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Chamber of Commerce - on the Web logo

Web Marketing Ezine


May 22nd., 2002                     Issue #191                      ISSN 1444-2027


 


Contents



1. Sponsor's Message
2. First Word
3. Tips, Tools, News and Views


- Free eBook: Six Deadly Small Business Marketing Mistakes
- Discover The Search Engine Connections
- Web Users Crave Familiarity
- Discovering a Website's Hosting Service
- Free Training Course of The Week: Six Deadly Small Business

  Marketing Mistakes
- E-Commerce Term Of The Week: MIME

4. A Touch of Humor: The Three-Kick Rule
5. Classified Ads
6. Free Training Courses
7. Feature Article: How to Stop Digital Thieves with CGI
8. Our Companion Ezine 
9. Administrivia


Visit our companion website at http://www.WebMarketingEzine.com

Want to read this online? For your convenience, the Current Issue 
of WME is posted each week at the WME website. Just visit 
http://www.WebMarketingEzine.com/currentissue.shtml



1. Sponsor's Message


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2. First Word


Hi All!


We continue to build up the WME website as a useful resource for
our readers and visitors. Last week we were happy to tell you 
that over 20 articles on Search Engine Submission and 
Otpimization had been placed on the site. Today I can report that
we have just put up information on a new Free Training Course,
which brings the total number to 20. Why not check them out- I
guarantee that you'll find something that will really help you 
with the project you're working on now! You'll find them at
http://www.webmarketingezine.com/freetrainingcourses.shtml

 

Thought For the Week: "I find the harder I work, the more luck I 

seem to have." - Thomas Jefferson.


Till next week, have a good one!

John

 

 


3. Tips, Tools, News and Views

Free eBook: Six Deadly Small Business Marketing Mistakes

We've all heard the statistics. Small businesses have a big
attrition rate. Translation: Most Die. If you own a small
business, or are thinking of starting one, then you can use some
good advice, and David Frey is just the man to provide it. David
is a long-time small business marketing consultant, and is the 
senior editor of the Marketing Best Practices Newsletter. He's
also the author this week's free eBook download- "Six Deadly Small
Business Marketing Mistakes" Read the book; don't make the 
mistakes, and you'll be well on track to succeed.

To get your free copy, go to the WME Downloads section at
http://www.WebMarketingEzine.com/downloads/6mistakes.pdf



Discover The Search Engine Connections

Getting listed in the Search Engines and Directories can be a
complicated affair. The inter-relationships between them are
hard to keep up with, and hard to visualize. Bruce Clay has an
answer.

Bruce has developed a visual map of the relationships between 
search engines, directories and Pay-per-click engines. Who gets
their results from where? How can you get into one engine by 
getting listed in another? Bruce's Search Engine Chart will help
you with these questions. You can view it at
http://bruceclay.com/searchenginechart.pdf  It may take a while to
load, but don't panic.


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Web Users Crave Familiarity

The sad truth is, general Web users would love it if all our 
sites looked like Amazon.com.

They'd immediately be familiar with the interface, they would 
know how to find what they wanted, and they'd find it a breeze to
check out and complete the purchase.

As much as we may hate to accept it, originality is usually the 
enemy of a smooth customer experience. 

Before you're tempted to "re-invent the wheel" of website
design, read Nick Usborne's excellent article at
http://www.marketingprofs.com/Perspect/usborne18.asp


Discovering a Website's Hosting Service

The following Question and Answer are from this month's Doctor
E-biz newsletter...

"Is it is possible to determine which is the web hosting service 
for a particular website?" -- Steve Pattison

Finding the web hosting service is usually a two-step procedure.

First, find the website IP number. You can do this with a DOS 
program called tracert. On a Windows operating system, open an 
MS DOS window. At the prompt, type in "tracert" and the domain 
name, such as:

C:\WINDOWS>tracert doctorebiz.com

The program responds by finding the IP number for the domain (in
this case 161.58.154.39) and then tracing each node of the 
Internet between your location and the webserver's location. If 
you aren't using a PC, you can do this via a web browser using 
TraceRoute.org (www.traceroute.org).

