Beliefnet’s Yunki Kim on E-mail Co-registration
For Beliefnet, an interfaith online media firm, e-mail co-registration—i.e., piggybacking your offer on another company’s registration process—has played a notable role in growing its base of 8 million subscribers with 13 million e-newsletter subscriptions across 22 titles. The publisher derives its revenue from the advertising on its site, so the e-newsletters’ circulation goals are critical to driving a healthy stream of traffic. Target Marketing spoke to Yunki Kim, Beliefnet’s vice president of marketing, who shared his insights on e-mail co-registration.
Target Marketing: What’s the basic dynamic of co-registration?
Yunki Kim: Unlike other activities where when you pay more you pay for quality, in co-registration you pay more for volume. [In most instances], you’re talking about a yield curve, where you’re trying to plot out at different price points per lead what kind of increase in leads you get. The problem there is … when you start to get more volume, your quality starts to go down. I’m always looking at if I pay 5 cents more per lead, how much more volume am I getting because I want more than the proportional increase in dollars per lead. At the same time, I want to make sure I don’t get hurt on our ROI.
TM: How can marketers make the most of these leads?
YK: One of the first mistakes people make is to not take advantage of live feed into [their] system. Most just take batches of files from the co-reg partners, which might be on a daily basis, and then send out a confirmation to those leads 24 or 48 hours later. You need to ping back and do a confirmation within a few hours. We’ve mapped the difference, and the level of complaint for and recognition of that e-mail [based on turnaround] is night and day. At the very least, if you can’t do a confirmation e-mail, then if the [first contact] e-mail bounces make sure you get that record off [your] file immediately.
There are a lot of deliverability issues that crop up that are easily solvable, but you need to have the infrastructure upfront. If you try to slough through it … you’re going to start getting high complaints—ISPs are going to give you a bad reputation and you’re going to get blocked.
TM: Any other lead conversion tactics?
YK: If some of your big co-reg partners can tell you where the lead is coming from, then use the source’s name in your confirmation e-mail. For example, “This is to confirm that you signed up for XYZ newsletter when you were on the Q Interactive site.” What you want to do is then start analyzing all of the back-end information within that large pool of co-reg sources to segregate and analyze by partner/affiliate.
[From the June 2006 issue of Target Marketing magazine. To learn more, visit www.targetmarketingmag.com.]