Date:         Wed, 4 Apr 2001 04:26:27 +0000
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 03 Apr 01 - Setting Up Shop (Part 2)
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              TOURBUS Volume 6, Number 70 -- 03 April 2001
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       \___/  \___/  T h e   I n t e r n e t   T o u r B u s    \___/
       FIVE YEARS of Searchable Archives at !!
Today's Tourbus will continue the series I started last week on the
basics of setting up an online store.  In this issue, you'll learn
where to go for expert advice on advertising, website promotion and
marketing strategies.  Let's sell some stuff!
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Please support our kind sponsors, they make it possible to bring you
this free newsletter - thanks!
 Search Engine Report
Pick up some handy search engine submission tips and industry news
from searchmeister Danny Sullivan.  You'll find literally everything
you might want to know about search engines, how they work, how to use
them, and how to submit your own Web pages to the engines.  
A discussion of e-commerce issues by those engaged in the online sale
of products and services.  I've been a subscriber for years to this
high-quality forum moderated by John Audette, where Internet
professionals can network, debate and discuss e-commerce issues.  
 Doctor Ebiz
This weekly newsletter from Dr. Ralph Wilson answers questions from
small business people to help them succeed in the online world.  This
site also features a FANTASTIC resource: The E-Commerce Research Room.
You'll find introductory articles on e-commerce, info on shopping cart
programs, transaction security, site promotion & marketing strategies.  
Adam Boettiger's I-Advertising newsletter has been a place where
people can exchange information, share experiences and network since
1996.  The companion I-Advertising News bulletin brings you a summary
of thirty online news sources with articles pertaining to Internet
advertising, marketing and e-business industries.  
 Commission Junction
An affiliate program may help to boost your sales by providing other
webmasters with incentive to send potential customers to your site.
Commission Junction will help you set up a turnkey program that allows
you to pay affiliates on a per-click or per-sale basis.  CJ handles
everything from recruiting affiliates to reporting to making sure
affiliates get paid.  
 Doctor Bob's Tips For E-Commerce Success
In addition to publishing the Internet Tourbus newsletter and writing
non-geeky computer books, I am also a student and practitioner of
e-commerce.  Since 1997, I've operated, an online
florist that I built from scratch using Notepad and Paintshop Pro.
Here are some of the things I've learned along the way.
Every page of your site should have a handy link or search box that
lets people find the most important pages on your site.  If they can't
find the product they're after in one or two clicks, they'll leave and
try another store.
You can use graphics sparingly and still have a visually appealing
site.  If the home page takes too long to load, your handiwork will
never be seen by impatient consumers who want information, not glitz.
Ever try to buy something from a site and they start asking you to
jump through hoops at checkout time?  If you require customers to
"create an account", "become a member" or cough up unnecessary
personal information, you'll lose sales. Customers expect to enter
their shipping address, credit card info and hit the button.  If you
want to know their shoe size and preferred deodorant, ask them after
the sale.
If you use Flash, Java, embedded music, or anything else that requires
your visitors to have the latest browser, a high-speed modem or
download a plugin, you will die.  Unless your target market is
tech-savvy geeks with hot computers, it makes no sense to place
unnecessary obstacles in the way of potential customers.
Many people are nervous about buying online, so it's important to let
them know that your company is run by real people who will treat them
right if there's a problem after the sale.  Always include a contact
phone number, physical address, and your privacy and return policies
on your site.  Offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee is also a real
good idea, as is responding quickly to email inquiries.
That's all for now, see you next time!  --Bob Rankin
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================
   The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
     Copyright 1995-2001, Rankin & Crispen - All rights reserved
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