Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Co-Reg This...

A fast, easy, cheap way to do build your list is with co-registration (co-reg). Although there are some problems with co-reg (which I'll explain later), in most cases, it can be a productive and cost effective part of your overall list-building campaign.

Let's back up a little. Right about now, you may be thinking, "What, exactly, is co-reg?"

Co-registration is the practice of referring leads, subscriptions, or memberships in conjunction with another registration process. You place your offer (with a brief description of the product or service you provide) on the registration pages of websites that receive high Internet traffic. This gives your offer great exposure ... and, thus, gives you the opportunity to build a large customer database.

You pay a small fee for each lead acquired. This cost per action (CPA) can range from 15 cents to three dollars, depending on the quality of the site and the data collected.

Take, for example, a visitor who signs up for The New York Times' free e-letter. He fills out the online form and submits it. Then, on the confirmation or thank-you page, he can sign up for additional "special offers" from the website's "premier partners."

The visitor is given a choice of four offers, one of which is The Daily Reckoning a free, daily financial e-newsletter. If he chooses that offer, he "registers" with (opts in to receive) both The New York Times and The Daily Reckoning... virtually at the same time.

Most co-reg sites have these additional offers on the confirmation or thank-you page (which appears after the initial registration) so they won't decrease response to the initial offer. This also allows rival offers to be included without fear of competition.

Another example is a popular co-reg page on the Zacks website. Zacks acquires the lead for its own list before allowing the visitor to see the co-reg partner "board of fare." Visitors have the choice to opt-in to multiple publications or lists simultaneously, or choose none.

This is a classic example of permission-based marketing. It is up to the visitor to take action.

Here are some quick points to consider when running a co-reg test campaign for your business:

* Look for co-reg partner sites that are similar to your own. Like-minded sites will have like-minded visitors ... which means they'll produce quality leads for you. Use search engines and directories to find these sites.

* Don't overwhelm your visitors with too many choices. Fewer offers on the co-reg page produce a higher volume of leads. (And fewer offers means a greater chance that your visitors will remember signing up for yours ... and a lower risk that they will perceive your e-mails as spam.)

* Target your offers to get individuals and/or businesses that are truly interested in your offer. The more relevant your co-reg partners' subject matter is to your site, the more qualified the resulting leads will be. Stay within your industry for best results.

* Think outside the normal limits of your industry. You can find co-reg opportunities in most industries, from home business to self-help, from financial to travel. Some industries lend themselves to a wide crossover, such as health-related products. Test co-reg sites for industries that are outside the norm.

* Make sure your delivery methods include leads delivered in real-time, an e-mail file of leads sent daily, or FTP delivery directly to your server. (FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, a method of moving files between two Internet sites.)

* Gather as much data about your potential customers as possible. Data acquired can range from e-mail only (with IP address and timestamp) to a complete record (e-mail, full name, IP address, timestamp, street address, city, state, country, zip, phone, gender, date of birth), depending on your needs. The cost will vary accordingly.

Co-reg allows for a constant flow of quality leads, putting your business ahead of the competition.

Establish three or four of them, and let the leads trickle in.