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                      WEB MARKETING EZINE
                The Human Face of Web Marketing
           March 13th., 2002 Issue #181 ISSN 1444-2027


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

- A Great FREE eBook: 100 Cool Webmaster Tips
- Copy The Right Way to Copyright (©)
- Higher Income Households Most Online
- Preview of Next Year's IRS Tax Return Form
- Free Training Course of The Week: Net Auction Masters
- E-Commerce Term Of The Week: ASCII

4. A Touch of Humor: BMW Gets Blue Windscreen of Death
5. Classified Ads
6. Free Training Courses
7. Feature Article: Selecting Your Affiliate Merchant Partners
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 

1. Sponsor's Message

When are you going to B4REAL?
Still looking for a solid, realistic internet business?
Find out what's propelling serious business woman to:
>Work from home, building skills with their own Personal Trainer
>Team up with a Virtual Corporation, sharing results.

2. First Word

Hi All!

This is a GOOD week! We've got a great Free eBook for you, with 
100 Cool Webmaster Tips. We've got good news on the online sales
front. For those who are interested in earning income from 
Affiliate Programs, we have a great Feature Article from Paul
Crane. Not to mention the normal good advice, and a dash of 
humor. We trust you enjoy the Issue!

Till next week, have a good one!


Thought For the Week:
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
- Leonardo da Vinci 1452 - 1519 AD

3. Tips, Tools, News and Views

A Great FREE eBook: 100 Cool Webmaster Tips

You'll love this one! Boogie Jack (Dennis Gaskill) really knows
his stuff when it comes to webmastery. Inspired by an upcoming
WME eBook, he's produced a highly useful list of 100 Webmaster
Tips. Want to know how to get a better ranking in search engines? 
Want to know how to produce colored scrollbars? Want to know how
to maximize your visitors' browser windows? Want 97 other 
helpful Tips? All for Free? Then click on this link, and you can
download your Free copy NOW! 

Copy The Right Way to Copyright (©)

Recently, I've noticed a number of documents and web pages using
the characters '(c)' to claim copyright on their material.

If they ever find that someone has stolen their material, any
legal action will be made harder, or impossible, by their 
use of characters which are NOT the copyright symbol.

Getting it right is easy!

- while holding down the Alt key, type 0169 on the numeric pad
on your keyboard. This will print the official © character. 
- in an HTML document, type ©

The © character is one of many that you can access the same way. 
You can also use the following characters, which are just a few
of many; ®, ™, ˝, €, and even é if you have a classy café!

For a full list of ASCII characters, including these special 
characters, I'd recommend a visit to the BoogieJack website at

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Higher Income Households Most Online

'Free' is an important part of the culture of the Internet. But
don't get hung up on it. In the real online business world, big
money is being spent, and their biggest customers are households 
with big incomes.

Scarborough Research regularly surveys over 200,00 Americans aged
18+. Their final report for 2001 shows that 69% of those US 
households with annual income of $75,000 or more access the 
internet at home. That drops to 42% for those households making 
between $25,000 and $50,000, and to just 27% of those households 
with annual income of $25,000 or less. It's a pretty safe bet
that you can make better sales chasing those high-earners.

Scarborough also reports that by the end of 2001, 13% of at-home
internet users spent between up to $100 online, 25% spent between
$100 and $499 online and 23% spent over $500. These figures show
an upward trend. Consumer confidence in shopping online continues
to grow. That's more good news for us all.

Preview of Next Year's IRS Tax Return Form

WME has done it again. We're proud to be first with the breaking
news of a new, simplified form to be used by the IRS from next
year. Consultants, Task Forces and Inter-Departmental Committees
have worked long and hard to streamline the filing process. Now,
they have produced a document that the taxpayer can complete in
a simple, two-step process...

1. How much money did you make in the last year?
2. Send it to us.

It IS a taxing time, isn't it?

Want to increase your Web Site Traffic? WebPosition Gold makes it
easy to monitor your search positions & to improve your rankings!
Don't be buried in last place, move up to first place! For a free
download, just visit http://www.webmarketingezine.com/wpg.htm

Free Training Course of The Week: Net Auction Masters

The BIGGEST sector of e-commerce is Auctions, with companies like
eBay doing a huge turnover. Many enterprising businesspeople are
using the Auction vehicle to build their own small, and not-so-
small businesses. 

If learning more about this low-cost, low risk Web Marketing 
option makes sense to you, take the free Net Auction Masters 
Course. It's an intensive 5-Day e-mail course that shows you how 
to start your own profitable auction business... and how to grow 
it super-big AFTER you empty your attic and basement.

