Internet Marketing 101 Historical Core Basics

online marketing 101 internet history

Internet marketing basics are provided here for free on, as this website offers the best online business eCommerce reviews, basically the knowledge relating to all aspects of selling products and services online.

Selling Online Since 1992

It is no secret that the Internet has provided a collection of new sales channels for offering products and services to the masses. Such products and services were traditionally marketed through the standard marketing channels of print media, direct marketing, radio, and television until the early 1990’s. In 1992 with the advent of the World Wide Web, marketing was provided a new and powerful method for achieving its goals of selling goods and services. (More information about the history of the Internet can be found here:

As we’re now entering the 18th year of the Internet as it is commonly known, the dust has settled and the sales channels have matured. Furthering the growth of eCommerce has been the recent economic downturn of 2008 and 2009. When money became scarce for middle-class Americans, the goods and services traditionally offered through brick and mortar establishments underwent further commoditization via the mass market outlets on the Internet.

This has been demonstrated by the steady rise and common usage of the Internet for making purchases online after first comparing prices at a number of companies. At no other time in history has this ability been more readily available to the average person than it is now with the widespread adoption of the Internet as a common household service. Additionally the sharp increases in business to business transactions that now occur over the Internet have also worked to strengthen the commoditization of goods. (Commoditization happens when a product turns into a commodity as it becomes indistinguishable from others like it and consumers buy based on price alone.)

A Website is a Quintessential Business Tool

For the entrepreneur seeking to start up a company, or for the professional seeking to start a firm in their trade or practice, it is imperative to have a web presence. A website is now a quintessential business tool, as widespread and common as a business card. However, just because you have a website does not mean that potential customers will find it.

A website is now a quintessential business tool, as widespread and common as a business card.

Build it and they will come does not hold true on the Internet, as the playing field is level and open to all companies large and small alike. Creating a website is just the first step in a process that involves much more. This article will briefly lay down the basics of selling products and services online, while subsequent articles will provide much more detail getting down to a granular level.

Specific Tasks Necessary to Sell Online

The following list contains specific tasks that will need to be completed in order for you to sell your products and services online. This list contains the very basics of eCommerce Marketing and is not intended to be all inclusive, but rather this is a simple beginners guide.

Within the list below provides links to businesses that are able to provide the services that we are indicating as necessary. You do not have to patronize these companies as they are being linked to solely as a convenience for you, as there are other companies available who offer the same set of services.

However if you choose to use the companies that we link to below, please realize that we will be paid a commission as an affiliate of these organizations as this is one of the revenue generating methods that we’ll be utilizing to keep this website free. [Please note that you will not be charged additional fees by these companies, rather these companies have preexisting agreements with us for promoting their services (and the majority of the companies that we recommend throughout our website are companies that we ourselves are currently utilizing).]

1) Domain Name Registration.

You must start by registering a domain name for your website if you have not done so already. This is the “” part of your website. Obviously the whatever-you-want part is not meant to be taken literally, but rather this is a placeholder for the name you wish to give to your website. What you want to name your website is dependent upon the name you want being currently open and available for purchase (meaning someone else hasn’t already bought that domain name). is one of the largest domain registration companies in the world, and we utilize their services for this website. Click the following link if you desire to register your domain name with GoDaddy – World’s Largest Registrar –

2) Website Hosting.

The second step to selling your products and services online is to have a website hosting company actually “host” your website. Hosting a website is the literal act of serving the website documents to the visitors of your website, much the same way that a business’s computer network lets multiple employees access the same document over their network. A Hosting company will provide the physical web server on which your website will be placed or “hosted.” The web server will then distribute the information that makes up your website, being contained within HTML-type documents, by sending the documents over the Internet to the website visitor’s web browser program on their computer so that they can then read your website’s information.

