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    E-Commerce - Marketing Your Store

    Table of Contents

    "Build it and they will come" only works for baseball diamonds. Particularly those built in cornfields. This philosophy does not work for e-commerce web sites. It is imperative that you play an active role in marketing your web site; key word here is "Active".

    It goes without saying that you should include your WWW address in and on all traditional ad media you are involved with. This includes business cards, letterhead, newspaper, TV, radio, matchbooks, pens… well you get the idea. Aside from this fundamental best practice, you should also actively market your e-commerce business on the Internet.

    The following Internet marketing strategies have entire books dedicated to expounding their respective virtues. You may attempt any or all of these yourself or you may outsource these tasks to the professionals. Either way, you should not ignore their necessity.

  • Affiliate Programs –very effective revenue sharing programs where you pay the owner of a non-competing web site (your Affiliate) for sending customers to your site that convert into sales. Accomplished by using graphic and/or text links to your site strategically positioned on your affiliates site and complex tracking programs that ensures all referred sales are accounted for. Check out:
  • Fee Directories – specialized vertical market directories that charge a fee for including your listing.
  • Banner Ad Placements –graphical links to your site usually placed on high traffic sites. Fees are usually charged per expected "impression" (display of your banner) based on most recent site statistics. E.g. fee is $0.13/impression – if the page your link is contained on will receive 3,500,000 views this month and your impression ratio is 1:10 (1 impression/10 page views), then you will pay $56,000.00

  • Search engine submissions – Infoseek, Lycos, HotBot… all free, but a lot of work to be listed near the top on a given keyword search.
  • Free Directories – Yahoo, … and some smaller, more vertical market directories. These have some form of banner ad placement programs available as well.
  • Reciprocal links – negotiated between you and a non-competing site where each party exchanges links to the other.
  • Banner exchange programs – opt-in programs where the number of views your banner receives depends on how many banners your site displays: e.g. exposure ratio is 1:3. For every three banners you display, your banner will be displayed once.
  • Web rings – opt-in text link exchange programs around a specific topic that allow a visitor to "view next in the web ring": e.g. – The Star Trekkers of America" web ring.

    If you are serious about marketing your web-based business successfully, you should either outsource to professionals that specialize in their respective strategy, or higher experienced staff.

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