Want a quick way to begin taking online payments? If so, consider setting up a Paypal account and you’ll be good to go in a matter of minutes. Although Paypal can function alone, it works best as an added options for your customers who already have Paypal accounts.
For small charge, Paypal will process payments on your behalf and deposit the money – almost instantly – into your ban account, without having to set up a separate merchant account. At the time of this writing, Paypal’s transaction fees were 1.9 to 2.9 percent of the total dollar amount purchased plus $0.30 USD.
Although you can open a Paypal account quicker and less expensively and your customers can also use any major credit card and it is not quite as flexible as a merchant account. For instance, all payments will be deposited into your Paypal account, which means you’ll have to transfer the funds to your checking or savings account. Also, it doesn’t allow you to accept credit card payments over the phone.
It’s never been easier to open up an online merchant account, which allows businesses to accept credit cards as well as other forms of payment. You can apply for one through an online merchant account provider. It usually takes several days for your account to become active. Some local banks also provide merchant account; however, the majority of them deal primarily with brick-and-mortar retailers.
Fundamentally, merchant accounts serve as payment gateways for businesses and enable the transfer of funds from the buyers’ credit cards or checking accounts to sellers’ checking accounts. When choosing a merchant account provider for your online business, be sure that you’ll have the ability to do the following:
- Process credit cards and checks through a virtual terminal using any computer with an internet connection. It should be available around the clock in a secure, real-time environment.
- Seamlessly integrate with an online shopping cart and e-commerce solution that will enable you to take orders through your website.
- Charge client, student and members monthly, quarterly or annually for fees and dues. Your customers’ credit cards or checking account will be charged automatically, you’ll receive a notice and they’ll get automatic email receipts.
- Most importantly, use multiple levels of security that can identify potential fraudulent charges to protect you from any losses.
Your provider should enable you to do all the above, as well as offering you and your business the support you need to be succeed. Be aware that there are one-time and ongoing fees associated with maintaining a merchant account. Again, they vary, but can include penalties for not reaching monthly minimums, an initial set-up charges, transaction and address verification fees and more. I advice you compare several providers’ policies before choosing one.
Tracking and Measuring Marketing Campaigns and Sales
As I discussed in the previous articles, it’ imperative that you track and measure all of your website metrics, such as:
- Traffic: The number of people that visit your website; the number of times your average visitor returns; the number of pages they view on your sites; etc.
- Conversions: The number of visitors who opt in to your mailing list, convert to sales and your average visitor value.
- Marketing Communications: The effectiveness of ad types, copy, headlines delivery vehicles, etc.
If you don’t keep track of these factors, you’ll never know what’s working and what isn’t. And today’s technology makes it really simple to set up and obtain all the information you need automatically.
One of the biggest challenges with sending marketing emails is finding out how many people actually clicked through to your web page and viewed your promotional offer. And if you don’t have this information, again you’ll never know what you should continue, amend, or erase. Once again, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. However, this problem is easily solved using ad trackers, which are primarily designed to track marketing campaigns and promotions. Even better, they’re simple to set up and operate.
There are many types of ad trackers available, and they all work pretty much program or one that’s included with your shopping cart. The advantage of using one that’s integrated into your shopping cart is that it tracks your click-throughs and calculates our sales and opt-in statistics as well.
Next, you’ll decide what promotion, ad or event you’d like to measure. For example, let’s say you sent your email list an offer for special pricing on one page, you set up and ad tracker, which created a new link but still got your sales page, you set up an ad tracker, which created a new link but still got your visitors to the same destination, and documented every time someone clicked on the ad tracker link. Even better, you’d also know how many people actually purchased your product or service or opted in to your lit.
The two most important things you’ll learn are how compelling your copy and offer are and what actions your prospects took as a result. Additionally, if your visitor value metric is strong, you’ll find it easier to attract valuable joint venture partners. Why? Because facts don’t lie; others will be able to see for themselves exactly how much money they’re likely to make if they send out a similar email promotion for your product to their list. This is more critical than ever because successful online marketers are increasingly and understandably, protective of over-mailing to their coveted email lists.
Next article, will talk about the use of Multimedia, this is will help increase your impact using Audio, Video and Conferencing. Stay tune and find out. Again, if you need help with how to automate your online business, please let us know and we will help you out. Happy New Year to all.