Hosting accounts vary widely, and there is no single one “best” hosting provider. So for simplicity’s sake we have again listed as a potential hosting company for your website. Additionally, we will also list Peer1 Hosting, which is also one of the nation’s largest hosting providers. We have had experience with both of these hosting providers, and both have provided adequate hosting services at decent rates. If you choose to use for your hosting, then click this link – Hosting Plans. If you choose to use Peer1 Hosting, then click this link – coming soon by 1-27-2010.

Not all websites literally sell their products or services directly over the Internet, as many B2B businesses desire the outcome of a visit to their website to be solely a phone call into their sales department or to their secretarial staff. However, other businesses which seek to sell their products or services directly from their websites must then accept payments online. To accept an order over the Internet as well as a payment for such orders requires a “shopping cart” component. This is an important consideration when seeking a Website Hosting company, as the differing hosting packages offered will have differing options such as the inclusion of a shopping cart component. This is also consideration when completing Step 3 below when you locate a Website Developer, as not all Website Developers have the skill set for setting up a shopping cart website.

We will not expound upon all the nuances of setting up a website that will accept credit card payments online, as other components beyond the scope of this article will be necessary to complete such a scenario. However, for the sake of providing a more complete picture of what is needed, two very important aspects are: obtaining a merchant account from a financial institution in order to accept credit cards online, and securing your website with a secure certificate (also known as an SSL Certificate). These two topics will be further explained in greater detail in a future article, but suffice it to say that these two topics are very important and deserve more detailed information for such a website to be fully understood and implemented. Your Website Hosting Company should be able to provide more details regarding a merchant account and SSL Certificates, or we can also advise you immediately though our consulting based services (though consulting fees will apply).

3) Website Design and Development.

The third step to offering your products or services online is to have your website documents literally created for you. Some of us have the skill set to design and develop our own graphics and HTML documents (which may entail ASP, PHP, JSP server-side scripted programs that output the HTML code to be displayed in the visitor’s web browser). However, many of you may not have the graphic art capability or the HTML programming knowledge. If this is the case, you will need to outsource the creation of your website’s appearance and format to others who have the necessary skills.

We strongly advise that you obtain a highly professional design for your website or at the bear minimum a very clean and appealing design. Do not use a website that has an appearance which gives the impression to most people as being amateur. Research has shown that a website with an amateur appearance will get overlooked almost immediately as most Internet users are now savvy enough to recognize an amateur appearance.

We strongly caution our readers to only use a full-time Web Development professional. Using a neighborhood kid or a younger relative with some “web knowledge” can set a dangerous precedent as often these young high school students do not have the knowledge to bring a project to full completion in a professional manner. Always remember “you get what you pay for.”

We do not make any guarantees express, implied or otherwise in regard to any web development services you locate from these websites or the SBDC. Simple business acumen can serve you well in regard to choosing the right developer for your project. Choose a website developer based upon the examples of websites they have developed and provide for you to review, references from others who have used their services, Better Business Bureau report, business colleague referral, etc.

4) Content Development.

The actual verbiage on your website is of the utmost importance. This is akin to the content of a textbook, as is obvious a college book is only as good as the information it contains. If you place inadequate or unprofessional content onto your website, this is how your website’s visitors will view your company – as being unprofessional and inadequate. The content on your website is the lens through which your company will be viewed, as well as containing the marketing pitch that will be used to obtain your customers. Develop your content wisely.

Content is king when it comes to the Internet, as not only will the search engines rank your website based upon the content, but your visitors will judge your company based upon the content too. Good content generates leads and sales, whereas bad content drives potential customers away from your company’s website. You only have one chance to make a good first impression.

Statistics show that you really only have about ten (10) seconds to get a website visitor to read further and stay on your website or else they will click back to the search engine and look elsewhere. As every business owner knows, potential customers can be very fickle. Website visitors will leave your website for reasons as simple as the home page loading too slowly or the graphics looking amateur in their opinion, let alone for reasons dealing with the actual written content on your website. Develop good content and keep your standards high as this will garner your company loyal online customers.

