C O M P U T E R      S E R V I C E S
How Businesses Make Money on the Internet
PO Box 255, Hannibal, New York 13074
Voice: 315-564-6213
Internet World Wide Web:

Ordering a Website
Examples (Local Businesses)
Introduce Yourself, Ask a Question, etc.
Executive Email

How to Make the Internet Serve YOU

Everyone has heard that the Internet can be profitable. But virtually no one seems to know how. You're about to learn.

  • What you must know before acting, but nobody will tell you. (There's a reason they won't.)
  • Who should have Access to the Web?
  • Who should be "on the Web?" and who should not.
  • The five things Internet will help people do with your business.
  • The pieces of the puzzle, and how they come together: Web pages, email, mailbots, newsgroups (Usenet), subscribing, advertising, seminars, online purchasing.
  • How to get others to build your business, at no charge, and increase your customer base.
  • How to find all the new customers you need.
  • How to modify your "product" to suit the wider marketplace.
  • Three ways to reduce your monthly access bill, possibly by hundreds of dollars a year.
  • How to get email for everyone in your company (or family, for that matter) for a flat monthly fee (less than the cost of THREE online memberships), even if there are hundreds of you!

If you already know how to do this, and just want to know what Donohue&Co. charges, you can go directly to the Offer page. But I'd read this first, if I were you.

In case nobody has told you yet (and it's obscene how few people know!), it isn't just about putting up web pages....

There are a dozen things which prevent your web page from working. Elsewhere on these pages, we list them for you.

You can build a branch office in a forest: it won't get you more business.

Look, I'm not telling you anything you can't figure out for yourself. You will find a number of people willing to set up a website for you. Most of them are either programmers or advertising agencies. Unfortunately, for the most part, neither of those groups understands the whole picture of how to use the Internet for marketing. Programmers can hook up the pages, advertising agencies can make them look pretty, but sometimes neither of them seems to know what it's for.

    You need to understand the Use, the Culture, the Medium, the Flow of Control, the Response, the Technical Design. Most of all, you need to understand the one thing that makes 90 percent of the difference whether you succeed (hint: it's not the web pages).

I strongly suggest that you read (or at least browse) the following. When you have a good feel for what is important, connect with us. Let us show you what we believe is the most effective (and inexpensive) plan for developing your Internet Presence. We'll present you with tools, options, and a wide array of available discounts and promotions. Then you decide what to do.

    Just so you know this is worth reading, let me give you a preview:
    I can provide you with a major Web page presence for a maximum of $49 per month, and a minimum of $0. (The zero charge can extend forever, but your opportunity to claim it is for a limited time.) Plus the other tools. Read on.

-- John Donohue

Who Should Have "Access" to the Web?

Let's distinguish between "Access" and "Presence."

By "Access", I mean the ability to travel from country to country, library to library, business to business. If you're reading this, you have access right now. (But maybe it's costing you by the minute. Check below to save several hundred dollars a year.)

Who should have Access? Everybody. If you have a business, especially, operating without the Internet and e-mail is like operating without a telephone. You're dead. Stop breathing.

Who Should Have "Presence" on the Web?

By "Presence", I mean one of those locations on the web that other people visit. One of the "stores", if you wish. Now, back to the original question: Who Should Have "Presence" on the Web?

Anyone who meets even one of these criteria:

  • Any person or business performing a specialized, unique, or rare service.
  • Any person or business whose customers or prospects are multi-city, national, or international.
  • Any person or business whose customers or prospects are geographically sparse, or whose product or service can only be sold to a special segment of the population.
  • Any person or business with a product or service that could be sold to a new segment of the population, perhaps one that you avoided because you didn't know how to find them.
  • Any corporation which operates in more than one state (US), or more than one country.
  • Any politician, entertainer, etc., trying to establish presence in a broad market.

Is the Internet only for companies which sell "information" products?

No. You can sell plumbing parts, books, personal services, you name it. You can sell to a local market or an international one. Of course, for different kinds of businesses, different phases of the marketing and sales process may be more or less appropriate for the Internet.

