Setting up an online business can be as easy or as challenging as you want to make it. There are certain skills you will need; but all of them can be learned? What should you do next?
It used to be that only those who could figure out not just what parts were needed, but also how to assemble them, had online businesses. I remember how frustrated I was by it all.
Vendors had to do everything manually, which meant not just creating products, but producing them, delivering them as well. In many cases, that meant recording their information on CDs and mailing them to customers. It also meant processing checks and credit cards for sales, and issuing refunds when products were returned. And perhaps the stickiest wicket of them all was getting a merchant account with the online branch of a bank. In those days, banks were very particular about who they gave such accounts to.
Today, I’m happy to report that it’s something that almost anyone can do. Here are the basic ingredients.
1. You need to have something to sell. This could be a digital or a physical product.
2. You have to use a marketing method that will bring large numbers of people to your squeeze page
3. You have to have a means for getting prospects onto your “mailing” list. This is generally done by offering something of value to visitors to you page in exchange for their name and email address.
4. You have to persuade prospects that they need your product sooner, rather than later. This is done through an email marketing campaign.
5. Finally, you need to have a shopping cart that enables customers to buy what you sell.
There are many ways to do all of the above, but there’s one thing you must before you attempt to do numbers four and five. And that is to determine which autoresponders and shopping carts work together.
As surprising as this sounds, they are not like interchangeable parts.
Unless you’re familiar with the intricacies of email parsing and writing in HTML and CSS, you simply won’t be able to create the code that’s necessary to make any old autoresponder work with any old shopping cart.
It’s true that many autoresponders will offer technical support to help you get your lists constructed and your thank notes written, but they won’t help you with third party products that they don’t support.