Online Acquisition Techniques To Grow Your Database

It’s not news that marketers have a variety of online tools they can leverage for lead generation; from search and e-mail to web media such as banners and skyscrapers to co-registration. The challenge is in hitting the balance–getting the right mix of these tools to reach the right audience, at the right time, in the most cost-effective manner.

When it comes to converting prospects to customers, e-mailing your house list is still the most effective method, especially when you apply segmentation and the testing and refining of offers, messaging, and timing. But before you can do all that, you need to build that list and keep it fresh. That’s where online lead generation comes in.

To avoid wasting precious marketing dollars, a key goal with your online lead-generation activities should be to identify the most qualified customer at the best cost with the optimal volume of leads.

In this context, using search has its limitations. Yes, it’s targeted but will you be in the realm of best cost with optimal volume? It’s no secret that the cost of high-value keywords continues to escalate. Merchants often build their online lead-generation campaigns around web media, and for those marketers targeting narrow audiences such as travel or health-related segments, web media can produce high performance metrics. But if your goal remains to identify the most qualified customer at the best cost with the optimal volume of leads, you may want to look at co-registration to form the core of your online advertising strategy.

To avoid certain pitfalls when developing your acquisition strategies, we suggest you remain firmly focused on brand image quality control. Best practices dictate carefully checking out the Websites and/or networks where your media is placed, to ensure you avoid tarnishing the brand. Make sure the sites where your co-registration appears gather information from consumers who have explicitly given permission for you to use personal information to market products and services to them. These sites and networks also need to have in place strong and specific consumer privacy protection policies.

If you have limited resources to help you reach your cost-per-registration (CPR) or cost-per-lead (CPL) goals, consider working with an experienced and reputable online marketing partner.

Hitting the online acquisition balance isn’t as easy as it seems, but with a little forethought, you can keep up with the latest site statistics and industry trends, know what sites to test and get the qualified leads you anticipate at the cost targets you have established.

Josh Perlstein is president of Atlanta-based marketing services firm Response Media.

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