What in the Blazes is an Exit Exchange?

What in the Blazes is an Exit Exchange? featured exit exchange services >>> In this era of diminished banner value, growing internet marketing expenses, and a consistently expanding level of competition online, the need for new means of generating affordable visitor traffic has resulted in the creation of many a promotional resource. The exit exchange is one such resource, creating an opportunity for much needed exposure and branding for the startup web entrepreneur. Is an exit exchange the tool your property has been waiting for? Let’s explore the nature of this all too often maligned resource. What in the Blazes is it? Remember the good, old fashioned banner exchange? The banner exchange has been around nearly as long as banners themselves, and in the days where visitors would actually take note and visit the advertised properties, these exchanges played a strong role in the promotion of many a web site. A variety of ratios were offered by different exchange networks, with the most common being 2:1, or you show our banners on your site twice, we will show yours once somewhere within our network. The other 50% of available impressions were often relegated to the promotion of the network itself, or sold to outside interests. Enter the exit exchange. With the advent of the java based pop up window, many web sites took advantage of the opportunity to heighten value for advertisers by opening an additional window upon arrival to, or exit from a site, usually featuring information from an paying advertiser. With response rates to banner ads on the downslide, the hope was that pop ups would result in an improved reaction, and thus a higher potential revenue from advertisers. The reality was a little different. Though many properties continue to make use of page load based pop ups, the risk of doing so often outweighs their true value in achieving improved advertising revenues. Reaction to pop ups by internet travellers was inherently negative, often resulting in an immediate exit from the property as a reward for creating annoyance within their ranks. With visitor acquisition, and satisfaction playing such a strong role in Internet success, most customer savvy web businesses opted to discontinue the use of pop ups as an advertising medium, although many continue to use them as a means of bringing information of TRUE VALUE to the attention of their clientele upon arrival. But the pop up junkies were not yet done with us. If the page load pop up was too much of a visitor annoyance, why not load the ads when they leave? The thinking was that at the time of exit, the visitor has accomplished whatever they intended at your property, and therefore the annoyance would be of less risk to your revenue base, while maintaining the potential for advertising dollars. As an additional purported bonus, pop ups loaded upon exit avoid the problem of screened site content, an area of concern to those initially utilizing them upon page load. Isn’t this a fantastic idea? The correct answer here is… maybe? Research indicates a clear level of displeasure amongst Internet users with any advertiser based pop up window, be it generated upon entry to, or, to a somewhat lesser degree, exit from a property. To presume that the departing guest is no longer of value is like telling every customer you serve that you are only interested in serving them once, and have a nice day. The reality is that no business can thrive without the all important combination of repeat customer, and word of mouth advertising. As such, to deliver a negative experience following a potentially positive site experience otherwise should be weighed against the value of the inclusion of the exit exchange. With the exit based pop up window forming what is essentially your client’s final impression, a clear understanding of your visitor preferences, and their potential future value, must be added into the equation. There is without a doubt a time and place for everything. Pop up windows upon entry and exit continue to be utilized by thousands of site owners, and have proved their value in specific circumstances. The exchange concept itself can generate a tremendous amount of payback for the savvy webmaster. With a range of ratios available today, as well as the multi-tiered models that allow credits for traffic generated by other webmasters that sign up based upon your recommendation, the concept itself can assist the newcomer to the market in establishing their presence, and in ensuring their own online success. Take the time to research your options, and keep your visitors in mind throughout your decision making process. As is true in life, moderation can prove to be of ultimate value in business, and can make the difference in its ability to profit today, and in the future. Would you like to use this article on your site, or have it emailed to you? Featured Exit Exchange Services: ExitBlaze.com BannerAddict.com ExitDirect.com FreeVisits.com   Related Subjects: Online’s complete web site promotion directory Implement a banner exchange     top of exit exchange page

CGI Script Tips – Stop Digital Thieves with CGI

How to Stop Digital Thieves with CGI                           by Steve Humphrey, Visit his website >>>    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 bookkeeping 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.” He highly recommends this book as required reading for anyone who wants to automate their website or their marketing efforts. Click here for immediate access. Related Subjects: Additional CGI scripts and resources Launch your online store – learn more on ecommerce     top of cgi scripts page