5) Online Internet Marketing.

Once you have all the components in place as outlined above, then you are ready to market your website online. Internet Marketing has come a long way since 1992, as the current level of complexity and sophistication available is quite high. Yet even with the level of complexity accessible, online success can be achieved by the sole proprietor as well as the marketing professional. The tools available to achieve online success are only a click away. Though please remember to temper your expectations without curbing your enthusiasm too much off the bat, as with all things worth doing, practice makes perfect.

As we say, Internet Marketing is part science and part intuition. Intuition is often commonly referred to as a gut feeling. We hope to provide enough information in subsequent articles over the coming weeks and months to get you up to speed with Internet Marketing techniques, this being the “science” part of the equation. However, the “intuition” or gut feeling part is something that marketers develop overtime in their careers. Although we can discuss marketing intuition and provide excellent examples that display it, yet it is something that develops only with time and experience. In the world of business and marketing, experience often trumps education. So be patient, you are on the right path toward generating wealth for your business online.

Here is a simple checklist of the techniques and methods currently in widespread use to promote business transactions online:

a) Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is the technique that allows a website to become well listed or highly ranked within the search engines and thus causes a website to be easily found by potential customers. Being well listed in the natural results of the search engines is also referred to as being well listed “organically” in the search results. Once your website is well listed and highly ranked, the resulting business can almost be thought of as coming to you for free as there are no directly associated costs at that time (though getting well listed and staying well listed usually requires a lot of effort).

b) Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This is the technique that allows you to bid against your competitors on a pay-per-click basis for appearing first within the sponsored links or sponsored results area of the search engines. Google’s AdWords program facilitates these efforts as does Bing’s adCenter and Yahoo’s Search Marketing. These are the top three services for activating Pay-Per-Click advertisements online that appear as “sponsored links” within these top three search engines. Often those using the search engines (i.e., your potential customers) do not differentiate between the sponsored “pay-per-click” results and the organic results within the search engines. However the paid “sponsored” links have direct costs associated with their appearance and the business they generate for you, whereas the organic links or natural results do not have direct costs associated on a per click basis.

c) Comparison Shopping Sites, which are also seen abbreviated as SCS for Shopping Comparison Sites, are becoming more and more popular as the result of (or the cause of) commoditization. Most comparison shopping engines such as NexTag, Shopzilla, BizRate, and many others function on a pay-per-click basis like the sponsored results in the search engines. However, the companies providing data feeds (i.e., their product databases) to the comparison engines are not allowed to bid against their competitors as ranking or order of appearance is usually a function of the best price and/or most visited link.

There is a new movement toward service-generated comparison engines like on, where the companies selling the products do not submit their product databases, but rather the comparison engine itself locates and displays product results. These service-generated comparison engines do not charge on a per-click basis, but rather they hope to generate revenue from their websites by becoming popular and then cashing in on their website traffic using other methods of advertising to generate their revenue streams.

d) Email Marketing is one of the longest-running methods of advertising and generating revenue online, as this form of Internet-based direct marketing began almost as soon as the World Wide Web came online in 1992. This method of Internet-based direct marketing is achieved by sending an electronic mail (email) message to potential or past customers, in which an offer is usually presented. The recipient of the email message may then click on a text link or an image link that is provided within the email to then be directed to a web page that allows the email recipient the ability to make a purchase.

Often products or services are highlighted in the email marketing message as well as some special offer such as a discount in the form of an electronic coupon. Due to the low-costs per email sent and corresponding low-costs per order acquired, email marketing continues to be a very popular Internet Marketing technique despite its continually low conversion rates per message sent. (Conversion rates will be explained in much more detail in subsequent articles, but in a nutshell, a conversion rate is the number of people placing an order due to a singular marketing communication divided by the number of people communicated with. Thus if 1,000 emails were sent, and these emails generated 10 orders, the conversion rate would be 10 divided by 1,000 which equals 1 %.)

