How to ensure the quality of co-registration data

Your roving reporter had an opportunity to sit down (over email, of course) with several leading email industry experts and ask a series of questions of interest to our readers. This is the third in our continuing series of “Partner Insights”, which we hope will provide you with answers to some of your most vexing issues.

Our panelists are:

Stephanie Miller, Vice President, Strategic Solutions, ReturnPath

Dennis Dayman, Email Deliverability & Privacy Officer, Eloqua

Rick Buck, Vice President Privacy/ISP Relations, e-Dialog

FreshPerspectives (FP): Stephanie, what’s the one thing you’d recommend to help ensure the quality of co-registrations or other forms of lead generation data?

Stephanie: May I recommend four things? This actually is a quite controversial way to source new subscribers because it can be risky, but it can work well if done right and with respect. First, make sure you work with reputable vendors. Vet them carefully by checking their sender reputation, talking with other clients and signing up for their service yourself to see what sort of experience your subscribers will have. Test at least once before you make a big investment. Second, quarantine the data to protect the reputation of your IP addresses, and so you can quickly remove it if there is a problem. Third, do not assume permission. Even if these are customers, they may not want to be on the email file. Use the first message (or a series of two or three) to thank them, welcome them and give them a great reason to opt in. Fourth, tailor the welcome message to the relationship. Don’t just send the next message in the queue. If there is limited branding at the point of subscription (e.g.: co-reg) then be sure to reference the source. Use whatever data you have to customize the message – ZIP code, geography or even date of sign up.

FP: Dennis, in your opinion, what’s the one thing you’d recommend to help ensure the quality of co-registrations or other forms of lead generation data?

Dennis: One? Wow…with just one it’s hard to sum up what’s needed for co-registration these days. If I had to pick one, it would have to be opt-in, but the type of opt-in that’s very clear about what someone is signing up for and who will get the information. So I guess there’s more than just one in there: you need both opt-in and privacy control. I’m not a fan of co-registration and never will be, but if you must, you have to be clear to the person signing up what they will be getting and who will be receiving their information.

I also wouldn’t combine co-reg with lead generation when describing list building today. They are and can be totally different things when it comes to the process of building a list properly and cleanly. I find that co-reg creates more problems — such as complaints — since the data is captured via crazy incentives and also sold off many times to those who were NOT originally part of the capture form or whatever the user intended when they volunteered their information.

With lead generation, the user knows who the company is since typically they are the ones who contacted the company in the first place to be placed on their email list to receive more targeted information. Co-reg is just selling data off to those that the user might find interesting based on the data seller whereas lead generation is the user requesting certain information on their own and knowing who they are dealing with.

Proper lead generation creates a stronger relationship with the user. Savvy marketers can read prospects’ “digital body language”http://www.eloqua.com/about/digital_body_language/ and use that knowledge to guide the buying process. What web pages did prospects click on? What emails excited their interest? What breadcrumbs are they leaving that show their paths through the buying process?

If your readers want more information, I also have a blog at http://www.deliverability.com.

FP: Rick, is there anything you’d like to add regarding the one thing you’d recommend to help ensure the quality of co-registrations or other forms of lead generation data?

Rick: So much has already been said! In a nutshell, I would advise email marketers to take care to set the proper expectations and value proposition to your new prospects. Most importantly make sure they know they willingly signed up for your email program.

FP: Thank you all so much!

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