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Article Title:
Five Steps to Successful Online Selling

Article Description:
Each year, Internet users purchase billions of dollars worth 
of products and services online, according to Web researcher 
eMarketer. Is your business getting its share of the pie?
You can capitalize on the power of the Internet, if you follow 
these four important steps to successful online selling.

Additional Article Information:
607 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Tue Apr 11 22:39:07 EDT 2006

Written By:     Kate Smalley
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

Article URL:

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Five Steps to Successful Online Selling
Copyright © 2006 Kate Smalley
Connecticut Secretary

Each year, Internet users purchase billions of dollars worth 
of products and services online, according to Web researcher 
eMarketer. Is your business getting its share of the pie?

You can capitalize on the power of the Internet, if you follow 
these four important steps to successful online selling.

Step 1: Build a site with good design and content

Create a Website with a design that's attractive, well-organized 
and easy to navigate. This will make it easier and faster for 
site visitors to find their way around - and shop for your 
products or services.

And remember: Pictures tell; words sell. So your site also must 
offer content that makes site visitors want to stick around. You 
should present clear, simple and useful informationÂ…so people 
will want to buy from you.

Step 2: Get ecommerce-ready

Obviously, you need to accept credit cards, checks and other 
forms of payments online. This will allow you business to tap 
into a vast marketplace where millions of consumers spend 
billions of dollars each year. Plus, you'll be able to make more, 
larger and impulse sales, as well as enjoy improved cash flow, 
enhanced credibility and a competitive edge.

You need four key ingredients to successfully ring up online 

1. A merchant account for business owners.

2. Shopping cart software that allows customers to collect and 
pay for items from your online store.

3. A payment gateway to processes your customers' credit cards 
and communicate between the merchant's Website, the bank holding 
the merchant account, and the bank holding the financial records 
of the customer.

4. A secure Website that is communicating with a payment gateway 
that, in turn, is communicating with a banking computer system.

Step 3: Submit your site to major search engines

Once your site is equipped to sell online, it's critical to 
submit your Web address to search engines. Eight out of 10 people 
surfing the Web use search engines or search directories to 
navigate their way around online, according to the eMarketing 
Association. And 54 percent of experienced online shoppers 
primarily rely on a search engine when trying to find a product 
to purchase online, says Jupiter Communications.

At the very least, you should submit your site to top U.S. search 
tools like Yahoo, Google, the Open Directory, MSN, Overture and 
Ask Jeeves.

Step 4: Use email to stimulate online sales

Email is used by 96 percent of Internet users, making it the 
ideal tool to advertise your Website. You can use email marketing 
to send electronic newsletters, letters, announcements, 
promotions, sales and customer support.

An email marketing campaign is easier, cheaper and faster to 
implement than a traditional direct mail promotion. Plus, the 
response rate of the typical email campaign easily outpaces that 
of conventional mailings. Email click-through rates can exceed 20 
percent, while conventional direct mail campaign responses are 2 
percent, at best.

Step 5: Unleash the power of auto responders to boost online 

Auto responders let you automatically reply to incoming email 
requests, so you can instantly respond to the needs of existing 
and potential customers. They can be your most powerful weapon 
for boosting online sales.

Here's why: Sixty percent of a site's visitors who eventually end 
up buying a product or service don't do so on their first visit, 
says Auto responder And in fact, 80 percent of all 
sales are made on the fifth through twelfth contact with a 
prospect, according to the National Sales Executive Association.

So if you don't use an auto responder or some other way to follow 
up with potential customers, you can miss out on up to 80 percent 
of your potential online sales.

Copyright, 2006 Kate Smalley - Connecticut Secretary
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