A conversation with a colleague started me thinking about the immediate future of the co-registration marketing industry.
Co-reg is the practice of connecting leads or other sorts of sign-ups with another registration process. Robert Puddy of AdvertisingKnowHow.com describes the two ways that co-registration might occur:
Visitors signing up for a free subscription or other service are offered the chance to opt-in to other offers on the “thank-you page” that appears after the initial registration.
Visitors to a site are given the chance to opt-in to multiple publications or lists simultaneously. The most common question was how to find other publishers with whom joint ventures could be implemented. Look for sites similar to your own by searching for them in search engines and directories.
As you may have already gathered, co-reg is not the most reputable part of the marketing world. The leads are certainly not what anyone would call “warm”. In fact, they generally don’t register a temperature much above the freezing level.
The goal of most co-reg vendors is to create a “soup” of registrations, with just enough meat to keep you coming back for more. If the percentage of worthless (or barely worth anything) leads is too high, you won’t continue buying. (Note: if you are a co-reg vendor who does not operate in this manner, I am proud of you. Unfortunately, most still do.)
That said, co-reg is quite useful for list building. It allows you to build a database of contacts quickly and cheaply. If the co-registration is structured properly, and you follow the other provisions of CAN-SPAM, you should be on solid legal ground to nurture these contacts over time.
The size of the co-reg industry is rather hard to determine, as much of it is hidden within the email and lead generation industry numbers. My educated guess, however, is that we’re looking at an addressable market in the neighborhood of one billion US dollars per year.
I predict that this number will spike rather nicely in the immediate term (six to eighteen months), as marketing directors use co-reg to pump up their raw lead numbers (perhaps going to an annual run rate from $1.2B to $1.3B). I then expect flattening (or even decline) as these same marketing directors (or their replacements) begin to focus on the quality of those “leads”, and consequently pull back that piece of the marketing budget.