, it’s still up to you to continually advertise your eCommerce site in order to keep attracting business.

Many online business owners will tell you that within six to nine months of your launch date you’ll start seeing increased orders for your products. However here are 8 things you can do to lure people to your site now!

1.Advertise on . This entry will only last for 10 days and you must submit to one city and category at a time. You can include photos and/or advanced HTML in your ad.
2.Write a press release and send out for free to the following sites: [this one has been around for several years]; and Paid submissions will get you more views, quicker listings in the search engines, and the ability to post photos and keep track of your statistics.
3.Submit your site[s] to [You’ll discover loads of directories here, from the highly specialized to the mainstream. Many of the sites have ratings; indicate whether they’re accepting new submissions, and if there’s a fee for submitting].
4.Search engine positioning. When advertising your eCommerce site, always have the following information on hand: A. Your Web site title. This should be approximately 7-12 words. B. Description. Have 3 different descriptions of

varying lengths. 15 words, 25 words, 100 words. Have them summarize the essence of your site. C. Keywords. 10 – 50 of your most important keywords arranged in order of importance. Again, some online directories will allow you to contribute more keywords than others.
5.Write articles about your products/service. Be an online expert. What makes your site so unique from the thousands of others in your chosen category? Is it your customized service? Your low prices? Your high quality? Don’t over promote your product, but concentrate on what will help others. It’s highly recommended you include at least two or three testimonials.
6.Exchange links with other sites that have quality information and are related to your field in some way. For example, I sell a lot of soap so I link with mostly gift basket, crafting and candle sites.
7.Free classifieds. These can sometimes get you listed in the search engines, but don’t expect too much response from them.
8.Offer a freebie. For example, if you have an eBook for sale, you won’t give the entire book away, but having a chapter or two online will increase interest – and sales. If you make or sell a product, offer a free sample with a paid order. Or free shipping on sales over a certain amount.

Follow one or more of these helpful tips and watch your online business bloom!

About the Author
Lisa Maliga, writer & owner of Everything Shea Aromatic Creations [] offers a fragrant selection of designer shea butter glycerin soaps, exclusive Whipped Shea Butter, & unique SoapCakes to personalize for gifts or promotions.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Digital marketing and advertising lesson 4

Accepting Payments Online: An ECommerce Web Site Overview

There are a seemingly infinite number of choices and configurations to accepting payments online. Choices range from almost total "do it yourself" programming to turnkey packages.

You can accept online payments from an ECommerce Web site in two general ways:

1)Through your own online merchant account and/or
2)Through a third party online payment processor.

Accepting Payments Online through your own Internet Merchant Account

Accepting payments online via a merchant account puts you in control and limits your reliability on outside payment acceptance services. This approach can also seem like a jigsaw puzzle. Besides an Internet merchant account, you will need shopping cart software, a store or site host, a processor, and a secure payment gateway.

You may fit these pieces together in several different ways. On one end of the spectrum, you can choose the provider for each piece individually. On the other end, you may choose a turnkey solution, where a single provider has completed the puzzle for you.

There is no single best solution. Your choice will depend on your particular needs and experience. Among other considerations, you should factor in your own comfort with the technologies, customer convenience, providers' service levels, available technical support, reliability, costs, and time commitment involved.


There are a myriad of potential costs and fees involved in accepting payments online, making it difficult to compare different options.

Potentially, you could be charged fees by each provider involved in helping you accept payments online - application fees, set-up fees, yearly memberships, monthly statement charges, monthly minimums, gateway access fees, statement fees, fixed transaction fees, variable transaction discount rates (processing fee for each transaction), and cancellation penalties are all common.

Often, it is easy to misinterpret the fees you will owe. Rarely are all costs revealed in one place. If you are reading about a merchant account, for example, the quoted costs may not include gateway access, hosting,

and/or shopping cart. Because you may be comparing "apples to oranges", options that at first appear low-cost can - upon implementation - turn out to be pricey. Similarly, expensive-sounding solutions may actually be reasonably priced.

Accepting Payments Online through a Third Party Online Payment Processor

If you are not ready to set up your own online merchant account and/or you want to offer additional online payment options, you can turn to a variety of third party online payment processors.

