Having done quite a bit of work on websites over the years we know they all seem to have several things in common regardless whether they are just informational, a blog, a commercial site, or a not for profit.
1. Web Form – The first thing they have in common is they are all trying to communicate some sort of message or information to the viewer. Generally they want the communication to be bi-directional at least. In order to do that they need to collect user information or at least some sort of password. The easiest way to do that is to create a Web Form. While adding a Web Form to a site is fairly easy, creating a good one that provides both parties with useful information may be a bit more illusive.
Specifically, having a form that will provide the user with an auto-response which is meaningful is important. Further, bringing the user to a useful place after submitting the form is really important. Finally, being able to store the information in a database which is easily accessed is critical.
2. Database – With few exceptions, every website needs a database. At the simplest level, having one for mailings and newsletters is critical if you have any intention of doing business online. If you’re using any web application on your site you will need a database and be able to support it somehow. Some common examples could be: a shopping cart, a picture gallery, a bulletin board, or a blog. These are just a few examples.
3. Email Blast Capability – If you have forms and you have them integrated with a database, you will ultimately need to send email blasts. As you grow, you will quickly discover that using a paid service really helps because….
- you can track opens, closes, forwards, clicks to measure the actual effectiveness of the mailing.
- you can send html and text emails which are much more effective that just plain text
- Generally quite easy to create templates for items like newsletters for reuse
- Quite easy to schedule the sending of emails for dates and times in the future
4. Paypal or Merchant integration – It would be nice to be able to conduct business online whether you are simply offering promotions or discounts, selling a single item, or managing a complete online store. At ETP Marketing, we generally use PayPal integration for our customers since it works quite well and is really effective if you have a small number of products or services you’ll be selling on line.
At ETP Marketing, our goal is to get you up and running as quickly as possible with an end-to-end solution that will connect your Hosted Web Form with a Hosted Database and integrate that with an Email Blast Service and complete the process with a Merchant Account using Paypal.