It should be noted that in recent years various efforts were introduced to reduce unwanted email marketing campaigns in the United States, and culminated in the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 that went into effect. As well in the European Union, a similar effort was completed the year prior to this with the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications of 2002. These laws push for email marketing to be done in what is known as a white-hat method and is commonly achieved with “opt-in” email marketing. This “opt-in” email marketing is a permission-based method and requires that each person receiving the email marketing message to have actually signed up to receive the email message. The recipients are usually enticed to sign-up for the email marketing messages due to some benefit that they believe they will obtain from the marketing emails, such as the promise of special discounts or exclusive sale items.

Multichannel Marketing

what is multichannel marketing explained

What is Multi-Channel Marketing?

Multi-Channel Marketing on the Internet is achieved by utilizing at least two “sales channels,” also referred to as touch-points, across the World Wide Web. As with Internet marketing basics, so too with Multi-Channel marketing, our experts will share their knowledge for free. This article includes an explanation of multi-channel marketing along with anecdotes, as well as the key points to creating a multi-channel marketing approach.

eCommerce marketing expertise is just a click away, from the core basics to an intermediate level and then on to the leading-edge eCommerce know-how that every business needs. will continue to provide the best free information, recommendations, and suggestions relating to selling your products and services online. This website was designed for the sole proprietor looking to begin selling his or her products or services online, up to and including enough in-depth information to educate even the most seasoned marketing professional.

This may not be brain surgery, but by adding more Sales Channels in an effective manner you will increase sales.

Multi-Channel Marketing is the single most important topic relating to increasing sales for any business. It may sound obvious, but it is so true, by adding more sales channels in an effective manner you will increase your sales. This may not be brain surgery, yet it requires a keen understanding of marketing across multiple channels as well as how to correlate these channels into a cohesive and comprehensive effort to maximize your online profitability.

Research Regarding Multi-Channel Marketing

Multi-Channel marketing on the Internet began in earnest in the late 1990’s through the early 2000’s, with much emphasis on this approach within certain circles starting around 2002 as the results of various studies became published. For instance, Double Click’s 2002 holiday shopping survey of 1,000 retailers reported that multi-channel shoppers spent 39 percent more (on average) than single-channel buyers, and more than half of the multi-channel buyers utilized catalog or e-mail promotional codes when they shopped online. The point was becoming clear as far back as 2002 that by using multiple sales channels, retailers could increase their sales by 39% per customer. Multiple touch points drove the marketing message home to these customers.

That same year an online retail study from and the Boston Consulting Group also indicated that Multi-channel retailers were experiencing solid growth with lower customer acquisition costs. The data was coming in to prove what a few intuitive online marketers had already anticipated and pushed their companies into, being a multi-channel marketing approach. The push for utilizing multiple sales channels across the Internet proved itself by decreasing costs and increasing profits for many online retailers. Multi-channel retailers grew 44 percent in 2002 alone. In addition, the cost to acquire customers for these multi-channel retailers fell 64 percent from 1999 to 2001.

Over the past several years since 2002 the multi-channel method has continued, expanded, and matured. Yet many businesses still have no notion of what this approach truly means and how to best use it. The reason for not using this method is most likely because what seems so obvious and simple to the experienced Internet marketer may seem very convoluted and even overwhelming to the uninitiated. Let’s look at some multiple channel marketing basics with a few simple anecdotes, after first reviewing more recent statistics.

According to JupiterResearch in 2006, retail customers purchasing from a store by utilizing multiple sales channels to arrive at that store will spend an average 14 percent more per year than those using just a single channel. McKinsey & Company have published recent studies showing that among retail banks, multi-channel customers are 25 to 50 percent more profitable than their single-channel counterparts.

