Use IPN to have your server automatically send digital goods to customers as soon as they purchase them from your web site.
The Internet revolution allows instant gratification when purchasing an item. You can purchase digital goods?eBooks, digital music, video files, software, and anything else that can be delivered via the Internet?from the comfort of your customer's home and use them almost instantly.
This hack shows you how to leverage PayPal's ease of use, security, and brand name to sell digital goods with large margins and low overhead. PayPal's IPN system [Hack #65] lets you deliver those goods without any interaction as a seller.
The code in this hack uses Microsoft VBScript, but the same process can be implemented with any web scripting language.
This script, when used in conjunction with the IPN script from [Hack #73], sends your customer an email with your digital product as an attachment:
'Declare and populate email address for delivery Dim payer_email Payer_email = Request.Form("payer_email") 'Create file variable and set path to file Dim file_location 1. file_location = "C:\InetPub\wwwroot\yoursite\filestore\file.zip" 'Send an email to customer and attach file Dim objCDO Set objCDO = Server.CreateObject("CDOSYS.NewMail") 2. objCDO.From = "email@example.com" 'Add customer email address objCDO.To = payer_email 'Add file attachement objCDO.AttachFile(file_location) 3. objCDO.Subject = "PayPal Hacks Software Exo" 4. objCDO.Body = "Thank you for your order. Your file is attached to this email." objCDO.Send( ) Set objCDO = Nothing
Place your digital product in a file (presumably zipped up) on your server, and specify the full path and filename in the file_location variable (line 1). Include your email address as the return address (line 2); in most cases, this should be the same as the email address used for your PayPal account. Finally, you'll want to customize the subject and message body text (lines 3 and 4, respectively) to suit your needs.
This hack shows the most simplistic way to implement digital goods sales for your site. For an improved method, see [Hack #72] .