Get Listed or Get Shot: The High Risk Merchant's Guide to Advertising Online
GET LISTED OR GET SHOT: THE HIGH RISK MERCHANT'S GUIDE TO ADVERTISING ONLINE
by Gerri Bryce
Six decades ago, thousands of people who were found on a rich German businessman's record book were brought out from Auschwitz and into a quasi- World War 2 bullet manufacturing company not to work, but to have their lives saved. Fast forward six decades again, and we are into the the same dog-eat-dog world where online content is king. The question is, have you had yourself listed lately? Sure, it's not a life and death situation like Schindler's time, but if you're a high risk merchant, the least you can do is sit down and wait till customers (errr...Gestapos?) find you. Don't be caught off guard. One of the smartest thing you can do as an online entrepreneur is to get your business listed.
The natural law states that wherever there's an open space, people will always fill it up with something. Think: table tops and your garage. Merchant directories do the same thing, so don't feel a twinge of guilt. There are tremendous benefits at your disposal once you get your business advertised in these networks. You get:
Exposure for your business to shopping members in the search engines
Advertising advantage with hundreds of graphic options
Tracking ability for your sales transactions
Outsourced management of your merchant account
The end result is increased sales. Explore the possibilities by checking out what these merchant networks offer.
Most advertising networks offer advertising packages on a monthly, yearly, or permanent basis. High risk merchants, on the other hand, are mostly influenced by the price of these packages, as well as the popularity of the network. Most only join a particular network that has been known for being reputable and has good experience for handling merchants and affiliates. Suit yourself and your business. Not because you have so many options doesn't mean these options are good for you. Some merchant advertising networks would only accept low risk or high risk businesses. See “High Risk Merchants: What Are Your Limitations?” for more details about this topic.
Some merchant networks are as direct as simply seeing a bunch of merchants (their business description and products) listed on the site's front page. If you are a member you are required to log in to access your account, control panel, and miscellaneous information such as newsletters. If you are not satisfied with their advertising efforts, these networks may sometimes offer a money back guarantee, only taking a small percentage off that for the setup fee.
The good news is that some of these “hollow spaces” or merchant advertising networks are free to join. The bad news is that there's really no such thing as free lunch (not even if you're a woman dating a rich guy) and you need to pay for either setup fee or account management fee. Mostly you pay for the advertising effort these networks put in for you. Consult with the advertising network representative to satisfy your curiosity. Be warned that the web copy can sometimes deceive high risk merchants. The only way to find out if you're getting a good deal when getting your business listed is to make sure you have covered all the details. Define, discuss, and decide!