However, the JupiterResearch study also concluded that multi-channel customers are 26 percent more likely to claim that store coupons were the deciding factor for their continued patronage at a specific online retailer. The indication here is the increasing need to advertise across multiple sales channels to draw the customers in, while also providing cash incentives to get the customers to purchase. The “coupon game” for most successful online retailers began many years ago by using coupon websites and email marketing messages to provide weekly specials.

The large successful eRetailers know that they may need to utilize a Pay-Per-Click ad on Google (being one channel) to get the potential customer onto their targeted landing page, but then to generate an order from this customer they may need to sweeten the deal via another channel such as email marketing. These successful online retailers recognize that they need to provide multiple touch points (being these sales channels) along the way, because if the first channel does not generate an order then the second or even the third channel has an increasing chance of doing so.

There are tricks to getting the potential customer to actually spend their money with your company even from the first touch point, such as the Chase Cap & Trap method that this author promotes. However this specific methodology won’t be included here in this article as it is beyond the intended scope. Keep reading our articles though, as there is much more to come in the next few weeks and months along these lines (including the Chase Cap & Trap method).

The Key Elements of Multi-Channel Marketing

Here are a few key points to ponder regarding the Multi-Channel marketing approach:

Customer Preference or Propensity. Does your customer prefer to shop via a catalog (being printed media and a call center), online (being done over the Internet), or in-person (at a brick & mortar establishment)? For many reading this, online is the only method within the scope of what you are considering right now, and that is ok. However, within the realm of online shopping there are multiple sales channels that need to be considered. (See below for a list of the various online marketing sales channels.)

Consistency. If your company is already using, or plans to utilize a direct marketing approach such as traditional print media, broadcast media, and/or Internet advertising, then you should plan for consistency across these multiple sales channels. By using a similar design or layout including the use of the same colors and fonts, by using a specific slogan or motto, as well as having a consistent product description the customer will recognize the uniformity. This consistent or uniform imagery and message will create a feeling of trust and comfort. Humans are comfortable with what they know, so you need to compose a consistent feel, look, and message in order for the potential customers to recognize it. This is a facet of branding.

Repetition. Repetition is a vital component of an effective multi-channel marketing campaign. The purpose of repetition is to generate top-of-mind awareness regarding your marketing message. Some feel that this may cause an undue annoyance with potential consumers, but this is not generally true, as in our modern world we are marketed to no less than 247 times per day and some say as high as 600 times per day. The point is, with so many marketing messages bombarding your potential customers, it is important to have your message repeated to a targeted audience of interested individuals.

[For a concise listing of various related statistics in regard to how many times we are “marketed to per day” see this entry on Yahoo Answers –]

Measurement / Statistics. You need to know what sales channels or touch-points will effectively drive home or deliver your marketing message and thus generate orders. The only way to know for sure which online sales channels are working and which channels are not performing as desired, is to have a good online website statistics package installed (also known as web analytics).

Many businesses start out by using Google Analytics, which is a free SaaS service provided by ( Though AWStats is also a popular free open-source statistics package that can be installed on just about any website ( However, larger corporations either grow into, or decide it is in their best interest to use the services of one of the large online statistic companies such as Omniture or CoreMetrics. These large web analytics companies are costly, but can provide some very interesting and actionable information from your website’s usage statistics (though some argue that Google Analytics can provide all the same capability for free, especially when used in conjunction with Google’s Webmaster Tools –

Online Marketing Sales Channels

Online sales channel marketing includes:

Email or e-newsletter marketing (opt-in email marketing is the only way to go, as well as being legally required)

Search engine organic or natural marketing (known as SEO, is considered being “well listed” or “highly ranked” within the major search engines)
Search engine sponsored results marketing (referred to as SEM, includes Pay-Per-Click ads known as PPC, though referred to as Cost Per Click or CPC by Google and others)

Comparison shopping engine marketing (abbreviated as CSE which is sometimes referred to as shopping comparison sites or SCS, this includes websites that aggregate many online stores’ products so that consumers can sort by the best price)

