You’ve probably heard of the big names in credit card processing. But have you ever considered the small fry (er, indie developers) who struggle to get any business at all? We’ve all been there. In theory, the concept of an online marketing credit card processing solution is quite simple: all you need is a service that takes care of the technicalities of accepting transactions via credit card and matching customers with available funds at the moment.
But in practice, it’s a bit more complicated. For one thing, to begin with, you need a merchant account with a credit card processor. And then, you need to set up your accounts, build your marketing materials, design your website, and push your limits as far as offering your products and services online. Sound like a lot of work? It is. But, hey, at least you’ll enjoy the process.
The Basics Of Online Marketing
You might be wondering what exactly does an online marketing credit card processing solution do. Essentially, it helps businesses like yours to get their feet wet with online marketing, without risking too much money. And how much risk is there really? You’re putting your product or service out there for the world to see, so you’re basically betting that at least a couple of people will try your product or service and love it. That’s more than enough for a business owner to invest in new equipment, hire some assistants, or take a vacation to Spain. What’s the worst that could happen? Most small businesses fail, and the ones that don’t often find themselves in a spiral of financial troubles. Not a great place to be. So, if you want to enjoy the perks that come with being an entrepreneur, it’s probably best to learn how to swim a bit more successfully in the online marketing pool.
Which Type Of Merchant Account To Choose
In the world of online marketing, there are two main types of merchant accounts: general and setup. The main difference between them is how much you’re allowed to spend on each transaction. The general account can be used for any kind of business, while the setup card is more specific to online marketing. What this essentially means is that you can use the setup account to take online marketing orders, but you can’t use it to process sales from your restaurant or car dealership.
Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of each type of account.
The general account offers the simplest route to getting started, as there’s no set up fees and no minimum monthly fees. For that reason, it’s the most popular choice among startups and small businesses who want to get their feet wet with online marketing.
The downside of the general account is that it has a maximum spending limit of $5,000 per month on each card. Once you reach this limit, you’ll have to decide whether to continue using that card or switch to another. Also, if you have a limited amount of credit card swipes each month, it may be difficult to reach your spending limit. In these cases, the best option is to look for a merchant account that has a fixed maximum spending limit, or consider an installment plan that allows you to spread your spending over several months.
The setup account has a monthly fee of $15 and there’s a one-time fee of $150. But, other than that, it’s exactly like the general account. The downside is that businesses using the setup account are restricted to spending a maximum of $10,000 per month on each card. This is due to the fact that the setup account is only available to be used for online marketing activities. If you want to accept payments for your restaurant or car dealership, you’ll need to look for another merchant account.
Deciding On A Payment Option
Now that you have your general account set up and working, it’s time to decide on a payment option. Most businesses choose to use a credit card processor, as they make transactions fairly easy and they provide many useful features. For example, if you’re running an online store, you might want to consider using a processor that provides online shopping carts or checkout pages. This way, your customers can easily browse your products and place an order while staying on your site.
Of course, if you choose this option, you’ll need to work with a processor that offers SSL encryption and PCI compliance. You’ll also need to get a certification from a third party, like Verified by Visa or Mastercard SecureCode.
There are various other options, too. Some processors offer cash-back offers or discounts for preferred customers. It’s always a good idea to look for special deals and discounts offered by the processor you pick. That way, you’ll have an advantage when it comes to attracting potential customers.
Pro Tools For Marketers
We mentioned earlier that getting an online marketing platform and a merchant account is quite a cumbersome process. Once you have everything set up and working, though, you’ll wonder how you ever did things without them. For marketers, there are a number of useful features that make the process a little less intense. For example, you can integrate Google Analytics with your website’s dashboard, so you can easily see the traffic originating from various locations. Or, you can set up email marketing campaigns that automatically send out messages to people who signed up for your list.
Another thing you can do with this type of platform is monitor the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. For example, you can set up a Google AdWords campaign and track the results of each phase of the campaign, from the setup stage to the maintenance phase. This type of feature provides a lot of value, especially for businesses who want to get the most out of their online marketing budget. With a little bit of effort, you can get a pretty accurate picture of how effective your various campaigns are, so you can make the necessary adjustments and tweak things when necessary.
When it comes to pricing, the choice is entirely up to you. Most companies set their prices according to the rates of the day, so they avoid fluctuations as much as possible. But, if you prefer to lock in a fixed rate, you can always choose a payment plan that has a pre-negotiated pricing structure. Most processing companies offer several different payment plans, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs. Alternatively, you can choose to pay as you go with general account customers. In this case, you’ll need to set a minimum monthly fee of at least $1,000 to avoid any unexpected charges when using the card. This minimum must be met by either paying directly with a credit card or by choosing a payment plan for a setup account. In either case, though, you’ll need to decide how much you’re willing to spend on each transaction and how much you’re willing to risk, as this is ultimately your business. So, be smart about your finances and choose a payment option that suits your needs.
Apart from pricing, the choice of the payment option is determined by you, the business owner. Most companies provide all the basic features that a business owner might need. For example, they can process all the major credit cards and provide a dashboard for you to monitor all the activity. Some even let you hold stock for customers who make purchases via their portal or online store. If you don’t need any of these features, it may be better to choose a payment option that doesn’t require you to have a business website, as you can get the same functionalities from a simple PayPal account. As previously mentioned, though, businesses that choose this option are restricted to spending a certain amount on each transaction. What this essentially means is that you have to decide how much you’re willing to spend on each type of order and how much you’re willing to risk. You have limited options when it comes to credit card processing, so make the right choice and you’ll be able to enjoy the perks that come with being an entrepreneur. With so much competition, it’s essential to find a way to stand out from the crowd.