Now, look up this IP number to see who owns it. ISPs and web 
hosting companies are usually assigned blocks of hundreds of IP 
addresses. There are three regional Whois services where you can
look up IP numbers.

Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) 
(www.apnic.net/search/) Asia, Australia, and the Pacific

American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) (www.arin.net/whois)
The Americas and Sub-Saharan Africa 

Réseaux IP Européeans Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) 
(www.ripe.net/perl/whois) Region: Europe, Northern Africa, and 
the Middle East 

The owner of the block of IP addresses is probably the web 
hosting service, though sometimes smaller design and development 
firms are resellers for a larger hosting company.

I use this kind of information in two ways: (1) to trace web 
hosting services for websites that pirate my copyrighted articles,
so that copyright infringement be can stopped, and (2) to make 
sure a customer's e-mail address and ISP correspond to the 
billing address, enabling me to spot fraudulent transactions."

To subscribe to Doctor EBiz, send any message to 
join-doctorebiz@laser.sparklist.com

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Free Training Course: Six Deadly Small Business Mistakes

This is the email version of this week's Free eBook download.
In this course, David Frey will discuss six marketing mistakes 
that small business people commonly make and how to not only 
avoid them, but implement strategies to fix each one.

To take this, and other free training courses, visit
http://www.webmarketingezine.com/freetrainingcourses.shtml


E-Commerce Term Of The Week: MIME

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. A protocol for internet 
email that enables the transmission of nontextual data such as 
graphics, audio, video and other binary types of files. An e-
mail program such as Eudora is said to be "MIME Compliant" if it
can both send and receive files using the MIME standard. When 
non-text files are sent using the MIME standard they are 
converted (encoded) into text - although the resulting text is 
not really readable.

Besides e-mail software, the MIME standard is also universally 
used by Web Servers to identify the files they are sending to Web
Clients, in this way new file formats can be accommodated simply 
by updating the browsers' list of pairs of MIME-Types and 
appropriate software for handling each type. 

-Source: http://www.netlingo.com


4. A Touch of Humor


The Three-Kick Rule

A Yankee lawyer went duck hunting in eastern North Carolina. He 
shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer's field on the
other side of a fence. As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an 
elderly gentleman asked him what he was doing. The lawyer 
responded, "I shot a duck and it fell in this field, I'm going 
into retrieve it." 

The old farmer replied. "This is my property, and you are not 
coming over here." 

The indignant lawyer said, "I am one of the best trial attorneys
in the U.S. and, if you don't let me get that duck, I'll sue you
and take everything! 

The old farmer smiled and said, "Apparently, you don't know how 
we do things here in North Carolina. We settle small 
disagreements like this with the NC Three-Kick Rule." 

The lawyer asked, "What is the NC three-Kick Rule?"

The Farmer replied. "Well, first I kick you three times and then
you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone
gives up." 

The Yankee attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest 
and decided that he could easily take the old southerner. He 
agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up 
to the city feller. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy 
work boot into the Yankee lawyer's groin and dropped him to his 
knees. His second kick nearly wiped the man's nose off his face.
The barrister was flat on his belly when the farmer's third kick
to a kidney nearly caused him to give up.

The Yankee lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to 
get to his feet and said, "Okay, you old redneck southerner, now
it's my turn."

The old North Carolina farmer smiled and said, "Naw, I give up. 
You can have the duck." 


5. Classified Ads

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Read about your business's future at: 
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6. Free Training Courses

Increase your knowledge; hone your skills; improve your results! Take advantage of some of the finest FREE training courses on the Web by visiting our Free Training Course listing at;
http://www.webmarketingezine.com/freetrainingcourses.shtml

With 20 courses to choose from, you're sure to find something!


7. Feature Article

How to Stop Digital Thieves with CGI
by Steve Humphrey

I'm going to assume you're serious about your business. If
you're not, I can't help you anyway. You've gone as far as
getting a real merchant account to accept credit card payments
online. 

