Despite the fact that many agencies and marketers don't even know what they are yet, co-registrations may be the next big online media buy. A co-registration is the ability for a user to sign up for an advertiser's service (or opt-in to their email list) while filling out a form on another Web site. Creative is usually a simple, one-sentence, text offer with an opt-in box. It's generally paid for on a cost-per-acquisition basis ranging from 50 cents to several dollars per name depending on targeting and data gathered.
Ian Magonigal, Advertiser Support Manager for AdOctane's online media buying service, who spends all day every day talking to media buyers about their needs, says, "Co-registration has the potential to really take off this year. It's the big thing advertisers are looking for recently."
L90's VP Direct Marketing Sales Matt Spiegel agrees, "We've only scraped the surface of true direct marketers who will see this as a viable and effective online marketing tool. We're finding a lot of advertisers who've done them before are now looking to extend their reach. We've also gone to new advertisers and told them and they are very interested!" Spiegel notes for anyone trying to sell co-registration media to offline marketers, "You'll need to use the term 'lead generation', instead of 'co-registration', because that's something they'll understand. Also, their level of interest will directly depend on your ability to target. True brick and mortar catalog companies really want to develop a targeted list of new leads so they can do a better job of future customer acquisition."
According to Carl Wartzatk, Advertising.com's Head of Product Development, these highly targeted lists are only just now becoming available. He says, "Before, there were about 30 co-reg companies who were bottom-feeders, all buying and selling the same names at a low price. These were the kind of sites that offered users a free lotto entry for everything they registered for. However this market is maturing every month. Now there are high quality sites offering co-reg."
Advertising.com and L90 are both launching new sophisticated technologies this quarter to enable marketers to place co-registrations on targeted sites and collect names on a real-time basis. Their publisher reps are busy signing up the best sites to offer this media sale. However, Wartzatk warns eager marketers not to expect many B-to-B sites or highly niche categories from the networks just yet. He says, "Financial services, car buyers, pet owners and mothers are the type of category you can get now. Anything that cuts across at least 10% of the online population."
This will change rapidly. Soon marketers will be able to target co-reg offers to specific demographics and psychographics based not only on the site and the visitor's browser info but also on the contents of any online form they've just filled out. This technology may not be as sexy as the singing, dancing, broadband ads rich media fans are touting, but we bet it will be enormously effective and profitable for everyone involved.
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