To learn more, visit out Free Training Courses page at http://www.webmarketingezine.com/freetrainingcourses.htm

E-Commerce Term Of The Week: ASCII

Acronym for the American Standard Code for Information 
Interchange. Pronounced ask-ee, ASCII is a code for representing
English characters as numbers, with each letter assigned a number
from 0 to 127. For example, the ASCII code for uppercase M is 77.
Most computers use ASCII codes to represent text, which makes it 
possible to transfer data from one computer to another. 

For a list of commonly used characters and their ASCII 
equivalents, refer to the ASCII page in the Quick Reference 

Text files stored in ASCII format are sometimes called ASCII 
files. Text editors and word processors are usually capable of 
storing data in ASCII format, although ASCII format is not always
the default storage format. Most data files, particularly if they
contain numeric data, are not stored in ASCII format. Executable 
programs are never stored in ASCII format. 

The standard ASCII character set uses just 7 bits for each 
character. There are several larger character sets that use 8 
bits, which gives them 128 additional characters. The extra 
characters are used to represent non-English characters, graphics
symbols, and mathematical symbols. Several companies and 
organizations have proposed extensions for these 128 characters.
The DOS operating system uses a superset of ASCII called extended
ASCII or high ASCII. A more universal standard is the ISO Latin 1
set of characters, which is used by many operating systems, as 
well as Web browsers. 

Another set of codes that is used on large IBM computers is EBCDIC. 

-Source: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/A/ASCII.html

4. A Touch of Humor

BMW Gets Blue Windscreen of Death

Redmond, Wash. (SatireWire.com) — Microsoft announced this week 
that a version of its Windows operating system will be installed 
in BMW's new 7 Series cars, a move analysts say will dramatically
increase the vehicle's ability to suddenly crash for no reason. 

According to BMW spokesman Gehard Voorst, the cars, which will 
now take at least five minutes to warm up, will enable owners to 
confidently cruise and compute at high speeds for several hours 
before the machine abruptly seizes and catapults the driver 
through the 7 Series' new "blue windscreen of death." 
-Source: http://www.satirewire.com/briefs/bmw.shtml

5. Classified Ads
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Serious about writing that book? Look at this site!
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Become a high-earning Affiliate-take The Affiliate Masters course
Send a blank e-mail to: [email protected]
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;

7. Feature Article

Selecting Your Affiliate Merchant Partners
by Paul Crane, Product Manager, Site Build It! 

One of the MOST important and under-rated aspects of building a 
profitable affiliate business is choosing the right merchant(s) 
to represent. Believe it or not, the correct merchant partner 
will build your sales and income, while the wrong one will waste
your time and sap your business-building resolve.

Remember... Getting a visitor to click a referral link on your 
site is only HALF the battle. They still have to be 'inspired' 
by your merchant partner. They still have to make the purchase.

You may think you have little control over this aspect of the 
referral- but that's wrong. YOU choose who you wish to represent.

A referral to a merchant partner that has a badly designed,
confidence-draining site is a WASTED referral. Yes, even if they 
pay 50% commissions. So how do you go about finding the best 
possible merchant partner to represent?

I found myself in same search situation when I re-did the
Ultimatefatburner.com site in the summer of 2001.
(Ultimatefatburner.com is a content site that PREsells
weight loss supplements.) I needed to find a QUALITY merchant 
that I could feel confident about recommending to my visitors.

I'd made a BIG mistake in the past of referring visors to a 
merchant on the basis of the commission rate and NOT on the 
value of the service provided... and that was a mistake that I
did not want to repeat. 

So how did I identify my main merchant partner? 

Good question. 

Here's a quick breakdown of how I did it...

STEP 1) First, I did keyword searches for some of the products I 
would be PREselling. My thinking was that the really savvy 
merchants would have dedicated some time to optimizing pages to 
score well on the SEs. 

Then I made a list of the 10 merchants I came across most often 
as I performed my various keyword searches.

STEP 2) My next action was to visit each of the ten sites. I had 
several concerns to address...

o Was this a clean, easily navigated, professional-looking
site? Was there a search function available, and how easy was it
to locate different products? Did it inspire confidence in a 
visitor? Was there a 1-800 number displayed prominently?

o How intuitive was the ordering process? Is the shopping cart
functional and easy to use? Can someone who does not spend every
waking hour on the Net successfully complete an order?

o Was the merchant getting any traffic? The Alexa tool
(www.alexa.com) tells me this. If they get zero traffic, odds 
are no one has ever heard of them. All things being even, I'd 
rather spend my time working with someone who has some degree of
success on the Net already (yes, there are exceptions).

As I mentioned earlier -- why waste time working hard to win a 
visitor's trust, only to refer them to a merchant partner that 
doesn't inspire any? 

Makes sense, right? 

STEP 3) After completing step #2, I had whittled my list down to
a mere 5 potential partnership candidates. My next move? Buy 
something (just a small purchase) from each and every merchant.


