Tuesday, January 31, 2006

If online marketing is so powerful, why is it so difficult?

I feel your pain.

This whole Internet thing is supposedto make everything easier. Communication, commerce, information -- it's all supposed to be more relevant, easy to grasp and take advantage of, right?

Then there's the whole idea of getting business done faster and better. In one specific case, I think I can totally understand the frustration of merchants at finding cost-effective solutions. Let me tell you my story.

I'm trying to get the word out there on MerchantCircle, to make it easier for merchants like you to find us and take advantage of our great services. I'm doing what a lot of you guys are doing -- buying keywords on Google and Yahoo. But there's this huge start-up cost.

I have to set up one, sometimes several, accounts. I need to figure out what all these codewords mean for advertising. I have to bid crazy amounts, and anticipate what my competitors will do. I have to come up with great marketing copy that will help people click. I have to analyze the results and measure against my effort. Oh yeah, and I have to pay. In some cases, I have to PAY A LOT before I even get a single customer. I think on Yahoo I spent $1,000 in start-up costs, and I still haven't seen a customer show up. (if you want to read more about my trials and tribulations, check out my recent blog posts)

Where's the power in that? How is that helpful to local merchants trying to run a profitable business?

I might not be able to fix the complexity of those big media companies, but at least I can take out some of the pain for you.

MerchantCircle offers FREE advertising on Google. Let me make this clear. FREE.

Here's how it works:

STEP ONE: Earn some of our virtual currency that we call AdDollars, simply by inviting other merchants in your neighborhood to join. Or post some content in your blog. Either way, it's easy to earn AdDollars.

STEP TWO: Create an ad using our ad wizard. It's simple to do. Then start your campaign, and we'll do the rest. MerchantCircle will navigate through all the complexity to get your advertising up on Google. (again, FOR FREE). We'll make it painless so you won't have to worry about it at all.

In our focus groups, many of you said you wanted to advertise on Google and Yahoo but found the costs and time daunting. Some folks were spending thousands of dollars per month, and not seeing a single result.

Give MerchantCircle's Google advertising a shot. For no cost, you can try it out yourself, and see your name show up prominently in the search results. Then you can decide whether it's worth wading in deeper...

Keep us posted on how things work for you.



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