Does "Doing Business on the Web" necessarily imply phone sales?

No, but...

...with the Internet available to you, you may want to rethink what you sell and how you sell it. For example, if you focus more on product and less on service, can you sell internationally? If you sell an information product first, can this increase sales of more tangible products? Even if you only do over-the-counter sales, is your product/service something that could be sold other ways, to more distant customers?

And even if the answer to all of the above is "No," are there people who should know about you that aren't finding out about you now? Consider the following list:

Does "Presence" Simply Translate into "pages on the World Wide Web"?


There is a huge pressure for businesses to put pages on the Web. (A "web page" is what you are reading now.) Certainly, this is one possible component of a marketing plan, but it is by no means the only one, and perhaps not even a necessary one! (And this from someone who strongly advocates the Web as a marketing tool.)

There are also many, many, many ways to use e-mail to do business on the Internet. They are covered below. Knowledge of these alone, however, does not seem to be sufficient to get results:

    Thousands of people sent for an 8-tape cassette series on building a new business from a major publisher. Through a technical error, not discovered until after the tapes were shipped, tape number five of the series was blank. What percent of the recipients do you suppose requested a replacement?

    Two percent. One out of fifty.

Proper use of e-mail for long-term, meaningful business development requires both a plan and simple, easy-to-use software tools. (Our firm does more than simply throw you to the wolves with MS-Mail. Make sure the firm you choose does, too.)

What Should You Expect From Going On the Web?

Perhaps not everything you've read is true. There are some things you should look for that are not generally well-known. There are others that are advertised, but are false expectations. Here's my list, take it as you will.

  • Rule 1 of all life, especially marketing: It's not about you.

    We tend to define "what is important" as "what we think is important." Wrong. What is important is what the customer thinks is important. You're about to come into contact with a whole new list of things people think are important, and you'd better be paying attention. They will be used to the Internet culture, not to the way you've been used to doing business. It's important that you learn to adjust to their expectations, rather than the other way around. (Although this is an overall attitude toward business, not just an aspect of getting on the Internet, we guide our clients on this during web-page construction, and provide seminars also.)

    Example of a customer expectation that might surprise you:
    People on the Internet expect not to be sold to. They expect to be informed -- FREE -- and gently reminded that more help is available by doing business with you. If you try to sell something they expect free, you lose. If you choose to come on strong, or puff, you lose. Period.

  • You should expect many more customers -- if you put together a coordinated combination of Web pages and e-mail, choose your location properly, and perform the recommended promotion (see below). If you just put up a web page and wait, you may get 3 to 6 messages, and then nothing.

  • In order to have more customers, you'll have to have more customer contact. Expect a lot more communication, much by phone and much more by email. There are some truly fabulous ways to create customer contact (both incoming and outgoing, both sales and support) automatically, using "mail robots", and you should explore them. (This is one of the most important things we do for our clients.)

  • You may need to adjust the packaging, assembly instructions, or documentation of your products and services, to make it easy to sell to and support far-away customers rather than local ones.

What five things will the Internet help people do for you?

  • Internet will help people find your business -- if you have strategically structured your presentation and promotion so that they can find you by keyword. This is more than just placing "links" elsewhere on the net. How you place them is what counts.

      Unbelievably, the vast majority of websites never do this, and lose the entire purpose of their Web presence.

    You can do this yourself (we show our clients how), or hire us to make sure at least 50 separate sources point to your site in the way that gets you business!

  • Internet will help people learn more about your business. Again, the guiding principle is

      Never talk about you; only talk about them.

  • Internet will help people be compelled to do business with you. This, of course, is a function of what you offer, and your copy.

  • Internet will help people tell you things about themselves which will help you sell to them. You can develop mailing lists (e-mailing lists, that is), and communicate with prospects a thousand times more easily than before. (Imagine sending a mass-mailing in less than ten minutes! Now imagine getting better than ten times the usual response rate, because at the moment he/she gets your message, your prospect is sitting in front of the computer, running his e-mail program, and has only to press "R" to reply!)