Another good question. You'll see the importance of this in
a moment... 

Of the 5 merchants I purchased from, two merchants provided
"satisfactory" service. On the Net, "satisfactory" simply isn't 
good enough. 

One provided good service (marginally better than "satisfactory") 

... and one provided EXCELLENT service. 

The final merchant (despite a great looking, easy to navigate 
site) provided such shoddy service that I had to phone my credit
card company to do a chargeback. 

Imagine the damage to my credibility if I were to refer visitors
to a merchant who took orders and was reluctant to ship product 
in return? Who had a 1-800 number that lead directly into a 
mailbox so overflowing with messages that you couldn't even leave
a complaint on the voice mail?

How good would that look? What sort of signal does that send?

Bottom line?

You have to experience the service yourself if you are to
SUCCESSFULLY and CONFIDENTLY PREsell merchants' products or

STEP 4) OK... so I'm down to 2 possible merchant partners (I 
eliminated the merchants that provided "satisfactory" results). 

The next step? 

E-mail support with a question about the order.

When you send your e-mail to support, make a note of the time-
and see how long it takes them to get back to you. I wasn't 
concerned about the fact that the purchases I made were small 
(under $20-30). If a merchant isn't interested in small 
customers, that merchant isn't much good to me.

STEP 5) At this point in my experiment, a clear winner emerged. 
There was no doubt in my mind, especially after the affiliate 
manager offered me an extra 2% on my commission rate after he had
listened to my game plan! 

Best of all, I have absolutely no misgivings about referring my 
visitors to this merchant. I'm confident that the company will 
provide my visitors and newsletter subscribers with the kind of 
service I want and expect! In fact, to this day I still order 
from them myself. 

In a nutshell, here are the fundamental PREselling precepts...

1) PREselling really *IS* about looking after the best interests 
of your customer. A large part of that is knowing first-hand 
about the type of service and product your merchant partner 
delivers. If you're making referrals simply on the basis of 
commissionable earnings, you're looking after YOUR best interests

Believe me, this is a common mistake, and I've done it myself. 
Once you step "outside the box" and start looking at things from 
the perspective of a visitor, things start to change dramatically

For example...

Long before I worked for SiteSell -- oh for the good old relaxing 
days! ;-) -- and before I received my printed version of the 
original "Make Your Site SELL!", I used to promote many of 
SiteSell's competitors' products. 


Because ALL of them were much more highly priced, and paid
higher commissions. Any sales I would generate would pay ME a 
greater amount of money. That's right... I was looking after MY 
best interests.

But one fateful day, MYSS! arrived in the mail, and things
changed dramatically. I suddenly realized...

If I'm really all that interested in the well-being of my
visitor, why would I refer her to an inferior product that
is 10 times the price?


I know I've said this before, BUT...

Be sincere about looking after the needs of your visitor,
and they'll look after you! 

-----Ken Evoy's Sidebar-----
And they look after you in more than one way.
After all, a LIFETIME CUSTOMER becomes a
valuable one when your merchant partner
OVERdelivers. Why? Because they order over
and over again! BUT once burned through
inferior products and/or service, they never
order again. So LIFETIME VALUE = ZERO.
-----Ken Evoy's Sidebar-----

2) Each Referral you make is worth REAL money!

Even after the fall of the "dot-com" in the Spring of 2000,
customer acquisition costs of some of the major online
businesses were astounding. You may not believe it, but each 
referral you generate really is a genuine source of income. 

Don't waste time sending customers to Web sites that don't sell 
or inspire confidence. You are depriving yourself of a well-
earned revenue stream.

OK... I hope I've provided some good food for thought. With that 
said, I'll leave you to your meal!... Examine the merchants you 
represent now. Replace the ones that don't OVERdeliver. It's 
good for your credbility, your conscience and in the long run...
your pocketboook.

The attitude to customers championed here by Paul, is one of the
reasons that I chose to become a SiteSell Affiliate. The other
reasons include the quality and value of the products, and the 
outstanding support offered by SiteSell to the members of their
5-Pillar Affiliate Program. 

* If you'd like to join my team as an Affiliate, learn more at
http://myss.sitesell.com/itsyourfuture.html by clicking on the
'become an affiliate' button.
* If you'd like a free trial download of the excellent MYSS 2002, 
go to http://freetrial.sitesell.com/itsyourfuture.html
* If you'd like to learn more about the unique 'Site Build It!' 
go to http://buildit.sitesell.com/itsyourfuture.html
- John.

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:[email protected]
=========== BE HAPPY BE HEALTHY LIVE LONG & PROSPER ===========

9. Administrivia


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John Payne does not accept any responsibility for any 
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This publication is for informational purposes only.

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