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The 6 Basic Rules of E-Commerce
by Martin Cargill

How can you expect people to buy your product, if you don't tell them about it??

I spent half of my lifetime, out there in the bricks- and-mortar world trying to get business owners and executives to accept that fact.

The problem, of course, is the wide spread opinion that advertising and promotion costs are overhead, and when- ever business slows down you need to reduce overhead.

Right!

This is one of those "glass is half filled - or half empty" questions.

Viewed properly, reducing overhead, particularly in advertising, is tantamount to committing business suicide.

If business is slow now, how can you possibly expect it to improve, by reducing your promotional attempts?

The fact is that you should increase your advertising budget in the event of a slowdown in trade. Not by throwing money around like a drunken sailor, but by careful placement and repetition of your ads.

1...Don't try to sell your product in the ad.

Ford Motor company and Sony Electronics don't try to SELL anything in their ads. They are building consumer awareness of their individual products, and trying to make you WANT their products.

2...Use your ad to get people to ACT.

In the old Direct Mail days an ad was simply intended to get the prospect to reach you for further information. After receiving his info the company would send out a "mailer", often a brochure or flyer specifically designed to SELL the product, and get the prospect to ACT.

Today, we speed up the process by inviting the prospect to view a web page which serves the same purpose.

3...Use your ad to provide a client list.

Then guard it with your life. Do not be tempted to "rent" it to others, or it will quickly become useless.

Unlike Direct Mail we do not get the prospects' info before they see the mailer. In the Old Days, if a prospect didn't buy the product, we used a follow up strategy that included making offers of different or alternative products. With a web page if you don't catch their interest immediately, they're gone forever.

That's why bonuses and free promotional items are so popular.

4...Set up two (or more) Web Pages

Use the first to sell your higher priced item, and the other(s) to feature lower priced or free products. If you make the second page a "pop up after" page, then you will get one more chance to catch the prospects' attention. If he's leaving your site without acting, you neither made the sale, nor captured his info. This way you get two chances at the same prospect.

5...Make your offer "too good to refuse".

I was told long ago to always leave the prospect saying "wow - such a deal". Even if you barely break level on the deal, you're a two-time winner. First you captured his info for back end selling and you have a satisfied customer, who will be a lot more receptive to your next offer.

6...Never forget that you're in this business for life.

Scamming a prospect is not only unethical, but also stupid, at least as far as I am concerned.

After all the time, effort and money that you expend in getting a paying customer, why would you want to "rip him off". Then you have to start the process all over again.

Make him say "Wow!" and you have a long term prospect on your hands. And it costs nothing to make the next sale.

Related Articles:

The Amazing Website Makeover For Dramatically Increasing Sales!
By getting your website at a better conversion, you can always make more money with the traffic you have. 

Create a Successful Web Site
Here are tips on how to create and sustain a successful Web site.

The 10 Success Basics For Your Online Business
There is no such thing as failure. You have to take action to do what people call "failing." If you take action you'll learn something. If you apply what you learn then you didn't fail and you learned a way to not get where you want to go. You learned something you know to not do again.

Martin Cargill is the publisher of the Independence Day Ezine, and you can subscribe at the web-site http://tinyurl.com/wue1 or by sending an e-mail to http://tinyurl.com/xb7d

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