Third party online payment processors provide a way to accept payments online without the extra cost and obligation of a merchant account. To compensate, transaction fees and/or discount rates are significantly higher than for merchant accounts.

Each program is a little different and no single third party payment processor is right for all situations. Clickbank, for example, helps you sell digital products online. At last check, CCNow processes payment for tangible items only.

Deciding What's Best for You

Whether you accept payments online through an Internet merchant account, through a third party payment processor, or both, read all agreements carefully before committing. Do not hesitate to ask the providers questions if information is unclear or incomplete.

There is more information about accepting payments online - including explanations of merchant account fees, finding the right ecommerce providers, and third party payment processor overview - on the ecommerce information site Take-Payments-, .

Put together the "puzzle pieces" for accepting payments online and your ecommerce Web sales will flourish!
About the Author
Bobette Kyle is publisher of the ecommerce information site . She is also proprietor of The Network, subject-specific Web sites designed to help you find the right information for writing and implementing your marketing plan. Visit here:

Copyright 2004 Bobette Kyle. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Step by step digital marketing and advertising, Lesson 3

A Successful eCommerce Website - Part 2

Succeeding with an eCommerce website is a dream for many these days. It can be done no matter how difficult it may sometimes seem. this series covers some of the basic success factors - things you must consider in creating, implementing, managing and developing a quality eCommerce web site. There are a multitude of ways to do business on the internet - and a lot of ways to both make and lose money. Primarily these articles focus on eCommerce sites intended to sell products of various kinds, Not every factor will apply to every site, but since a major failing of many internet entrepreneurs involves the lack of multiple income streams, you should carefully consider all factors and apply them as needed in developing alternate revenue streams.

On examining your eCommerce web site, think carefully about how you can provide personal attention to each visitor. The idea here is personalization through which each visitor, if they wish, can develop a unique experience of your site.

Provide options through which the user can alter layout, colors, etc. Give customers the capability to create their own personal pages on your site. Perhaps offer a simple and easy to provide service to registered customers, such as free email accounts.

As well as building loyalty and stickiness, such features also build your customer database. Scripts are also available which will allow on-the-spot personalization based on responses to a series of questions. You can also use this kind of script to focus your sales message more tightly to the user's expressed interests.

Free services which can be provided on autopilot can be a virtually endless source of targeted customers. Everything from free email to blog hosting, opt-in list building to free advertising forums, all operate on the same principle as building a list through a newszine, white papers, free ebooks or whatever. In return for registration, e.g. name and confirmed email, you provide a service. Careful structuring can allow you to collect significant marketing information on your registered users which would allow well-targeted marketing campaigns.

Never lose track of a customer. Maintaining a database of customers with any of their prior purchases, interests, and so on, allows you to provide personalized purchase suggestions and special offers. The life-long value of a happy customer may be difficult to estimate accurately, but it’s far easier to sell to existing customers than to be continuously forced to acquire new ones.

Even if you only have a single product now, you have to eventually expand your product line(s). Don’t throw a buyer away. Stay in touch, offer information, occasionally recommend a high quality product you use and value. Build trust through value and quality.

To further expand the human dimension, you can add forums and chat rooms. Provide a variety of means to

acquire visitor input. On site surveys and questionnaires, email surveys and opinion polls can not only increase your customers' sense of being in contact with real people who value their opinions and ideas, but also provide exceptionally useful information for refining your marketing and sales tactics. Loyalty programs and affinity networks can also help.

This is a lot like beating a real dead horse, but... Reliability and security are crucial. If your eCommerce site is big enough and busy enough, multiple parallel servers, redundant hardware, use of fail-safe technology, fast technical support service, high quality encryption, valid certificates, high quality payment processors and excellent firewalls will all allow you to ensure your customers that their data is safe, their orders are handled properly and nobody's getting their credit information that shouldn't.

Right now you may not need (or want to pay for) parallel servers, redundant hardware and fail-over technology, don’t ignore the rest. You depend on your ecommerce hosting provider to keep your business running. So think carefully and do some serious research. Overloaded servers, lack of redundant network connections, slow technical support, poor backup procedures can create a nightmare situation for both you and your customers

As this part’s final idea to consider: smooth out your customer contact and support procedures. If multiple staff might come into contact with your customers (chat, phone or email) , providing all of them with the same (and useful) information about the customer, prior orders, any previous or current problems and so forth, can avoid a lot of potential frustration - and lost orders or, worse, a customer lost forever.

