Use Co-Registration to Create Leads

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Co-registration, a little-known Web marketing tool, is quickly garnering widespread usage. Used by just a few of the largest online marketers until recently, co-registration is quickly going mainstream as marketers discover that it is a simple and cost-effective way to quickly build a large base of potential customers.

Co-registration leverages the online sign-up process. While it is most common on Web sites for Internet tools, like free e-mail or file storage, it can be implemented on any site where users are required to register. Co-registration takes advantage of the information input by users in the registration form to sign them up for additional services, often by simply checking an opt-in box at the end of the form. Nearly every Internet user has come across co-registration on Web sites such as Hotmail, Group Lotto and Xdrive.

The benefit of co-registration is a tremendously high volume of leads from interested customers, generally on a return-on-investment, friendly pay-per-lead basis. Opt-in rates can be as high as 15 percent to 20 percent, resulting in thousands of new leads daily. This makes co-registration a highly effective tool to quickly build a large mailing list or recruit a potential customer base. Plus, with e-mail list rental prices as high as 20 cents to 30 cents per name, co-registration can help you build and own a mailing list for about the same cost as just one or two list rentals.

Many Web sites have recently taken notice of this revenue opportunity, which has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of sites where co-registration is offered. With dozens of new outlets available, co-registration is a fit for many marketers' needs and budget.

Here are points to consider when creating a co-registration campaign:

• Placement is everything. Partner with Web sites that have a user base similar to your own to produce the highest-quality results. Long-term co-registration partnerships will result in heavy overlap between your user base and your partners', so be sure to weigh that risk, especially when partnering with potential competitors. A small number of networks now offer co-registration services, thereby simplifying the site selection process.

• Follow-up is key. Users obtained through co-registration have likely never been to your Web site and may quickly forget that they have signed up for it. Co-registration provides you with a steady stream of leads; it's up to you to convert them into customers. A thorough e-mail follow-up plan designed to convert co-registration leads into active users yields the best results.

• Price is fluctuating. With prices rapidly changing for most online marketing tools and limited history for co-registration, prices currently vary widely from 25 cents to $2 per co-registration. Factors affecting price include the amount of information collected from each user, the quality of a partner's user base and negotiating skill. ROI calculations are key when determining price, based on conversion rate and customer acquisition cost. Avoid opportunities priced on an impression or click basis.

• Keep it simple. Typically, co-registration offers users just a one- or two-sentence description of the service for which they are signing up. Gear copy and information requirements toward gaining qualified leads, not lifelong customers. Consider incorporating a promotion, such as a sweepstakes or free newsletter to increase opt-in rates.

• Never require an opt-out. While most co-registration is done on an opt-in basis, occasionally some programs are run on an opt-out basis. With opt-in rates frequently as high as they are, sacrificing quality to increase quantity via opt-out is a poor trade-off.

• Mitchel Harad is co-founder and CEO of GetRelevant, San Francisco, which distributes free product samples, trials, memberships and discounts to consumers. Reach him at

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