You know that this was neither easy or cheap. So does everyone
else! So, a merchant account shows that you've made a serious
commitment to your business. That's good for customer
confidence, which is good for business. So far so good... 

Now there's the issue of selling stuff to people online. Your
order form leads them to feed their credit card info to a secure
gateway, using software you bought or leased from (or through)
your merchant account provider. Finally, the transaction is
approved or denied. 

If approved, the software generates a receipt and emails you
and the customer each a copy. At this point, the customer is
returned to a page you specified. In the case of downloadable
products, this is often the page where they download your
product. So, you've got the entire process fully automated. 

For a product or service with a fairly low price point and a
potential for many thousands of sales, this seems ideal. You can
quite literally make sales and earn income 24 hours a day. So,
what's the problem? 

The form code on your order page is the problem. If someone
uses the ViewSource function of their browser, they can see all
your code. If they have even a tiny bit of initiative and skill,
they can locate the URL of your download page. After all, it's
right there in your form code! 

CGI provides two ways of fixing this problem. One involves
using a script that makes it impossible to view the source code.
You can find a source for such a script by searching the web.
Expect to pay a lot for this technology. 

Another way is to make the return path a script instead of the
actual download location. The script would be used to create and
display the download page. It would not be visible to the
surfer, since it's not an HTML document. The script can also
record details of the transaction for book-keeping purposes. 

I admit that I discovered this by trial and error - and a lucky
guess or two. Your merchant account gateway software may have
radically different behavior than mine, but here's what I've
learned: 

The gateway uses the POST method to send the customer to your
specified return URL (which can be a script as well as a web
page). It also POSTs most of its input data items at the same
time. They are usually ignored, but your script can read them if
you want to! 

Use the names given to the form inputs. Have your script
extract the values of these "named parameters" at the time it
creates the download page. Record what you want to save about
the transaction in your orders file or database. 

Now here's the real secret to foiling the thieves. Inside the
script, check to see that the variables you extract contain
non-empty values. Did you get that? Here's an example: 

if ($email eq "") {exit;} 

In this example, the script expects to get an email address. If
it contains no characters, the script quits instantly. By
testing for the presence of some data in such fields as customer
name, email address, item #, price, etc., you can tell whether
the script was called after a successful transaction - or by a
thief... 

Put all your security checks prior to the code that creates the
download page. If any test fails, the script exits and the thief
is left empty- handed. If your form-handling script can convert
a product name to a product ID that's never visible to a
browser, this provides even more security. This will be POSTed
back to the script and you can check for it before allowing the
download. 

Close these security holes and you'll make more money. You may
even sleep a little better knowing that people can't steal that
product you worked so hard to create. I know I do! 

 

Steve Humphrey promises that you can learn to use CGI to turn your own website into a marketing machine in two hours or less with his excellent CGI learning system: "Learn to Use CGI in 2 Hours." We highly recommend this book as required reading for anyone who wants to automate their website or their marketing efforts. Click here for immediate access: http://www.roibot.com/tk_cgi2h.cgi?cgiAV2b


8. Our Companion Ezine: A Better Life:ItsYourFuture!

ITS YOUR FUTURE!
Enjoy Humor, Inspiration, Romance, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal
Finance- all aimed at helping YOU to take control of YOUR future!
Subscribe FREE by sending a blank email to:
mailto:itsyourfuture-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

BE HAPPY BE HEALTHY LIVE LONG & PROSPER



9. Administrivia

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Disclaimer:
This publication was designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter. Subscribers are sent this free weekly e-zine with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, or other professional advice. If legal advice or other professional assistance is required, we advise seeking the  services of a competent professional.

John Payne does not accept any responsibility for any liabilities resulting from any claims in articles or advertisements published in WME, or the actions of the parties involved.

This publication is for informational purposes only.

Copyright:
© Copyright 2000-2002 John Payne All rights reserved. Web Marketing Ezine may only be redistributed in its unedited form. You are welcome to forward it to as many people as you like, with our thanks. Written permission must be obtained to reprint or quote original material published in Web Marketing Ezine.

               Web Marketing Ezine is published by John Payne 

 

 


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