  • If you choose, Internet will help people physically to transact business via Internet. Sales can be made by credit card, at 3am, with no human intervention. This is one of the most exciting capabilities of the Internet (and, indeed, the one that caused AT&T to choose breakup rather than miss out), but it is by no means for everyone. You should discuss this with your Internet Presence Provider.

  • Internet should cause you to re-examine the language you use. Sometimes it's fine for someone who'll walk into your retail location, but completely inappropriate for long-distance relationships.

  • If it is to be truly useful, your use of the Internet will require a strong dependency (I know you don't want to hear this) on your website provider. You need to be able to say "I want the user to be able to fill out a form and have me get a letter" and know that it will be working within no more than a few days. Don't try to do this yourself. Certainly don't try to create your own CGI scripts (forms processors). And for heaven's sake, NEVER set up your website on your own computer.

Another personal comment:

This is not advertising agency dogma, I know.

I don't believe in institutional advertising, per se.
Every communication with your client should

    (a) be client-centered, not you-centered, and
    (b) request action.
Communication on the Internet is no different:
  • What do you want the client to do?
  • Why should he? No, really, why should he?
  • Why should he do it now?
  • How can you make it simpler for him?
If you can't answer one or more of these questions, STOP! Don't go on until you can. Or call.

-- John Donohue

So What Does It All Cost?


You get Access by arranging a monthly subscription with an Internet Access Provider.

For Access, it can be simple or complex. Some providers charge a monthly fee, which includes perhaps five hours, plus more for each hour after that. We recommend a flat rate approach: a fixed fee for unlimited hours. Yes, unlimited. Twenty-four hours a day, thirty-one days a month (well, some months). About $20 a month.

Most people use (or would use, if they weren't being charged for it) at least 20 hours a month. At typical rates, you save over $50 a month with a flat-rate plan.


You get a Website by arranging a monthly subscription with an Internet Presence Provider.

It depends.

First of all, there are two types of costs: Startup and Monthly. Startup can be anything from zero to several million dollars (for a really nice website). Monthly charge for a typical business will be from $20 to $1,000.

Depending on who your Internet Presence Provider is,
you may be charged for all kinds of things:

  • design of pages,
  • rent of space,
  • use of extra megabytes (lots of pictures),
  • transfer of extra megabytes (lots of traffic),
  • email mailbox addresses,
  • number of callers who access your page(!),
  • percentage of online sales,...

The list goes on and on. And the devilish part is, different arrangements may be better for different people. For example, if you have a short, simple page and limited traffic, look for the lowest flat fee you can find. (Of course, this may not do anything for you.) But if you expect heavier traffic, or have a complex site, or will conduct business transactions online, then you need to look for a different option.

Of course, Donohue&Co. offers various approaches, in the most appropriate combination for your business. We can even install a (virtually) unlimited number of mailboxes, for a fixed fee. Be sure you understand the total cost situation with whoever you do business with, but most of all, be sure there aren't vital pieces they're leaving out to make your bill seem lower.

Please Tell Me You Have Seminars

You bet. The best, most rip-roaring, USEFUL things you've been to in a long time. And if you're paying rent on one of our websites, you get discounts on our seminars. BIG discounts.

Check out our Seminars page.

Do you have something to sell online?

You don't have to sell it online -- today. But bear in mind that people are going to get used to doing this, and you might as well be in the vanguard. You'll need a credit card merchant account with a bank or other institution (we can help you get one, if necessary), and a means to accept orders online. (We can help with that, too.)

An alternative is to take the order, and call them during business hours to arrange payment. While some customers prefer this, for security reasons, their number will dwindle over time.

And depending on the product, we may be able to help in other ways, which we reveal only to clients....

Are you a performing/fine artist?

Talk to us.

Compare Our Pages

I don't expect you to believe that our pages are good just because I say so. Look at the samples.

Time to check out our offer.

Donohue&Co. Computer Services
Call 315-564-6213 or email to
Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1997 Donohue&Co. Computer Services. All rights reserved.