If your Web enterprises’ in-house list could use some more members, then co-reg might be just the ticket to a more powerful online promotional strategy.
Buying media hasn’t changed much over the years. In the past, media planners in the television, radio and newspaper advertising industry purchased space or time in various channels. In many respects the same holds true today — only the manner in which it is delivered and the technologies behind it have changed.
Many traditional media practices have gained in popularity with the advent of commercial Web marketing. Mass email campaigns are no different than direct mail. And co-opting promotions haven’t changed. Sharing the wealth and “buddying up,” so to speak, by utilizing other enterprises’ registrations is one such co-opting practice. It is a popular way to generate the leads that are so crucial to each and every online enterprise.
Co-registration, known as co-reg in online industry circles, is a performance-based marketing approach designed to help companies heighten product and company awareness in the Web marketplace and generate leads for direct sales. If your Web enterprises’ in-house list could use some more members, then co-reg might be just the ticket to a more powerful online promotional strategy.
How Co-Reg Works
Co-registration involves placing a short text or image advertisement for your company on the registration pages of high volume third-party websites. This method of promotion allows readers to request additional information about your product or service when they are actively pursuing related information. Those interested in your service opt-in to receive more information. With the check of a box you, as a marketer, have permission-based access to potential customers who have requested information about your product or service. It is an excellent way to build lists for future direct marketing campaigns.
Benefits of Co-registration Campaigns
Co-registration allows marketers to build a permission based, targeted database of consumers interested in their products, services, company, brand or special offers. And, depending on the volume of the third-party site, large lists can be accumulated virtually overnight. The information captured by the co-registration service typically consists of a name, email address, date/time stamp, IP address, registering URL and, in some cases, even a telephone number — enough information for most savvy marketers to start communicating full-scale with prospects.
The recent popularity of co-registration can be attributed to performance-based pricing — meaning that marketers only pay for results. For those concerned with click fraud in typical pay-per-click advertising, it’s an attractive alternative. What’s more, depending on the provider, co-registration advertisers usually own the data long after the co-reg agreement has expired. Using the collected data can provide a marketing department with access to a greater audience over the long term which means a higher return on investment for every marketing dollar.
Co-reg providers claim it’s increasingly complex to acquire new clients through traditional lead generation methods (pay-per-click, SEO, email marketing) so buddying up makes marketing much easier. The problem for website marketers is not in the acquiring of new prospects through co-reg but ensuring that the leads from a co-reg network are genuine and actually convert to buyers.
The Downside of Co-registration
For many marketers, co-registration has proved ineffective. Open and click-through rates are often consistently less than those of in-house lists. It’s a common belief that co-reg leads unsubscribe from programs faster, resulting in lower conversion rates. Therefore, co-reg offers have a hard time paying for themselves in many Web environments. For example, a co-reg offering a chance to win an MP3 player will generate plenty of attention, but much less in terms of immediate sales — especially if your business does not have anything to do with MP3 players or electronics. The best performing co-reg lists take months, even years to break even — another reason to begin fully utilizing the data that you generate from co-registration promotions immediately.
Success With Co-registration
Understanding what to look for when planning and managing a co-registration campaign will help you capitalize on this promotional method. Here are a few best practices to get you started:
■ The promotional uses of co-reg are limitless and success can be achieved within a variety industries. More often than not, special offers and promo-tions, auto-registration or membership for a website (and increasingly offline lead generation), contests and giveaways provide the most significant results in terms of quantity.
■ Successful co-reg practices require a working knowledge of online media buying and a detailed familiarity with your audience. Understanding the difference between what motivates your most prolific buyers and your most casual Web surfers can mean the difference in maximizing co-registration campaigns and burning promotional dollars. Before you sign a contract for any co-registration deal, ask for detailed audience demographics and check the traffic and popularity of those sites at Web properties such as Ranking.com or Alexa.com.
■ Co-reg often works on either a cost-per-inquiry or cost-per-lead basis (vary-ing, based on the price negotiated) making it a performance-based model. While performance-based programs offer less risk at the outset of a campaign, it is essential to define a value not only for each lead but the value for each customer acquired over the span of the relationship with your enterprise.
■ The breadth of an offer often lowers the cost per registration. An offer that requires fewer variables (only name and email) is easier for your co-reg provider to incorporate. An offer that requires detailed information from the user (IP addresses, gender, age, location, etc.), necessitates greater customization and therefore dramatically raises your cost per lead.
■ Watch out for duplicate data. It is important to develop a database of prospects and weed out duplicate listings as often as possible. Methods for handling poor quality leads and duplicate data should be clearly outlined before a campaign begins. Data cleansing technologies, such as those provided by DataFlux, will help ensure quality leads and a more unified view of the data collected.
■ Make use of sequential and scheduled autoresponders to facilitate communication with prospects and to drive them to act on your unique selling proposition.
There are many reasons to give co-registration a try. Abiding by the best practices outlined above is a great start but, as in any marketing strategy, thorough research on how and where ads are displayed, creative and compelling messages and, most importantly, proper analytics will help yield the best results.