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Web Profile: OneBigPlanet

Posted on 6.30.2009

by Maureen Alley

One of the issues that often undermines the practice of co-registration (co-reg) is that, many times, consumers are unaware they are opting in to receive product information. Another problem is that offers are often somewhat related, but not completely targeted. By creating a customer base of prospects who didn’t know what was being offered (or really didn’t want it in the first place), marketers produce low conversion rates and equally dismal retention rates. Fortunately, there are companies in the market that want to change the current model to add some transparency to the co-registration process through community engagement.

With offices in New York and Montreal, OneBigPlanet hopes to calm the rough waters of co-registration through its two program offerings: a white-label loyalty solution for publishers with large consumer bases (current clients include the, BabyZone/Disney Online) and iPerks designed for e-commerce sites and affiliates. What is unique about these programs is that offers are based on the “wants” of the consumer — in short, offers are automatically targeted by leveraging the current activities of the user within the network.

Co-Registration Defined: Co-registration is a negotiated arrangement in which companies collecting registration information from users (e-mail sign-up forms, shopping checkout processes, etc.) include a separate box for users to check if they would also like to be added to a specific third-party opt-in — such as a newsletter.

The offers from third parties are so relevant to the current user intent, that the consumer has a far less chance of objecting to, or opting out of the extra offer. When corresponding offers are directly focused on individuals within a community, marketers can increase customer retention rates and the likelihood of growing their bottom line. Creating a trusted, centralized location for members of a pre-established community (dependent on the brand offering the platform), enables marketers to increase engagement and ultimately revenue.

While engagement might be the focus for merchants, the value proposition for consumers will always reside in convenience, access to special offers and connectivity to other members the platform provides. By the looks of it, no one is doing this better right now than OneBigPlanet.

“The user can select different types of deals they like within their profile and we can see what offer drove them to sign up from our optimized details page,” says Alastair Monk, vice president, business development, OneBigPlanet. “We track where they click within the portal — what merchants are their favorites, what deals they use, what they search for, and even what deals they send to friends. We can also collect valuable information on user demographics such as the average spend amount and how often they log in.”

So what type of enterprise is right for OneBigPlanet? “E-commerce sites that wish to protect their brand and keep customers happy are good prospects,” says Monk. “Affiliates who can drive consumers looking for a deal on many products are also good prospects. [In regards] to bloggers, we were approached by an organization that connects to thousands of bloggers and we are going to test that venue in the next month or two.” While co-registration has been the dominion of larger, more sophisticated publishers, a low-level offering catering to bloggers might be the tipping point that OneBigPlanet needs.

What is all this engagement and revenue building going to cost? OneBigPlanet does all the heavy lifting for its partners, reflected in the price. The white-label loyalty program ranges from $7,500 to $80,000 per year depending on the customization of the program. The iPerks program handles billing after consumers make purchases from an e-commerce site. There is no set up fee for the e-commerce program. OneBigPlanet does 90 percent of the work with a revenue share of 50 percent, according to Monk.

There’s no doubt that OneBigPlanet is attempting to provide the most customized and successful online marketing to both consumers and e-commerce sites, but it is not for everyone. Each site must weigh program prices, functionality and needs of your site before deciding to go with OneBigPlanet. “Many companies agree that the revenue they receive from marketing companies who provide post purchase offers are good, but they know it’s hurting their brand. Up until they spoke to us, they didn’t know they had an alternative,” Monk adds.

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