Affiliate marketing (usually done on a Cost Per Acquisition or CPA basis, which is also referred to as Cost Per Sale or CPS, this is a revenue-sharing model in which other business people market your products and services for a cut of the profits)

Content marketing (being a targeted approach that is seen on websites using Google’s AdSense, this is also called context-sensitive advertising)
Plus there are other online sales channels such as the newly evolving mobile marketing channel

Additionally, due to effective branding, there can also be a large number of “direct-traffic” customers, being customers who know your website’s URL, also known as the domain name, and thus they come directly to your website without going through one of these listed channels (albeit though these other online channels most likely influenced the direct traffic visit)

Don’t Miss the Point of Multi-Channel Marketing, which is the Lifetime Value of the Customer

Many companies are missing the point of a comprehensive and cohesive multi-channel campaign by using a “multiple channel” approach, but yet keeping each channel in a separate silo so to speak. This would involve adding a sales channel like a website, yet operating it completely independent of the other marketing efforts or channels. As it is said, “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,” and this will decrease the effectiveness of a multi-channel approach.

To reap all the benefits of multi-channel marketing, you must fully integrate all the sales channels within your company so that each touch-point or component supports one another. To dramatically increase overall conversion rates and thus your bottom-line, you must create a consistent message and image to the potential customer.

The lifetime value of a customer must be the preeminent thought when approaching marketing from this multi-channel view. Each touch-point has its associated costs, but the total sum of all the touch-points that generate a loyal, lifetime customer must be recognized and valued.

One channel or touch-point might have a low conversion rate. However, that low converting channel may have been a necessary touch-point, or the push, that your potential customer required when they finally decided to make the purchase from your company. However, they may have arrived to make the purchase later that day by coming from a different sales channel. All the channels must work together for the outcome of items being purchased from your company.

Think of the multiple sales channels as legs of a table, atop which are your items to be purchased.

Think of the multiple sales channels as legs of a table, atop which are your item(s) to be purchased. Each leg is somewhat independent, yet each has a consistent look and all four legs are required to support the tabletop. This does not mean you specifically need four sales channels, but rather this is an anecdote for the multi-channel mindset.

An Example of Multiple Channels Working Together

An example would be a customer who searches for a special widget online, say using This potential customer finds your website organically listed on the first page and clicks through to view your widget, which exactly matches their need. They have their first impression of your marketing message coming through this product’s display page.

However, being the savvy Internet shopper that they are, this potential customer proceeds to click back to the search engine and decides to go to Microsoft’s new “decision engine” known as Bing. They search for the same phrase or maybe a slightly different wording and they notice your company’s PPC ad in the sponsored results area on This potential customer clicks through and arrives at your landing page, which is a little different than the product page that they first visited via Google. However, the colors and the feel of this landing page appear similar to your product page that they already visited, thus creating a sense of trust because this is something that they recognize.

Nevertheless, this customer wants to know if your widget is priced competitively, so they go to the comparison shopping engine and again enter the search phrase for a third time. NexTag brings up your product, and even though it is listed toward the bottom of the page, the consumer notices again the same phrasing in the title and description of the product. Thus again due to the consistent message causing a recognition by the consumer, as well as the price being somewhat similar to the other widgets listed (within an acceptable margin), the potential customer clicks through and then becomes an actual customer.

This same thing may hold true for an existing customer who is shopping around. By seeing your website and your product coming up again and again within multiple channels, they believe your product to be good and decide to stay with you. Email or Newsletter marketing can also increase the likelihood of customer loyalty by creating a sense of personalization and constant contact.

Simply stated, multiple channel marketing works. In fact, without multi-channel marketing you are at a deficit because many of your competitors are already using this approach (or soon will be using it). This is not a new approach to marketing, but rather this technique has been around on the Internet since the mid-1990’s. It has become fairly complex at this time, but we hope it is now understandable even to the point of actionable with your reading of this article.