How to Test a Successful Co-Reg Lead Generation Program

Executive Summary

  • Co-Reg Lead Generation Programs Can Generate Big Profits
  • Email Subscribers from Co-Reg Will Be Your Lowest Quality Source
  • Co-Reg Lead Generation Programs Can Produce Strong Marketing ROI

Building a targeted, opt-in free email newsletter database is job one for website publishers who use The Mequoda System. The size of your controlled circulation email newsletter, and the revenue per subscriber, per year are the key metrics that drive your top line revenue. A very methodical publisher who was creating her first co-reg lead generation program was kind enough to share her process and the impressive results from her new program.

Opportunity: Before deciding to test a co-reg lead generation program, our savvy B2C publisher had already built a database of 270,000 free email subscribers to her daily eLetter, using a combination of PPC advertising and free offers in her print products, which drove respondents to a series of very effective landing page URLs. Her database was clean and was generating about $23 per subscriber, per year, or about $6.2 million in annual revenue.

The Test: After researching other websites in her market that served a reader with similar demographics, she selected 15 websites and five website advertising networks for the 15 month test. While she declined to share her co-reg partner list for reasons of confidentiality, she offers this starting point: “There are a few really good co-reg lead generation networks out there that you will use. Aptimus is one of the best, producing consistent results across a large network of third party sites.”I’ve worked with the folks at Aptimus on and off over the past five years, and have also found them to be a consistent top performer for co-reg lead generation programs in many diverse markets. I’ve included a few co-reg lead generation program resources at the bottom of this tip.

A free co-reg subscription offer for her daily eLetter was placed on what was ultimately hundreds of sites (Aptimus only represents more than 1,000 publisher websites). She committed to a three month run with each co-reg partner, and a volume of between 5,000 and 25,000 co-reg leads at a cost as low as 10 cents and as high as 65 cents per net co-reg lead. Most of the deals required her to pay a small cost per lead for the gross lead, and then a higher cost for those who responded to her email confirmation effort. The total co-reg costs above are calculated by adding the gross and net costs, then dividing by the number of net co-reg leads: (ie: 1,000 gross leads at five cents per gross lead, plus 700 net leads at 20 cents per net lead would equal a total cost of $190 for the 700 net leads of about 27 cents per net lead). Co-reg confirmation conversion rates ran from as low as 12 percent to as high as 87 percent.

The Results: On a total co-reg marketing investment of $54,000 in lead cost, and about $90,000 in email broadcasting costs, she generated $265,000 in product sales over the first 12 months the co-reg generated subscribers were on her file, or about $1.33 per new eLetter subscriber. Note that the revenue per co-reg subscriber is far lower than the $23 she generates from her core list of 270,000 print and search acquired eLetter subscribers. The program did produce a marketing contribution of $121,000 or 184 percent marketing ROI. Better yet, these are the results for the whole co-reg test, which included ROIs than ranged from a low of 23 percent to a high of 1270 percent. The co-reg lead generation program is now being rolled-out with success. Our publisher estimates that she can generate an additional $1.2 million in sales at a first year marketing ROI of around 300 percent.

Lessons: Unlike other direct response programs, a co-reg lead generation program takes months to test. Performance of individual partners will vary widely and must be tracked carefully and watched closely. While co-reg leads will generate the lowest revenue per eLetter subscriber of any major source, they can add significant revenue and profits to an already well-run publishing operation.

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