Understanding Co-Registration Advertising
Co-registration based lead generation has found a unique niche in producing low cost leads in high volume. Co-registration occurs when a web visitor registers for a product or service on a third party website. During the registration process, third party offers, such as John’s mortgage company, are presented to the registrant. For example, a web visitor decides to register on a website for a free product, free Email or a newsletter. After they enter their contact information, a list of third party offers follow. Co-registration offers state things such as “check this box if you would like to receive a free life insurance quote,” or “check here if you would like a free rate quote on a home equity loan.” If the web visitor checks these offers, then the co-registration advertisers will receive the contact information about the person making the request.
As the co-registration industry matured, new marketing twists evolved allowing for advanced and creative lead generation opportunities. The original co-registration offer was little more than a few sentences of text with a check-box confirmation. Today, most major co-registration providers feature custom co-registration campaigns where an entire web page may be dedicated to your offer. Custom co-registration is capable of collecting unique data focused only on your offer, and allows for your own unique content, logos, and custom questions. A custom co-registration lead behaves more like lead generation through your own web site, and fetches a much higher price than the original check-box co-registration offers. Lead generation through custom co-registration will not yield the same quality as lead generation through your own website, but often it provides a less expensive and higher volume alternative.
Because the sales lead is not produced on your own website, you do not have control over the campaign and are therefore susceptible to increased risk. You also miss a branding opportunity when leads are generated off of your website, a common problem addressed in the SharpNet article Pros and Cons of Third Party Sales Leads. It is recommended that you try lead generation through your own website first, and move to custom co-registration to increase volumes or lower your per-lead cost. Keep in mind that the trade off between quality (website lead generation) and quantity (custom co-registration) may not play in your favor.
Co-registration leads vary greatly between both cost and quality. In general, any cheap co-registration lead will be low quality, however sometimes expensive co-registration leads will also be low quality, so buyer-beware. It is difficult to sniff out a bad co-registration lead source, however in general you are better off going with a big company. The downfall is that big companies typically want a big campaign, which may be unreachable by a start-up business.
"Because the sales lead is not produced on your own website, you do not have control over the campaign and are therefore susceptible to increased risk."
Building High Performance Co-Registration Campaigns
- Be very clear and concise about your offer. You do not want to pay for people who are not genuinely interested in your business. Try to use your content in a manner that filters out wishy-washy web visitors. For example we can consider John’s mortgage business and two possible co-registration offers: (1) “Consolidate your debt into one low monthly payment” vs. (2) “Home Owners with good credit, consolidate your debt into one low monthly payment through a Home Equity Loan.” Clearly, message (2) narrows down the audience for people who are much more likely to be accepted into John’s program. John will receive fewer leads, but the leads he receives will be much better quality. John’s per lead costs will not change, but his lead quality is affected considerably.
- Work with companies that provide real-time lead delivery, and contact those people quickly. Many companies will send leads only once per day or every few days and your contact rate will fall considerably. If you receive a real-time lead and that individual is contacted shortly thereafter, you may likely catch them while they are still at home and thinking about your services.
- Only work with companies who have a sophisticated lead validation system, ensuring that your data is real, phone numbers are not disconnected and Email addresses are valid.
- Ask your co-registration provider to show you exactly where your offer will show up. The web address or at least an example website. Co-registration offers are often placed across a network of hundreds of different website, so it may be difficult to see the exact location that your offer will be displayed, however clean examples of how their network operates and should be demonstrated. If they can’t show you how they generate the lead, then walk away.
- Do not work with co-registration companies that require people to generate a lead in order to get something else, such as a gift or to enter a sweepstakes. People must freely choose your offer amongst many offers. People should not be forced to generate a lead in order to get an incentive.
- Make sure your co-registration campaign has a panic button, where you can cancel the campaign quickly if the leads turn out to be complete junk.
- Do not run an opt-out co-registration campaign, were people must “uncheck” your checkbox if they don’t want information from you. Most opt-outs are overlooked, and you will be paying for people who really don’t want your information. This can be a significant source of complaints and poor sales conversions.
- Co-registration lead sources are not always stable, where quality and quantity may change quickly. Just because one source was good today does not mean it will be good tomorrow. Don’t get lazy and assume they will always be good, remember to monitor the quality on a regular basis.
"People should not be forced to generate a lead in order to get an incentive."
The downfall of co-registration lies in the required minimum campaign size, usually exceeding $2,000-$3,000, and the potential for receiving bad data. Any start-up operation may wish to use the buddy system and enter a co-registration agreement cooperatively with another company offering the same services. This may put the start up fees in reach, and dilute the number of leads received so that you are not overwhelmed.
Overall, due to the large variation in cost and quality, combined with a high entry fee, co-registration should be considered volatile and avoided by the beginner internet marketer. You may want to consider co-registration after your have a firm understanding of internet marketing, as the sales potential is as volatile as it is staggering.