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Co-Registration & Lead Generation Best Practices

Online lead generation, also known as Co-Registration (Co-Reg) is a great way to add opt-in names to your email database.  However there are several factors at play here that can adversely affect the success of your leads.

Quality Control
The quality of the leads collected has a direct relation to a marketer’s ROI.  A marketer can buy a large volume of low quality leads that seem to be inexpensive.  However, these inexpensive leads can end up being outrageously costly if they are non-responsive.  Then a marketer is fundamentally left at square one with a large unresponsive database.

That is why it is important to have some guidance in this highly competitive landscape.  Zeppo Marketing is constantly working to optimize relationships with networks and publishers alike to deliver the highest quality leads to our customers.

A high quality lead may be more expensive at the outset, but if it converts into a customer (especially a returning/ongoing customer) it will pay for itself many times over.  A low quality lead that is initially less expensive ends up being far more costly in the long run since its likelihood of converting into a customer is much lower.

So what differentiates a high quality lead from a low quality lead?  There are a number of measureable indicators that will determine the consumer’s intent to purchase or a marketer’s ability to convert these leads into customers.

How Are My Leads Generated?
Where did this lead come from and how are the leads being generated?  If you can understand the source, you will have a better understanding of the consumer that is signing up and alter your future messaging to cater to this demographic.

Determine Consumer Interest
Why is this consumer filling out the lead generation form or opting in for your specific offer?  Ideally the consumer has a genuine interest in your offer.  But some sources will incent the leads to sign up via a sweepstakes or some sort of premium that is dangled in front of them.  These types of consumers convert poorly as they really never had any interest in your offer and are just chasing the premium offered or the “pie-in-the-sky” prize from the sweepstakes.  These types of leads should be avoided.  You only want consumer’s that sign up for your offer “organically, “ meaning that they had not additional incentive to sign up other than an authentic interest in your offering.

Leads that are Unique to Your Brand
Not all leads are created equally.  Some leads are generated generically meaning that the consumer signed up for an offer that was not brand specific.  This means that the lead can be sold more than once, and ultimately means this lead has less value as an advertiser will be competing with several other advertisers for the consumer’s attention and ultimately their conversion.

Advertisers should only invest in exclusive leads to minimize the competition for a consumer’s attention.  An exclusive lead will last longer, perform better and add value to an advertiser’s retention database.

Fresh Leads
How old are these leads?  If the lead is too old, the consumer may not remember signing up and this will adversely affect response.  However if the marketer acts quickly and starts a dialogue with their new prospects right away, it can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.  Real time data transfer or regular batching of leads is recommended.

Verify Your Data Fields
It is crucial to verify the data submitted by consumers.  This starts with determining if the email address is deliverable and ends with phone verification for leads that may be trafficked to a call center.  If the email address is undeliverable or the phone number is invalid, the lead is fundamentally useless and needs to be rejected.  If your provider cannot verify the data fields, you will have to farm through a sea of unresponsive data to find anything worthwhile.

It is always a good idea to use an autoresponder.  This email is not only a quality control measure but it also adds an additional layer of permission to the lead.  If the lead is undeliverable you know the email is false and can be rejected.  If the consumer opts-out upon receipt of the autoresponder then you just saved the time, effort and money of emailing an unresponsive email in the future.

Reject Bad Leads
An advertiser should not pay for leads that are undeliverable, duplicates within their retention database, or leads that opt-out the first time you email them.  Up to a 15% rejection rate is acceptable, however anything higher than that implies that the leads and/or the lead source is questionable.  If you see a very high rejection rate with a specific publisher or network, that source should be paused prior to generating any more leads.  There may be a deeper problem here.

Data Transfer: Real Time Delivery
Real time data transfer is recommended whenever possible as it allows a marketer to initiate a dialogue with a consumer sooner than later. There are a number of ways to transfer leads in real time.  The most common method is to transfer the leads using HTTP and SSL.  It is recommended that the leads are transmitted via an HTTPS post using SSL (secure socket layers) encryption.

Data Transfer: Batch Delivery
Real time delivery is not always feasible.  Some organizations do not have the bandwidth the accept leads in real time, and conduits that will perform the real time transfer may end up being a security or legal issue within the company.  If this is the case it is necessary to transmit the leads via Batch Delivery.

These batches should be relatively frequent (at least 1x a week) and should be transferred via a secure/dedicated FTP or via encrypted email.  A popular encryption method for leads is via PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption.

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