It can be incredibly irritating to have to tell the same story over and over, getting bounced from one person to another when no information ever seems to have been recorded. While it may cut down on repeat complaints, that’s usually because the customer is gone forever. Construct your systems so that no information is lost and so that the data needed to be responsive and helpful is instantly available. You may want to restrict some information which customers may not feel comfortable about everyone knowing.

Doing these things right can add significant credibility and usability to your online business, as well as build a loyal customer base which actually enjoys dealing with your eCommerce business. And that's a winning situation for everyone.
About the Author
Contracting the computer bug in the early 80's (yes, pre-www) and never cured, Richard, a PhD Clinical Paychologist, now writes on eCommerce, RSS and Niche marketing at

You may freely reprint but the link must be live and spiderable.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Digital marketing and advertising lesson no. 2

A Successful eCommerce Website - Part 1

So you want to succeed at eCommerce? Welcome to a very large group. First off, let’s be clear that there are a lot of ways to do business on the internet - and a lot of ways to both make and lose money. No way can I cover all of them in a few fairly short articles.

This article is going to assume that you have some of the fundamentals, that you understand the language and that you are serious. I’m not going to tell you how to set up a web site or get a decent hosting account. We’re a bit beyond those basics. The basics here have to do with factors which will influence the success (or failure) and the degree of success an eCommerce web site experiences.

First and foremost, you need to provide value for your customers. Absurd as it seems to have to repeat that, a lot of so-called eCommerce sites provide no or very little value for their visitors. Pretending to offer value is not the same thing as providing value. Promoting miserably written, hackneyed, cloned ebooks filled with questionably useful and/or outdated content doesn’t make for a high value site. Sure you can make some money. Once. And you’ll likely have a high refund rate. Essentially you'd be taking advantage of the inexperience of your customers and abusing their willingness to trust you. Not a good path to a long-term business with steady repeat customers.

Value on the net is not very different from any kind of off-line retail sales -- a quality product line that will attract potential customers and a competitive price that will lead to purchases. An honest, quality product that will meet the expectations you’ve created in your buyers. Hyped junk won’t do it.

Next, you’ve got to have a smooth, user-friendly, easy to follow process all the way to your thank you page. The simpler, cleaner and clearer you can make the process, the better. Where it makes sense you can augment this user-responsive site profile by adding live-response chat.

If you do use call-in or live chat, it’s imperative that your operators be well-trained, understand your products and your system and BE customer friendly. This can be a difficult job if you outsource. The less expensive out-source

alternatives can be a bad investment. You’ll need to check very carefully and be certain the operators do actually speak and understand the primary languages(s) of your targeted customer group. You’ll need to provide extensive background information and highly flexible, well-written scripts. You should also collect customer evaluations of these services - separately, and carefully monitor your results to be sure you are getting a decent return on the investment.

You need to have an attractive website. Some can do well with an ugly site, but, in that case, you need to really understand what you're doing and why it might work. The ugly site tactic is not for the inexperienced and very few individuals truly have the grasp of marketing and customer psychology that can lead to a successful "ugly" site.

To provide a pleasant experience, you need to be careful in what you use - colors, text-size, graphics, animation and white space can add value to your site or turn it into a user nightmare. Test your site with people who will tell you the truth. Just because you love it doesn't mean anyone else will. In general, aiming for a professional appearing site is your best option.

Wherever you can, provide incentives for customers to buy and to return. The return factor is a critical piece of a long-term strategy for success. Anyone who buys is your best possible future customer. Keep them, track them, make them special offers. Use coupons, discounts, special deals, customer-only offers and back end sales. Your customer base is your gold mine. They have at least some faith in you, enough to have purchased. Do your utmost to never damage that faith and treat them with the care they deserve.

The next article in the series will discuss factors such as personalization, security and assisting your staff in dealing consistently with customers customer support.

About the Author
Contracting the computer bug in the early 80's (yes, pre-www) and never cured, Richard, a PhD Clinical Paychologist, now writes on eCommerce, RSS and Niche marketing at

You may freely reprint but the link must be live and spiderable